Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Nine

We’re officially halfway through this training cycle and honestly, I wasn’t sure how this week would go. All last week I had a weak feeling in my right knee, which was cleared out after my massage. But then I was greeted with some major pain on my left knee that showed up the day after my 18 miler. These knees really know how to put a damper in a training cycle.

Well, luckily, things turned around. I iced, rolled and stocked up on Ibuprofen all day Sunday and Monday and woke up pain free on Tuesday. Also, the rec center was closed all week for annual cleaning, so I took Monday as a complete recovery day and it did wonders for my knees.

Tuesday I headed to the track to test the waters. After my warm up mile (my 100th mile for the month!) I felt good enough to give 800’s a shot. Previously I felt my pace was a little slow and I wasn’t working hard enough, so this time the goal pace was 4:15 for six repeats. Well, I was definitely quicker than my pace time, but not too uncomfortable that I couldn’t handle it. So it looks like I’ll be working around this quicker pace for future 800 repeats, and hopefully try for more next time.

Wednesday I did my recovery run with Elayna and Ella in the metro parks. We took it easy and I’m glad we did because I had almost forgotten what it was like to run in the heat and humidity. It was good to catch up and the perfect place to get away from my normal running routes.

Comforting views of the park

The memories of these parks

Thursday I had planned on running with Second Sole, but got stuck in traffic on 71 and in town due to the fair. Sometimes, an hour just isn’t enough time to get from work to run group. So I ended up running around town on my own, which was pretty good except for the uneven sidewalks and crazy drivers. I wanted to do between 4-5, but the uneven steps gave me a slight twinge in my hip and I decided to call it a day.

Saturday was an interesting run. I had a bad Friday night that led me to not be very well prepared for a long run Saturday morning. Throw in an extra early 4:15am wake up call, and some stomach issues and you’ve got the perfect recipe to the start of a long run turned recovery.

I started with some MCRR at Buckeye Woods, but quickly learned that I wouldn’t last long on the back roads. So instead I turned around and stayed close to the park for when I needed to make a pit stop. All week I had been going back and forth about using this week as a recovery week. My right leg had an off feeling all week and in the back of my mind, I know that running 20 wouldn’t have helped it. I may have been feeling pretty miserable Saturday morning, but I know it was just my body’s way of telling me to take a break. After all, I haven’t had a cut back week in almost a month and a half. And even if the run wasn’t pretty, watching the sunrise over the fog was.

Perk of a 6am morning run

Perk of a 6am morning run

Worth the early morning wake up call

Worth the early morning wake up call

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 1 mile w/u, 6×800(4:09,4:11,4:06,4:02,4:01, 3:58), 1 mile c/d

Wednesday: 3 Miles

Thursday: 3 Miles

Friday: Off

Saturday: 7 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 18 Miles

So this week was an semi intentional cut back week. I still have a twinge in my right leg, but it comes and goes. Luckily it isn’t very painful, but more of the feeling that not everything is clicking the way it should. I’ve been rolling it and icing the pain points, but unfortunately, the most uncomfortable feeling comes from when I’m driving. With almost 10 hours a week just for my work commute, I can’t avoid the odd feeling in my hip/quad/knee. So I’ll do what I can in between and hope it doesn’t cause any injury down the road. I can still run pain free, and have no intention of backing off training, I just need to figure out what I’m doing to cause the weird feeling in my leg.

Wineglass Marathon Training: Week Eight

Two months of training are done and time is just flying by! This week wasn’t how I originally planned, but I did what I could. Monday I was still a little sore from my trail race, but got a great workout in at Body Fusion. It was probably one of my hardest classes, but the yoga section was beyond rewarding.

Tuesday I had weird legs pains all day. The pain would move from my hip, to my knee, to my quad and start all over again. I was a little concerned for my workout, but decided to play it by ear. I got to the track and magically everything felt great. We ran 7×800’s around my goal marathon time, and honestly, I think they may have been too slow. I know I didn’t want to over do it with the heat, but I definitely think I could have pushed myself a little harder. Iced, stretched and rolled after and of course nothing hurt.

Wednesday I wasn’t sure how my body would feel so I planned on taking it easy. I had some small twinges, but after stretching a lot at work, I felt ok enough to run. I decided to keep it close to home in case I needed to turn around, but thankfully I didn’t need to. The first few steps on the sidewalk were stiff, but once I got to my trail I felt great and knocked out 4 beautiful miles in the almost fall like weather.

My trail.

My own slice of Heaven.

Thursday I had some minor pain in my knee and didn’t want to risk it too much, so I treated myself to an hour massage. I know my body has been beat up in the last few weeks with hills, higher mileage and some major trails, so I needed to get my legs out of this funk. Getting a massage was the best decision I made because I came out of there with absolutely no pain at all. My quads were as tight as can be and had some huge knots, so it felt great to get those all worked out.

Friday I took as a rest day as a precaution from the week’s pain, but I was definitely feeling much better, and pain free for my long run on Saturday.

Monday: Body Fusion Class – 30 minutes of lifting/abs/squats & 30 minutes of yoga

Tuesday: 4.75 Miles, .5 mile w/u, 7×800(4:17, 4:18, 4:23, 4:20, 4:18, 4:10, 4:08), .75 mile c/d

Wednesday: 4 Miles

Thursday: 1 Hour Massage

Friday: Off

Saturday: 18 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 27 Miles

I did my long run on Saturday hoping to avoid the rain that was supposed to hit us all weekend. Jeanne met at my house and we started our 18 mile journey, with the goal pace of staying around 10:00 minute miles. The weather was beautiful, still a little humid, but Saturday morning at 6:30am could be one of the best looking times of the day!

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Perfect view to start 18 miles

I was feeling pretty strong and really tried to keep my focus on my pace. Jeanne is quicker than me, so I didn’t want to push myself too early on and struggle halfway through. Our first loop was on back roads and traffic was relatively quiet. It took my legs a few miles to warm up, but I had no pain, so I felt great.

After our loop we headed to the trail nearby and ran an out an back of just about 7 miles. It felt so great to be in the shade and feel the crushed limestone under my feet. We fueled at 5 miles, and stopped for a port-a-potty break at 7 miles before turning back on the trail. Between mile 8-9 I could feel myself become a little tired, but the thought of getting to stop at home for ice cold water at mile 10.5 kept me going.

We stopped at my house at 10.5 miles and filled up on cold water and fueled again. I started to get nervous wondering if I could actually complete the full 18 miles, but Jeanne reassured me it was all in my head and my legs would take me the full long run.

The next part of the run was a 4 mile out and back through some nearby developments, and I focused so hard on thinking it was just 4 miles. There was a slight incline that started to wear down my legs and by mile 13 I was struggling. At this point everything hurt and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it the last 5 miles. This was also the point where my pace was closer to 10:30 than 10:00 and I could definitely feel a difference.

We refueled at mile 14 and filled up on ice water again. We also adjusted our last out and back so we could get back on the trail and take advantage of the shade. It was at this point in my run that I focused on each mile as though it was it’s own. It was no longer about making it to 18, but rather making it to the next mile. And so we went back and forth on the trail over and over until we hit that magical number.

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Finishing that 18 miler was probably more important to me than finishing 20. Last year I completely failed at 18, and this year, I needed it more than anything. What surprised me the most was my pace, I had no idea I’d actually be close to finishing in 3 hours. And although I struggled in the last four miles, I was pretty much where I hoped to be and ended up with an average of 10:10 pace.

The only downside to the run was I was completely dehydrated afterward. I tried to drink lots of water, but it wasn’t enough. I also only took a salt tab at the first hour instead of taking them each hour. Lesson learned, I need to stick with my salt tabs and drink lots of water during my run, because the rest of the weekend my body was out of it.

Sunday I had planned on an evening recovery run, but woke up with a strong pain on the inside of my left knee. Nice to see that when one knee is pain free, the other picks up something new. I’m slightly concerned because I’ve had this pain before and know that it can lead to some major issues. I just don’t know how it happened, but I’m assuming it was at some point in my 18 miles.

This next week will most likely have to change due to my knee. I’m still pretty far out from race day, but don’t want to do anything now that I’ll regret later on. I also feel that my legs need a bit of a break. They’re still beat up from the Trail Monster race, and I’m hoping I didn’t do anything too harmful to jeopardize my marathon.

 

 

 

Akron Marathon Training: Week Eight

We’re halfway there! I can’t even believe that it’s already been 8 weeks of training and that there are only 8 more weeks to go! I started off the week with one of my now favorite out and backs. I enjoy any time that I can run downtown and take in the historic views. Wednesday I headed to one of my favorite hills (can you believe I said that?) and did my best at some repeats. I enjoyed running these because I had a small loop at the top to continue with instead of stopping at the top of the hill. It also helped to add up the miles. I felt really good after this run and feel more confident about hill running and the marathon course.

No flat land here

No flat land here

Not only was the workout a successful one, but those six miles helped to put me at my highest month of mileage yet. Three cheers for running!

Monday: Off

Tuesday: 4 Miles

Wednesday: 6 Miles, 1 Mile w/u, 6x hill repeats, 1 Mile c/d

Thursday: Off

Friday: Off

Saturday: 15 Miles

Sunday: Off

Total Miles: 25 Miles

Remember when I said I had made it this far without an injury? Well, I’m not injured, but my body, specifically my knee was really sore Saturday. As in so sore, it started bothering me within the first 5 steps. The Second Sole Medina store had a group run at 8:00, so I figured I’d run down there and if it still hurt I’d just turn around and figure out plan B. The pain started to go away but I still felt blah, it was a lot more humid than I expected and I probably shouldn’t have had that large glass of wine the night before. By the time I got to the store I had three miles done. There were a few guys outside and I was hoping someone more my pace would show up. Turns out these gentlemen were from MCRR. I hadn’t seen them before but they gave me some good insight on my running. I waited until after 8:00 and no one from Second Sole showed up. At this point, I realized I would be on my own and headed to a path that the MCRR guys mentioned.

A change of scenery was nice and I ran the next  four miles without music, taking in the sounds of nature and all it had to offer.

Quiet little stream in the park

Quiet little stream in the park

I ended up back at the square, refilled my water and headed out for a short out and back. I had to be at home by 11, so I needed to do the rest of my runs closer to home. It was starting to get warm and my legs were starting to hurt, but once I took a few Sport Beans I was feeling better. Around mile 10 I attempted to take a Blueberry Pomegranate gel, and immediately threw it out after one gulp. Lesson learned, that’s not my flavor. So I headed home to grab a granola bar and fill my hand help with colder water.

I was at mile 12, and only had 8 to go. I headed out on a short loop for three miles and my body started to give up on me. Even after stretching my knee and hips were tight. I had the same pain in my knee from last year and this time it wasn’t going away as I kept running. I headed to the tree covered path, hoping this would help to keep me energized. I could feel myself slowing down and I even started to walk the hills. After I hit 13.5 miles I started the dreaded walk-jog. I knew if I headed home, I’d have 15 miles for the day, not an easy task, but certainly not the 20 I needed to get in. I stopped, stretched and asked myself if 5 more miles of pain would be beneficial to my running. I knew in the end it wouldn’t, so I called it.

I came home, iced, and rolled my legs a bit. I went over and over in my head what would make my knee suddenly start hurting, I felt fine when I woke up. And then it hit me, the high mileage. Not only was I putting some high mileage on my legs that I wasn’t used to, but I had pushed it on my shoes. I finished up Saturday with 359 miles on my shoes. They were pretty worn down and I knew the time to retire them was approaching, but it became clear that Saturday would be their last run.

I didn’t hit my first 20 miler, but I’m not going to dwell on it. It didn’t happen, and I need to focus on this next week of training. I still have plenty of long runs to go and some beautiful new shoes to break in!

What I learned:

  • If you’re going to host a group run, show up. Not showing up leaves you less accountable for the next group run.
  • Pay close attention to the miles on your shoes. The long runs have the miles adding up, and I need to pay closer attention to them.
  • Listen to your body. If you know that the pain will get worse as you continue running, head home and recover. A few miles short now is better than a rough injury down the road.

How many miles do you put on your shoes? Would you rather run alone or with a run group?