Before getting back to running with Mu, I thought I’d take a moment to jot down where I am in my race training. I’m currently training for the Palo Duro 50K in October, although I have two smaller races prior to that one: a 20K in Dallas this weekend, and a half marathon in Tyler the week before going to Palo Duro.
The heat and humidity do not go gentle into that good September night in Dallas, and this year is no exception. It’s really hard to get a good bearing on my current fitness level because I’ve been forced to run all but one of my long runs (“long” = 4-6 hours) at a significantly reduced pace to counteract the weather. But I’d have to say that overall, I’m feeling pretty good about my fitness. The early cycles of training for an ultra race season have much more to do with quantity — just accumulating extra hours on your legs.
I had been experiencing some right foot problems that were creating an annoyance, although they were never so bad that I was forced to stop running – but there were step-back weeks I decided it might be better to skip some of the weekday runs, just to give the foot a rest. I had originally thought these problems were Achilles-related (and I still think I had overcooked some of my incline workouts while in Boulder during the summer), but now I’m thinking they had more to do with some minor lower back/sciatic nerve issues that were causing occasional isolated numbness and some pain.
In hopes of a quick n’ easy fix, I made some work posture changes, switched desk chairs, made time for some special inversion yoga sessions, and turned around the mattress in our bed. This past Sunday’s run was mostly pain free for the first time in nearly two months, so I feel my diagnosis and treatment plan have been largely correct and progress has been made. It’s delusional to think I’ll be in primo 50K shape by the time I’m in the canyon, but I’m confident I can finish without having to crawl.
I have one more long-run weekend before Palo Duro, the last weekend of September, and I’m hoping that over the next 10-12 days more of the heat and humidity will begin to taper off. It would be helpful to get in one long run in more habitable planetary conditions, just to get a more accurate gauge of where I am fitness-wise. But, the weather is what it is, and I live where I live. Onward through the (humid) fog!