Ramble on

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.

 

 

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.

 

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.

 

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?

3 races, 17.3 miles, 28 days

This week I was finally able to get back out there after a total of 10 days off of any type of exercise because of knee injury/overtraining. My much anticipated return was wonderful, but challenging.

The week in review

On Tuesday morning I headed out for an easy 3 mile run. I run with a heart rate monitor and was going to keep it in my zone 2 or below 70% max. It was a challenge not only to keep the heart rate that low, but to keep it consistent. My knee did okay, but did hurt a bit. All that being said, mentally it was wonderful. I definitely benefit from the mental aspect of running, that is for sure!

On Wednesday I noticed that in addition to slight knee pain, I had some foot pain on my opposite foot. It didn’t seem swollen and certainly didn’t hurt enough that I couldn’t walk on it, but I was bit concerned about what it might mean for next run. Thursday rolled around and the knee pain subsided, but the foot pain remained. I skipped my run on account of weather and my foot.

On Friday I really needed to get out the door for 4 miles. I decided to also make this an easy run as I am still working on my return to a normal training schedule. I felt my knee during most of the run, but my foot was fine. After my run though, as I was walking to join a friend for lunch, my foot started to hurt again in two different places. After dinner I headed home and RICEd both my knee and foot.

Striking the right balance

This morning I had hoped to join a group run and coffee, but ended up just making it to coffee. My foot felt a bit better, but my knee wasn’t having it. Over the course of the day, my knee has gotten gradually more upset with me so I have spent the day RICEing it. I am supposed to head out for an easy 5 miles tomorrow, but am now questioning it. Hopefully staying off of it tonight and getting a good night’s rest will allow me to run tomorrow. If I have to skip tomorrow’s run, I am concerned about my ability to properly train up before my last marathon qualifying race–a 15k in 4 weeks. I also have 2 other qualifiers before that final race, but they are only 4 milers. It is a delicate balancing act right now between getting enough miles in for the 15k while not pushing too hard so I can complete the 2 races before then. I can’t afford to be injured right now, but I also don’t want to go into the longer race without enough training.

Every challenge is an opportunity

To add to all of this, on Monday I woke up with odd swelling in my face. A walk-in clinic sent me home with a diagnosis of an allergic reaction something, but by Tuesday it was worse and I went to see my GP. As it turns out, I have an infection and was prescribed a pretty serious dose of antibiotics. It’s an unexpected complication on top of these other concerns.

A few weeks ago I joked with some teammates that I thrive when faced with a challenge (my RoadID even has engraved on it “In every difficulty lies opportunity.”) and I think the universe decided to test my theory. My goal for the next few weeks is to stay healthy by training smart and to knock out these last three races for guaranteed entry. Less than a month away from guaranteed entry to the 2015 New York City Marathon!