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An Actual Feel Good Training Week (75 miles)

I’m not sure why writing this weeks training log was so difficult.  I was just not motivated to sit down and reflect on my week of training.  I’m not sure why because it is one of the more productive weeks I’ve had in the last month.  I didn’t have to take another hit of low mileage because of an injury nor did I run a ton of garbage miles.  In fact, none of mile felt bad.  With the exception of the 10k I did a couple of days ago I felt really good. 

Training for the week:

Monday: Elliptical (easy)
Tuesday: 13.5 run (8:24 pace) felt easy and smooth
Wednesday: 10.61 (8:31 pace)
Thursday: 11.26 untimed
Friday: 11.55 untimed
Saturday: Zero Prostate 10k Race (40:25) total miles: 13
Sunday: 15 Mile Long Run
Total: 75

 

Thoughts about this week:

Since I am still not at the status that I can run the day after a 20 miler on Monday I decided to cross train.  It was easy and felt good.  My gym plays Spanish techno at full volume so there isn’t a need for me to even bring headphones.  I just watch the Ellen show on TV and listen to beats drop.  I was shocked at how good I felt the entire week except for Wednesday.  It was hot that day and I left a little bit later than usual.  Other than that my runs were pretty simple and there isn’t much to say about them.

Here is a quick summary of my 10k race on Saturday.  It was 85 degrees and in the sun.  I haven’t been doing speedwork so I didn’t expect a 10k to feel that pleasant.  I finished in 40:25 which is about a minute slower than my PR (which was done on an absolutely flat course and in perfect conditions).  I’m not disappointed with it and I’m glad to get some speed in after my arm and then my knee.

I had planned to do another 20 mile long run yesterday but since I was out of town and did a 20 last weekend I decided to shorten it.  I’m at a training point right now that 15 mile runs don’t take as much out of me as they used too.  It’s nice because I know I’ll have energy to bounce back today.

Training plans for next week:

If I can get another week similar to this one I’ll be pleased.  Tim’s family is actually coming down for his flight school graduation this week (!!!), so it’s going to be a very exciting and busy week.  We are hoping to do a 10k this weekend (the once every other month race in Del Rio).  We shall see though because his graduation is far more important than that.

Questions for you:

How was your training last week?

How is the weather where you are?  

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Marathon Thoughts and Knee Pain Reduction

For someone who is training for their marathon, having an injury 6 weeks out is not an optimal situation.  Having an injury period is not optimal but since essentially since breaking my arm a month ago my training has left a lot to be desired.  I was talking with a friend the other day and made this bold statement.

If you had asked me to run the New York City Marathon August 1st, I think I would have been in better shape and capable of running faster than if I ran right now.

My training in the last month has been anything but consistent-40 miles, 40 miles, 90 miles, 40 miles.  Since I haven’t been racing as frequently  my speed work has been reduced as well.  To point out the obvious I still have another 5 weeks before the marathon to get back on track. If my knee is continues to be pain free I can start to really prepare and get myself back to the shape I was.

I didn’t go into much detail about my actual knee pain but it was in the top inner corner of my knee.  It almost felt like a giant bruise on the top of my knee cap and hurt more when doing a quad stretch then running.  When I bent it at a 90 degree angle is when I felt the most pain.

I actually had a few questions of what I did last week to try and reduce my knee pain as much as possible.

  1. First I rested my knee.  Most importantly if I had run through that pain in the beginning of the week it would have gotten worse and I would be limping this week too.
  2. Baths: I took an ice bath and an epsom salt bath.  I find it a lot easier to take Epsom baths so I will continue that this week.
  3. Deep tissue massage.  I found this helped the most and reduced a lot of soreness after my 20 miler last week.  (This was probably the most helpful to me beside resting).  It took me a while to locate a place in town and I was half ready to drive the 180 miles to San Antonio if it wasn’t an option here.
  4. Foam rolled, stretch, iced and self massaged.  This is something I should do more frequently but don’t.  I am making more of an effort to do all of these.
  5. Changed my shoes. After the advice of multiple people I decided to retire a pair of Newtons that I only got about 200 miles in (as opposed to 600 miles).  Considering I’m on a budget and was not foreseeing buying a new pair before the marathon this was the hardest part for me.
  6. Running on flat, soft terrain.  My second 20 miler I tried to find as much flat and stable terrain as possible.  I think this helped me knee a lot and combined with different shoes is why I felt almost no pain.
  7. I also had a few solid cries but that is just me being real with you.

So that is my “injury reduction” methods for my knee.

Edit to add: My knee pain is 100% gone since last week. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever felt less prepared as a training cycle progresses?

What is your best advice for niggles? 

From Limping to Long Runs (39 miles)

I think this is 6 weeks to go.  Everything seems to be blending together since moving. 

To be completely honest last week after my 20 mile run, my left (and more dominate) knee started to get a “niggle”.  It felt pretty tight and by the evening last Sunday I was limping.  I had planned to take Monday off from running (like I do after long runs) but with every step my knee seemed to get worse. By Sunday evening I had thrown myself a huge pity party and was in the pits.

 I went through a lot of thoughts like my marathon training is over, I can’t catch a break, this is my first running injury in quite some time, how did it happen…ect.  I hadn’t felt a pop during training nor had I done anything stupid in regards to training. I took Monday off and scheduled a deep tissue massage on Tuesday.  By Tuesday my entire upper thigh was more sore and hurt.  I gave myself a time limit that if I was not running in two weeks I was not going to push myself to get back into the groove for the marathon.  (read: I would DNS New York).

The deep tissue massage was one of the most painful massages I’ve ever gotten.  The lady was the best at getting painfully deep into every muscle I had.  She left me sore everywhere and only wanting to lay in bed.

On Thursday I went for a 6.65 mile untimed run on the flattest areas of town.  I wasn’t sure how this would go but my knee didn’t seem to get any worse or better.  It stayed the same which was still better then Sunday. 

Training for the week:

Sunday:

20 mile run

Knee pain during: Not felt, possibly due to adrenine knee pain a few hours afterwords: limping (10)

Monday:

Rest

Knee pain: limping and upper thigh pain (10)

Tuesday:

Elliptical/cross train and deep tissue massage

Before: Knee pain able to walk still hurts, thigh pain hurts (8) After massage: Everything is sore

Wednesday:

Elliptical/cross train (I chose machines that didn’t hurt or make anything worse)

Overall soreness from massage (everything 7)

Thursday:

Elliptical/cross train and 6.65 mile run

Greatest day of improvement no thigh pain and knee 5..while running knee was 5

Friday:

Elliptical/cross train and 15 minute core work

Knee pain: 3

Saturday:

Run 12.1 miles

Knee pain:3

Sunday:

Long Run 20.36 miles

Knee pain: 2

Total:

39 miles miles

 

 

On Sunday I decided to switch my shoes and look for more flat terrain to run on.  If my knee progressively got worse during the run then I would stop.  I was going to stop the moment it got worse.  The first couple of miles went by quickly and as I continued to run I noticed my knee pain was actually going away.  By mile 16 my pain was almost completely gone.  I am hoping my pain stemmed from a bad pair of Newton Gravities and possibly the titled terrain here. 

There were also some huge differences between this long run and last weeks long run:

Last week: I thought I was going to die after mile 12.  It was hot, hard and I was slogging through the final miles.  I honestly don’t think I could have run any further if I had tried.  When I came home I was incoherent and just layed down for 20 minutes.  After this weeks long run: I felt strong and like I could keep going.  My last few miles were well below a 7:30 pace.  I was talking to Tim the entire time (he rode his bike).  I felt strong and I might have been able to finish a marathon. 

Overall training thoughts of this week:

I am so glad I took that time off and am healthy again.  It sucked, it was hard and made me question everything about my training but I’m now 5 weeks away and healthy as opposed to 6 weeks away and unable to walk.

As you can see (and I wrote each of these daily to keep myself in check) my knee progressively got better throughout the week.  If I had not rested and decided to run Monday-Thursday I do not think it would have gotten better.  I would still be injured.

I’ll be the first to tell you I was a hot mess this week.  I was a big pile of emotion wondering if my marathon training was out the door.  I had flashbacks from last year with my cyst and watching my training go away.  It doesn’t really help that I don’t have a job so I get to sit here and fester on my injury as opposed to staying occupied. 

Questions for you:

Ever had those niggle pains?  Do you run through?

What is your cross training method of choice? 

Marathon Hanker Down (8 weeks to go)

This summer was a relatively productive summer as far as training goes.  Like last year I managed to stay injury free and log some great miles.  (Let us hope that I don’t develop a cyst two weeks into fall like last year though)

Summer I ended up PRing  in:

The 5k.

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo.  Proper blogging technique!

As least I got a swell medal and remembered to take a photo. Proper blogging technique!

The 8k.

The 10k.

And I also got my first glimpse of breaking a race tape and winning the Run for the Dream Half Marathon. (One of my most proud moments of running).

mewinningrunfordream

So as far as running, I had a great summer.  I certainly had some lower points to accompany the high points but that is how life goes.  I spent a good portion of the summer questioning whether I would make it through my training.   After fracturing my elbow two weeks ago and thinking the worst I’m happy to report that I got the best situation out of it and can continue to train. 

So now that I’m roughly 8 weeks away from the New York City Marathon and have my base in it’s time to start the bread and butter of “real training”.  It’s not a secret I don’t have a coach, a real training plan or any clue what I’ve gotten myself into with marathon training…I’m not an expert and don’t claim to be.  I will admit to have scoured the internet asking everyone and anyone for help, reading several books and articles and trying to figure out what will work for me.  (That being said, I still don’t know).

With 8 weeks to go and soon to be settled in Texas, I know I will start longer runs.  I plan to peak at 22-24 miles.  For me personally I know I will feel far more comfortable doing a 22 mile run versus peaking at 20.  I’ll probably take it very easy and hope Tim will do some or all with me.  I don’t plan to do Yasso 800s or hit the track.

I do plan to do a few longer tempo runs. During the summer I did a few tempo runs ranging from 6-16 miles which were a big confidence boost for me.  The area of Texas I’m moving does not have a plethora of races like VA Beach.  Therefore I’ll have to make my own speed and that is something I’m not used too.  I’ll probably take a weekend travel trip to do 1 or 2 races in the next two months but other than that I don’t have the luxury (or bank account) to race every weekend.

With 8 weeks to go and the amount of time I’ve already invested in training it’s time to hanker down.

Questions for you:

When do you start to real hanker down (does anyone even use the word hanker) for training? (Bonus points if you answer about a  marathon).

Proudest athletic accomplishment? 

Final Arm Updates

After weaseling my way into an appointment with an “elbow specialist” orthopedist I have some exciting news.  Although the ER told me that I was able to run with a fractured elbow I wanted to get a specialist to look at it if I could get an appointment.  If you look dead center in my arm you can see a bruise and cut…that’s all I got.  So much pain for no showing.

meoiselle

I did not claim to have the most serious fracture injury but I have always claimed that I am a bumbling bafoon and an already injury prone runner. I need no help from others to injure myself.

That being said today at the orthopedist I have been cleared to fully return to running and he removed my soft cast. I will be able to run the Rock and Roll half marathon this weekend. That being said I’m not going to race like there is no tomorrow.  I’m going to run and see where it takes me.  Maybe a 1:30 race (that would be amazing) or maybe a 2:00 hour race.  I have absolutely no idea where the race will go. Either way I plan to finish the race at the same injury level as started.  I won’t be swinging my elbow and keep it as safe as possible.

The doctor thinks I’ll be fully healed in less than 4 weeks from the initial break last week. I am feeling very blessed for everyone’s well wishes and the fact that it wasn’t more serious. This week has been a while range of emotions and a wakeup call that you can train as carefully as possible but there is always the unexpected.  I have a few exercises I must do daily involving rotating and moving.  The best thing I can do is continue to progress the movements I can do safely.

So the big question is how was I able to get away with a temporary cast for 6 days and now be running again with a fractured radial head?

I have strived since my only stress fracture 2 years ago to get enough calcium and keep my bones strong.  I have consistently gotten enough calcium and I don’t have brittle bones because of it. I honestly drink 2-3 cups of milk daily, enjoy cheese, dairy and yogurt.  That being said after I was struck I fell on my elbow onto the ground.  I did not fall onto something that shattered or displaced my bone (knocked it out of alignment).  I’m extremely lucky that it just created a small crack which creates pain when I rotate the wrist and fully extend the arm.  It could have been much worse.  

Though I’ll probably mention arm updates occasionally I prefer to put this one in my rear view mirror. I am considering this a minor speed bump in my training and hopefully able to overcome this rather quickly.  This isn’t a stress fracture or leg injury.  Quite honestly it’s a minor broken bone and there is absolutely no reason for me to be worried about my training. 

So here is hoping this is my last injury related post and I’m off to pick up Laura from the airport and Heather tomorrow.

Adorable

Adorable

Questions for you:

What are you up to on Labor Day?

Do you get enough calcium? 

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