Sorry for the late recap. When there’s a lack of updates on my part, that’s probably a bad sign. Short story: I’m injured and really didn’t want to talk about it until I was ready to.
Here’s a recap of the last 3 weeks:
Monday (7/4): 5 miles @ 9:38 pace
I usually take Mondays as a rest day, but there are exceptions to that. Helping a friend on her final 20-miler before her first full Ironman is one of those. I joined her on her final 5 mile loop with two other girls as it was getting quite hot and sunny. But she finished strong and got to start her taper for the big race!
Tuesday (7/5): 8.25 miles @ 7:57 average pace
Workout plan: 2 mile warm-up, 10 x 600m (target: 2:29 – 2:35, aka 6:40-6:55 pace) w/ 1:30 recoveries, 1 mile cooldown
Actual run: It was disgustingly humid out and I had zero motivation to try to knock out speed at the track. So I settled for the treadmill. And I have no regrets. For someone who used to always count on the treadmill for tempo and speed workouts, this is the very first speed workout in this cycle that I’ve decided to use the treadmill for…and it’s week 9. So that’s a huge deal in my book! In any case, taking it to the treadmill was definitely a successful option for me. All my intervals were between 2:29 – 2:33 (6:38-6:48 pace). I did 8 x 600m in my third week of training also, but it doesn’t feel right to compare the two sessions because I do feel that I am able to have a lot more control on the treadmill. Anyway, I still feel like this was a great option for me to get a great workout in and the bonus is that I didn’t feel too drained afterwards because I didn’t deal with the horrible humidity!
Wednesday (7/6): 6 miles @ 9:12 pace + hip exercises + push-ups + 5 min core
My run was really two separate 3 mile runs – first 3 solo, 20-30 min break, 3 miles with Fueled by Doughnuts. Both runs were slow and easy because it was 91 degrees with real feels closer to 100. My ankle bothered me on my solo run, but then was fine for the group run. I didn’t know exactly what the deal was with my ankle but there’s a pressure point that was very sore/tender. Most of the time, there was no pain with running/walking but every once in awhile a small twinge of discomfort would come. I was definitely in the denial stages of injury.
Thursday (7/7): 7.75 miles @ 9:07 average (AM) + 3.15 treadmill miles/strength/rowing at OTF (PM)
I was supposed to do 3 miles at marathon pace (8:00), but I knew right away I’d need to adjust my expectations. At 5:15am when I started, it was already 73 degrees, 88% humidity, and we had an air quality alert. I did two warm-up miles and decided to just put in a hard effort at whatever pace that ended up being. My three middle miles were 8:30, 8:26, 8:33 and I was so drained after that, it was a struggle to just finish my run. Honestly, though the run was absolutely miserable, I was very happy and proud of myself for sticking it through. I did my workout and I adjusted it according to the conditions I was handed for the day. I’m pretty sure if you take all the conditions into consideration, I was actually giving a harder than 8:00 pace effort!
Friday (7/8): 1.5 miles/biking/strength at OTF
I probably should not have attempted to run at all. All day at work, my ankle had been bothering me a bit. I wanted a good workout though and I talked to one of my coaches at OTF about taping my ankle to see if that mitigated any of the issues. I jumped on the treadmill to try it out. It didn’t feel too bad so I got a little cocky and tried doing the speedier intervals (very stupid decision!). That’s when I started having issues. Gradually, the ankle soreness just got worse and wasn’t going away so I switched to the bike, dejected. I went home, took some Advil, and iced my ankle for the rest of the night.
Saturday (7/9): 19 miles @ 8:59 pace
The plan was to wake up and see how running felt. If the ankle felt fine, I’d attempt my long run anyway; if it was any bit painful, I’d back off and rest it a few days. So I got up early and met with my friends. I was relieved when I had no pain. It still didn’t feel perfect, but it clearly wasn’t painful. So I pushed on, doing a few different loops with various people. Around mile 16, I started to feel some little twinges, but at that point all I had to do was run back to where my car was anyway. I made it all 19 miles and was happy I seemed to be in one piece. But a few hours later, I knew I’d overdone it. Now my ankle finally had pain just with walking. I heeded the advice of my research (pretty sure it’s my peroneal tendon that’s bothering me) and employed RICE (aka rest, ice, compression, elevate) the ENTIRE rest of the day and took some Advil.
Sunday (7/10): Biking/strength/core at OTF + Push-ups
Total Week 9 mileage: 50.65 miles
Other workouts: Biking (x2 at OTF), Strength (x3 at OTF), Core (x2 – once at home, once at OTF), push-ups (x2)
Weeks 10 and 11 consisted of zero running. At first, I decided to go to OTF extra times and just bike to try to maintain my cardio fitness. I really didn’t want to lose what I’d gained in training thus far. Biking didn’t aggravate my ankle but one thing was clear – it also wasn’t helping. So as of last Wednesday, I cut biking out of my routine as well and have only been doing core work :/
After making the decision to cut out biking, I was at a really low point last week. Now there’s only 7 weeks left until the marathon and I know that I won’t be at the same level when I get back to running. One week off – fine! Two weeks off – ok, I can probably work with that. Over two weeks off? – Time to adjust your plan and expectations, Charissa.
It’s hard to put into words how I felt the last couple days about all of this. At first, I think I was hopeful that it would just be a week off and I’d be back at it again. When that didn’t happen, I was crushed. I really want that BQ and I had been working my butt off for it! However, I wasn’t just upset/frustrated because my BQ seems out of reach for September now, but because it seems like whenever I work extra hard to achieve something, I’m faced with agonizing defeat. I’ve been wracked with injury after injury this year, each one something new. First my knee gave me issues in February…no problem – stretch more and roll the IT band. Then was my calf strain when I had big goals for my half marathon…ok – go to PT, stretch, ice, and wear compression socks constantly. Now, the ankle. Each time I’ve come back stronger…but it takes a few weeks or months to build up again. And every time I have a breakthrough race or amazing week is when a new issue pops up! It’s so hard when it’s not my mind/motivation holding myself back, but it’s my body refusing to commit to my dreams.
Right now, my confidence in my running/training has taken a serious blow. I’m pretty positive that I will not be running the VIA Marathon in September now (unless I do it as a practice long run?), but I’m also trying to figure out and re-evaluate what I should be doing for future training cycles. Maybe I should stick to just biking at Orangetheory during marathon training, maybe I should add yoga into my routine again, maybe my body can’t handle both mileage and speed workouts and I need to choose between the two…
It’s all still fresh in my mind and I don’t really know what to do yet. What I do know is that I am also signed up for Rehoboth Beach Marathon in December and I would still like to run that. That race is late enough that it gives me time to ease back into running before training again and figure out how I will tackle that.
I’m not giving up, but am taking things day by day right now. Dreams require patience and I guess I just have to be more patient with myself and with my body.
Anyone dealt with peroneal tendon issues before? Is there anything a doctor or PT could do besides RICE that would improve my situation?