This week was kind of off from the very beginning.
On Sunday, I decided not to run because I was having some soreness in the area above my inside right ankle. I’ve been experiencing some minor soreness there for a few weeks off and on. At first I was worried it was Achilles tendinitis. But after consulting Dr. Google, I found this article, which helped me pinpoint to structures involved: http://www.runnersworld.com/injury-treatment/primer-lower-leg-pain.
I think it’s my posterior tibialis tendon, and I think I’m experiencing soreness there because I’m overpronating. I have been wearing my less-supportive Mizuno Wave Elixirs more than my steady-Eddie Brooks Adrenalines since the NYCM, and I think the Mizunos are allowing my right foot to roll in.
It’s not the shoes’ fault, of course. I should have known better and not worn my lighter running shoes day in and day out for the last several weeks. I should also have been doing the exercises I learned in physical therapy last spring that are designed to strengthen my gluteus medius, which is supposed to help stabilize my wonky pelvis and hips, which would help offset my flat feet and over-pronation issue. It’s all interconnected, basically.
So instead of running on Sunday, I went to my in-laws’ house and watched the Seahawks beat the 49ers and win the NFC Championship.
And we watched Richard Sherman.
Incidentally, I can totally understand why he sounded like that in his interview immediately following that play. He was pumped up! My endorphins and adrenaline are flowing like crazy when I run–I can only imagine what it’s like to not only win the NFC championship, but to have that kind of interaction with one of your opponents, and then follow that up with an immediate interview.
Wahoo! Go Hawks!
I should tell you at this point that my goal this week was to run 25 miles.
Then, on Monday, I again decided not to run. My leg was still a little twinge-y and I didn’t want to push it. I had a lunch date set to meet with my running coach, and she gave me the name of her physical therapist. She suggested I take a few days off of running and call her PT to have him evaluate me and give me some exercises to strengthen my weak hips, rather than just trying to strengthen myself at the Y. She has a point: I don’t want to further strengthen the parts that are already strong (e.g., my quads) and perpetuate this problem I’m having.
During our meeting, we also talked about my goals for the year. When she and I last met, I was planning to make the Newport Marathon my goal race–my BQ attempt. During our meeting on Monday, though, we reassessed goals and I talked about my apprehensions about running my heart out in a marathon. I explained that I have this mental block, this problem, with taking chances when I run 26.2. I don’t have this problem with running 13.1–I go as fast as I want pretty much the whole time, except for the first mile. But with the marathon, I freak out about going too fast for basically the whole race. I don’t want to peter out too early.
My coach explained that’s the tough thing about the marathon, and that I need to understand that getting a BQ or running a fast marathon means accepting the feeling of discomfort for most of the race. I can do that, I just need to build my mental strength in that regard. She explained that running a couple of races at my marathon race pace during my training will do a lot towards building confidence in my abilities. If I can run a half at marathon pace, say three weeks before the marathon, and if I feel good at the end (and not like I really raced it and I’m kinda pooped) and feel like I could have kept on going, then I should feel good about running that pace for a full marathon.
It makes sense, but that will require some serious restraint on my part, because I tend to go balls-to-the-wall when I run half marathons. The half is, after all, my favorite distance. I can go fast (for me) and push myself. It’s not too far, but it’s not so short that there isn’t a little forgiveness if there’s a bad mile in there (unlike, say, a 5K). I need to remember when I run the half marathons I plan to run this year that I am not racing them, I’m running my full marathon goal race pace to test myself.
Because of my insecurities, I decided while meeting with my coach to move my goal marathon to a fall race so that I have time this year to really build up that confidence, so I can feel like I trust my training when I’m ready to put it all out there and go for that BQ. I’ve chosen the Portland Marathon in October as my goal race. My coach thinks this is a good choice—I know the course, and while not flat, the course lends itself to pretty fast times. She herself PR’ed at Portland.
Selecting Portland as my goal race doesn’t mean that I won’t run Newport. I will still run Newport, and I will put full effort into it, but I won’t have any expectations or goals other than to run my best race as a well-trained, uninjured person. I really need to have a marathon like that, because I haven’t had one yet. Portland 2011 and 2012 were fine races for me, but I wouldn’t say I was fully trained. And when I ran the NYCM, I had trained for only 12 weeks and was coming back from an injury that took me out of running for about 2 months. I need to see what I can do with a real training cycle that includes speed work, but without the pressure of feeling the need to qualify for Boston.
It was a very productive meeting.
On Tuesday, I didn’t do anything physical. Nada, nothing, zilch. My coach had advised me the day before to take it easy, and I was going to follow that advice.
On Wednesday, I returned to running. It wasn’t great:
I was fatigued. Slow foot turnover, a drag in the lungs… ugh. I can’t really blame it entirely on the air quality. I know I need to sleep more. I’ve been staying up late too many nights reading my new book (which I love):
Oh—and watching my new favorite show:
Sooo good. Check it out on HBO’s website.
Time for me to put down the iPad and get to sleep by 10:00 p.m. every night.
Thursday was another rest day. And by “rest” I mean, no exercise. I didn’t get any more sleep that night. I’m somewhat tempted to get one of those Jawbone UP thingamabobs to measure not only my daily activity but also the amount and quality of sleep I get.
Maybe that will convince me to put the damn iPad down and go to sleep.
On Thursday night, I stopped by a friend’s house on the way home from work and, instead of making my family a nice, healthy dinner, I drank some wine with said friend. It was lovely and relaxing, even if it led me to order a pizza and eat 2-1/2 slices with that fake garlic butter goo that Papa Johns shills. So, not exactly a healthy day or evening, but at least my mental health had a good day.
And that leads me to today, Friday, when I woke up at 6:18 a.m. for the run I was supposed to meet my running partner for at 6:15. Let me tell you, it is not fun waking up late for a run and then trying to go on that run when you are still half-asleep. This is not an exaggeration. I have no idea what I was saying or what she said for the first mile or so.
We ran sloooowly.
Hopefully I wasn’t the one dragging her down. I have a feeling I wasn’t, because my other running partner, her dog, was also running slower that usual. Maybe all of our biorhythms are off.
So that’s it for this week. I’m feeling kind of pathetic that I’m supposed to be a running blogger and I managed to run only 9.94 miles this week. My coach would say I was being cautious and smart about my leg, but I still feel sort of lame about it.
But thank God it’s Friday, for realz. I hope to get a lot of good sleep this weekend. I have an 8-miler planned for Sunday, and I’d like to feel refreshed and twinge-free when I do it.