Marathon Monday – The Face Plant Edition

This past week seemed to fly by, and here we are with another Marathon Monday recap of my training for Boston.  Fortunately the niggle I was having has stayed at bay, unfortunately something else has popped up, more about that later.  Here is a break down of my runs:

Total Mileage:  46

Monday – 7 trail miles.  I had the day off work, so I was able to go run a little later than the usual 5:30am.  I decided to take my 4 legged running buddy and do some trail running.  It was nice to be outside on a beautiful crisp morning and all was going well until mile 2 when my watch beeped and I looked down at it for just a split second, long enough for my foot to catch on a rock and the next thing I knew I was falling in slow motion and ended up face planting in the dirt.  I popped back up to assess the damage, mostly concerned about my new Brooks running pants that I was wearing.  Fortunately, nothing ripped and I wasn’t really hurt at all, other than a little scratched up on my chin.  I’m still not sure how my chin took the brunt of the fall, I don’t know why my arms weren’t protecting me when I went down!  Luckily no one was around to see the embarrassment except for Maverick, and he has been sworn to secrecy.

Taken right after I face planted, Maverick was a little embarrassed

Tuesday – 9 miles total on the treadmill with speed work.  My plan called for a ladder of 400-800-1200-1600-1200-800-400.  It was tough, but I hit all my paces and felt great after.

Wednesday – a much need day of rest, I did absolutely nothing, yet my calves started to feel really sore and tight.

Thursday – 9 miles outside.  Thursday was a return of the marathon paced run.  I attempted this run last week and had a miserable go of it and was not able to complete it, so I went into Thursday’s run with much apprehension.  I wanted to do the run outside instead of on the treadmill because I know I have been depending on the mill too much lately.  I find hitting my paces MUCH easier inside on the treadmill and I know that this is not going to adequately prepare me for Boston, so I’m going to push myself to do as many runs as possible outside the next few months.  With it getting a little warmer and slowly getting a little lighter early in the mornings this should be more doable.  Anyway, I was able to do 7 miles at marathon pace, and while it was challenging, it felt great to accomplish this.  The calves were feeling tight during this run, so I added in some extra stretching and foam rolling.

Friday – 7 mile treadmill recovery run.  Nice and easy, yet my calves were talking to me, yep this is a precursor of things to come.

Saturday – 14 miles outside.  Going into this run my calves had been really sore and tight, so I had been doing extra foam rolling and using the stick on them to loosen them up.  They were tight on the start of the run, but I figured they would warm up as I went along.  I was running about a minute slower than marathon pace, so nothing too difficult.  Unfortunately, they never really warmed up, and after I finished the run, my right calf seized up and became painful to walk on.  I am pretty sure I crossed that line of knowing when to stop running or risk some damage.

Sunday – no running, due to the above.  Swam and aqua jogged with 2 of my running buddies that are injured.  It’s good to have supportive friends, I just wished we were all out running on the trails instead of trying to figure out this aqua jogging thing!

What started out as a great week of running definitely ended on a downer, but I’m going to do all that I can to heal up and not have this turn into a major injury.

Anyone dealt with calf issues before?  How about some tips on knowing when to stop running so that a niggle doesn’t turn into something more?

Marathon Monday – 12 Weeks to Boston

Overall I had a good week of training.  I have a little bit of a niggle going on that I’m not ready to talk about because I’m hoping if I ignore it it will just go away.  That’ll work, right?  Speaking of a niggle, I hadn’t heard of this word prior to reading Chrissie Wellington’s book, “A Life Without Limits”, and now I love using it.  I think of a niggle as the minor aches and pains that may or may not lead to an injury.  The problem for me is knowing when something is just a little annoying niggle that can be ignored or if it is a signal that something more is going on and it’s time to back off before a real injury is caused.  It’s the fine line that we runners face all to often.
I loved reading Chrissie’s book.  Even though I am far from a triathlete (I have done a whopping 2 triathlons in my life, well, 3 if you count the sprint triathlon I entered at the last minute on my 30th birthday in Mexico when I had to borrow my sister’s mountain bike to use and had never swum in the ocean before!), I find her story incredibly inspiring.  From growing up an active child, but never excelling at a specific sport, to becoming the Ironman World Champion 4 times over is beyond astounding.  She has taken first place in every single Ironman distance race she ever entered.  Truly an amazing athlete.
On to last week’s workouts:
Monday – 6 miles on the treadmill, easy pace
Tuesday – Spin class instead of running because I was feeling a little niggle that concerned me
Wednesday – 7 miles on the treadmill, speed work, 4 x 1200s
Thursday – 6 easy treadmill miles.  Looking forward to the weekend when I can run outside.  I love running on the treadmill, but feel my body needs a little more variety and the challenge of running outside.
Friday – Spin class again, followed by 2 easy treadmill miles, because the niggle is still being a pest
Saturday – 10.5 miles, was supposed to include 7 miles at marathon pace.  I say “supposed to” because I just could not make this happen.  Kind of disheartening when I can’t even run 7 miles at marathon pace and in a few short months will try to run 26.2 miles at that pace!  I’m not sure what exactly was going on, but my body felt extremely fatigued and as hard as I tried I could not get moving.  I even had to stop and walk every few miles.  I am going to start tracking these training runs that feel so awful because I am wondering if they are correlated to the day after I take my MS medication.  I do 3 injections a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday and they are known to cause fatigue and flu-like symptoms in most people.  Fortunately I have not suffered severe symptoms from the medications, however, the increased fatigue and lowering of my blood cell count may be what is causing some of my runs to feel harder than I think they should.
Sunday – 10 miles outside, felt much better than Saturday, and we are finally warming up a little bit, it was 24 degrees when I started my morning run.  Strange to think that is warm, but after the past few weeks of temperatures, it was!
Congratulations to everyone who raced this weekend, including 2 of my friends that ran the Phoenix Rock n Roll.  Ryan who completed his first marathon and his wife, Brandi, who ran her first half marathon (and came in under 2 hours!).  Way to go!
Anyone else race this weekend?  Have you ever not hit your goal pace on a training run?

The Itch to Race

From the fall of 2011 to the summer of 2012, I ran 4 marathons in 9 months. To say I fell in love with the marathon distance would be a slight understatement.  Due to the NYC Marathon getting cancelled and dealing with some minor health issues at the end of the year, I have not run a marathon in over 6 months and the last race of any kind was the Hot Chocolate 15k that I ran in September.  My running buddy, Sherri and I had planned to run the Phoenix Rock n Roll Marathon this weekend.  We ran it last year, and had a blast, and wanted to go again this year.  Unfortunately, Sherri suffered a stress fracture (after thinking it was shin splints, ouch!) in December and I just didn’t feel like going to the race without her.

Running the Phoenix Rock n Roll last year

All of this to say that I am in desperate need (ok, desperate WANT) of running a race right now.  I have some serious pent up race anxiety just dying to come out.  While I am in the midst of Boston training, I don’t think I can wait another 3 months to race.  I have a few thoughts on what to do about this. and I have become good friends.  I haven’t completely decided yet, but I am looking at a couple of possibilities in Arizona over the next 6 weeks.  Possibly a half marathon, or maybe a full.  Of course, my heart says go for the full, but my head says go for the half, so as not to mess up Boston training.  I’d like to say I am smart and will put Boston training as number one priority and not run a full before Boston, but I cannot guarantee it!

How long do you usually go between races?  Have you ever just felt the NEED to race?



Marathon Monday – Countdown to the Boston Marathon

How is it already 2 weeks into 2013?  And where I have been?!  Time is flying by right now.  The first week of the new year we took a little R&R break at my dad’s in Tucson.  Albuquerque has been really cold so it was nice to be in a somewhat warmer climate.  It was “only” in the 50s there (about 20+ degrees warmer than what Albuquerque has been), yet we managed to go to the pool and swim a little one day.  I ran almost every day while we were there.  It was nice to run outside so much.  I have been stuck on the treadmill too much lately because it is still dark in the mornings when I run.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the treadmill, but I know I need to run more outside to get ready for Boston.  Boston is not a flat course by any means, so running on the treadmill for all of my training would not be wise.

Last week was back to reality with the kids back in school and me back at work.  Last week was also week 3 of my marathon training plan. I decided to go with the Hanson’s marathon training plan again for Boston.  I loosely followed this plan for the NYC Marathon, but didn’t get to really test it out since the race was cancelled.  What I did like about it was I did not have any major injuries and I really liked running 5 to 6 times a week.  I have never been able to do this in the past, so I believe the plan was working for me and is a good one to follow again and see how it works out in Boston.

One of my trail runs in Tucson

I am borrowing the idea of “Marathon Monday” posts from this fellow Albuquerque running blogger.  Amy was doing Monday recaps throughout her training for her first marathon, the Chicago marathon this past fall.  She rocked the race and even got a BQ her first time out!  Seriously impressive.  I like the idea of doing a recap of the prior week every Monday during my journey to the Boston marathon, which takes place on Monday, April 15th.

So here goes my first Marathon Monday recap:

Miles ran last week: 49 (darn, I thought I was at 50!)

Monday – 6 easy miles on the treadmill

Tuesday – 8 miles on the treadmill, including 6 800s

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – 10 miles on the treadmill, including 7 at marathon pace

Friday – 7 easy miles once again on the treadmill

Saturday – 6 freezing cold miles outside with my Golden Retriever, Maverick

Sunday – 12 miles, I desperately wanted to run these miles outside, but I had to run early and I just wasn’t up for freezing again, so I hit the treadmill.

The zero degrees made me relocate my run to the treadmill at the gym

A big THANK YOU to my sister, who put together a new blog header for me!

How have your first 2 weeks of 2013 gone?  Anyone else freezing and opting for the warmth of the treadmill vs. outside?