I’m not even sure where to start. It’s been since November since I’ve written any kind of update about my own training. I was just starting with a new physical therapist then and starting to unravel the issues with my pelvis, sacrum, sural nerve, and starting back to running really slowly after a month completely off running.
Test run on the track! It was cold and super windy. Did 5 min walk + 7×2/1 min run/walk intervals + 4 min walk cool-down for a total of 2.3 miles. I felt super slow, but didn't have any increase in pain my foot. My hip wasn't as happy, but it was tight when I headed out. It felt really great to be running again and I was a little grateful for the weather since there were only 2 other people running on the track. The orange of the track reminded me of sunset photos of the Grand Canyon and I visualized running strong on my 50k run. 27 weeks until my longest run ever!
A little over 3 miles on the track this morning. It was slow and easy 15 minute run intervals with a 5 minute walk interval in the middle which I jogged a bit of to keep my heart rate up. Felt good the entire time aside from being super slow. Coming back from an injury certainly makes you swallow your pride!
Me after 8.4 miles this morning! PT said I couldn't run the entire race, but was okay with me doing the 4 of the 8 miles at a very slow (12mm) running pace. It took me a little over 2 hours with 45/60 second run/walk intervals. 2:02:16 and almost DFL, but I'm happy as a clam. (Or a broken runner with a new appreciation for any kind of movement.) 25 weeks to Grand Canyon 50k.
First track workout in over a year. It was 30s with some rain and sleet at some points. Workout was 1 mi warmup then 2 x 200 with 200 recovery, 4 x 400 with 400 recovery, another 2 x 200 w 200, then a mile cool down. It went really well despite the adverse conditions! Headed to the @highperformanceptnyc this afternoon so they can check and make sure my sacrum and pelvis hasn't shifted out of alignment and get realigned if they have. Interested to hear what they think about the state of my body after speed work today and a 7 miler with bridges two days ago.
The new physical therapist has been such a blessing and by February-March I was starting to get back to really training and focusing on Grand Canyon 50k. My training took a little longer to pick up than anticipated when I signed up, but I felt confident with how well things were going by March that I wouldn’t be undertrained. In Mid-March I ran NYC Half as a training run and felt strong pacing a teammate to a new PR. By the end of March it had warmed enough that I was able to head out to my local trail. I had some little twinges here and there–in my hip, my hammie, and my back–but PT was keeping everything in check for the most part.
What's better than summiting a mountain? Doing it three times in one day! Did three consecutive 3.9 miles loops of Bear Mountain straight up and then down for a total of 11.7 miles and 3871' of climbing with comparable descent. Took about 5.5 hours for the 3 icy loops. The route up was technical and icy requiring micro spikes or similar. At some points we were using hands and feet to scramble. Once we hit the top, we would run down as fast as we could without risking injury in the ice. It was a blast! 🏃♀️💪💕
28 miles, 5 back-to-back days, 3 quality workouts: track, hill (bridge) repeats, and a long run with 2 bridge crossings–a total of 961' of (tiny) gain. This evening was a 12 miler with 2 crosses of the Williamsburg bridge. And it is was tough. My body is tired. It's never done 5 days in a row nor has it done 3 hard workouts in 5 days. I never considered quitting, but this run was definitely a struggle at times. I did manage to push the last 2 miles at a pace 2 minutes faster than the previous 10. 💪 And now I rest for a day before another hard week. 12 weeks and 6 days til Grand Canyon!
Another shot from yesterday's 16 miler along the Palisades with @jrzygal83 and @mori. Got in another 6 this afternoon and despite feeling pretty tired and unmotivated, I had a really good run. Kept HR within +-5 MAF and averaged a better pace than my typical easy runs. Foam rolled and taped my ankle before I went out and really paid attention to form and my hammie, hip, and ankle all remained pretty calm. Was hoping to see my PT tomorrow, but can't get in until Wednesday evening so hoping a rest day tomorrow is enough to hop back into a faster workout on Tuesday. 8 weeks and 6 days until Grand Canyon 50k.
Eight weeks to Grand Canyon
The first weekend of April I went down to Georgia to crew a friend running Georgia Death Race. I did 2 runs in the Georgia mountains that weekend. I ended up rolling both ankles and my left ankle in particular pretty badly on the second run. I was able to run the rest of the run, but knew it was going to take some care and rehab. I made a plan with the PT to cut weekday trainings short and just focus on getting in my long training on the weekends which seemed to go okay. I had developed some foot pain in my left foot on some of the longer runs, but we assumed it was too tight shoes and made adjustments.
Five weeks to Grand Canyon
I headed out for my 20 miler at the end of April on a rainy morning and by mid-way through the five hour run the trail become very, very muddy. By the end of the run not only was my left foot aching, but my right ankle had gotten pretty aggravated from the mud running. I limped home and skipped my long run the next day.
20 rainy, muddy, and generally soggy miles. No running partner, no music, just me and the trail for hours. Foot bothered me for about 11 miles and my IT band decided that my knee should join the pain party about 15 miles in. By 18 miles in, my Achilles on the other leg was pretty pissed. The last two miles were slow and involved some walking and willpower, but they got done. 9 miles on deck for tomorrow, but will see how my body feels. 5 weeks until Grand Canyon.
Three weeks to Grand Canyon
In an effort to save my foot, ankle, and my training cycle I took 2 weeks off of training before my peak weekend of training which was going to be 22 miles on Saturday followed by Broad Street Run 10 miler the next day. My left foot was still a little tender by that weekend so I decided I would run for time instead. I got in 4 hours of training and had some slight shin and foot pain, but all-in-all I felt okay going into the 10 miler the next day. During the 10 miler my foot hurt a little and at one point I walked for a half mile, but I was able to finish it in under 2 hours and was feeling pretty good about being able to finish Grand Canyon 50k. I’d use taper to rehab my ankles and foot and hopefully line up at the start feeling healthy and ready to go.
On the way home from Philly, my right foot had a really sharp pain that came out of nowhere and it hurt a lot to walk. (The left was the one had been bothering me to this point.) I limped home and a couple days later my chiro popped my foot (cuboid) and while it didn’t completely calm it down right then, within a day the pain was gone. I again skipped my weekday runs and got in my 14 miler that weekend. Then I had to skip the following day’s 90 minute run because I woke up with a cold.
Two weeks to Grand Canyon
That was this past Monday and the plan this week was to run a few times at low mileage in some new shoes and incorporating a dancer’s pad to offload the 5th metatarsal joint on my left foot. But when I woke up Tuesday, one of my cats was very sick and my cold had worsened significantly. By Wednesday, my cat was at the emergency hospital. Long story short, I did not train all week and was under a lot of stress. I still planned to do Brooklyn Half Marathon and my 90 minute run on Sunday, though. And hoped that my kitty would recover in time for me to head out to the Grand Canyon.
One week to Grand Canyon
Yesterday I lined up at the start of the Brooklyn Half Marathon. I had taped my left foot in hopes of it holding together and didn’t really think about my right foot because it hadn’t bothered me since my chiro popped it. I noticed my right ankle felt a little sore and wished I had taped that ankle, too, but it was too late at that point. I crossed the start and glanced at the clock. 22:22. I took it as a good sign. I’ll spare the details, but by the 10k mark I was walking with considerable pain in my right foot and by mile 8 I had dropped from the race. Later that evening my kitty got to come home. She needs medication twice a day and I have to monitor her eating, drinking, a bathroom breaks. She is still showing some symptoms and if her condition worsens, she will need to go back to the hospital.
So here I am, six days out from Grand Canyon 50k with two injured feet and a sick cat. I can arrange for care for my cat, but will be at least 18-20 hours away from home if anything happens. I’m not sure if I will even be able to walk around the Grand Canyon much less run 33 miles with the current state of my right foot. I’ve never been to the Grand Canyon and this was going to be a bucket list trip for me made even better by the fact I have friends coming out, one of them I am coaching and this will be her first ultra, and I planned to stay a few extra days for adventuring out there and back in Vegas. To say I am conflicted about what to do would be an understatement. Staying home to take care of my baby and myself seems to be the most logical answer, but I’ve invested so much in this race and this trip. Not to mention not wanting to let my friends down. I have no idea what I am going to do.
What would you do?