As of late I cannot get enough sleep. I go to bed, before 10, ready to get up and run but when my alarm goes off my body lacks the motivation to move, on a very serious level.
The marathon is three weeks away, the 20 miler is on Saturday, I need to pull it together because not doing the weekday training runs is not good.
Today I’m going to try and do something I mentally have been opposed to from jump, I’m going to try running after work.
I know that for many this is the norm. For me running in the evening seems harder because now I’m taking time away from my family and what if I have to work late, I have no idea what type of lunch to eat and what if I can’t sleep because I just revved my heart for the last hour or more and now it’s ready to GO! I’m naturally a morning person, 4 (or earlier) is just wearing on me, at least that’s my suspicion.
warning: this is going to be one of those venting / whining / personal-resolution blog posts.
The Saturday before last I was driving to and from the south of Illinois to pick up my oldest at the end of her summer session. (Saturday is the group long run of the training week.) The original plan was to make up my long run on Sunday; but my running partner was not feeling up to 12 miles back to back. By the time this was all figured out the sun and humidity had risen to a very undesirable level and I settled for some speed work at a track near by.
The good news is that I noticed a faster pace during my subsequent weekly runs, the bad news is that the speed work and possibly the “give” of the track caused a large blister to develop at the back of my heel. I noticed the discomfort but the the blister felt deep and fully encapsulated with skin so my internal direction was to wear socks with more cushion and continue with training. Because I had just missed a long run the previous week and the next long run was a half marathon I was determined to stick to training and all was going well.
Training went very well but after Tuesday’s run I decided I should add one of these wonderful gel bandages for good measure (these things really are heaven sent when it comes to shoe caused blisters); my blister was larger than the bandage. I ran anyway on Thursday. Despite the size of my sub-dermal blister I didn’t feel it much while running so I kept running. After Thursday’s run I knew that there was a problem; not only was my blister no longer sub-dermal it had also burst. I also noticed that the interior of my shoes had a tear in the fabric behind my heel.
The good news is that at the end of the day the store where I had purchased the shoes replaced them (I was sold a pair that was too small for running). The bad news is that I now had a brand new pair of shoes (read NOT BROKEN IN) and a large blister the day before my first 13.1 mile long run. I did my best to “break in” my new shoes by wearing them the night before the run. Morning of I got up, got ready and headed to the lake. Upon my arrival I took a quick and short jog and felt as if my new skin was tearing. I came to the resolution that I could not run. :( Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day, maybe a tiny bit warm but gorgeous! Instead of running I volunteered to man the gear check for the team. The worst part was being there as everyone came back and knowing that unlike all the other newbies, I had not run my first half marathon (in opposed to having a “now infected” patch of skin that would keep me from running, possibly walking, for a few more weeks).
Hiccups (injuries) during marathon training are par for the course and if a large blister is the worst thing that I will have to deal with I consider myself to be very blessed. My current goal is to be ready to run next Saturday and to be back on track for the remainder of my training.
I am a large advocate of listening to my body, I always have been and I always will be. What really sucks is that I can walk and possible run just fine, so long as I am wearing footwear that does not touch my heel . . . moving forward I will baby my feet a little more:
I will keep them moisturized (dry skin is more prone to friction blisters).
I will check the inside of my shoes for fabric tears (the fabric rolls up and creates hot spots that even cushioned socks cannot compensate for).
I will apply body glide to my feet before every run.
It’s almost funny how much I am missing running. Two Saturday’s in a row with no long run and I’m experiencing some serious FOMO. Next Saturday we have a charity “6k for Water” (3.72 miles) followed by a six+ mile training run for a total of ten which means no half for me until the mileage jumps to fifteen miles two weeks from now on August 12th; it sounds like a lot but I know that I’ll be okay even though my current longest run is ten miles. I will continue to stick to the training schedule, STAY HYDRATED and will eat (fuel) responsibly.
For the past few weeks I have had a simple goal, to make it to the gym 3 times in a single week. Standing between me and my goal has been a few incredibly demanding weeks both personally and professionally, and then I got sick.
My health is not yet 100% but four day weekends are not the norm and well, I just needed to get up there. I feel like it should be said that I am not and have not been running a fever this week, my coughing spells seem to be limited to 3 am while I am trying to sleep. This has been consistent for the past week, with or without medicine. lucky me, so anyway, on to the good stuff; this weeks training:
Sunday – pool running and HIIT type exercises Thursday – backwards elliptical in reverse mode (pedal backwards for the most part and then forward for a shorter time in intervals determined by the machine – this wakes up the back of my legs so that my quads don’t do all the work), leg day Friday – backwards elliptical in reverse mode, leg day Saturday – pool running and core rotations followed by a really long walk because it was a gorgeous day!
Admittedly I felt a bit light headed on Thursday so I cut things short at the first signs of dizziness which only happened when I pushed myself a bit towards the end. So all and all Thursday was a good day, actually it felt great. Friday generally was a healthier day so I wanted to see what an uninterrupted leg day would feel like and I’m happy so say that was not one bit of dizziness. Today I decided to switch things up and head to the pool; my gym only offers a lap pool so I cannot get the impact free workout that I would LOVE to get but I have found that the resistance you get walking, running, doing ballet-like kicks and Tai Chi like core rotations feels great and works my body without the use of weights. Each day I finished my workout with some time in the steam room.
So there it is, I met and exceeded my gym goal for the week. :) Next week I’m aiming to go 3 times again. In other great news I found out that a friend of mine will be running the marathon next year as well. She actually runs now so we are by no means on the same page and I’m sure she is way faster than me (I have no idea how fast or slowly I run) but I love the idea that we will be out there together becoming marathon finishers and I’m hoping that there is at least one after work downtown Chicago run in our future because that seems like it could be fun.
The race isn’t until October 8, 2017 and training won’t begin until the spring, so now what?
I need to get in shape. I am not going to start training to run before the official training begins this spring; but I am going to get in shape. The current situation is “skinny-fat”: by no means am I overweight; but I am not necessarily fit and while I eat healthy-ish I can definitely eat healthier.
Earlier this year I tried run interval sprints on the treadmill at my gym (this may have been a low key test to see if I enjoyed running enough to join my father in the marathon), I enjoyed this a lot but developed a pain in my hip. As it turns out this hip pain is actually a common problem with runners who have weak hip muscles. In my more recent research on what to do in the winter before marathon training begins I have noticed that most articles that I have found about base-training suggest strength training for the core & legs with an emphasis on hips and glutes. Okay, maybe I read between the lines a little on the emphasis based on the exercises that showed up most but as luck would have it these are my favorite vanity areas to work on ;)
My goal is to get to the gym at least 3 times this week.
The muscles of the hips and buttock help to stabilize your body while running, this cuts back on injuries not to mention that the glutes are the strongest muscle group in our legs. You see more developed glutes in sprinters because their moves are more explosive; however in distance runners these muscles are not activated as much by the activity itself and because of this the quads can become disproportionately stronger throwing the body off balance. Personally speaking I was very quad dominant; once I learned that this was a “thing” I made a conscious effort to work the back of my legs resulting in not just a better looking physique but one that had better stability and functioned better when engaging in exercise.
In addition to my various leg exercises I will incorporate a Pilates mat class (this class keeps you from feeling physically old) and once I feel like I’ve woken the muscles of my body up I may even throw in a group cardio. All and all I’m very excited, really to be fit again, to feel healthy and strong . . . I’ve missed it.