Half marathon training week 5 is in the books but not without some excitement and worry along the way. Here’s what happened.
7/19: 4.5 miles at 8.47 pace
7/20:4.5 miles at 8.09 pace including two miles up-tempo at 7.30 pace (I needed to convince myself that I can run fast)
7/22: 5.7 miles at 8.57 pace
7/25: 9 miles at 8.52 pace (Monday was a state holiday here in Utah)
Total: 23.7 miles
This is the fifth week of increased mileage and I think I reached my limit. By the end of the week my adductors were super tight and I was having flashbacks to injuring the same area back in April – which might explain my woe is me post last week.
One highlight of our week was our second backpacking trip of the summer. We headed to the Uinta mountains to get away from the crazy heat here in SLC (104F no thank you). We started in Christmas Meadows and ended up at Kermsuh Lake – about 7 miles each way we a steepish section over a pass into the Kermsuh cirque. Perfect weather and beautiful scenery.
Utah is pretty scenic.
Luckily for me, I had a PT scheduled for Tuesday and it was kind of a mixed bag. But to explain why I need to tell you what exactly is wrong with me – and bear in mind I am not a medical professional but this is how I under stand it. Basically, I have severely limited range of motion in my left leg. My external rotation is abnormally bad – like call over other PTs to show them bad. When you run you need a balance of internal and external rotation to keep your leg straight. My leg wants to turn in and when it does the forces are unevenly distributed along my leg which means that some muscles are severely overloaded and this explains the muscle strains in this leg (calf x2 and adductor). To get everything back to normal we are working on increasing my range of motion (so that everything works as it is designed) mostly by trying to un-tighten my hips.
It was pretty obvious in the first 5 minutes that all my hip stretching has not been working. My external rotation had not improved in two weeks. And along with the tightness in my adductors I was feeling pretty down, like I hadn’t improved and had even gotten worse. This isn’t really the case. I’ve been averaging about 20 miles per week for the last month or so, but it seems that 23ish miles with a 9 mile long runs is my sweet spot and we decided to plateau for a while until my symptoms disappear.
So what do we do? Dry needling! I had this done before form my calf and it was not fun, but my PT was pretty hopeful that releasing my glute medius would help with stretching out those hips. So she stuck needles into three different spots in my glute medius – moved them around a bit and then electrically stimulated the muscle. And it felt really weird. Not painful but having your muscles involuntarily contract is the weirdest feeling – I honestly started laughing. And I think it worked. My rotation improved almost immediately and I have been feeling better during my runs and stretching routine. Fingers crossed!
I’m planning on plateauing my mileage for the next couple of weeks which should be pretty easy because we are heading to Ireland and Belgium for vacation next week. It’ll be great to see family, get out of the heat and visit some beautiful sites. I probably won’t be commenting on blogs but you can follow the adventure on instagram.