Basil’s Training Log – 8.7.16

I want to be like the fireweed, the first to grow after a fire, wild and bright #comebacktrail
I want to be like the fireweed, the first to grow after a fire, wild and bright #comebacktrail

After a week of dialing my mileage way back and spending more time in the pool than Katie Ledecky, I recovered enough from my soleus (calf) strain to put in the planned mileage this week. I was instructed by the people trying to fix me (chiro and PT) to ease back into anything faster than an easy day shuffle. So like a good little runner, I complied.

This was week 11 of the 18-week Hanson’s plan, and I told myself that if this week didn’t go well, I would need to consider letting go of my goal to race the Kenai River Marathon in September. Between the long-term hip issue and the short-term calf issue, I’ve really struggled with finding the balance between pushing hard and overdoing it. I want my training to set me up for success, not for further injury. But that space in the middle is hard to navigate. When I decide to back off a workout, I never know if I’m being smart or being a wuss. When I decide to push through with the mileage even though my sleep has been poor and my heart rate seems too high for an easy run, I don’t know if I’m building mental toughness or just asking for trouble.

I feel a little closer to the edge than I’d like to feel. I might be doing too much. But if I do any less, I fear I’ll be under trained again for the marathon. And after my experience in Boston, I have no desire to repeat that pattern. I only want to suffer through the marathon if I know I have a shot at racing it well, be it a PR or a BQ or both. Training on a bum hip is a pain in the ass (and well, in the hip…); and it’s not worth it to me to push myself in training just to finish a marathon. I want to finish well, and I want to finish faster. Maybe that’s asking too much of my old injured body, but it’s either that or I don’t ask at all.

I hesitate to say I’m totally back on track after this week, but I do feel like I’m trending that way. Here’s how it turned out:

Monday – 11 miles (8:54 avg) – Couldn’t do the tempo (against doctor’s orders!) so just did the mileage, starting slow (9:30s) and increasing in last half once I was warmed up and felt comfortable lengthening stride without pain (8:20s).

Tuesday – 8 miles easy.

Wednesday – Off

Thursday – 11 miles (8:15 avg) – I knew given the restrictions with my calf that it wouldn’t be wise to attempt an 8 mile tempo. So I just set out to run a little faster than normal easy run and try to pick up pace as I went. Went fairly well with the exception of feeling really dehydrated. Mixed the route up a bit so I could get home and grab a few swigs of water around mile 7. Surprised myself by managing some miles at GMP, although I did stop a couple times to stretch or do ankle circles to keep the tibial tendon and peroneal tendon from getting too cranky.
Splits: 8:44, 8:26, 7:53, 8:01, 8:06, 7:51, 8:15, 8:25, 8:09, 8:37, 8:03

Friday – 7 miles easy.

Saturday – 16 miles (8:51 avg) – Got up and got it done super early before state cup soccer games. I was encouraged that I was able to get this done with no calf pain at all! My left hip did ache the entire way, but I refuse to let it slow me down. By the end of the run, I was very tired and legs were sore. But recovery throughout day was very doable. Not nearly as “trashed” as I used to feel after a long run of 18-20.

Sunday – 7 miles easy.

Total – 60 miles. A new weekly mileage PR!

Recovering corporate hamster-wheeler turned Alaskan hausfrau, mother of two and running enthusiast. Kind of a June Cleaver in tempo shorts...minus the makeup and vacuum. Will run to great lengths to get a moment of peace.

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  1. great week! I am just a couple of weeks behind you on Hansons for the first time and while the total mileage is similar to what i’ve done before, my last two marathons have only had one tempo or speed workout each week, not both, so i’m finding this a bit harder on my body. Always a careful balance!

    1. Jesse, same here with respect to the Hansons plan. Even though the track and tempo workouts are easier paces than what you might have in Pfitzinger, doing two “quality” runs in addition to a long run is really challenging for me–if not physically than definitely mentally. There is no one week that feels crazy intimidating, and I like that, but it does seem like week after week of miles with very little cut-back. Definitely hard to strike a good balance of just enough, not too much!