A couple of weeks ago, I did a long run of 16 miles. It sucked.
At the time, it sucked because of the route I chose. I get lazy with picking my routes sometimes (my garmin is basically dead, which makes me just want to run routes where I know the distances already). That morning, I ran a route that consisted of starting with a nice long downhill and then it flattened out for awhile before I just turn around and run home. Which means a long ass uphill climb on the way home.
I've noticed that when getting back into shape, getting my endurance back on hills is the LAST and HARDEST part of the training puzzle for me. A little, tiny, baby hill is enough to send my legs into pansy mode and particularly so at the end of a long run. My legs are little bitches on the hills these days. So, that run felt particularly terrible at the end.
The rest of the day, I noticed that my left achilles was feeling.... well... tight, I guess? I don't know how to describe it except to say that normally I don't even think about my achilles, but when walking around all day after the run, I was feeling it constantly. The next morning I was meeting Liz and Melissa for a flat, easy 7 miler. When I got up and out of bed, my achilles was super tight and painful. It got a little better as I got ready, but when I started the run it was pretty painful. It wasn't getting any worse, and the pain was bearable, so, I just kept going.
After the run, it was a little stiff and tight, but after a few hours, it got much, much better. The next day, I just ran a little jog with my dog and with The KoB and it flared up again. So, I decided to scale back a bit on the long runs. The thing is... aside from fatigue... I pretty much never have weird running pains. So, when something persists it freaks me the fuck out.
After going easy on the longer runs for a little while, I am happy to report that I ran 12 miles on Saturday and aside from a little stiffness to start out, the achilles felt fine during the run and after, so I'm planning on testing it out with a 15ish long run this week. I need to get some quality distance runs in if I'm going to survive my early March marathon.