I think it’s time to admit that a combination of overtraining, under stretching, and under eating have put quite the damper on my marathon goals.
The Sunday after my 14 mile run with Nike+ two weekends ago, I was hurting. I ran 6 miles in the park, but they weren’t pretty.
(And I was WAY over dressed!)
And Monday after work when I headed to the park? Forget it. I was limping, my calves were hard as rocks, and pain was radiating up and down my shins. I’ve felt this before- and when I ignored it, I got myself a stress fracture and weeks on crutches.
(That was fun commuting to NYC...NAHT)
You would think I had learned my lesson, right? Maybe not so much. I DID immediately go to JackRabbit for a new pair of sneakers, hoping that that was the issue. A fresh pair of Saucony Guide 7s will fix things, please?
(They didn't have them in blue and pink! I was sad at first, but these black and neon ones have really grown on me!)
I knew I needed to make some other changes to my routine too. Up until then, I really hadn’t been foam rolling and stretching the way I knew I probably should be. It hurts to foam roll, and I was feeling fine- I didn’t need to take preventative measures right? Ugh. Idiot. So I got new sneakers and vowed to up my time spent foam rolling. I bought ice packs and Ace bandages and starting icing every night. I cracked and bought a $60 pair of CEP compression socks and they were pretty magical- within a few days I was feeling better and keeping up with my training schedule. I thought I was in the clear.
(Ready to roll!)
Sure, I wasn’t 100%, but I was marathon training, and my legs were supposed to feel a little shitty.
I decided that I would take the recommendation I had received to get a massage from a woman named Claudia, even though it was going to set me back a nice chunk of change. This could be my only marathon- I am not messing around!
So this Saturday morning I laced up my sneakers and ran the 4 miles to my massage appointment in midtown.
(Seen on my run Satuday morning. Beautiful, Central Park)
Claudia yelled at me for running there. Claudia took one look at me and told me to eat more fats (almond butter instead of peanut butter she said, blasphemy!) Claudia gave me career advice. Claudia gave me a great message. She taped me, showed me some stretches, and even let me leave with her trigger point foam roller. I had incredibly high hopes as I walked out of the office.
Sunday morning dawned and I set off for the Bronx 10-miler. I was not there to race- I was there for an easy 10 miles and to “practice drinking” from the aid stations. My legs didn’t feel great and they didn’t feel awful. I was extremely disappointed when I saw that my average pace was 8:25- considering my ultimate dream to qualify for the Boston Marathon would mean maintaining an 8:12 pace throughout my marathon. But I also know that the water stations slowed me down A LOT. The volunteers weren’t handing out cups, they were just standing behind the table!
Regardless, I tried not to think about the race and my time. Then, it was Monday. I had 6 miles scheduled and ran 3 miles on the treadmill during my lunch break. Then, I set off after work for the second half of my mileage and at around 1.5 miles I had to stop and walk.
Excuse me, limp. My shin splints were the worst they’ve been in over a year and I came so close to breaking down and crying in the street. I just paid over $100 to make this go away and now, I was feeling worse than before! But in the end, I couldn’t expect that massage to be miracle. For weeks now, my body has been warning me to slow down and take it easy and I stubbornly refused to cut back on my scheduled mileage. “I need to follow the plan!” I insisted, even though more experienced runners than myself told me it was OK to take a day or 2 off.
But seriously. Why is this happening now? One week away from my first marathon, that I have been training for for months? It’s so frustrating. I’ve decided that I am going to take the rest of the week off. Instead of 5 miles tonight, I’m going to a spin class. The rest of the week, I am resting, eating, stretching, rolling, icing and PRAYING that the break means fresh legs on Sunday. My dream of breaking 3:35:00 is all but gone at this point. I’m just hoping I can run the entire 26.2 miles.
(This really really sucks)
I’m worried that the time off will be detrimental to my training, but everyone I’ve talked to says it’s better than making my shins and calves worse than they already are.
Anyone out there have any more advice?