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!