This was not the week I was hoping for, less than a month out from Clarksburg. I had several days where my calf and tendon injuries were bad enough to keep me from running or cut runs short, which means I didn’t come anywhere near close to the mileage I’d planned. I didn’t end the week in a good place physically or emotionally and had to do some serious work to keep myself from wallowing. (Okay, there was a little wallowing. But I did manage to keep it under control.)
Although my 18 miler last Sunday was a strong run, it left me kind of busted (for a lot of reasons). I’d already planned Monday as a rest day & figured I’d play Tuesday Track Day by ear. Happily, Tuesday came and I felt good enough to at least go out to the track and see what my body was capable of.
Tuesday: 10 miles (1.5 wu + 6 x 1600 @ MP minus 10 seconds / mile + 800 recoveries x 5) These were a lot easier than the 3200’s I did last week! In fact, the first four felt nearly effortless. I had to work a little on the fifth to keep up my pace, but more importantly, that was when my stupid left PT tendon started bugging me (and whatever tendon it is that runs behind your knee on the inside, which I clearly tweaked on the 18 miler). The sixth took real (but not obscene) effort, but tendon pain aside, I felt nowhere near as trashed at the end of this session as I did after last Tuesday’s.
8 miles easy Rest / karate. I woke up Wednesday with a slightly alarming amount of pain in both my left PT tendon and whatever that one is behind my knee. I also woke up with a raging headache & feeling generally crappy. I kept waiting for some/all of these things to resolve but they never did. So I skipped my run & just went to karate instead. Weep. :(
11 miles (2 wu + 9 MP) Rest. I don’t have any physical excuse for not running Thursday; all I can say is that mentally I just couldn’t face it. Even though my legs felt fine after resting Wednesday, all day long the mere thought of running, any amount, filled me with this bizarre feeling of panic & anxiety that I’m not used to associating with running. (Me: Runningz, maybe? Brain: NONONONOOO!!!11!1) I just couldn’t make myself do it, and I felt a HUGE rush of relief once I finally made the decision not to run.
Rest 11 miles (2 wu + 9 MP). I was determined to get a real MP run in this week since I cut last week’s short. These runs have been BY FAR the toughest ones on my schedule, and the ones causing me the most anxiety re: CIM because they’ve been so hard. I was even more anxious about this one than usual given my bizarre mental state the day before, but after a light dinner and dropping Don off at the airport, I threw on running clothes, filled up my water bottle, and headed out the door before my psyche could get the better of me.
And, um, wow. 9 miles at 7:57 / mile average pace felt positively easy! I mean, yes, it took effort, and I would’ve preferred to run slower, but for the first time, I really had a sense that this was a pace I could maintain for a good, long time. There may still be some hope for a sub-3:30 marathon after all. (Then again, I suppose that is the magic of taking two rest days in a row.) My stupid tendons did start talking to me around the 7th MP mile, so I kind of feel like whether or not I can pull it off on race day may have more to do with injury stuff than with what kind of shape I’m in.
Saturday: 7 miles easy(ish). On Saturday I got up early (WHAT!) and met Courtney at Golden Gate Park for a few recovery miles. This was awesome because a) I had someone to run with and b) I’ve been reading her blog for months now but never met her in person, and it is always cool to meet fellow bloggers. The night before I was all like, “Oh, you know, I just ran 11 miles tonight with 9 of them at marathon pace, so I *ONLY* want to do, like, 10-12 easy miles tomorrow.” (This was kind of going to be the cut-back week “medium-long-ish” run.) Heh; my body clearly had other plans.
I almost never run twice in a twenty-four hour period and Thursday night was a tough run (though good), so when we took off, my legs were kind of like, “Uhhhh…didn’t we just do this?” But whatever. Recovery miles are good for you. The other trouble was that I hadn’t eaten a whole ton after my Thursday run. I knew I needed to, but I just didn’t have an appetite. I did, however, see my way to two mugs of lapsang souchon tea.
Guess who has two thumbs & was still awake at 4:00 am? This moron. (Though, to be fair, I also had a not-insignificant nap Friday afternoon, which probably contributed to the problem.)
I don’t like to eat too much before running in the morning, so I just grabbed a random half of a Clif Bar I happened to have sitting around, washed it down with some apple cider, & headed out. All told, you can see why 2nd run in 12 hours + insufficient eating + insufficient sleep + hot weather = a reasonably tough “easy” 7 miles! Courtney & I ran from the Conservatory of Flowers down to the Great Highway, then back up MLK, cut across to JFK, & then to Stow Lake to meet Alyssa. At this point I was completely out of gas so they ran with me back to my car at the Conservatory, then headed off to do some more miles. Yay running with bloggers!
The only down side to this run was my stupid left PT tendon. It started bugging me about halfway through the run & continued bothering me all the way to the end; after I got home & showered & went to grab food, the pain got worse, and by the time I got back home I was limping. I tried to stay off of it as much as I could Saturday in hopes that it would be in decent enough shape to run on Sunday.
Sunday: 1 mile
easy of searing pain. In the morning I went out to the track to do my HMP run. I put on the left air cast to warm up in (they really do help with the tendonitis, at least for a little while, though it’s hard to run fast in them. Since I’ve had my orthotics wearing them doesn’t feel like having my heels in a vice grip anymore, which is quite nice). I only got about a mile before the pain in my right calf and Achilles was too bad to continue. This was when my emotional state began to deteriorate. Jesus, I found myself thinking, if it’s not one damned thing, then it’s another.
But, thankfully, I got to spend the rest of the day eating tasty food, drinking wine, & hanging out with good friends at a bbq elsewhere in the city. Yes, it was hot as balls, but hot as balls + shade + cold wine + floppy hat + not moving = quite lovely, actually.
Grand Total: 29 miles
I wasn’t planning on HUGE miles this week, but I had hoped to at least break 40. C’est la vie. What I’m learning more than anything else this cycle is that there are things I can control and things I can’t (eg, body stuff), & there’s no use beating myself up over the things I can’t. Le sigh.
I was planning for this coming week to be my last really big number week & to get in the 55-60 range, including a long run, one more time before tapering for Clarksburg. After that there will only be three weeks until CIM, so obviously I won’t be running huge mileage weeks then either. With this tendon & calf stuff, I just don’t know if it’s going to happen. I may end up needing too many rest days to do it. We’ll see.