Learning to run hills again.. and being sidelined.

So, yesterday I had decided to run up to the golf course for the first time this year. The reason this is even worth mentioning is that the Golf course is a 7 mile round-trip run,  that is on the top of a VERY large hill.  I was a little nervous about it – as it was my first big hill run post-surgery, as well as being my first big hill run in my Vibram Five Fingers.  I headed out slowly, as I fully expected to have to walk a couple of times, and to really be wiped out.  I reached the bottom of the hill (that is about 1 and a half miles from my house) and headed on up.

The Golf Course at the top of the Hill!

I was pleasantly surprised! While It was certainly harder than running on the flat, that dreaded feeling of my muscles saying “No.”  simply never happened.  I reached the top without incident, took my picture of the sign and sent it out to my wife/running buddy.  I then headed back down the hill, with a nice pause first – to check out the top of a nature trail up next to the golf course.  I didn’t actually run on the trail far – at least not this time, but I did want to take a look as I have thought about trying to get some trail running into my workouts.  It seemed like it had potential, so I will be returning to do some further exploration.

After that, I headed on down the hill and discovered something.  Something that I should have thought of before trying a down hill that was over a mile and a half long.

You can’t run down hill in VFFs the same way you do in running shoes with thick heel padding.

Definitely the perfect time to figure that out…  But, I had briefly read up on down-hills in barefoot running, but couldn’t remember if it said to run forward or backwards. – but did recall that it said to take little steps. I just knew that I couldn’t go slamming my heel in to the ground (not that anyone SHOULD).  So short little steps and I flew down the hill.  I checked after I got home – I went over 10 mph on my way down!  Needless to say that was a wee bit faster than I went UP the hill. 

I hit the flat (ok, slight down hill, but flat in comparison) after I turned off the road, and felt my left calf was definitely unhappy.  It didn’t seem to bad though, so I headed on home to finish my run.  It continued to let me know it was unhappy, but I was able to keep running – until I reached a McDonald’s about a mile from my house.  My left calf suddenly “snapped” or “popped” or “twanged” and I couldn’t put any real pressure on my calf muscle or flex it in any way.  My wonderful wife came and got me.

Ok.. So it's not my leg.. And mine isn't ANYWHERE near this bad...

At home I iced it (15 on.. 15 off.. 15 on.. 15 off.. The icing version of Daniel from the Karate Kid!)  and then used the foam roller on it (OUCH!!!!!!!!!)   This morning, I was able to walk, and have the leg get next to my other one before it started “pulling.”

Called the Doctor, waiting to hear back. Grr.


I run, because I am a runner. Having realized that I have always "been a runner" - even when I went years with out running, I am learning how it has integrated itself in all aspects of my life. When I started running in highschool, my perspective on life changed. Funny that I didn't realize how much it had affected it until just recently.

Posted in Hill Running, running, vibram five fingers
3 comments on “Learning to run hills again.. and being sidelined.
  1. Sean says:

    Man that Blows! I’m still easing back into running again as well .Been kettlebelling though so hopefully the cardio doesn’t lag too much. I hope it is a QuickFix my friend.

  2. Oh no!!! I’m sorry to hear that. I hope you heal soon. Good job on that hill.

  3. Robinson says:

    Thanks! It is feeling better.. its been a “its a DISASTER, but then not as bad as feared” sort of week – had it occur with several things this way. So I figure I shoudl probably be running again shortly. Potential disaster, that turns into annoying brief occurance… I can walk on it today with minimal pain and only a minor limp, so its progress.

    Figure I will just focus on lifting weights until I can run again.

    The real bummer is that the run felt soooooooooooooo good.

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The Once and Future Runner
Once and Future Runner

2013 Was an amazing year, for me, So I am really looking forward to 2014!

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