Ok guys, by now many of you have seen my posts, comments or responses to others. You've seen that I am opinionated and yet still relatively new to all of this.
My question: I'm a relatively new runner. Been running something like 8 weeks. I did my first long run (over 7k) last thursday of 6 miles. Last night I experience the greatest thing ever. I got my first runners high. I'm not sure what else to call it. I went into a zone where I just felt great my sensory stimulation was unprecidented. I picked up my pace and kept going after I passed the 5 mile mark I decided to go until I tuckered out. I ended up running 6.75 miles. I literally thought I had run 8-9 miles but a quick trip to mapmywalk.com proved I was off on my guess and it was actually only 6.75. Still a great accomplishment in my eyes.
Funny thing. When I finished my feet felt like they were 4 times longer than they normally are. The cool down walk eventually led to them feeling normal. Today my left ankle is tendor/sore. Both feet/calves feel a little ache but that feels like normal soreness. My ankle is a little worse than the others. I'd say it's probably a 3-4 on the pain scale but still very annoying. Did I over do it or is this 'normal'? It doesn't hurt like a stress fracture or feel like I pulled something, it's just a little odd feeling/achey. After last thursday's long run I felt the same feeling in this ankle but then by Sat it was normal and I had no problems on my 4 mile run on Sunday morning. It also didn't bother me on my 3.5 mile run on Tuesday. Is it likely that my ankle just isn't strong enough yet and it will develope over time as long as I rest it enough in between?
I don't plan to run again until Sunday morning and only do 3-3.5 then. I plan to run next tuesday (3 miles or so) as well and then take off until Saturdays race to enjoy the maximum recovery.
First of all I want to say I'm glad you've gotten a preview of that "high" that you can get while exercising. I've been getting that high for years and it's the greatest thing ever.
On to your ankle - you said it's the longest you've run and you're fairly new at running, so it could just be you're putting too much stress on it. Think about how many "steps" you're taking during that run - in the thousands. Each step is putting a lot of weight and stress on that joint. If you are a bit overweight and relatively new at running then your ankle isn't used to it. It's "normal" that it should be hurting. Normal not in the sense that it's a good thing but in the sense that it's not an abnormal response to what it's experiencing.
Another possible compounding factor could be your form, but we'd need to see video to actually comment on that.
I say take it easy and listen to your body. Let the ankle rest. Nothing is worse than overdoing it too quickly and actually getting a severe injury and then you can't run for a long time and all your efforts and progress vanish.
Thanks Armand. That 'high' is amazing. It encouraged me to run longer and keep going.
I agree with your logic. I recently had my gait assessed so my stride can't be that off. I plan to take it easy for a few days but stretch real well during my down time.
This is quite possibly the best description I've ever read of what a long run feels like. It doesn't sound like you injured anything. Go out tomorrow for a 30-45 minute walk and let that be your gauge. If your ankle feels better after the walk (or at least not any worse), go for a very easy 3 on Sunday, and be prepared to call it if your ankle starts complaining. And I don't know what your experience is with tapering, but you might get better results if you go out next Friday for 10-20 minutes easy with a few sets of strides thrown in there (accelerate to 90% of race pace for 10-15 sec, then slow down and fully recover). It gets you outside and works off some energy, and the strides help get your legs ready for race day.
Thanks cnichols. I've never heard of tapering but that seems like a pretty good idea. I do plan on race day to get up at like 4:00 am and eat and then stretch and stuff. I always seem to run much better in the evenings than I do in the morning. Running in Ketosis sucks! When I run at night it's a pretty amazing feeling. Usually the first 1-1.5 miles I'm all grumpy about it and struggle to get into my zone but once I get into my zone my mood improves and I really enjoy myself. I've learned to control my breathing and even practiced talking while I ran yesterday. (I really struggled last Sunday when I ran with a friend who is an ultramarathoner. He kept talking and I usually don't talk just focus on breathing). I'm sure the people in the neighborhood all thought I was a crazy person talking back and forth to myself as I ran alone but what else do you do? I have to learn to talk to others while I run.
More info on tapering (and a lot more).