Running Lately: Marathon Training, Tweaks & Gratitude

If you read my blog last week, you may have caught the post I breathlessly wrote after running 3 miles without incident–as in, no hip flexor pain or tweaks. It was a big deal because I hadn’t been able to run for several weeks except for two quick runs on the AlterG at my physical therapist’s office.

I ended up running 2 more times last week: a hilly 3-miler last Wednesday night (more on that in a separate post) and an easy 5+ mile run in Cupertino on Saturday morning.

20140730-201948-73188703.jpgThe run in Cupertino was a nice change from running at home because the the sidewalks were pristine (the advantage of running in a newer community, versus my older neighborhood, which has bumpy sidewalks) and the route offered unique views.  

On my run, I came upon a couple of things you don’t see every day, at least not in Tacoma.  First, a game of cricket:20140730-202431-73471792.jpg

And the world headquarters of a little business you may have heard of:

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I was very happy with my pace and the fact that felt great for the entire 5.5 mile run (my Garmin said less than that, but that’s because I forgot to un-pause it after waiting at numerous stop lights).  

I felt so good, in fact, that I ran the following morning, Sunday, although I wasn’t able to run as long due to some plans I had with family later that morning.  

20140731-072217-26537997.jpgMy pace was a bit slower but no big deal.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t run Monday morning due to an early (seriously–4:30 a.m.) wake-up call for our flight back home, and I couldn’t run Tuesday morning due to extreme fatigue from the aforementioned wake-up call on Monday. For some reason, as the day progressed on Tuesday I ended up feeling sore at the lower end of my right hamstring, which was where my IT Band problems manifested as referred pain last year. Uh oh.

I went to PT that afternoon and it felt a little worse afterwards, probably because I worked it too hard. Before I could get totally bummed about this latest development, I had a massage that night with Heidi (a.k.a. Miracle Worker) at BeHive. She really focused on the knot behind my knee, working it out. Thankfully, I woke up on Wednesday without any issues, but my doubt remained about how the rest of the summer and fall will progress, running-wise.

With perfect timing, my coach, Kris, ended up texting me on Wednesday, asking me how I was doing. I told her about my mindset, which was similar to how I felt before the Newport Marathon: hyper-aware of my body, experiencing phantom pains, and being generally anxious about being able to run without hurting myself again. She commiserated with me and, after we exchanged a couple more texts, my takeaway was that I won’t be able to train for the Portland Marathon after all.

Womp womp.

It’s disappointing, but deep down I knew a month ago that there was no way I could pull off effectively and safely training for the Portland Marathon on October 5. The goal after the Newport Marathon was to try to PR at Portland. That was probably overly ambitious, considering I ran really hard (for me) at Newport, PR’ing by nearly a half hour and qualifying for Boston. My goal post-Newport should have been to try to run Portland but to focus my efforts on getting to the 2015 Boston Marathon healthy and primed to PR.

The latter, conservative goal is now my goal as I head into the fall marathon season. It just turns out I probably won’t run Portland, at least not the full. I plan to still run the upcoming Lululemon SeaWheeze half-marathon in late August if I can pull off at least 2 double-digit long runs between now and then.

My plan this week is to run at least two more times. I would love to run something in the neighborhood of an 8-miler this weekend, especially if I plan to run the SeaWheeze, but I don’t know if that’s feasible with the weird twinges I experienced in my lower hamstring the other day. I’m going to hope for the best and see how I feel running in the lead-up to the weekend. If I experience any symptoms, I’ll take another short break.

So, reality bites, right? I don’t want to complain. Heck–at least I can still run. That is enough for me right now.

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What are your running goals for this fall? Are you training for any fall races?

7 thoughts on “Running Lately: Marathon Training, Tweaks & Gratitude

  1. Those are some solid runs! I love checking out a new place on foot.
    I’m so sorry about Portland. I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. It sounds like we are kind of in the same place right now. I’m with you on just being happy with running out there at all! My goals for fall are all getting through halfs and then looking forward to Disney in January when I’ll hopefully have this foot thing 100% under control.

    • I know I shouldn’t be surprised but it’s still deflating to know I can’t run a fall marathon for the first time in 4 years. I love running half-marathons, though, and I have up to 3 on deck between now and the start of Boston training. Our goals are very similar!

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