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Marathon Training: Mysteries Are Better Left Unsolved

I normally begin writing my training posts on Monday.  Each day I fill in my workout and then glance over it the morning before.  It’s just easier for that way and I feel more motivated to actually talk about my training.  However, life got in the way this week and I never recorded anything.  Now I’m sitting here trying to remember how long I did run for.  All I remember from this week is that I ran 100% injury free.

But here I am on Sunday am (killing a bit of time) before my long run.  I had no idea how this week of training would go.  Last weekend I ran my longest run, then immediately after I was rushed to get to work.  Work was extremely busy and I found myself on my feet for another few hours.  As I said on Friday, running is a 24-7 sport so I found myself more tired that evening and sore (versus if I had laid around the entire day).  Long story short I was extremely exhausted.

On Monday morning I expected my arch to be in a lot of pain.  I had essentially spent 10 hours (including my long run) on my feet…but on Monday morning I woke up with no arch pain.  My arch pain left as mysterious as it came. 0%  I planned a rest day on Monday because it would be dumb not to (after a long run and being so exhausted).

On Tuesday I ran.  My foot felt 100% better…the same went for Wednesday-Friday.  I knew the real test would be on Saturday.  I did my first race since June.  The mile race went better than expected.  I finished it injury free and in 5:50 (I’ll recap the day on Tuesday.  While that is 20 seconds off my PR, I was more than elated to see friends and run injury free.

So where does this take me?

Today I’m going to do a long run (2:30-2:45 in length) and continue to build up my miles.  Next weekend I’m hoping to do a 20 miler.   If I can continue to run as I have been I don’t see a reason that I cannot do well for myself in the Wineglass Full Marathon.

So in cliffnotes version this is the first week since June I’ve had no nagging, niggles or arch pain.  I’m hoping next week will be the second week as I continue to build up my miles.

Edit to add: I did, indeed, have a successful (but hot) long run.  Too bad I haven’t done anything else productive since. 

Questions for you:

What was your best workout of the week?

When is your favorite time to write blog posts?

 

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Wineglass Training

Training this past week was interesting to say the least.  I had a lot of things going on “outside of actually running” that pretty much controlled my running.

On Monday I got my MRI.

On Tuesday I heard results of my MRI.  Also on Monday I got sick so I took both Monday and Tuesday off from any working out.  I have no regrets.  On another note, I appreciate everyone who is excited for me to run Wineglass.  While I would love too, I have not 100% committed to it.  I am still taking each day to make sure I am not getting any worse.

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Run P90X Abs
Thursday: Run
Friday: Run
Saturday: Rest
Sunday Goal: 2:15 minutes run (last week was 2 hours).

As I said I’m comfortably getting back into running on my own terms.  If my foot hurts more, I stop.   If it doesn’t hurt, I don’t stop.  There will be a time I post my exact mileage and realistically that will be when I know.  Like last week, I haven’t been using a watch.  I’ll just check the time before I leave, vary my route so I don’t know and then come back when I feel satisfied.  Once I get home I look at the flock and see how long I’ve been gone.  That gives me an idea but I couldn’t tell you if it was 6.1 or 7.1….it seems to be working well for me.

Running Views, NJ: The Garden State

Running Views, NJ: The Garden State

As you can see it wasn’t that exciting of week.  I would have preferred to not have to take two days off from sickness but that’s life.  My training has been boring but that is how coming back from any issue, injury, niggle or whatever should be.  As I said before,

Next week:
I am debating running a (The Tidewater Striders) one mile track race. I have done it the past 2 years. It’s a very layed back and fun time. It’s one mile on the track then fun with friends. If I feel up to it I think it would be a nice way to ease back into the racing scene. Past that, I will probably just log easy miles with a possible two and a half hour long run next week.  (Depending on how today goes)

Running Views

Running Views

I also was able to schedule deep tissue massage number 6 for Tuesday.  I had hoped for tomorrow but my lady had no more spots available.

Questions for you:
What is your method and decision process to working out while sick?
Have you ever raced a mile on the track?

Inflammation of the Foot.

On Tuesday I got the call I have been desperately waiting for.  When I requested an MRI, I really wanted the MRI but this was 3 or 4 weeks ago.  I didn’t want to get an MRI when I felt as though I had seen a lot of improvement and my foot was healing.  So when the time came on Monday to get an MRI I was feeling indifferent.  I had been running relatively pain free.  At this point insurance was still covering an MRI and I would be at peace of mind to make sure I had no ripped muscles, torn tendons or anything more serious.  So I went in, got my MRI on both my ankle and foot, and left with a bunch of photos.  After staring at my MRI photos, I determined that I had a foot and ankle.  I waited for the doctor to call so we could compare notes.

So when they called on Tuesday my heart sank.  I always get nervous when doctors call me.  My doctor said “You have no torn muscles.  The last time a doctor called me was when he told me I had a large growth inside my foot which caused the muscle to rip off the bone.

This time the doctor said no ripped or torn tendons.  You have no broken bones and your foot is midly inflammed.  In a different location than PF so we ruled that out too.  Yes it’s in the arch of your foot but it’s just inflammed.  It looks like you are healing appropriately and can resume serious training”.

At first I was upset. (In my mind I heard: We have absolutely no idea what is going in your foot.) You are telling me this pain has all come from mild inflammation?  You don’t have a clear cut answer that I was injured?  Where is my ripped muscle that is healing?  Where is my proof that I was in pain?  Where is the proof to tell me I wasted a month?

I just wasted all of July poking around for a bunch of inflammation.  All I could think was…LOLZ “the one who always gets bootleg injuries”.  Then I realized…my inflammation has clearly decreased and that was indeed good news.If I had continued to run my inflammation would have continued to build up.  It went down because I decreased mileage and was smart about it.  My initial thought of “so that’s it?” was silly.

So with that I’m cleared to run…a lot…or a little…whatever I want to do.  (As long as I’m smart about it). I don’t really know where this takes me.  Technically I have 8 weeks to prepare for Wineglass.  I could be ready.  I wouldn’t be nearly as ready as I wanted to be but I would be ready.  I know many people could be ready for a marathon easily in 8 weeks.  One: this is my second marathon.  I haven’t done one in almost a year.  Two: I want to do well…finishing a marathon is great but I desperately wanted to PR.  That is a huge reason I chose Wineglass.  Could I still PR?  Maybe…that will take lady luck.

All of that being said I have still chosen the risky move.  I have decided that I will play it by ear and hopefully run the Wineglass full marathon.  If my foot gets worse, then I would stop training.  If it continues to get better I will begin to up my mileage.  As I’ve said the last month, it has been getting better, however, I haven’t raced on it (which I’m very much afraid too).

To be honest, I feel like I’ve lost all confidence in my running and in myself as a runner.  Both mentally and physically I am struggling to get back into the swing of things.  As I said earlier in the week, I found myself sick so this week isn’t even a celebratory “run all the miles” type of week.  Hopefully it’s a “run any sort of miles.

Right now while I want to complete Wineglass and I would love to PR, I also want to regain my confidence as a runner.  I have all the intentions to run Wineglass but my goals as a runner and a person have changed.  I want to feel confident in my running and as a person again.

So in cliff notes version: I spent a month cross training because my foot was inflammed.  I want to run Wineglass but I don’t want to injure myself by forcing miles nor do I want to feel pressured to hit a certain amount of miles.   I have no time goal for now.  I’ll let you know in another month if everything is going smoothly.

Question for you: Have you ever had an MRI?  On what?

This MRI stunk because I didn’t even get music to listen to.  I had to stare at a wall for an hour with no entertainment.  Not even the internet!  (insert shocked emojiX100 here)

 

 

 

 

Marathon Training?

I wrote several posts that if I wasn’t running by August 1st, I would defer my marathon entry. With only a few days left of the month and no clear logical explanation I still haven’t made up my mind.

I have been cross training the last month. I believe I have maintained a very solid base without injuring myself and without becoming obsessed with cross training.  I’ve maintained a balance between cross training and life.

That being said, I have a run a couple of times. Each run has felt uncomfortable but there hasn’t been a sharp pain. It has been a dull ache (and it was ruled out I have broken any bones or have any fractures). The ache goes away around mile 1. Then it comes back post run and resolves itself once stretched. Whether I’m resting or doing sporadic runs I have the same pain. I hesitate to use pain because it’s not a sharp pain but a general awareness.

Some cliff notes:

1. It goes away after mile one.  

2. It’s not a sharp pain.  It’s more of a dull ache that doesn’t interfere or change my gait cycle.

3. It feels like a month long bruise. 

——————

So where does this leave me?

Ultimately I would like to run Wineglass marathon. I have roughly 8 weeks to become marathon ready again. I’m not going to pretend I’m comfortable with this plan. I didn’t plan to take 4 weeks away from running.  Honestly I ran a couple of 20 mile runs last month.  I could very well be prepared with a couple more in the next 2 weeks.  I could PR…but I could also fall flat on my face if I take it too far.

My decision will ultimately come from my MRI results. I’m hoping to schedule that for next week.

If my pain increases I will immediately stop training.

If the MRI shows a serious issue such as a rip, tear or something not fixable…I will stop.

If my doctor says not to run, I won’t.

But I’m hoping my MRI will provide me with a clear answer and solution to fix the problem. For now I’m going to slowly integrate some runs into training and see how my body reacts.

In all honesty, I feel no pressure in running a marathon either way. I won’t be devastated if they find something that puts a stop to running (because I will also have an answer). I don’t see that happening since I don’t have any sharp pain but you never know.  I have a post about the “pressures of blogging” but my marathon decision comes from me.  I don’t feel pressure to run a race “for the blog” or because “everyone is training for a marathon”.  I run for me, with or without a blog.

Anyways I guess in cliff notes version I’m going to attempt some runs.  If it gets worse, I’ll stop (just as my doctor advised).  Until my issue goes away I’ll continue to play it by ear.  Or until my MRI tells me not to run.  (Which I doubt it would because in that case I would be in some sort of intense pain…)

On another note, I rode my bike down to my town’s “Water Festival” yesterday.  Although it was exactly 1 mile, it’s been close to 3 years since the last time I got onto a bike.  I would say that is my best workout of the month.  (and no I did not ride it in that outfit…)

rideabike

 

I don’t have any questions today but always appreciate thoughts both positive or negative.

 

Injury Updates

I’ve hit the point where it’s not cute or fun that I’m injured. I’m annoyed and I’ve pretty much made up my mind that racing a full marathon this fall is out of the question. I won’t get the build up I want. Trying to cram in the miles will make me injured with something else.

I go back for a second doctors appointment on Thursday. After believing that a cortisone shot would help me (it completely cleared up my previous issues). It doesn’t seem to be now. 12 days should be plenty of time for cortisone to react. It’s clear this didn’t do what it should (which is really upsetting). That is just me bring whiney. I’m not a doctor and who knows? The only thing I know is I’m excited for my next doctors appointment. Hopefully we can explore other options and put more pieces to my injury puzzle together.

I’m not here to whine or complain, I know staying positive is the key but it doesn’t make it any easier. It stinks. I can walk and cross train with no pain. Running (in any shoe) does not feel like it should.

I’m very close to pulling the plug on a fall marathon. Could I do one long run in September, and probably finish the Wineglass full marathon?

Yes, but it isn’t worth it to me to just finish a race. I want to do well. The amount of stress that a marathon takes on your body isn’t worth it for me to go run it just because I could.

If I do end up pulling the plug, I’ll probably wait another year to run a marathon. I’m getting married next April so I don’t want to worry about running a Spring Full. Although March (Shamrock) is a potential full as well I guess. I would much rather wait until next fall.

Right now while I do have a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, I’m not 100% convinced. Since the diagnosis my calves have loosed up and I don’t feel pain in them. I do still feel my arch.

My “recovery plan” day to day looks like this:
1. Actively stretching a few times daily.
2. Foam rolling and using a golf ball each night to dig at my arch.
3. Cortisone shot (on 7/10) but it seemed to have no effect. My foot is still in pain. I’ve honestly never heard of anyone not having any effect at all. Maybe it’s just reacting how I react at life…always late.

I have another doctors appointment this Thursday to hopefully discuss more possibilities and ideas. I’m upset…but honestly there isn’t much that complaining will do. I’m mentally in a rough spot but there is a marathon every weekend somewhere…I’ll find one when the time is right.

I’m still cross training most days and finding other things to focus on. If I spent hours being sad or whining, it really wouldn’t do much else. There is more life to running and I’ve been enjoying it.

Questions for you?
If you’ve had experience with a cortisone shot, did you experience short term pain relief? Did it work completely?

For my cyst it worked completely and I’ve never looked back.

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