Taper Time

As of last week I have been in official taper mode for the Melbourne Marathon, although it actually feels like I’ve been tapering for the past month.

The plan was to run only in Five Fingers but since they just happen to touch the tender spot on my achillies, they aggravate it more, leaving me barely able to walk. So I have been mixing up my footwear. Had a great interval session on the track with the Nike Waffles. It felt so natural to wear those shoes on the track and I was running faster than ever before. I’ve been wearing the Asics DS Trainers quite abit. Although I believe they are the cause of my injury, they actually hurt less overall. The only problem is I am noticing some shin pain in my left leg. In the past this has always been an indicator of overuse but at the moment I don’t see how that is possible. I think it could be because I am not wearing the Five Fingers so much and my biomechanics are being compromised.

I had a long run last week in the Asics. It was about 29k and although I had zero energy, it was really not as bad as I expected. My biggest pain was actually when I was trying to scramble up a steep hill (read: cliff) and I scratched my thigh on a branch. Blood was streaming down and I must’ve looked a real Crazy! It was fun though.

Yesterday I went for a pleasant very-short-long run with some Cool Runners along the Rat Trail. This is a coastal path around the Black Rock/Brighton area. Took it easy, had pleasant company, caught up with DG from the Tan Ultra and enjoyed a soy hot chocolate at a cafe afterwards. There was some mild achillies pain and some mild shin twinges but nothing too bad. Today I couldn’t be bothered to get up and skipped my run or walk or whatever it would’ve been and injury wise I am not feeling too bad. It could be worse.

So now it is real real taper time. I will focus on eating plenty of nutrient rich foods. I will go for walks during the week, maybe attempt a run, and test how the Five Fingers affect the achillies. I really really really want to run the marathon in the Five Fingers. Thinking about it some more though, I should consider how close the Bruny Island Ultra is and my marathon recovery might take longer if I run in the Five Fingers. I really should have built up the distance in them rather than doing one 30k run in them and expecting to do 53k without building up to that! Even though my running is so much better, biomechanically, there is no denying the feet still feel the impact from the forces of running. It’s gravity. It’s a fact.

My conflicting thoughts are:
I want to run the marathon fast in the Five Fingers.
I want to recover quickly, which would mean running in the DS Trainers.
I want to run in the Five Fingers coz they look cool.
I don’t want to aggravate my achillies by running in the DS Trainers.
I don’t want to aggravate my achillies by running in the Five Fingers.
I don’t want to have to lift heavy shoes in the DS Trainers.
I don’t want my HR higher in the DS Trainers.
I want to feel light and free in the Five Fingers.

To summarize, I want to run in the Five Fingers and not in the DS Trainers, and I want to run in the DS Trainers and not the Five Fingers. If I were to tally up my thoughts then it would seem the Five Fingers are the winner. But realistically I am still not sure. Hopefully I will decide before the day.


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