After getting a stress fracture last summer and feeling similar early symptoms again I backed off on my running for the past week. I did a couple of three mile jogs and walks of a mile and a half. I had also tried to remedy the situation by cutting a hole in the insert of the shoe, wearing shoes all the time, and favoring the foot a somewhat while running. By favoring, I mean going for either a heel or a flat foot strike.
Yesterday I decided to go for a long run and see how it would do. I'd been wanting to do a circumnavigation of Green Mountain on the edge of Boulder. It was already 90 degrees when I was ready to go. I drank a quart of diluted cold Gatorade before starting and carried two liter bottles in my hands, one with water and the other with diluted Gatorade. As I started up toward Chautauqua Park from the Pearl Street Mall I realized I was already struggling. Something wasn't right. The heat shouldn't have been a problem that soon. I stopped and checked my pulse; it was irregular. It seemed to be in atrial fibrillation which I've had over the years but not recently. I had noticed some irregularity the day before after a particularly strong cup of coffee at Ozo. Excessive caffeine can trigger it. I decided to go on; going for a run has often been effective in making the rhythm return to normal. It didn't seem to be working. I went on, thinking I could always turn back and if things got bad I was still where an ambulance could get to me. Funny how we think sometimes. After about 2 miles and 800 feet of elevation gain it seemed that maybe I was returning to normal. I would soon be in terrain that if things were to go bad I would be stuck there. I ate a Honey Stinger and drank some water and kept going. I don't know if my decision to continue was stupid, well-analyzed, or what but after a while the initial distress was all but forgotten and I was enjoying the trail.
Much of the running was on steep trails which made it easy to not make pounding foot strikes. The two and a half hours were uphill for the most part and the last hour and a half was a steep descent and then a mile and a half on streets all downhill. Once I was back to Pearl Street I discovered the temperature was 95, but as we say here "it's a dry heat". The heat index probably made it 91 and being in the mountains in semi-shade I can knock off a couple of more degrees. I drank three quarts of water and a beer to rehydrate. The foot seems no worse for the tens of thousands of foot strikes. I'm still going to take it easy for a while so that the foot isn't getting excessive repetitive load every day. I'll save that for a long run later in the week.
Mid-week Daylight Run
2 years ago