Sunday, December 8, 2013

Running Streak

Somewhat at the instigation of my friends at the South Brooklyn Running Club, and partially due to a particularly run friendly Thanksgiving day weekend on Martha's Vineyard, I am currently, and accidentally, on Day 10 of the Runner's World Holiday Run Streak.  There are a number of reasons why this is counterintuitive. First, I have been boycotting Runner's World since they put George W. Bush on the cover half a dozen or so years ago.  Second, given my nagging and persistent heel injury, running every day without rest would seem to be contraindicated.

As I mentioned, the streak started accidentally.  I found myself on Martha's Vineyard for the holiday without a swim or bike option, so Thanksgiving morning, I went out for a very slow run toward the beach.  I focussed on form, and kept my pace in the 12-13 minute mile zone.  Afterwards I felt no pain, and my hips and hamstrings felt better than they have in a while.  The next day I tried it again, this time actually making it to the beach, to snap a few pics.  Again, no pain.  So, by day 3, it was a mini-streak.

Since then, I've managed to keep it up, though on a couple of occasions, I've only run a mile.  Indeed today, it was 1.1 miles on the treadmill, after a spin-class.  The real question is whether this is helping or hurting the various inflammations in my heel.  Mostly, it seems to be helping, so long as I add a couple of extra rules to the streak: (1) go slow (12 minute miles mostly, no faster than 10); (2) concentrate on form (midfoot stride, short stride, quick cadence, lift knees); (3) moderate to short distance (no more than 5-6 miles, usually much shorter).

I don't know if I'll make it to New Years.  I have some heavy duty traveling coming up, but I'll report back.

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