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?

 

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)

 

 

 

 

Wineglass Week 10: Deep Tissue and Cortisone

If I’m being honest, while the first week was difficult accepting I was injured, this week was far more difficult.  It didn’t heal in the first or second week of cross training so now I’ll be heading into week 3 of cross training.

I have decided I’m letting go of Wineglass August 1st.  If by August, I don’t feel any better I won’t run the Wineglass Full and defer it until next year.  I’m sad to eve think about this but I know it’s better.  A lot of people can do a full marathon cycle in 2 months but right now I’m not one of them.  It would mean running a 20 miler within a few weeks of coming off an injury and diving into high mileage again.  (Hashtag dumb, hashtag forever injured).

Trying to cram miles in, cram my long runs and be stressed about it would probably lead to me to get injured again.  There are plenty of seasoned marathoners that could do it…but I’m not one of them.   It would be upsetting to defer but there is a marathon (or 100) every year and I would rather run a healthy race versus hobble an injured one.

Training and Recovery: (AMT Post here)

Monday: 1 hour high intensity cardio AMT Nike Training Club Core
Tuesday: 1 hour low intensity cardio AMT Nike Training Club Core
Wednesday: 1 hour high strength AMT  
Thursday: OFF  
Friday: 90 mins medium AMT  
Saturday: 90 mins medium AMT Nike training club core
Sunday: 1 hour low intensity AMT Full body workout at gym

 

Just reading my AMT cross training, I’m happy I got it all done.  Writing it out makes it seem more intense than it was.  Each session went by quickly and I felt like I did enough to suffice but not overdoing it.  I never felt my foot at all (another thing that is frustrating since I only feel it when I run).

Recovery Wise:

I did two things last week that I am hoping will speed up my recovery.

First on Monday I got a deep tissue massage and a trigger point on my foot, calve and leg.  On Monday I went to the most painful massage session I’ve ever had. It was completely focused on my problem areas.  For an hour I thought I might just cry.  The woman was great though and broke up a lot of junk in my foot.

I went to a podiatrist.

Second on Thursday, the podiatrist confirmed I had a case of plantar fascitiis.  Not the worse case since I have no problems walking or moving.  It is a case due to my stride and gait cycle that isn’t going to go away easily.  (I’ll do a post on what I believe caused this problem another day. The long story short is: I ran once in an newly updated model of a shoe and have felt problems since).

The podiatrist did a number of things for me including giving a cortisone shot to reduce inflammation.  To answer the question, yes it is extremely painful.  I know cortisone is a very controversial topic but honestly I had good luck with it.  My case of PF was determined to be an isolated incident from running in a shoe that didn’t work for me.

All of that being said, after getting the shot Thursday, it’s been  72 hours and I don’t feel like it did anything right now.

So at least this week I have answers to what I suspected.  I also hope that cortisone takes longer than 72 hours and it wasn’t useless to point myself in that much pain.  I think it took around 72 hours for my last cortisone shot but that was 2 years ago and also a different injury.

 

I appreciate everyone’s support.  It stinks being out for 2 weeks now but I’ve tried not to whine on the media too much.  There are far worse injuries and things in life to let 2 weeks get the best of me. 

Questions for you:

Have you ever had a cortisone shot?

I had one once prior for my cyst and it completely got rid of it.

What is the shortest amount of time you’ve ever trained for a marathon?

Marathon Training Week 9: Injury

This makes two posts this week I’ve started with “I’ve always wanted to be transparent with people”…

Last weekend my foot started to feel stiff.  Stiff enough that I was concerned post race.  It wasn’t a sharp pain but rather a dull pain in the arch.  Cue the mini freakout.  My entire body had been sore so I decided to get a deep tissue massage as well as rest on Sunday.   That didn’t seem to help my body soreness at all.

So I sit here a week later still sore, my arch is throbbing.  At first I thought I had  a minor case of plantar fasciitis.  Although my arch hurt, it didn’t hurt more in the morning.  It didn’t hurt in the back of the heel.  Just the arch.  It was more localized in the actual arch of the foot.  After doing more research, I found myself more related to posterior tibial tendinitis.  It makes sense in my case.  I am a supinator which puts pressure on my inner calves which connect to the muscles in your arch.  My inner calves are something that has always gotten extremely sore.

posteriortibialtendanitis
Where my pain is…

Not admitting I am injured and running through pain won’t get me anywhere.  I am not going to run until I’m healed.  I’m not a runner who can or will run through injuries.  It’s not worth it to me.

Since I’m on the honesty train, Plantar fasciitis (besides being the hardest injury to actually spell) is my most feared injury. You could do everything right as far as promoting healing and being proactive but it still gets worse. I’ve seen people who can’t walk without pain.  Posterior Tibial Tendinitis is essentially very similar so I’m adding this to one of my most feared injuries.

Last Saturday was my last run.

I’ve gotten two deep tissue massages since.

I’m icing, stretching and rolling with a golf ball.

It’s honestly not getting any better and I have yet to see any improvements.

If it still bothers me by Friday I’ll go to the doctor.  I know it’s a muscle related injury and due to the location and other symptoms I’m confident it’s posterior tibial tendinitis.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty devastated right now.  It’s only been a week of not running but I’m pretty bummed.  I hope it doesn’t interfere with my marathon training (or worst case scenario:  not being ready or still injured to run the marathon).  But it is what it is.

The only thing I can do right now is stay positive and proactive.  It stinks a lot.  Personally, I would rather have a bone break than muscle injury but I was dealt these cards. With a bone injury, you know it takes a certain amount of time to heal.  Who knows with a muscle injury?

Long story short, the only thing I can do is rest and be proactive in recovery.  This is my first injury since October 2012 so hopefully it’s a minor speedbump. It stinks and I’m rather miserable to be around but here is to hoping this week’s better news.  

Question for you: Have you ever had plantar fasciitis or posterior tibial tendinitis? How did you recover?

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