Ah, well. It started off as a great week of training. And it finished as a great week. Kinda. But I’m currently nursing a potential injury here, and I’m not too happy about it. I’ll say this — it’s better to be injured now, at the beginning of a training cycle and to deal with said injury properly, than it is to put in miles and hours of work only to be sidelined toward the end of a training cycle. I would much rather know now what I’m up against than later when all the hard work is supposed to pay off.
Tuesday — 4.25 miles
The only thing that saved me from boredom on Tuesday was that my workout was hill simulation. I decided to run on the treadmill because it had rained the night before and there was potential for black ice. Plus I would have to be running hills in the cold, dark long before sunrise, and that frankly sounded quite unappealing. I ran two warm-up miles on the treadmill, a couple of rounds of hills (incline) and then one mile of cooling down. Everything was great and I had a nice workout.
Thursday — 4 miles
My workout on Wednesday was a “no peek” run. Coach Mark indicated that I shouldn’t focus on pace and just run by feel. I met up with Julie and Noemi. The stars were bright, the moon was amazing, and the trail was treacherous. On Tuesday night I had been at a race committee planning meeting and when I left I almost bit it in the parking lot because I caught a patch of black ice. Before bed, I reminded myself to be careful on my run on Wednesday morning. Wednesday morning came and I got to the park, and decided I wasn’t going to wear my headlamp. Noemi and Julie had theirs, so there was no reason I needed mine. I was usually the middle runner anyway so I would be flanked by light on either end. Stupid. Don’t ever listen to the decisions you make at 6 am. Because they’re always wrong or foolish, or both.
We started our run and less than a quarter mile in I was freaking out. For one thing, I was last in the pack. I had light ahead of me but none behind me lighting my path. Second, I remembered the black ice from Tuesday night only I didn’t remember until we were already running! I decided as we were finishing our first loop that I needed to get my headlamp. I told Noemi I needed to go back. She and Julie decided to come with me. Quick pitstop at my car, headlamp on, and I was much happier and much more confident. It’s amazing what a $14 headlamp can do to one’s confidence! It shows in my splits, too. The first mile was incredibly slow and the last three were quite a bit faster.
Not sure if it was due to the cold, or the early morning hour, or that we were all pensive, but we didn’t talk much. We ran quietly as we finished our 4 miles. When we got back to our cars, just as we were about to pull away, this beautiful buck came bounding out of the [very thin] woods lining the path where we had just been standing and taking selfies moments before. He was fairly short and small for a buck but his antlers were large and he was an energetic guy. He stopped briefly in the stream of our headlights and then ran off into the darkness. It was really cool and had I not been so taken aback, I probably would have gotten a decent photo.
Friday — 4.43 miles
And this, my friends, is where it all fell apart. I was having such a great run. Brilliantly so. I was happy, I was confident, I was having fun!
I warmed up with a two mile easy run, and then in the middle of my workout I felt this sharp pain in my ankle. My first thought was, “oh no, I have a stress fracture,” but then I dismissed it and kept running. Then I thought maybe my zipper was stuck in my shoe and pressing on my ankle bone. I stopped to adjust it and realized my zipper was on the other side of my pants.
I started running again but the pain was still there. I almost called for a ride home despite only being a mile away. I decided instead I would abandon my workout and just run slowly. Well I made it home and everything seemed okay. I mean, it hurt and all, but not after I stopped running. I panicked a bit and talked to my coach about it, and then sent a message to my doc. They both seemed to think I was overreacting, or that if I was injured it wasn’t as serious as I thought it to be.
Saturday — 8.25 miles
With the “blessings” of my coach and doctor, I headed out the door to meet up with Sara for a run. She’s training for a trail half in a couple weeks so her mileage is a bit higher and she was planning on running 13 miles on Saturday. My plan was to see how my ankle felt and if it hurt or changed my gait, I would call it, but I was aiming for 7.
That was dumb. Again, don’t make important decisions so early in the morning. Instead, make the appropriate decision when your mind/body have been awake for a few hours and are fully functional.
We headed out and my ankle hurt immediately. Not as sharp and intense as it was on Friday, but the pain was definitely there. Sara asked me on the pain scale where was I — physically I was around a 2-3 but mentally I was in the 6-7 zone. It wasn’t good. I decided I would run a mile and see how it felt. Well… one mile turned into 5 and 5 turned into 7. And then by 7, the pain was gone. But my ankle did indeed hurt for 7 straight miles. By mile 7 Sara had talked me into adding on another loop, which brought my grand total for Saturday to 8.25 miles.
Dumb, dumb, dumb. I should have run one mile and then went home. But runners do stupid things. We all know this.
|I would have missed this had we not run 8 miles on Saturday!|
Besides the whole ankle fiasco, my run with Sara was super awesome. We missed the kick-off Cleveland Marathon training run where so many of my faves were present, but we had a great time. We had a really nice run catching up on each other’s lives, talking about future races, and our professional plans. We had some pretty great laughs, too. It was a much needed, therapeutic run and I’m glad it happened!
I messaged my coach and my doc as soon as I got back from my run and gave them the scoop. The plan for me this week, technically the first week of marathon training, is to cross train. That means my bike and I are going to become really close buddies again. And those European guys who ride through the mountains on YouTube… I was beginning to miss them!
I’m really hopeful cross training this week will help my ankle and that it’s nothing serious. I’m so tired of being injured! Is this just how it’s gonna go from here on out? I’m adding additional calcium to my diet and actively cutting out sugars, too. Ain’t nobody got time for this injury BS! Am I right??
Hopefully next week I’ll be good to go and back into the swing of things. Send me your healing vibes, guys. It worked last time and I sure could use some love right about now.
TALK TO ME!
How many times have you been sidelined by injury?
Do you have any recommendations for cross training at home?