Columbus Marathon Training: Week 5

A new week, a new opportunity for training. Last week was bad, but that was last week. I needed to get back into normal training mode. This included a 4 mile run to start the week. I felt great, I felt strong, I felt semi back to normal. It was the run I needed to pull  myself back up. Pity party over.

Tuesday was my doctor’s appointment, and after waiting for almost two hours I finally had a chance to see the doctor. After poking and stretching, she’d decided I have hamstring tendinitis. Most likely from overuse and not resting after it started. So how do I cure this? She suggested cross training, physical therapy and limit my running (ie. that 16 miler on Saturday isn’t happening). She also gave me a bunch of stretches to try and suggest that I scrap all junk miles and either my half in Maine or the full.

So I created a revised training plan,consisting of cross training and stretching for a week and see how the pain feels. Which means a full 7 days without running. After one day I became a little cranky. By the time next Tuesday rolls around, I’m sure I’m going to be very pleasant. Even though I ran less miles this week than last week, I know I’m doing the right thing by taking a small amount of time off. I’d rather be hurt now and overcome it, than be doing some hard damage the week  before the marathon.

Monday: 4 Miles

Tuesday: Rest Day

Wednesday: Biked 6 Miles

Thursday: Biked 5 Miles

Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: Rest Day

Sunday: Rest Day

Total Miles: 4 Miles Run, 11 Miles Biked

What’s my revised plan? I’m taking it day by day. This week I want to bike the amount of miles I was supposed to run, as long as I’m not in pain. Wednesday night I had my first ride on the stationary bike and dominated some Jeopardy as well. Thursday morning I got  up early and got some more miles in. Both rides were pain free and so tempting to go running. I’m hoping that by taking the weekend off and doing absolutely nothing to strain my knee, I should be able to get a few more miles in next week.

What does this do to my races I have scheduled? This was hard. I knew I had some smaller races coming up, like a 10k and a 5k, I hadn’t registered yet.  I decided that I should cross those off the list and focus on the important races, or at least races further into the fall. The hardest decision was MDI. I know the course will be challenging, including a mile of going straight uphill. As much as I love Maine, and love Mount Desert Island, I just don’t think this is the year I should be doing it.

What I learned this week:

  • Taking it easy is ok when you’re injured. Sometimes you need to sit back and let your body take care of itself. Just remember that no one likes a cranky runner, so keep your craziness to yourself.
  • Taking a DNS on a race isn’t always so bad. While I can’t defer my registration, I know in the end, that it’s better for me to sit this one out than hurt my body a month before the marathon.
  • If you have to pick races, pick the one that will mean the most to you. I’ve put in so much time and effort already this year, I don’t want to drop the marathon. If I’m still injured come race day, I can at least say I tried and gave it all I had.

Classic at Mastick Recap

Yes, I’m finally getting to this a week late, but I had so many other posts that I just couldn’t fit it in. Exactly one week ago, I ran the 19th Annual Classic at Mastick. Last Tuesday I picked up my race packet from Second Sole. The bags are great, big and have many pockets. I’m also pretty sure I have two water bottles already, but they’re a good size and you can never have enough. No more shirts though 😦

Ralphie believes he’s a runner

Mastick is a great race for the local schools to get their cross teams ready for the season. And the teams keep growing. I had a completely different mind set going in to this race. It was the first time I wasn’t nervous and didn’t have a set time I wanted to meet. The weather was also the best it’s been in a long time, and much better than it usually is for this race. As soon as the gun went off, I let the high school runners get ahead of me, there was no way I was going to finish the same time they did. The first 800 meters is around the park, so there was a ton of uneven grass. Once I got onto the dirt path, I noticed my knee was a little sore but ignored it. My first mile was at a good pace, so I tried to keep the second mile about the same pace. Unfortunately the second mile, like always was a lot slower than expected. If anyone has any tips on how to make this not happen, please let me know.

The last mile I tried to kick it in. I think it was my fastest mile, but it didn’t help much. I ended up with the time of 30:12. It seems like the more races I run, the slower I get. But I have accepted that my times will not be just like they used to be in college. I haven’t been training for 5k’s and doing no sprint workouts. But that is still no excuse, I should have better times.

I took a few too many days off this weekend, so my first run back was on Monday. I was hoping to get a few easy miles in and really focus on training for my half. But I took about 20 steps and my knee started to ache. It got worse as the run went on, and I couldn’t even go a mile. I wanted to fight through it, but I haven’t felt this bad of pain in a long time.

I’ve decided to take a few days off to hopefully let my knee recover, and get rid of some allergies. But I think I’ve run my final Mastick. The cross courses just can’t work for my knees anymore. I’m starting to rethink the Alumni race too. If 800 meters of uneven ground can keep me out a week after a race, I’m a little concerned with a mile and a half of massive hills will do. I really want to wear the buns though….

These next couple of week are crucial. I have two half marathons, the alumi race, and a marathon relay. I’m bound and determined to get my knee in better shape. But my days of running cross country courses are over. There’s nothing better than the smell of cross season, I could smell it at Mastick. Lots of memories, but plenty to look forward to.