I took a long 4 month break from running around January because I couldn't shake what my doctor later described as an ab wall tear (previously believed to be a groin pull). It was an injury that was incurred from the previous year. Despite a few long breaks from running, the pain kept coming back. Well, I think/hope I've got it figured out. I stopped doing core work outs, like sit ups, push ups, pull ups, etc. That whole cross fit scene is not for me.
My abs felt ok for a few months, so I came back to running a few weeks ago. I started running 3 mile runs in the morning. There were no issues, other than the apparent lack of fitness from being a sloth for so long. Today, I thought I would take advantage of the cooler weather in the mid 70s and go for a longer run. Six miles seemed reasonable. After about a mile and a half of running, I was feeling pretty good and took a right turn on Pippin road instead of a left (my usual 3 mile loop).
I figured that I would run to Broad street and turn around. It should be a 6 mile run. But when I got to Broad street I was still really feeling it. So I kept running onto Jackson to run around the Cane Creek Sports Complex and Park/Pond. I figured that would be 10 miles. Well, I was off a bit. Below is the map of my run and it was about 12 miles according to Google Maps.
The only problem that I had on the run was that I ran out of water in the last few miles. I became dehydrated as shown by my dark yellow pee later. Other than that I was quite pleased. There were no pains where there shouldn't be. When I bend down I can feel the soreness in my quads, but hey, that's a good feeling.
Besides giving up core work outs I have also given up on barefoot running, at least as a full time occupation. I don't think that barefoot running was the cause of my ab tear back in January of 2011, but I do believe it was a contributing factor. The injury occurred while barefoot running after doing a bunch of core. I think the core workouts made my ab muscles extremely fatigued and the barefoot sprints were the last straw. If I had shoes on during those sprints, it's possible that the injury would not have occurred.
Why? I was running barefoot on a cold, rubber track. It was in the low 40s that day and the rubber was hard and pointy. It felt like small gravel. In response, I was really exaggerating my gate in an effort to minimize the downward force on the rubber. In a muscular sort of way I was lifting my feet before they landed. I can't explain it any better than that, but it felt like I was really engaging my core as a result. I think I could have relaxed more if I had cushions under my soles. So there it is. It's my hypothesis. I could be wrong. But now I'm playing it safe. I wear shoes, while running. And they are stinky shoes.
I had a glow after the run. I thought yeah, I'm back in the saddle again. I'm back! I was reminded of how I used to get pumped before XC races while listening to Aerosmith's "Back in the Saddle". So let's close this with...