This week has been weird. Typically, I sit at a desk for 8 hours a day and take an hour long lunch break where I can blog stalk, but this week I’ve been out of the office (in a warehouse moving and staging office furniture) with a 20 minute “standing up” lunch break and no computer access. But hey, I’ve gotten to wear running shoes and workout clothes to work all week! I don’t feel so bad for not getting Marathon Reflection Monday out somewhere in the vicinity of Monday, but I do feel bad for not having the chance to get caught up on everyone’s training. Hopefully everyone is doing well!
I’m not going to say that I’m injured, because I don’t necessarily think that I am. I don’t think anything is broken, torn, or sprained. But I think I’m slowly falling apart. I feel like the runner equivalent of The Wicked Witch of The West, slowly melting into a giant puddle of green mush.
I did something on Saturday that I’ve never done during a training cycle before (dun dun dun). For the first time ever, I didn’t complete a long run that I started.
Truthfully, it was one of those runs that seemed to not really want to happen in the first place (check it out…foreshadowing!). We had 19 miles on the schedule. I woke up and had no energy. Aaron handed me the sunscreen and the thought of reaching my arm out to grab it seemed exhausting. It wasn’t tired in the “I just woke up” sense. It was a tiredness that affected every bone in my body. But, I kept getting ready and we managed to get ourselves out the door. But of course my Garmin beeped “low battery” as we headed out.
The run started off ok. It wasn’t as fast as last week’s long run, nor did it feel as effortless. But we soldiered on. We made it through the 7.5 miles of uphill, turned the corner, and had started on the faster, flatter part of the run.
And then it happened.
Right as we hit the 9.75 mile point, a painful spasm engulfed my leg and stopped me in my tracks. Stemming from under my knee, it felt more “nerve” related than muscle related, and it made me cry out in pain. I tried stretching for a bit, tried running again, even tried to convince myself that it didn’t hurt THAT badly (it totally did), but as my Garmin beeped “10” (and then died…much like my run), I knew there was no way I could run another step. This, on my good leg…the leg that hasn’t been giving me any problems this whole training cycle.
Unfortunately, we were just over the halfway point of our run, and almost at the farthest point out. From where we were, our house was about 5 miles away. So, Aaron and I walked home, hand in hand, looking like the most over-prepared walkers with our fuel belts. It was a moment that made me completely grateful for my husband. I would have been crying had he not been there to help me laugh the situation off.
At a few points along the way, I tried running again, but I would only make it a few strides before the spasms started.
Saturday’s workout ended up being 15 miles in something like 3 hours and 15 minutes (at least I got lots and lots of time on my feet!).
After getting home and analyzing the situation, I’m positive that nothing is broken/torn/strained. But after stretching/rolling/yoga, it is very evident that my leg muscles are tighter than they have ever been. I’m positive that the tight muscles in my right leg caused me to over compensate with my left leg, tightening those muscles to the point that other things were getting pulled, causing the spasms.
Sunday, I decided to do my miles on the treadmill so if something weird happened, I wouldn’t have a long walk ahead of me.
I only ran 5 miles…in other words, I didn’t get anywhere near my target mileage this weekend. I still don’t know if it was the right decision to keep Sunday’s run so short (or if it was the right decision to take Monday and yesterday as rest days).
But every muscle in my legs is tight right now and running won’t loosen them up. And the incredible number of injuries that I’ve seen over the last month are making me perhaps more paranoid than normal. A painfully tight muscle today is just waiting to turn into plantar fasciitis, a stress fracture, or a myriad of other issues. I’m taking all of the proper measures (icing, rolling, massage, rest, etc. etc. etc.), but I haven’t run without pain since last Saturday, and it is getting old.
It is kind of funny though. Before that happened, I had a great week of training. It seems that when I have a really bad week of training, my long run feels great. When I have a great week of training, my long run hurts. Just another reminder that I have a long way to go before I figure out how in the heck to train for marathons.
Monday: 4.5 mile recovery run
Tuesday: 4 mile tempo run with 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool-down (6.1 miles total, 8:14 pace). Tempo pace ranged from 7:20-8:00
Wednesday: 1 hour spin, 1 mile walk
Thursday: 4 miles at half marathon pace (overall average pace 7:53)
Friday: Organized group workout: 2 hours of weights/abs/treadmill (I walked)/body pump/body jam/spin…I took this workout as easy as I could without looking like a bad sport. The trainer in charge of the treadmill section even asked if I was ok since I was walking so slow. Perhaps I didn’t take it easy enough?
Saturday: Long run (ish): 10 miles running, 5 miles walking, 3:15 hours on my feet and a bruised ego
Sunday: 5 not-so- fast miles
TOTAL MILES: 36.6 (should have been 44)
Despite the terrible long run, this was a great workout week. I’m hoping that I can finally hit a 2 week streak this week!
*ALSO I’m trying not to make this a pity party. I do feel a weird sense of guilt for not completing an important long run, but I have to remember that it isn’t the end of the world. I think I’m just in a grumpy mood in general this week (being on your feet all day is actually really tiring), so that isn’t helping. And I’m thankful that even though everything DOES hurt, at least I’m not actually injured (KNOCKS OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD ON WOOD).
Have you ever had to cut a long run short?