#1 The Back Road Runner

Here is my first blog post since October 2008, back when I was about fifteen years old. I haven’t looked back at the old blog for probably five years until I managed to find it today. I used my old blog more like a training log (explaining my day-by-day training) but this blog I hope to talk about more than just my training. In this blog I’d like to share some of the past experiences I’ve had, such as competing in the CIS and on Canadian National Teams, and keeping my family and friends up to date on my training, races and travels over the next few years. At 22 years old, having just finished my undergrad at Christmas, and then getting engaged, I have a lot of exciting times ahead in 2016 and beyond.

I named this blog after my previous blog: “The Back Road Runner” because my favourite place to run are on back country roads. That is, the gravel roads surrounded by corn, soybean and wheat fields. These roads I find it the easiest to get into a nice easy rhythm, where I can just think about what ever I want while not worrying much about traffic. At home, just south of Parkhill Ontario, I have a 14km loop that I run pretty much every time I am home. It is not uncommon to hear from other runners that their favourite places to run are the twisty and soft trails surrounded by trees, streams, and ponds. But for me, I don’t think anything compares to the 14km gravel road loop I do at home. Maybe I am just a person of routine and repetition, but the straight and long roads, surrounded by only fields is my running happy place. Just to clarify I don’t dislike trails, I enjoy them, but after 20-30 minutes I just want to get on a gravel road and get into a rhythm.

Anyways, the Road Runner part of the blog name comes from the Saturday morning Teletoon cartoon “The Road Runner Show”, which I can remember watching on many Saturday mornings. I remember when I was making the original blog and I was trying to come up with a good blog name. My Dad had mentioned the Road Runner from the cartoon show and I thought about how I do the majority of my runs (at the time) on country back roads. I think the two of us put the two ideas together and came up with “Hendrikx, the back Road Runner.”

Since the Canadian University (CIS) Cross Country Championships, running has been coming along pretty slowly. I took a two-week downtime after CIS cross, no running, which I think I really needed after a long outdoor track season and a pretty quick but intense cross country season. When I started running again, my left ankle/Achilles felt a bit tight but would loosen up and feel good after 5 or so minutes of running. It was getting into exam season when I started running so my focus was more on that and I wasn’t too worried about the ankle. I thought it was just an ache from not running for a couple weeks and would go away once the body got used to running again.

After a couple weeks of easy running and getting back into workouts my Achilles still wasn’t feeling 100%. It had not gotten worse, but not better. This was annoying me because I had not really started getting running volume in yet. I had physio and massage a couple times post CIS cross and pointed out that my left Achilles was bugging me a bit but (at the time) not at all preventing me from running. So because I had seen physio and massage, and my Achilles had not gotten worse with running and would feel good after a few minutes of running, I decided to get into my first week of medium volume and two full workouts. I was still thinking that the bit of discomfort in my Achilles would go away with some more massaging, foam rolling and icing. After a workout of 32 minutes of tempo later that week, I could feel a bit of tightness in my Achilles on my cool down so I decided not to push my Achilles anymore and to stay off it until it felt 100% to run on.

Unfortunately, it took three weeks before my Achilles felt 100%. It took over a month before I could run after the same Achilles blew in race in Belgium a couple summers ago (I believe it was the second last lap of a 5,000m). I’m into my second week back running now and everything is feeling good. My calves have been getting tight from hard roads and the indoor track, but that’s just the legs getting used to the new surfaces.

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