|The start of the Vicary Road hill on Mark's Run|
I have a theory that if one of my Achilles tendons is sore, then I don't stretch it as much as I drive off with that leg, my stride shortens and my centre of gravity is further back than usual. The consequence is that my running form is less efficient and it takes more effort to maintain a certain pace. As the Achilles loosens up, the centre of gravity moves forward and running efficiency improves. On my warm-up, my form was anything but efficient, and my Achilles was very sore, but I didn't try to force it (see earlier post titled "Managing a chronic Achilles"). Instead I just hoped that if I took it easy for the first kilometres of Trotters' "Mark's Run", the Achilles would loosen and I would be able to cope with the very significant hills later on the route.
|Mark's Run passes through the very tranquil Erina Valley|
The last 4km of the run were actually quite enjoyable as I finally began to run properly, and at a reasonable speed, for an old bloke. The Achilles problem comes and goes, and it's not always possible to work out what triggers it. Maybe I tie the shoes too tight and they grip too firmly on the tendon, or maybe it's running on an uneven or soft surface. Eventually, I suspect more surgery will be needed.
Tomorrow's 42km trail run will be a challenge, but I will be running slowly and in a different pair of shoes. I'm keen to do the run both because it's through a beautiful part of the world, and because I need some long runs to build fitness. One bright spot today was that, although I could feel some sensitivity in my right arch, it continues to improve and seems to be the least of my current problems.