Monday, February 13, 2017

Trying desperately to avoid TMTS

Yeah, that last episode of TMTS lasted longer than I expected.  Outside edge of the left foot inflamed and took a long while to cool down.  I increased walking, and pain increased.  I relented, down from four miles to 2.5 to 3.0 miles, and then slowly ramped up -- and down again.  Shooting hoops to measure the impact of nothing other than higher impact.  Finally, this past week, increased walking, chasing the ball on missed shots, yard work, etc., the feet felt good in the morning and not showing any "hotspots".  I needed a plan, and I needed to execute the plan.

The one good thing about being past 55 years is that one has made a lot of mistakes and actually learned from some of them.  Reading instructions before assembling something, for instance, because you don't want to get frustrated by doing it a couple of times the wrong way before reading the instructions -- bypass the failed attempts and not burn-up life-moments with avoidable irritation.  Running is no different.  I have made plenty of mistakes.  I have made so many that I cannot think of one which I have not made.  I have also learned, studied, and embraced the instruction of experts and experienced runners.  My plan needs to be, more than anything, a reflection that I am engaging my brain about what I am doing to my body, based on the experience in failure, success, and learning.

I love barefoot running.  It is the only way I can be sure that my feet are landing the way they should and it makes me think about my form from the ground up.  That's just me.  It is not for everyone, and there is nothing superior about it.  Good running form is good running form whether your feet are shod or naked.  I have a nice S-shaped driveway and it covers more than 100 meters; I have measured the 100 meters with a survey wheel and have mark its points -- the last 50 meters are slightly uphill.  The concrete of my driveway is only a year old and very comfortable when barefoot.  In other words, I have a great running "track" on which to begin.

My TMTS injury occurred when I started with, too much too soon -- and too fast.  I am starting with four 100 meter intervals, doing the workout three times this week and five times (body permitting) next week.  I noticed in my workout today that with increased speed, I also experienced a shift to running unbalanced.  My first interval was at 8 minutes per mile (5 mpk), my last was at 6 minutes per mile (3.7 mpk).  The earlier two intervals showed better balance than the faster (muscles were warmer, felt good) latter two intervals.  This is a focus point -- stay balanced, avoid injury.  All other running metrics were very good.  I felt good enough to do more, but the brain told me to wait and see, making certain to avoid TMTS and the very large steps backwards it carries me.

When I was in France, I went from 0 to 10-mile (16 km) runs in four months -- with lots of weight loss and mistakes.  There is no reason, I must remind myself, to be in a hurry now.  I live in an area where 10-12 mile runs (16-19 km) would be wholly along wooded country roads; woods which have been here a long time and aren't going anywhere soon.  I can afford patience.