I conquered Achilles Hill

There’s a quarter-mile section in my neighborhood that I avoid like the plaque. It’s what I refer to as ‘Achilles Hill’, because it is.

Several years ago I would run down to Kapok Park and all over the Ream Wilson Trail and finish by running up ‘Achilles Hill’ and then on to my house.  After only a few weeks of doing this on a daily basis, I was getting a little pain in my ankle.

And then it got worse. One morning after waking up, I stepped out of my bed and immediately I fell down.

Pain in the ankle
Son of a bitch! It was the most intense pain in my ankle. I went to the doctor who did some imaging and other tests and told me it was most likely Achilles tendonitis. She also told me to take 2-4 weeks off, do some exercises that she showed me and work on my form.  That was not what I wanted to hear.

After two weeks my ankle was still giving me problems. So I went back to the doctor who asked me if I was doing the exercises she had suggested and if I was working on my form, to which I replied, ‘Uh, no’.  She informed that it would get better and I could prevent re-injury but only if I did the exercises and improved my form.  Apparently she didn’t realize how lazy I was back then.

A few weeks later I thought I was all better so I tried the hill again.

Still having ankle pain
So, I called the doctor again thinking that my ankle was probably fractured or something way more severe, because seriously, how could I screw it up again the first time I attempted the hill? There had to be something wrong…had to be.

There wasn’t. The doctor told me once again that I seriously needed to work on my form. She was a runner so I knew she knew what she was talking about but I’m sort of stubborn and I really hate being wrong.  So the whole time she was explaining what I should do differently and how to work on my form I just pretended to be listening.

duh
And then I did the only thing I could do.

I avoided ‘Achilles Hill’ for years.

Unfortunately hills are a part of running and you can’t avoid them. I know this. I just don’t like it. But that didn’t change the situation. So this year after the dead butt syndrome, I decided that maybe working on my form would be a good idea. Maybe there was something to this form thing, especially since I’ve had some injuries….

I know, I’m a rocket scientist.

So after conquering many other hills in the area over the past few months I decided this week would be the week to conquer ‘Achilles hill’.

Run that hill!
So I mapped out an 8 mile route including ‘Achilles hill’ in the first part, and an option in the second part of my run, depending on how I felt.  I got to the end of the second mile and it was time to run down to and then up ‘Achilles Hill’. I worked on my breathing, I kept my stride a bit shorter, I practiced placing my foot directly under my knee and pushing off hard, and guess what?

woo hoo
I got up that damn hill.  I. GOT. UP. THAT. DAMN. HILL.

And my pace wasn’t half bad either. So guess what? I ran it again in the second part of my run.  ‘Achilles Hill’ is no longer my Achilles heel and it feels pretty darn good!

What’s your Achilles heel?
What’s the one part of your running you need to work on the most? (My form is horrible when I get tired, but I’m working on it.)
Do you have a hard time listening to doctors?  (Um, yeah, we know I do.)

WTF Wednesday, eating spiders.

Good Morning!

I went for a run at 7am this morning. It was cold, 51 degrees. Perfect running weather. Unfortunately it will only rise to about 60 this afternoon but that’s okay. It beats what the Northeast is getting, those poor souls. Bless your hearts.  I don’t think I would survive an hour, seriously.

See, even dogs hate snow.

      Meet my Spirit Animal!

MacGyver and I have noticed some tunnels running throughout our backyard lately, which seem to originate from a little hole in our side gate. So, MacGyver went out and got a few of those humane traps. I expected to find a mole or a hedgehog or something kind of cute, but in one week, we’ve had 2 possums and an armadillo. Not cute!

possum

That whole playing possum thing is bullshit. This little booger hissed, growled and tried to bite my ass!

Fortunately for us, the nature park down the street accepted them and I’m pretty sure we’ll be able to fully stock them by spring, as long as it’s possums and armadillos that they want.

Have y’all seen that show ‘Alaskan Bush People’? In case you haven’t here’s the way the Discovery Channel describes the show:

Deep in the Alaskan wilderness lives a newly discovered family who was born and raised wild. Billy Brown, his wife Ami and their seven grown children – 5 boys and 2 girls – are so far removed from civilization that they often go six to nine months of the year without seeing an outsider. They’ve developed their own accent and dialect, refer to themselves as a “wolf pack,” and at night, all nine sleep together in a one-room cabin. Simply put, they are unlike any other family in America.

alaskan bush people

                      Yes because the last time I checked that is definitely a skill.

They bring stupid to a whole new level. And also, that dialect they’ve developed is more like a speech impediment that oddly enough seems to only affect the children. It’s strange at the very least.

This is supposed to be a family that lives off the land. They barter for clothes and other necessities. So, can somebody explain to me how it is that every single member of this ‘bush family’ is wearing Hunter boots. HUNTER. BOOTS. That’s some serious coin for any family of 9, but especially one with no discernible income. I’m callin bullshit on that show.

I'd like to have 9 pairs of Hunter Boots!

                                     I’d like to have 9 pairs of Hunter Boots!

Last night I got a text from my niece regarding the dates of her spring break. She comes down every year for spring break and brings the entire town, and by entire town I mean, only her closest BFF’s.

Anyway, MacGyver and I were in the middle of a movie and since the great phone debacle of a few weeks ago, my touch pad doesn’t work well and I have to use the microphone to reply to any text. So I put the phone close to my mouth and said, “K. Watching American Sniper, I’ll call you tomorrow.”

But my phone typed out, “K. Watching Mom eat a spider, ongoing sorrow.”

Ugh, no phone. Just. No.

So I tried again, “K. Watching American Sniper. Call you tomorrow.”

The phone typed, “K. Watching Mom off a spider calling her Zoro.”

MacGyver was getting annoyed as I disrupted the movie.  WTF?  My phone is possessed! I’m certain of it.  After the third try, the phone typed out the correct message and I hit send.  Immediately after I did, I wished I would have sent one of the first two because in hindsight, they were epic.

WTF, it must be Wednesday!

Now, give me a WTF moment from your week. Go!

Answers for the smart socks and a shoe heart.

This morning I ran 8 miles around the neighborhood in my little loop that I like to do cause I’m OCD like that. It was a progression run. I started really slow with a 10:12 mile and then sped up a little for each mile finishing the last mile in 9:01.

Because you start out slower and then get progressively faster, your legs tend to get really tired towards the end, but it feels so good when you finish. I like doing progression runs because they tend to give me a bit more confidence in knowing that I can finish faster than I started, and that really helps as I get closer to race day.

You know what else helps?

Brooks PureFlow 2's Heart

Turning my shoes into a big heart….okay, not really.  But it was fun.

A few weeks ago I told y’all about a pair of amazing running socks with built-in technology that can help you with your running form, your cadence, your foot strike, and many other things. I was super impressed by them and apparently so were a lot of you because I got some comments and even more emails and a lot of you had questions.

sensoria fitness socks

So, I did what any awesome blogger would do and went straight to the source. I contacted Sensoria Fitness.  I emailed sensoria and immediately received a response from Alick Law, Ph.D., MBA, the director of Marketing and Business Development, who kindly answered all of my questions regarding the socks.

He also updated the FAQ’s on the website with an answer as to whether or not the anklet is waterproof. (It is not by the way, however it is splash proof.) In his email, Alick said, “This means you can use it in the rain but it cannot be washed. We are located in the Pacific Northwest and I go running in the rain on the road, trails and going through puddles without experiencing any issues.”

You can read all of the FAQ’s by visiting this link and I encourage you to do so, and if you haven’t checked out some of their other products, you can find them on the website as well.

I read this article yesterday and I found it very interesting.

Fitness articleSome of these things that are mentioned are things I already do and some were new to me, but check it out, it’s a quick read and it’s interesting.

wake up slim

                                   An excerpt from the actual article.

I’m doing thrusters today!

Do you work out in the morning or the evening? I always work out in the morning because I find that if I don’t it’s harder to motivate myself later in the day.

working out before breakfast

Recently I saw the excerpt above from  this article in the New York Times that suggests working out in the morning, before eating breakfast, helps to burn more fat throughout the day. You can read the article in its entirety here.

Fitness
So, do you work out in the morning or the afternoon?  (I always work out in the morning.)
Do you incorporate progression runs into your training?  If so, how long are your typical progression runs?  (Mine are between 6 and 12 miles depending on what I’m training for.)