Hey there. It’s been a while…
The very condensed version of the last few weeks:
Busy season at work wrapped up last week. More time to run, relax, and catch up on a lot of things that were pushed aside over the last few months.
I got some new shoes (the Brooks Racer ST 5).
I finally felt like I was starting to get the hang of long runs…then I got hurt.
The longer version:
Work had been pretty hectic since late January, but much more so from the middle of March until the middle of April. The busy season ended last week, giving me much more flexibility in my running schedule. Now I can run on weekday evenings and Saturday mornings, and I won’t have to start all of my weekday runs before 5:30 a.m. I might try to shift some of my long runs from Sunday to Saturday, too.
I’ve been undecided about what shoes to wear in the marathon. I love running in the Brooks Green Silence, especially for races, but I’m not sure it’s enough shoe for me for a marathon or if it will offer enough counteraction for what I’ve heard is a fairly crowned Bayshore course. I don’t want my ankles turning constantly or my feet feeling like they’re always on a slope, yet I want something a bit lighter and less substantial than trainers. So I got a pair of the Brooks Racer ST 5, which are pretty light, but also have a decent amount of cushioning as well as some posting. I don’t think I really need the stability, but it isn’t too much and I don’t think it can hurt when running on a crowned course. I’ve only worn them for a few runs (more on that in the next paragraph), but I like them so far though I’m afraid I may have gone a half size too large with them. The sizing was a tough call because my normal size felt OK, but didn’t offer very much additional room in the front of the shoes for things like feet swelling over the course of running 26.2 miles.
I struggled through a couple of long runs in March then had a couple of good ones in late March/early April, including a 16-miler with embedded 3 x 3-mile intervals. I finally felt like I was getting the hang of long runs and was ready to start focusing on improving my speed during them rather than just trying to finish regardless of pace. But then I felt some tightness in my hamstring following a Friday tempo run. It didn’t seem like a big deal, and I didn’t think much of the tightness even after it continued the next day. I feel some tightness in my legs and have sore muscles fairly often, and it usually goes away after a couple of days. So I did my normal Sunday long run that weekend, and finished it with no problems other than a chronically sore foot and a tight calf (at least one of my calves seems to get sore by the end of all of my long runs). But I could barely walk within a few hours after I finished the run. I still didn’t think much of it, as it was a fairly hilly route and I tried to push myself over the last few miles. But when my leg still felt trashed by the end of the day, I started to wonder if something was up with that leg. Yep. I couldn’t walk without limping the next day, and that’s when I started to really get concerned. I felt pain as soon as I started my next run (a couple days later), and the pain didn’t go away during the run, but it also didn’t get much worse. I took a few days off, and my next run was pretty good though I still had some pain.
I finally went to a physical therapist – Clint at Clint Verran Sports Medicine – after I hobbled through a 6-miler that was supposed to be a 16-miler with speed work thrown in. Clint is a great runner (as in 2:14 marathon great!), and needless to say he has an awesome understanding of running physiology. He suspects a hip flexor problem, and I’m currently in a stretch of running for time (rather than distance) at easy paces on flat routes. He also gave me some stretches to do before I run so my hip flexor is loosened up a bit before I hit the roads or trails. I’m supposed to keep from lifting my knees too high, as that can aggravate my hip flexor, so I’ve been using a short, shuffling type of stride. So far, so good. While I’ve had some pain on each of my runs since I saw the physical therapist, the pain hasn’t been been nearly as bad as it was a couple weeks ago. My 70-minute run today went very well – probably my best run since Easter – even though I changed it up and ran a fairly hilly route a little faster than the “no faster than” pace I’ve been assigned. My fingers are crossed that my hip flexor continues to feel better so I can run the Borgess Half Marathon next weekend and try to get my Bayshore training somewhat back on track.
I hope your running and other workouts have been going well!
Have you raced recently? If so, how did the race(s) go?
Do you have any races coming up? If so, how is your training going?
Have you ever raced a longer race (half marathon or longer) after having your training limited? If so, how much did it affect your race results?