My oh my it has been a bumpy road. Twelve weeks ago I was still in the middle of my run-walk training to recover from a strained calf muscle. Now, I have one week to go before I drive up to Ogden and pick up my bib for marathon number two. To say that this hasn’t been ideal marathon training would be the understatement of the year. My mileage has peaked at 34 miles, although I did manage to sneak in one 18 miler and one confidence-building 20 miler. I’m pretty sure that I can finish but other than that I have no real idea of how bad (or good – think positive) it could get.
It’s also been an interesting couple of weeks. My runs out east didn’t come with the magic sea level bump in pace. However, as soon as I got back to Salt Lake I had one of my best running weeks in a long while.
4/28: 4. 4 miles at 8.15 min/mile pace (including one 7.56 min mile – my first sub-8 on a regular training run in a long time)
4/29: 8.1 miles at 8:14 min/mile pace (including four sub-8 miles in a row!)
4/30: Morning yoga class
5/1: 3.9 miles at 9.22 min/mile pace
5/2: 16.2ish min miles at sub-9 min/mile pace
5/3: Strength workout
I can’t believe how well this week went. My runs on Tuesday and Wednesday felt effortless. Paces that I have been struggling with for a while seemed easy. I was running without pain – anywhere. I even tried to slow down my easy run on Friday and came back feeling refreshed and finally understood the reasoning behind recovery runs (thanks to Allison). The only major fail was on Saturday. I asked my husband to drop me at work so that I could run some downhills to mimic the marathon course. In my rush to get ready so that he could get started on his day I managed to forget my Garmin. Sh*t. I had a couple of routes in my head and could make a rough estimate of distance. Plus I passed some clocks on the way around and could guess how far I’d gone. I was feeling a little tired at the end and hoped that I hadn’t underestimated the distance – I didn’t want to feel so tired after running 12 miles! I mapped my route on runkeeper and it popped out 16.2 miles which I finished in somewhere between 2.15-2.20, which put me around 8.40ish pace. But who knows! I was FINALLY feeling good and hoping that I might make it to the start line in one piece and even put in a decent performance. Now I just had to make it through a two week taper.
And then running decides to mess with you.
5/4: 4.5 mile run commute at 9.11 min/mile pace
5/5: Morning yoga. Bike commute to work.
5/6: 6.2 miles at 8.19 min/mile pace (8.44/8.48/8.16/7.54/7.52/8.16)
5/8: 3.9 miles at 9.40 min/mile pace
My Monday evening run home was actually pretty pleasant. I had to really talk myself into doing it and not just catching the bus home and postponing it until the next day. This is also a downhill route (642 ft drop in elevation) and I tried to keep as relaxed as possible. Yoga was all about the shoulders on Tuesday and my bike ride in felt surprisingly easy (going home is always fun -> 642 ft drop in elevation). On Wednesday I woke up with a slight ache in my foot. I ran and it seemed fine (although the run itself felt a lot tougher than the almost exact same workout last week), but later in the day it got more achey. And it was the same on Thursday. My initial reaction was stress fracture/response – mainly because I’ve been expecting a serious injury to pop up in this crammed marathon training schedule. However, I am 99% sure that it is a recurrence of plantar faciitis which I had last May (took two weeks off and it went away) and just a couple of weeks ago (randomly resolved itself after one week). So I have been stretching and rolling my calf (non-sprained side) for the last three days. I can feel a tender spot that seems a little knotty that I am trying to work out. I also popped a vitamin I last night and that has helped tremendously.
My plan for the next week is to take it easy. No more bike commuting. Four more scheduled runs. Lots of sleep. Short runs. Stretching. Foam rolling. The stick. As of this very instant I am still planning to run the marathon. But if I feel like my body isn’t up for it I will pull out at the last minute. I should know by the middle of next week what is happening and then I’ll come up with some race goals. I like the idea of tiered and non-time related goals as suggested by Jane Likes to Run who is running the Eugene Marathon this weekend.
Come on body – hold it together!