Saturday, June 3, 2023

Catching up from 2019 - present

In 2019, I was finally able to get my Achilles pain under control after working with a physical therapist for several weeks. I did a little bit more barefoot running, but I wanted to start increasing distance and that was easier with shoes. I found Topo Athletics shoes that worked great for me. In 2020, my wife, Kristy, started running after COVID-19 got her away from teaching and taking yoga, so I was able to help her get started and run with her until late 2021 when my left ankle started acting up. I believe that was diagnosed as posterior tibial tendon dysfunction, and I found some physical therapy exercises to help with that.

Lately, I have been ramping up my running in between fights with plantar fasciitis, so I am sticking to more padded and supportive running shoes (mostly from Topo Athletic), including wearing Oofos at home and avoiding going barefoot as much as possible. After not running a 5K in years, I managed to pull off a sub-32 minute 5K today without any focused training. I was a bit exhausted in the first half, but I finished very strong. After a run like that, I am sure I will have more plantar fasciitis pain, but I have a decent toolkit to help with that pain, including the Alleviate arch massager, and some eccentric stretches that I learned from Alleviate and physical therapy over the years.

As for my biking, I continue to ride on Zwift (and sometimes Wahoo RGT), and in the summer of 2020, I also started riding my road bike with a local club (SCU-Suburban Cyclists Unlimited.) I took a road safety course that they offered, which made me a lot more comfortable riding on the roads. Eventually, I figured out that my Mercier bike felt small, so I ordered a larger gravel bike that arrived in December 2021. It has 700x38 tires and a 61cm frame which ended up being a lot more comfortable with my larger body size. I did bike fits on both my Motobecane and Mercier bikes, which made riding even more comfortable (turns out there were adjustments to be made on the Mercier to make it fit better!) I was able to continue with some riding for a short time until early 2022 when a doctor put me in a walking boot after I had an incident while running (dropped into a hidden hole and had pain in the bottom of my foot.) That caused problems with my back, and I had to go back to my physical therapist where they worked on activities to strengthen my core, foot, and ankle. That got me back to riding again, and my riding has been very strong lately! I will be riding the French Creek Iron Tour's grande gravel route next week (88 miles), and doing a long gravel ride in Asheville over the summer (full day).

New gear since my last post:
  • Running
    • LUNA Mono Winged (zero drop)
    • Merrell Trail Glove 4 (zero drop)
    • Xero TerraFlex trail shoe (zero drop)
    • Topo Athletic Ultraventure Pro trail shoe (5mm drop) ** favorite **
    • Topo Athletic ST-4 road shoe (0mm drop)
    • Saucony Freedom ISO road shoe (4mm drop)
    • XTERRA TRX4500 treadmill (Bluetooth)
  • Biking
    • Motobecane Gravel Bike (61cm, larger frame size)
    • Shimano SH-R065 Road Shoes (wide)
    • Specialized Torch 1.0 Road Shoes ** favorite **
    • NiteRider Lumina 900 front light
    • Olight RN 120 tail light
    • Garmin Edge 530 bike computer, speed/cadence sensors, and RVR315 radar
    • KOM Cycling Saddle Bag w/ integrated Garmin Varia mount
    • K-Edge Combo Mount w/ NiteRider Adapter for Edge+Lumina light
    • RAD Adjustable Bike Trainer Desk
    • Crankbrothers M19 multi-tool
    • Topeak Joe Blow Sport III Floor Pump
    • LOOK Keo Classic 3 Plus Road Pedals (for the Motobecane)
    • Kryptonite Evolution Mini U-Lock with Cable (bike lock)
    • Specialized Bike Bibs
  • Standup Paddleboarding & Kayaking
    • NRS cVest Mesh Back PFD
    • Gear Aid Akua Blunt Tip Rescue Knife with Serrated Blade and Sheath
    • Thule Hull-a-Port XT Rooftop Kayak Rack
    • Rightline Gear Moki Door Step
    • RinseKit
  • Casual wear
    • Lems Primal 2 shoes (zero drop)
    • Merrell Bare Access Flex Knit (zero drop)
    • Merrell Vapor Glove 5 shoes (zero drop)
    • Vans Authentic Denim shoes (zero drop)
  • General health & fitness
    • Garmin Venu 2 smartwatch ** favorite **
    • Polar H9 Heart Rate Strap (has both Bluetooth and ANT+)
    • SHOKZ OpenRun Mini (Bluetooth)
    • StrongTek Balance Board (to use with my work-from-home standing desk)
    • Proper Sleep + Restore (to help with sleep)
    • Sonisleep Soundbar (to help with sleep)
    • Oofos OOahh slides (to help with plantar fasciitis pain)
    • Alleviate Arch Massager (to help with plantar fasciitis pain)
    • Protalus T-75 and T-100 Elite insoles (to help with plantar fasciitis pain)

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