Less than 3 weeks until the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon. Training is going well, my speed is still improving and above where it was before I injured my foot. Fingers crossed that all will stay healthy and ready to race.
My injury, capsulitis of the second metatarsal, is often mistaken for a stress fracture or Morton’s Neuroma. But the benefit (if it can be called that) of capsulitis is that it is treatable in ways that the other two ailments are not. It responds well to icing and active release therapy. And I’ve been able to run on it when it’s not seriously inflamed.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a stress fracture and the idea of not running drives you nuts, I strongly recommend you get a second opinion — and an MRI if possible. Stress fracture, with the recommendation of “just don’t run for 6 weeks” is the lazy doctor’s response to a runner complaining of foot pain. Make sure they follow up with the appropriate tests and don’t just hand you a boot and show you the door. Which is what my orthopedist did.
I’ve noticed my cadence has gotten higher since my injury, from around 184 SPM (strikes per minute) to well over 200. I think I’m using shorter strides and faster turnover due to my injury. It seems to be working ok for me. I’m short, so for me to really move, I think I have to have Roadrunner-like feet.
Below are two charts of almost the same fartlek workout, the first from late July (7 miles) and the second from Monday (8 miles). You can see that the cadences are up both at the higher intensity interval and the easy pace. (Note: the chart shows the number of strikes per minute for one foot).
Working with my chi running coach, she says I probably strike a tiny bit ahead of my hips and we can work to correct it, but otherwise this cadence is great. She also says I have to make sure I’m not toeing off in the back at this cadence. To tell the truth, I’ve no idea of what that means except that if I’m running on a dusty trail and a bunch of debris is flying out from under my shoes, that’s bad.
My form is mostly ok, according to her. There are tweaks to be made, the two biggest being relaxing my ankles (which are noticeably tight to her, my personal trainer and my chiropractor) and the lean forward at the ankles. I really liked both methods — I felt much more relaxed and felt gravity doing some of the work for me.
We also worked on some marching drills and what I want to call my Thriller Zombie Walk, which is a focus on his to rotate the hips and use my core more to run.
It’s interesting how strong my core has become through running. I thought going back to the Core of the Warrior yoga class would kick my core’s ass (anatomically this sounds really creepy), but it’s been really solid. I can still do a headstand by pulling up slowly (vs using momentum to get the legs in the air).
I’m really pleased at where things are, especially considering I’ve spent several weeks being uber-cautious. I’m still nervous about setting a goal time for my race. I think I’m capable of a sub-1:50, but I’m kind of leaning towards just a sub- 2:00. I don’t know if that’s being smart or a chicken-shit.