Some good things have been happening. I'll discuss them in turn.
The first good thing: my injury seems to be under control. Not gone, not healed, not pain free, but under control, i.e. I can run, a good amount with low intensity, without much pain, and without many negative side effects thereafter. Following the Ice Age Trail 50 (that is, 26 miles of it), the pain and soreness was present in my knee for two days. But, almost as quickly as it had come about, it was again gone. Which leads me to my second good thing: I have a much better understanding of my injury, how to treat it, and how to avoid it in the future, thanks largely to Matt Flaherty and his book recommendation: Anatomy for Runners by Jay Dicharry. If you are reading this blog, and have ever dealt with an injury, stop reading this blog and go buy the book (then read it!). I think it's that useful. This leads to the third good thing: since getting the injury under wraps, I've put in lots of easy, low intensity miles:
05/13 - 05/19: 58 miles (5/13 and 5/14 off), ~7 hours.
05/20 - 05/22: 58 miles (four runs: 16 miles, 11 miles, 8 miles, 23 miles), 7hrs:30.
Now onto the fourth good thing: I spent 05/20 - 05/22 camping in Kettle Moraine State Park (more on this in a later post), so all 58 miles to start this week were on the trails: sometimes muddy, usually undulating, always a blast! Over four runs and 58 miles, I had about 5,000' ascent and 5,000' decent. This was good, since one clear weakness in my trail running, which I'm keen on improving, is on the inclines and declines. I've recently been thinking and reading lots about uphill/downhill running technique, and I was able to put some new strategies to the test (here's one, on downhill running, from Ian Sharman.). I feel much more comfortable, and confident, on hilly terrain from my three day trial in Kettle Moraine.
Especially since I started running in a new trail shoe, and the fifth good thing worth mentioning in this post: the Salomon Sense Mantras. Go buy them, go buy them now. I have run in a variety of different shoes on the trails: Saucony Peregrine 2s, Montrail Rogue Flys, Montrail Bajadas, Brooks Cascadias, Brooks Pure Grit 2s, New Balance 1400s, and surely others. The Sense Mantras have been, on a variety of terrain from roads to rocks to roots to mud, far and above the best shoes on the trail that I have ever run in. I could talk at length about these shoes, but I'll leave it to the expert, Salomon runner Matt Flaherty, who has promised to write a review of the shoe forthcoming (the review is now available HERE).
Those are the good things (running related) as of lately. Here's hoping that I'll have a sixth good thing to discuss in my next blogpost: the injury subsiding completely before my next 50 mile effort on June 1st!