I am sitting on the couch right now (Friday evening) in a not insignificant amount of pain. Half an hour ago I was mentally drafting a post about the unreasonable, horrific, debilitating nature of my pain, but it has abated somewhat now so I will just say that I am very, very uncomfortable. It's nothing catastrophic--just some of the same old medial tibial shin splints that I've dealt with more or less my whole life. With a few days of rest I should be fine. Still, I'm powerful annoyed.
(In case it's not clear, those are ice packs stuffed under there.)
Here's how the week went down:
Last Sunday, I had a fantastic 21 miler except for 1) running it a little too fast, & 2) some cramping & tenderness in the outside edge of my left foot. I have a feeling that it's not completely unrelated to this and this. It got worse over the course of the course of the evening, & by Sunday night I could barely put weight on it, which was concerning. I limped around on it on Monday & took it easy at karate, but by Tuesday morning it felt pretty much normal. #winning
Tuesday: 2 wu + 1600m @ 7:00, 1:30 jog + 2 x (800m @ 6:45, 1:00 jog) + 1600m @ 7:00 + 1.5 cd. I figured I would jog a couple of warm-up miles, then decide based on how my foot felt how much I thought I could do & how fast. My legs felt tired, but my foot was pain-free so I did the whole thing, hit all my paces, & felt totally fine. Plus I had Kimra there to keep my spirits up, which was a great help. :) #winning
|This is where medial tibial shin splints show up. The bizarro toe is not part of the condition.|
2 wu + 4 @ 7:25 + 10 x (100m @ 6:00) + 1.5 cd. 2 "easy." My shins were still feeling tender Friday afternoon and I wasn't at all confident that I would be able to get much running done. Lately, though, when I'm not feeling so hot, I've been telling myself that I have to at least try. That it's okay if I can't do my whole workout or can't do it as fast, but what is not negotiable is putting on running clothes & going out there to at least confirm that I'm not up to whatever it is rather than just assuming (because 9 times out of 10 I'm wrong).
I went to the track to do this one because of the softer surface in case it helped (and also because there is no way in hell I'm doing 6:00 100's anywhere else), but I wasn't even one warm-up lap in before things started going downhill. At first it was just a mild achey-ness, but by 1.5 the slicey-stabby feeling from Thursday was back. Also, I just felt completely exhausted & out of gas. I experimented a little with how fast I could even run, but 7:45 was the best I could do, and after one or two hundred yards of that I felt like I was about to collapse. Nope; 7:25s were definitely off the table. I finished the 2 warm up miles, packed it in, & spent another hour on the couch wrapped & icing. #REALLYnotwinning
I also shot an email to Coach Tom, who I have been working with some this cycle, outlining all this. ("Coaching" is probably too strong a word, but he is responsible for my training plan & lets me email him questions from time to time.)
"Does this make any kind of sense to you? Is it possible that the long run was too fast enough to screw me up this badly for the rest of the week, or that the issue with my left foot is related to the shin splints?"
To which he responded in part:
"I think it is probably related to the LR but that wasn't such a crazy run that it is independently responsible. More likely it is the combination of all the training and you reaching the end of a tough cycle.
The MT stuff can get bad in a hurry. The best thing to do is take the weekend off. It is tough to do but the risk/reward proposition is much better (ie. If you run and get injured then you risk missing the 'thon). You're in very good shape and right now we have to focus on getting you to the line."
Done. If there is one thing I can do, it's follow instructions. No heroes up in here.
He also suggested that I try 20 minutes of easy running on Monday, & if that went well, another 40 minutes on Tuesday. I'll be out of town without anywhere to run until the Monday after Thanksgiving, so I'm trying to stay positive & look at that as a big chunk of rest / recovery time rather than big fat zeros in the training log.
I'm also trying to remind myself that nothing much of consequence happens during the last three weeks of marathon training fitness-wise -- that while you can't do a whole lot to get faster during that time, it's sure as hell PLENTY of time to get hurt or over-train or otherwise screw yourself over. So my plan is to do as Coach Tom has instructed and use this weekend to let my legs heal themselves.
Have a pumpkin spice muffin, darlings. By which I mean, go to this site & make them. Heaven, I tell you.
So...that's that. If anyone needs me, I'll be on the couch like a good girl, stuffing my face with seasonal baked goods. #nevertooearlytocarbload