I was intending to get a few posts out earlier but I have been kind of in limbo. I have been attempting to increase my long runs on trails and it has been a struggle. I just have not felt right and the mile times have been slow.
A few weeks back I got an invite from Wayne to join him for the Chester Woods 50k or whatever, I went down thinking I would do the whatever distance and get in 2 loops for 20 miles. I bailed after the 1st long loop at 13 miles. My leg wasn't right,same issue that I have had but a little different. The calf tightens right above the achilles and then it's just a question where the secondary pain will come from. This time it was the hamstring and the foot. Basically the leg felt like it was torqued.
In some recent runs in Lebanon I tried to push the pace and caused the flair up and I noticed that the lift on my left leg is about half that of the right. I figured this out standing on the old bridge and trying to stretch after it had tightened up. I did one legged lifts and noticed that my heel was hardly coming off the ground with my left leg. When I resumed running I noticed that my left leg wasn't helping and my speed had slowed. It all kind of makes sense.
So what next, I will continue to get in runs when things seem ok and will work a little more diligently with stretching, strengthening, foam rolling and the stick. The difference will be a broader focus on all of the leg muscles. I will also add back in the plank walking and barefoot runs to improve the proprioception and strength.
And of course I am going to experiment with shoes to see if I can figure out anything that helps. So that means a few runs in my Inov-8's which have the higher heel drop just to get additional input. I haven't really noticed any connection to the shoes. I have noticed that my Trail Bionics are lightweight and on more rugged trail cause me to work more and to step more carefully. They are the shoes I wore at Chester Woods but again I don't think it matters but it is something I can play with so I will.
With regard to upcoming races, I have decided to skip Porcupine and just do the Surf the Murph 50k.