Why I’ve been MIA: A runner’s worst nightmare

INJURY!!!!!  I think admitting it is the first step to recovery.  Yes, I’ve been injured for the last couple of weeks.

I’ll start from the beginning.  A couple of weeks ago I had a fantastic week of training.  Then on Friday I went out for an easy 7 mile run.  At mile 3 I was crossing the street in the same spot I always do and BAM!  I rolled my left ankle.  I cross this part of the street all the time and it is tricky — it’s grassy and very uneven and I usually do a run / tip toe maneuver to get through it but this particular day I was just cruising along listening to my tunes and just not being cautious enough.  It hurt when I did it but I had recently read that you should continue to run if you ever do this to keep it from getting too stiff.  So I immediately started back up running again. It still kind of hurt but then it loosened up and felt okay.  I finished the run and tried to monitor it throughout the day but I felt pretty relieved that it didn’t seem like it was going to have an affect at all.  Ha ha ha famous last words.  The next morning I woke up early because I was scheduled to run a half marathon.  I got out of bed and immediately realized my ankle was really stiff.  I asked myself, “why in the world is my ankle stiff?”  Oh yeah….  I forgot about that.  I told myself “it should be fine I just need to make sure I warm up really good”.  After my normal pre-race ritual I met up with my running buddies to carpool to the race.  After we parked and porta-pottied we went out for a quick warmup jog.  While we were jogging one of my friends said, “Desiree are you limping??”  Ummm…  “Am I?  I might be a little.  I rolled my ankle yesterday.  I just need to warm up some more,” I replied.  And then I got the look.  The look runners give other runners when they want to call bull$h@t!  After our warmup I felt like it had loosened up quite a bit and so we all lined up at the start line.  After the gun went off I was running with one of my coaches and she very politely told me if I could still feel anything resembling pain in my ankle that she strongly recommended I change over to the 10k.  She reminded me that if my gait was off at all I could be setting myself back and that this early in my training I didn’t need this half marathon today.  With every single step I kept asking myself “do I feel anything?”  “What about now?” “how bout now?”…  and the truth was I did.  My ankle still felt stiff and I could tell that my gait was off a little.  So I sucked it up and switched over to the 10k mid-race.  I had never ever switched over like that mid-race and let me tell you it was excruciating.  As my friends running the half made their turn I wished them luck and turned towards the 10k finish.  There were so many nice volunteers trying to direct me the other way for the half and I had to shout to each of them, “I’m dropping out of the half!”  Oy.

On Sunday I woke up and wouldn’t you know my ankle felt better.  “Woo hoo!  That sure was lucky I dropped down to the 10k.  I really dodged a bullet on that one” I thought.  So I went out for a little 5 miler and everything felt okay.  I felt some tightness in my left hip but sometimes my hips get tight so I didn’t think too much about it.  I woke up Monday for my run.  I started running and by mile 1 that little tightness in my left hip became so excruciating I had to stop and walk home.  It’s now been 9 days since that painful walk home and the good news is that it has improved.  At first it hurt when I walked and it even hurt while I was sleeping.  I did 3 days of RICE (no running at all, icing throughout the day, ibuprofen, foam rolling, etc.) and I noticed some improvement.  Although it seemed like maybe the foam rolling might have made things worse.  I’ve also been googling and have come up with a couple possible self diagnoses.  It’s amazing what you can learn when you type “side of hip hurts very tight runner what to do rehab when can i run again” (JK I didn’t really type that (all at the same time anyways)).  So my non-doctor/don’t know anything about this stuff self diagnosis possibilities are: gluteus medius strain or gluteal tendinopathy.  I’ve started to run again (I can’t seem to go more than 6 miles) but I notice that I just feel extremely weak and my hips do not feel stable.  When I run I feel like I’m running on a slanted road.  I’ve also jumped back on my glute / hip exercises (bridges, hip abductors).  The only problem is if it is tendon issues then the internets say not to do hip abductor exercises until you are healed.  So I finally made an appointment with a doctor for next week so hopefully I will get a real diagnosis and rehab plan.  Because I am NOT a doctor at all and consulting Dr. Google is not getting me healed.

I think it was definitely caused from overuse.  Rolling of the ankle might have been the catalyst but I think I definitely had been piling on too much mileage given where my fitness was at.  I tried too hard to mirror my training cycle last year but fitness-wise I wasn’t ready.

In the meantime I have been loving all of the race recaps lately!  Fall marathon season has officially begun!!

 

Have you ever dropped out of a race mid-race?

Anyone ever been out due to injury?

Weekly Training Report 9/15 – 9/21 — Woah I’m behind on this!

Hey y’all!!!!!  So I’m not so great at this blogging thing.  Oops!!  BUT the good news is there’s been a whole lot of good weather and good running goin’ on here so I’m HAPPY!!  Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…   Sorry back to the training report:

Week 6 of 18

Monday 9/15: Rest

Tuesday 9/16: Speedwork –> 4 x 1200m (400m recovery).  I didn’t go to the track for these and instead did them on the road so I just programmed my Garmin for .80 mile intervals with 0.25 mile recovery.

Splits: 5:40 (7:06/mi pace), 5:35 (6:59), 5:47 (7:14), 5:52 (7:20)  –> Total mileage with warm up and cooldown = 7 miles

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: marathon pace workout –> 7 miles at marathon pace prescribed.  Pace splits –> 8:24, 8:28, 8:17, 8:19, 8:32, 8:28, 8:17.  Total distance with warmup and cooldown = 9 miles

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 18.75 mile long run.  Super happy with my recovery after this long run because per normal I was going straight from my long run to kids soccer games so I remembered to bring my recovery drink, recovery breakfast sandwich (peanut butter, banana, honey, cinnamon, chia seeds) and some salty pretzels.  And I started my run just a tad earlier so I would have at least 15 minutes to stretch afterwards.  It’s amazing the difference between this long run and the last one when I didn’t recover properly.  So much better!!

Sunday: Rest

Total mileage = 34.75  (Still kind of a low mileage week than what I wanted but I’m getting there)

This week’s running so far: Monday easy 6, Tuesday speedwork –> great ladder workout (400m, 800m, 1200m, 1600m, 1200m, 800m with 400m recovery in between), Wednesday easy 7

Today I’m taking a rest day and then I’ll run some easy miles tomorrow and I have a half marathon on Saturday.

 

When you run a half marathon in the middle of your marathon training how do you run it? 

I haven’t decided how I’m going to run the half marathon on Saturday.  I definitely won’t be racing it but I’ve thought about treating the early and later miles as a warm up and cooldown and doing either marathon pace in between, or maybe lactate threshold pace.  Or I could treat it like a progression run?

Now time to go catch up on everything I’ve missed this past week in blog-land — I can’t wait to read about all of the awesome running!!

 

The good and the bad weekly training report 9/8 – 9/14

Week 5 of 18

Monday: Rest

Tuesday: 1,000m repeats = 6.625 total mileage

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 6 marathon pace miles = 7.88 total mileage

Friday: 6 easy

Saturday: 12 miles

Sunday: Rest

Total mileage for the week = 32.505

The Bad — I can’t believe I’m even posting such a pitiful week of marathon training.  As you can see my weekly mileage is going down instead of up.  Hmmm…  not quite what you do when you’re training for a marathon.  Now this was supposed to be a cutback week with no long run on Saturday but there were still 2 unscheduled rest days and my mileage should have ended up in the low 40’s.  The reason for the unplanned rest days?  Ummm, my dog ate my homework?  Oh right that doesn’t work in this scenario.  The truth is I just hit the snooze button and then poof the day went by and I never got it in.  I don’t know what is up with me.  This blog was created to hold me accountable to my training and I feel like I need to be sent to the principals office.  Oh well, what’s done is done and this week is a new week.  Overall grade for the week?  C –.

The Good –

  • I stuck to my 9:15pm bedtime every night (except for one) this week so I’m definitely going into this week feeling much more rested than the week before (when I was questioning whether I was overtraining or not).
  • The weather this weekend was AMAZING!!!  I had to wake up at 3:45am on Saturday to get in my 12 miles (I met up with people so it was safe) and it was 58 degrees.  My legs felt great — wow weather really does make a difference!
  • Lots of fun life stuff happened this week — my baby turned 5!!!  And his Jedi Training birthday party Sunday was a huge hit!  The smile on his face was pure joy!  Darth Vader even showed up and after pummeling him with water balloons the kids finally defeated him!! 

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It’s a new week and I’m ready to get back at it.  I’m looking forward to my Thursday marathon pace workout — I’ve been enjoying that the most this training cycle.  What’s been your favorite workout lately?

Also later today I’m decorating my front porch for Fall.  Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons — meals in the crock pot, football, jeans and boots, Halloween candy — just to name a few.  What are you looking forward to now that it’s Fall?

 

The honeymoon’s over

Yesterday morning was another marathon pace workout.  The workout was 6 miles at marathon pace plus warmup/cooldown.

Mile 1 — 9:13

Mile 2 — 8:11

Mile 3 — 8:02

Mile 4 — 8:30

Mile 5 — 8:15

Mile 6 — 8:34

Mile 7 — 8:35

0.88 mile cooldown — 8:16 (9:23/mi pace)

Total miles = 7.88

I ran with my running group which is always a plus.  And it started to sprinkle on our last mile (and then lightning showed up which is why we cut it short).  The rain felt GLORIOUS!!!  Yesterday was still a really hot, humid, sticky run though.  You know how right before it starts to rain the air just gets thick like you could slice it with a knife?  We started at early o’clock and it was already 83 degrees with 67% humidity.  So we were all kinda beat down and complaining a bit about the conditions.  But “marathon pace” right now just feels hard.  I’m really thinking it feels too hard and I’m questioning whether I need to adjust my goal.  I didn’t start this training cycle in the best of shape so maybe it’s not realistic to PR this race?  I remember last year when I was training these Thursday marathon pace workouts were almost easy.  I was constantly having to pull myself back a bit.  Everyone was saying yesterday that your effort level goes up due to the heat.  So maybe when it cools off marathon pace will feel great?  I’ll see how it feels once it cools off a bit and make adjustments if I have to.

I’m really hoping that we’re about to turn the corner weather-wise.  I am so ready for FALL!!!  I’m jealous of seeing other bloggers already running in long sleeves!!!

1,000m repeats

I am happy to report that so far this week I have stuck to my promise to be in bed by 9:15pm every night.  And, I made Monday and Wednesday rest days to try and make this week a “restful” week and get myself back on track.  And hopefully next week I will start perking up again and get back to 6 days a week of running.  This is something that I have done in the past and never had any problems maintaining that schedule so hopefully the commitment to an early bedtime will help.  Also Cheryl pointed out that nutrition can also be a big factor — not just immediately after runs but also throughout the week.  So I’m focusing on getting in good calories and also getting in enough calories.  When I get busy it’s easy to grab something and go but sometimes that “something” isn’t super hardy so… I’m working on it!

Anyways, yesterday I was back at the track with my running group.  My workout was: 5 x 1,000m with 400m jogs in between.

1 — 4:39 (7:18/mi)

2 — 4:28 (7:21/mi)

3 — 4:44 (7:24/mi)

4 — 4:48 (7:47/mi)

5 — 4:37 (7:13/mi)

4.375 total miles intervals/recovery

1.25 mile warmup, 1 mile cooldown

6.625 total

Overall I was happy with the workout.  I’m not quite sure what happened on #4 but I was running them alone because everyone else had a different workout.  Sometimes that’s tough for me to pace without someone else running right beside me.  Also since Garmin doesn’t do meters just miles I ran all of them just a tad long.  I should have stopped at .625 miles but most of mine were .64.

Now that I’m going to bed earlier than usual I’m not quite falling asleep right when my head hits the pillow so I just started reading Chrissie Wellington’s autobiography.  So far it is really good and quite surprising.  I’ll write a book report summary when I’m finished.

 

What are you reading right now?

 

What is the last book you read that you really enjoyed (running or non-running)?

I LOVE to read so I really hope people respond so that I can add some more titles to my “To Read” list.  The last book I read was “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (actually that was a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling the author of all of the Harry Potter novels) and I really liked it.  It was like an old fashioned detective novel.  Random tidbit –> I’ve never read any of the Harry Potter books or seen any of the movies!  Those who have — am I missing out?

 

 

 

Weekly Training Report 9/1 – 9/7 & OVERTRAINING??

Monday: Labor Day 5k with a little warmup / cooldown: 4.5 miles

Tuesday: Speedwork 6 x 800m with 400m recovery: 7.25

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 6 miles at marathon goal pace: 7.65 total miles

Friday: 5.66 miles easy

Saturday: 16.75 miles

Sunday: 3.71 miles

TOTAL = 45.52 miles

I don’t know what is up with not finishing a lot of my workouts on a complete mile.  Normally I’m kind of OCD about that sort of thing but this week was just weird.  I’ve been running later in the day for my solo runs and by then it’s so stinking hot here that I’ve been calling it quits a little early.

Okay I’m going to complain a bit here so I’m very sorry in advance.  I’m normally not a Debbie Downer.  Saturday my long run was probably one of the hardest long runs I’ve had in a very long time.  I felt tired and exhausted and sluggish.  If someone had asked me to lay down on the path and go to sleep I swear I could’ve done it.  And it seems like every post I write starts out with “so I was feeling really tired”.  I made it through the miles how I have no idea.  Then afterwards I only had 5 minutes to stretch before I had to go straight to my son’s soccer game then after my son’s soccer game I went home took a 3 minute shower then went to get a haircut.  And my big OOPS of the day was that I forgot to bring my recovery drink with me for after the long run so I didn’t get any calories in me until 3 hours after the long run.  BIG OOPS.  I’m definitely not doing myself any favors with all of the running around and not planning ahead.  And then Sunday was more of the same story – I got out too late in the day.  Heat + humidity = I quit.  As I was walking home feeling tired and frustrated I started to think could I be overtraining??

So I typed “overtraining running” into google and found a bunch of articles about the syndrome.  I always though that as a recreational runner with relatively low weekly mileage that I really never had any risk for overtraining.  But as it turns out other life stressers – work, parenting, busy schedule, other hobbies/activities – all contribute to lack of recovery which can lead to overtraining.  This article from Runner’s World was great and I even took the little quiz that they had at the end.  I scored a 16 so I’m hovering close to the line between being in the clear and starting to show signs of overtraining.  Now that I’m aware of some of the signs of overtraining (moodiness, feeling tired and sluggish, not being able to complete workouts, susceptibility to sickness) I plan to commit to recovering just as much as I commit to training.  After reading all of that stuff I thought, “well duh, Desiree!  Of course you need to focus on recovering too not just on the running.”  But I guess sometimes we get so busy and we think we’re awesome runners who can knock out 16 mile runs and our kid’s soccer game all before 10am like it’s no big deal.  And even though the recovery part of training is not as fun to focus on I’m realizing how important it is.  Without proper recovery it WILL catch up and affect our workouts.

I have definitely been lacking in two major ways — getting enough sleep & healthy recovery meals.  Here’s my plan of attack:

  1. I am going to commit to get in bed by 9:15pm every night this week (thank goodness hubby and I finally made it to the end of “Breaking Bad”).  This may sound excessively early but I have some catching up to do and in order to get 7-ish hours of shut eye this has to happen.
  2. I will never, ever, ever forget my recovery drink.  I usually have either a chocolate milk or I also really like this Powerbar Ironman Restore powder.  And for those Saturday’s when I’m rushing from one thing to the next right after my long run I will also pack one of my favorite recovery “meals” – a sandwich made with peanut butter, banana or apple slices, honey, sprinkle of cinnamon (anti-inflammatory), and sprinkle of chia seeds (love these — tons of protein and fiber packed into these tiny seeds).

 

I need your help PLEASE — anyone else ever experience early signs of overtraining?  What did you do?

 

How was your long run this past weekend? 

 

What is your favorite recovery drink / meal?

 

Speedwork: better with a group than with yourself

Yesterday morning’s run: 6 x 800m with 400m jog

1.75 mile warmup

800m splits –> 3:45, 3:35, 3:25, 3:23, 3:30, 3:31

1 mile cooldown

Total miles: 7.25

As opposed to doing my speed workout on the treadmill like I did last week this time I finally made it to the track.  Before the run even got started I was tiiiiired because it was earrrrly.  As you can see my first couple of splits were my slowest.  Even with a good warmup I just couldn’t get my legs to turnover.  Then things started to feel a little better in the middle.  Then the tired caught up with me again.  I would have liked for every single one of them to have been 3:25.  But it is so hard for me to keep pace in the dark.  I need to set a target pace on my watch next time maybe that will help.  I finally replaced the garmin that I had lost (I got the forerunner 220 in white/violet) but I’m still trying to figure out all of the buttons.  One thing that did help me though was that a bunch of my running peeps were at the track this morning.  Everyone was doing different workouts because people have different marathon dates.  But, a few of us were doing 800’s so I had some company.

And I realized that compared to last week’s speed workout that I did on the treadmill my paces were a little faster on the track even though the intervals were longer.  Last week I professed my love for doing speed workouts on the treadmill because I was able to keep everything consistent.  But I found that I pushed myself even harder at the track.  There’s something about having someone you are “chasing” in front of you or someone right behind you that’s “chasing” you that helps me push the pace a little harder each time.  Plus it’s just so nice to have someone there to suffer with you through the pain that speedwork sometimes is.  Misery loves company right?

So I’ve decided that this is my preference for speed workouts:

Running Group track > solo treadmill > solo track

Wednesday is a running rest day and it NEEDS to be a strength training day.  I’m getting a little lax in that department.

 

What’s your speedwork preference?  Solo, group, track, treadmill?