Monthly Archives: August 2019

BBM Training: Week 15 Recap

I’m a morning person (usually). I’m not a scary movie person (no exceptions). These traits often come into conflict on my morning runs. I love being out in the world before anyone else is awake and functioning to appreciate the stillness and get some quality me-time. I hate coming across those impenetrable patches of darkness that are clearly providing cover for the Texas Chainsaw Massacre-er. There is one spot along my regular route that I always gives my heart rate a small spike every time I come across it, and it feels like I’m sprinting from one small pool of porch light to the next small pool of streetlight, talking myself out of seeing people in the shadows. Wild things have happened on my mornings runs (owl attacks, naked people, the last revelers from a frat party), and fortunately none of them have yet involved the Texas Chainsaw Massacre-er. I still haven’t found a fail-safe strategy for getting through that patch of darkness without 180% effort, though, even though experience has shown me again and again he’s not actually hiding in the bushes. Early mornings are also good for letting your imagination get the best of you.

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 13 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 2 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 13 miles

Injury report: Went to a new PT this week for a second opinion and got some new diagnoses. Ish. The knee thing is most likely a cartilage thing, didn’t go into too much on that end because he said it is runnable for the near future (6-8 weeks). The hip thing is probably a chronic issue. I mentioned in a previous post that I’ve been dealing with a tight right hip off and on for the past 5 years. Well, it’s kind of a chicken and egg thing, but that seems to have contributed to (or been caused by?) a bunch of secondary things. Instead of stabilizing my hips and using my glutes, I’ve compensated for that by using the muscles that connect my hip to my spine. Which kind of explains why that side of my back tends to be the one that hurts after over-exertion (or extended sitting). And it kind of explains my “tender to the touch for days” side stitches from earlier in the training season – overuse of muscles that weren’t really made for the job of long training runs. I have some new exercises to work on, which will hopefully help retrain my muscles on the right side to fire from the glute instead of pulling from the back.

Long run report: Cutback week this week, love those! I seem to be putting forth just enough effort to get through the run and not much more, which is not my preferred running style. I prefer to get through long runs with enough energy left to know I can go at least another mile. I was feeling really good for most of the run, to the point where I was planning to extend my route to at least 15 miles. Then along came mile 11, and my legs felt drained, I had some heartburn, and it was a bit of a trudge to mile 13. But it’s nice to know that at least part of the run feels so good I think about running more. It took about 4 miles for my knees to loosen up, and they gave me much less trouble for the remainder of the run. Knock on wood, I’d love for that trend to continue.

Misc: Have I mentioned I’m running a second marathon? I’m signed up for the Bellingham Bay Marathon on September 29th. And I’m also signed up for the Richmond Marathon on November 16th. Seven weeks. Seven weeks to bridge the training from BBM to RCH, to continue running high mileage, to eat Salted Caramel Stinger Waffles. My training is peaking, and will continue to peak for a looong time. At times it feels like Bellingham Bay Marathon is just en route to the Richmond Marathon, part of a broader training strategy. It’s more than a little daunting to look at my calendar and see the number of 20+ mile runs in my future (including both marathons, I have 6 runs of 20 or more miles in the next two and a half months. Doable, but it doesn’t always seem like it).

Adjustments for next week: I’ve been a lot better at pre-hydration and re-hydration this past week, so I’d definitely like to keep that up. Need some more work on my mental game with the big runs coming up. And of course, more time foam rolling and more time on PT exercises.

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BBM Training: Week 14 Recap

Most mornings I still fight the mental battle to find motivation to get out of bed when my alarm goes off and make it out the door for my run. Even 14 weeks into training, and even getting marginally more optimistic about race day, it still sucks to get up when my alarm goes off and I’d always prefer to sleep for at least another hour. Ironically (or maybe not ironically), it’s easier to talk myself into a run on my long run days than it is for those shorter, maintenance runs. Perhaps because the long run seems like a greater challenge to conquer. I’ve always been keen on doing things that people tell me are hard to do, or can’t be done, or something along those lines, and the long run seems to fall into that category. When my alarm goes off on long run days, I spend just a brief minute thinking I’d like to go back to sleep, then some voice in the back of my head says “It’s never going to be easy, but you’re the only one who can do this. Nobody else can train for you,” and that’s usually enough to get me out the door. Accepting the difficulty and doing it anyway. Isn’t that the whole point of running a marathon?

Goal mileage:

  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 18 miles

Actual mileage:

  • Short run: 7 miles
  • Short run: 3 miles
  • Long, slow, distance: 18 miles

Injury report: Left knee is still giving me problems. I’m basically running with a limp at this point. It throws my stride off, which means I use other muscles that I typically wouldn’t use, then I’m sore in weird places and things just feel off. Trying to spend more time foam rolling in the hopes that it’s another episode of “tight quads causing knee pain” that I can work through on the cheap. But I made another PT appointment this week just in case it’s not. My knee hurt enough that I turned around mid-run (the 3 mile run) and headed back home, then skipped the run altogether the next day.

Long run report: 18 miles! My bare minimum standard for thinking I’ll get to the finish line on race day. Biggest game changer of the week this week was the amount of water available to me on the run. In the days of the hydration pack, I used the water bottles that came with the pack. Two water bottles that held 12 ounces each, so I filled one with some electrolyte drink and one with plain water and called it good. This is running gear, gear designed for runners, surely this is sufficient, right? In the days after the hydration pack, I’ve opted for shorter loops so that I can come back to a central point for food and drink during my run. This week I ran from my house. Instead of leaving the hydration vest bottles outside, I filled my regular water bottles (32 oz and 16 oz). Over the course of 18 miles, I drank about 40 ounces of water, and I felt better at the end than I have on any previous long run. Less stomach cramping and side stitches and general exhaustion that comes with the heat indexes we see at this point in summer. This is good to know! Yet another training experience that gives me hope of seeing the finish line.

Misc: When I finished my long run, I grabbed my water bottle and headed down the street just to walk it off a bit before heading inside. By this time, it was peak dog-walking hour (or morning walk hour for those without dogs), and I had already seen plenty of people and pets wandering the streets. There was a dog in the general direction I was walking, and I didn’t even think about it. Then my neighbor called out to me and asked me if I wanted any dog biscuits. I couldn’t figure out why she thought I wanted dog biscuits (she knows I have a cat), so I politely declined and headed the other direction. A little while later, I checked the neighborhood Facebook page and saw that she had posted a picture of the dog in the group, asking if it belonged to anyone. That’s when it all came together. She thought I was trying to reign in the dog to return it to the owner. I felt sooo guilty and embarrassed that I couldn’t put that together, but after finishing 18 miles 2+2 hardly equals 22. Oops.

Adjustments for next week: More of the same. More hot weather coming our way, so more pre-hydration (especially now that I know the different it makes to have sufficient water during a run!). More time with the foam roller. And letting myself take a few days off when my knee is acting the way it currently does.

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