Physical Therapists Using Clinical Analysis To Discuss The Art And Science Behind Running and The Stuff We Put On Our Feet

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My Adventure: David


     First, I want to thank the Race Coordinator Jason Green for holding this 24 hour challenge. The entry fees for this go toward the support of the Easter Seals in Alabama. This is a community rehab organization to help support people of mental, physical, and developmental disabilities with continued employment and opportunities. In this situation the Easter Seals community are screening all of the shirts. In times of this constant barrage of race cancellations, the YETI 24 hour challenge is a way to get out and be a part of something good and contribute to our strong running family globally. Over the span of 24 hours the participant runs 5 miles every 4 hours over the duration of 24 hours. My DOR teammate Nathan recently did this 2 days ago and convinced me to do it as well. I decided to treat this as a "flight" of my favorite shoes over the last year in no particular order. Below is my experience.

CH. 1: SO FRESH & SO CLEAN, 7 A.M. // 5 miles // 5.11; 39:42, 7:46/mile

     I wanted to open up this adventure with a shoe that makes me feel good. The Reebok Forever Floatride Energy 2.0 is a shoe that feels great running and also aesthetically. After waking at 6 A.M. I brewed my coffee and hung out on the couch for a little bit of thinking about how to approach this. I looked at my "Fresh Boks" as I call my FFE 2.0's and immediately started hearing Outkast's So Fresh & So Clean in my head. It got me in the right mindset to begin. My old high school teammate joined me for this portion of the race and the morning got off to a nice smooth start. We ran with 2 of his dogs (both medium to large, larger being German Shepard). So it was an easy jog mixed with the occasional puppy shenanigans of abrupt movements or observations of other dogs. I finished feeling ok and grabbed my second cup of Joe. I got back and put on the Boston Marathon replays being aired on Olympic Channel for inspiration.

CH. 2: THAT'S MY BOY BLUE!, 11 A.M. // 10 miles // 5.02; 35:36, 7:05/mile

     For the second leg of this adventure I decided to run in my shoe of the year for 2019, the Skechers GOrun Ride 8 (blue colorway). One of my favorite all around shoes, I knew this would help get me through this section. I was surprisingly tired in this leg even though I only had 5 miles prior to this. I think it is because of the short turnaround in running times. I kept the run flat and steady to keep me feeling somewhat fresh. Oh... I also rolled my ankle about 3/4 of a mile in... but we're chilling. It's moment like these I channel my inner Old School and look down and just say "THAT'S MY BOY BLUE!"

Your My Boy Blue GIFs | Tenor

CH. 3: I SAW A TIGER, AND A TIGER SAW ME, 3 P.M. // 15 Miles // 5.08; 37:20, 7:21/mile

     Ok... This on/off running adventure is starting to get a little tiring even though the pace isn't hot. I'm not sure I've ever done a triple across 8ish hours before. Anywho... because I was feeling it a little, I wanted to make sure I had a shoe with some ferocity, but elegance as well (mainly because I still have 15 miles after this leg...). That shoe for me is the Reebok Floatride Run Panthea. The Floatride foam with the rigid topsole makes for a responsive ride with just enough cushion for daily miles. I really needed this because my brother joined me on this leg... and I let him pick the loop. 3 decent climbs on this 5 mile run. Meh. The Panthea reminds me of Joe Exotic from Tiger king for the reasons stated above, and also because my colorway is orange and black. I've had a little calf/peroneal injury also lingering which was noticed a little bit during the steep inclines and declines of this portion. Overall, happy to be halfway through though!

CH. 4: OL' RELIABLE, 7 P.M. // 20 miles // 5.04; 36:37, 7:16/mile

     Feeling a strange blend of motivated and tired I wanted to begin focusing on each given effort as a segment and not "just a normal run". My legs weren't feeling too springy and felt like they needed some reassurance so I turned to my Ol' Reliables. These are the Mizuno Wave Rider 23's. Winning the daily trainer/workhorse of the year for me last year I knew this shoe would keep me feeling fresh through this leg towards the 20 mile mark. My brother rode his bike with me, taking aesthetic shots every once in a mile. I got into "workout mode" and found my rhythm. Even with the hills surrounding my home, I got up and down smoothly clicking each mile off. I finished this leg more motivated than any other portion of the adventure. I knew there were only 2 legs left. I also knew they were my overnight segments. I decided to not nap for this next segment and just roll into it even though I normally go to sleep at 9:30 PM. 

CH 5: I. AM. SPEED. "Ka-chow", 11 P.M. // 25 miles // 5.21 ; 33:42, 6:28/mile

     More focused on being sleepy tired than actual physical fatigue, I was looking forward to getting this lap over with. I needed a shoe with some rebound but enough cushion to keep my legs alive for one more leg after this. I knew I wanted to negatively split these last 10 miles and decided to go with the shoe I did my long run training marathon in: the Saucony Endorphin Speed. Because of the late time there weren't many cars on the road. I created a simple loop system around my neighborhood (conveniently 1.9 miles each) and got to work. My legs were shell shocked a little initially with the gradual uphill beginning but was able to settle down to 6:20-6:30's the rest of the way, going up that hill segment another 2 times. I felt like I was working, but I was actually in pretty good control. A calm confidence to push through these laps with 2 long straightaways and find a rhythm. I actually ended up passing my mark and going 5.2 miles. I was in the zone like Lightning McQueen feeling ready for the Dinoco 400. After a quick mental "Ka-Chow" I got some water, chocolate milk, a banana, some cookies.... then decided to go to sleep around 12:10. Next up was trying to wake up for the 3 AM leg 6, and another negative split. 

5.03 ; 30:01, 5:58/mile

     What does it mean to be elite? Is it being a virtuoso master at something or is it being the embodiment of self betterment when no one is watching? A blend of both? Not completely sure but this was on my mind before this last leg. My ultimate answer, "Anyone can be elite. Elite isn't something you are, but something you create from the depths of your own integrity and will". This was my "Elite" moment. Like many, I don't get to race my marathon that was planned. This was to be my first marathon and first "elite" appearance as well. I spent long runs and tempos getting myself mentally and physically ready to ball out my first marathon in sub 2:30, but it doesn't get to happen. I decided to let it wait for another time and to not time trial it solo. This race and adventure gave me something to be a part of because I wanted to be a part of it. There were no major leaderboards or any comparison traps. Just a merit based race meant to challenge everyone in a unique way. So that's that. Time to go for it. My calf and peroneal are a little sore and I'm a little hesitant to let loose. My main goal: be under 6 minutes/mile for this leg and just be happy you did 30 miles in a 24 hour span. I woke up a skosh late, but made sure to get my gear on and get at it. I slipped on my Skechers Speed Elite's and took a breath before going out for this last lap. Like before, my legs were a little shell shocked with the incline to kick it off. First mile 6:20... that's not good. "Stay calm, keep cadence, and go to the arms a little more" I remind myself. I click off 5:51, 5:54, 5:51, and now approaching that uphill segment for the 3rd time again. Now I'm feeling the 29 miles before this. My throat is getting scratchy. I feel spring in my legs and know I can close this, but at the same time the spring seems limited to about what I'm currently doing without going all out. I dry heave at the crest of this hill and have about 800m to finish, flat for about 700 of it (1 U turn) and a gradual down finish. After slowing to about 6:15 pace this whole climb, it's time to put some work in. I go to the arms and start pushing this tempo as a hard negative split. I make the U turn somewhat smooth and then get to work for 400m. I can feel the dry heave coming back and hold it off quite literally to 5.01 miles. I puked on the road. Not much, but enough for the body to have their "warning" vomit. Luckily it's over. I got a little extra since I didn't stop the watch until post puke. 5:54 last mile, 5:58 average. I don't feel very victorious, but relief and thankful to be done. No celebration beer, just a quick update post and straight to bed.

SOAK IT IN: CONCLUSION // 0 miles : 12 P.M.

     If you made it this far. Thank you for reading my somewhat mindless rambling. I awoke around 7:30 A.M. and got back to my normal routine of making the coffee pot and hanging out. Now I'm happy with the result and proud of my own effort throughout all of this. It was a different experience that tested my will through each leg. I found myself constantly thinking "I would just rather do all 30 at once". It was a bit of mental torture, but the event made me keep testing myself. I committed to this  adventure and there was no way I wasn't finishing it. I think the struggle we all go through as runners is what brings us all together so seamlessly. Anyone who has ran and "put themselves out there" at any distance or pace knows the overly dramatic feelings and sensations that go through you as you work your way to the finish line. You can recall nearly every stage of what you did in incredible detail like you were still living it, both good and bad. Every race is an accomplishment for just getting to the start and finish line, and it is important to remember that. Today was one of my biggest running accomplishments and ironically there is no "time" or "PR" associated with that. In many ways I am actually thankful for that. I will leave this giant thought thread with one of my favorite quotes. "Be something that you love and understand". Running helps make me a "better me" and I know it does for many others out there as well. Cheers to many more miles! May the roads, tracks, or trails be kind to you. *Now opening that celebratory beer finally. **not pictured


Dr. Salas is a 135 lb male with notable PRs of 3:54 1500m, 14:56 5k, 31:06 10k, 1:08 for half marathon. He typically runs 40 to 50 miles per week and trains from about 7:30 recovery runs to fast shorter efforts at 4:30 pace. He normally prefers neutral shoes with a firmer ride, but is completely open to other types of shoes.  He is a footwear enthusiast at heart and will always appreciate a high quality shoe when it comes around. For updates on training or testing, IG handle: @docsofrundavid

David Salas PT DPT CSCS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

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