Monday, October 1, 2012

Week 11: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Last Saturday, like 9 days ago, I completed a 7 mile training run that left me feeling great about my progress in training for the half marathon. Week ten was a great week for me in regards to my training, meal planning and activity level. I was pretty pumped and optimistic week 11 would be just as awesome.
Unfortunately, just like with any aspects of life, things don’t always go as we plan.
Monday morning I headed out for an easy-pace 3 mile run; a great way to start off my day. Sadly, it was anything but easy. I didn’t make it but maybe 10 feet or so before I slid through some mud. My left leg went sliding along while my right leg came crashing down in front trying to catch my balance. I didn’t hurt anything but I definitely tweaked some muscles/joints in the process. It was kind of startling and scary and it rattled my nerves a bit but I was able to calm down and keep moving. Since the sidewalk was clearly muddy I decided to run on the road until I was in a better lit area. About 20 feet or so later I stepped on a rock and rolled my ankle. Again, no sharp pains but it definitely made me feel not quite right.
I kept running for a bit but after a mile or so I started to feel some pains in my knee and ankle. This had me worried and since I am probably one of the most overly-cautious people you might meet I decided to stop running and walk home. I am not a risk taker when it comes to my health. I have worked too hard to run through the pain and cause a worse injury to develop. My belief is if your body is telling you to stop then you better damn well stop. I learned this the hard way and I refuse to make that mistake again.
So, I headed home and gave my legs a rest. Tuesday I went to my Thai yoga therapy session where Tricia told me that she didn’t feel anything out of the ordinary. No damage. No tightness. Nothing. I was hopeful that rest was all I needed and that I could safely continue on with my training schedule.
Still cautious I decided to finish off my weekday training runs on the treadmill- less risky.
Wednesday I completed my Interval B routine safely and pain-free. The routine was a five minute warm-up, 6x 1.5 min fast/2.5 recovery, 5 minute cool down. 34 minutes total. I ran/walked 2.72 miles. Since this was my first run with the longer intervals I kept my ‘fast’ pace slower and tried to split my recovery time between walking and jogging. That strategy worked well.
Thursday I was supposed to do the Hill B routine and last week I said I hoped to do so outside. I opted to do this one on the treadmill as well. I did 35 minutes of a pre-set hill interval routine. 7 hills in total, 3.5 minutes on each, ranging from 4% incline to 7% incline. In between hills I stayed on a 3% incline and walked/jogged. It was actually a harder workout than I expected but I felt good afterwards and thankfully still pain free.
Saturday was supposed to be the day for my long run but we got an insane amount of rain Friday night and 2”-8” were on the forecast for Saturday so I was not about to run out in that mess. See, we don’t get much rain here so when we do, especially when it’s bad, there is usually flooding. The trail I was supposed to run on floods super easily so I knew that come Sunday it would be a bad idea to run out there. As I was trying to figure out where I was going to run my 8 miles at my friend texted to see if I wanted to hang out Sunday maybe even workout together. I told her about my run and she said she would join me. She wasn’t up for 8 miles but she would be up for 3 so I had the great idea of running from my house to our meeting spot (5 miles exactly) meet her and then run three together. Bam! 8 mile run planned. I was excited; especially since I have never actually ran with someone before. I was looking forward to the company.
So yesterday morning I head out from my house down to our meeting spot. I saw my Sunday morning bike group twice which was cool. They were actually cheering for me as they passed me. I was feeling good. Legs were great. My body felt great. I was maintaining a really comfortable pace just trying to take it easy and really enjoy the run.
I got to the meeting spot and was early. I was feeling great so I decided to squeeze in another mile and as I headed back my friend had arrived and walked down to join me. So there I was, 6 miles into my run and heading out for another three and it felt really good.
Halfway into our three mile run my friend asked if we could go a bit further so our plans to run for three miles turned into running four. At that point I didn’t think an extra mile would make a difference and it didn’t.
And as we approached our starting point I was struck by the fact that I had just finished my first double digit run. In total, I ran for 10.37 miles. Yahoo! I had broken into what had become the great unknown- double digit mileage. It felt so damn good. I was on cloud nine the rest of the day.

Week eleven started off a bit rocky but ended on a high note. My running mileage for the week was just shy of 18 miles. Ice bath yesterday definitely helped because I woke up today feeling great. The legs were a bit tired but no pain or soreness. I did decide to take the morning off to rest. Even though my legs felt great yesterday I was still quite exhausted from the run. 4 am was a little too early for me to wake up today.
But if you remember, getting in my training runs wasn’t my only goal for the week.
Last week my goals were:
Complete all four training runs- Yes, for the most part. Monday’s run was cut short but I’m still going to count it
At least 5 homemade dinners and all breakfasts/lunches during the week also homemade/not takeout- Almost a yes, I only made 4 dinners and all breakfasts/lunches except one were from home. Pretty close
Cross training- Yes, bike ride, Thai yoga and some core workouts
Daily core workouts- Nope, I think I went 3 for 7 with this one. Definitely room for improvement here.
All in all I would say week 11 was a solid C. It was a mix of good not quite so good. But I am still happy with how it all played out.
Week Twelve Goals
-Complete all of my training runs:
·         4 mile easy run, Interval B routine, Tempo B  routine (five miles at fast pace) and a 9 mile long run
-At least 5 homemade dinners and all breakfasts/lunches during the week also homemade/not takeout
-Yoga! I won’t be able to ride at all this week and my running mileage is going to break 20 in total so I want to get in some yoga to help stretch me out
-Complete core routine 4 times; straight-arm plank, one minute crunches on balance ball, one minute leg raises, forearm plank, one minute crunches on balance ball, one minute leg raises
I can’t believe that my first half marathon is now less then 6 weeks away. Crazy!
Any advice? Anything you think I should add or remove from my training plan?
Don’t forget to enter my giveaway- deadline is midnight Friday!