Race report: Ted Corbitt 15K

Before the race: Injury report

Took the entire week off of running after my race last Saturday. My injuries weren’t feeling horrible, but I could tell they were still recovering and I knew I had to get through this race. I did core work and lower body conditioning three nights this week in an effort to keep fit. On Thursday, I considered going out for 2 easy miles, but decided against it. Everything felt fine on Friday night and I thought I might even be able to run the entire distance albeit slowly. On Saturday I woke up and my calf had a little bit of pain and surprisingly, my IT band started giving me grief as I headed to the start. My IT band does tend to get cranky when it’s cold so I am going to assume that is what happened. At any rate, I headed to the start with calf strain, runner’s knee, and ITBS. Good times!

 

Flat Brandi
Flat Brandi reporting for duty

 

The race: Runners are the best

I met up at the start with an online teammate and her friend. They planned to take it easy and potentially run/walk as well. Last weekend’s race started to wear on my mentally around mile 3 so I was glad to have company for this 9.3 mile race. We started out faster than I had anticipated, but I felt fine. It wasn’t until around mile 3 that I needed to slow down. Funny thing happened around mile 1, one of the girls I was running with has been looking for a job and was talking about it and another runner overheard the conversation. She ended up chatting with her for awhile and eventually hopped off the course to call whoever it was after taking information down. Crazy awesome!

The weather was great once we warmed up and Central Park was absolutely stunning. If I hadn’t been having such a great time talking with the girls, I would have been snapping a bagillion photos! But I was having a great time and the miles just ticked off. After mile 4, I need to make a pit stop and they even slowed to a walk so that I could catch back up. I was so grateful for the company, and it was great company at that. After the halfway point, we walked more often. We laughed and thanked all the course marshals for their enthusiastic motivation cheers. I said to one of them, “Just need to finish this one!” At one point I joked about stopping at one of the park food carts to buy a coffee. We did have two different people yell to us about walking which was a little annoying. I almost hollered back, “I’M INJURED!” but let it go.

Before too long we were heading into our last two miles so we picked up the pace a little bit. We ran the entire last 1.3 miles picking up the pace as we got closer to the finish. As we headed through the finish, I threw up 9 fingers and was so happy it was done!

 

Post-race selfie
Me and the ladies post-race

 

The race: The stats

Official finish: 2:01:21
Pace: 13:02/mile

Weather: Clear, 36º, 55% humidity, 9mph wind

-Mile 1: 11:47
-Mile 2: 11:12
-Mile 3: 13:47
-Mile 4: 11:41
-Mile 5: 16:05
-Mile 6: 12:50
-Mile 7: 14:06
-Mile 8: 13:57
-Mile 9: 12:40
-Last .3: 9:51

Garmin distance: 9.48
Last comparable race (9/28/2014, 10mi): 48:42, 13:04 pace

After the race

After the race, we took a quick selfie then the girls headed to the train and I headed to bag check. Changed my top, got into my warm-ups, used the facilities then headed home. Ended up feeling pretty horrible on the train. Stopped and picked up some groceries then headed home to make some brunch and have a little celebratory prosecco. My legs felt okay immediately after the race, but weren’t feeling great after the long train ride. Definitely going to be taking some time off to fully recover! Hoping that 10 or so days will be enough for me to get back to some climbing. Plan to come back slow and easy to running over the winter with some base training.

 

9+1 guaranteed entry
It’s happening!

 

Race report: Jingle Bell Jog 4M

This is likely to be the most boring race report ever. As you are probably already well aware, I am injured. I am suffering from calf strain in my left leg and runner’s knee in my right. It’s swell. Really. My doctor has advised me not to run excluding my last two races for guaranteed entry and he has asked me to go as easy as I can in those.

Before the race

So preparation for this race was very light. I picked up my race packet on Thursday evening and then late Friday evening I packed my bag and set out my clothes for the next morning. I’ve ran 10 races since July so I kind of have prep down now. One thing I can say about doing so many races in a short time is that you stop worrying so much forgetting things. As long as you have your shoes on and your bib (and maybe fuel for longer races), you are pretty much good to go. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Race morning went pretty smoothly. Got out of bed on time, left early, caught the train I wanted. Had some GI distress on the train which was odd, but it cleared in time for the start. Got to the park 45 minutes before the race, made 2 pit stops, and dropped my bag. It was pretty warm and humid so I decided to run without my jacket. I had brought my water resistant jacket because there was chance of rain. It looked a little ominous, but I decided to risk it.

This race is more of fun run, in my opinion. Most everyone was in the striped socks that was our race swag. Many people were wearing red and green, holiday themed accessories, and some were even in full costume. I saw multiple Santas, a grinch in full face make-up, a snowman, and a gingerbread man. There were lots of selfies being taken and seemed like everyone had a running buddy or full on crew. It felt a bit like a holiday party. On the course there were plenty of people walking.

 

Festive feet
Race swag was these super sweet socks and bells for our shoes.
Before the race selfie
Before the race. Everyone seemed to be in the spirit.

 

The race

The race started around 9:30. I started off slow and trying to rein myself in. I thought a 12:00 minute mile pace would be reasonable with my injuries and wasn’t going to let myself go any faster that 11:30. It was difficult reining myself in for the first .75 miles until I forced myself to walk. I figured I would jog .75 miles and walk .25 for each mile. The first mile went well like that, but in the second mile I started to feel my calf and knee. I had forgotten to tape my knee or wear my brace for support and would definitely pay for that mistake. At 1.6 miles I slowed to a walk and walked to the 2 mile marker. Picked up the pace again at mile 2 until 2.5 miles. At this point, I was no longer just aware of my calf and knee–they were actually causing me pain. So I walked.

It was around this point that I gave myself a serious talking to. I was frustrated and a little deflated. I was just overwhelmed with thoughts and feeling like a failure. I was also super disappointed that I wasn’t going to be able to sink that first race record. (This is the first race I ever ran. Way back in 2011!) My head was wanting to spiral out and I decided to refuse to let it. I reminded myself that this is all a part of something bigger and being upset was about my ego. I was doing the smart thing for walking and not further injuring myself. I was strong for reining myself in when I just wanted to push through the pain and run. No one was there asking me to speed up. No one cared if I ran that thing. And there were still plenty of runners behind me so I was in no risk of not finishing because of time. My desire to push and my feelings of failure were all my ego talking. I focused on the beauty of the park. I tuned into my music. I was jamming Black Sabbath because I didn’t get reception in the park and my race playlist isn’t synced to my phone. It seemed like a strange music choice at the start of the race, but at this point I was grateful. The music kept me calm and steady for that last two miles. Around 3.5 miles it really hit me that there is only one more race to go for guaranteed entry. My heart was happy.

At 3.75 miles I decided to jog the rest of the way in. I have to say, it is super strange to be trotting along at minimal effort while people are cheering for you. As I neared the finishing chute, I reminded myself that I didn’t need a kick. I needed to just trot through that finish line without further injury. So that’s what I did.

The race: The stats

Official finish: 55:15
Pace: 13:49/mile

Weather: Cloudy and wet, 48º, 81% humidity, 6mph wind

-Mile 1: 13:44
-Mile 2: 13:35
-Mile 3: 13:21
-Mile 4: 14:35

Garmin distance: 4.06
Last course record (12/10/2011, 3.7 mi): 48:42, 13:04 pace
Last 4M PR (11/23/2014): 41:47, 10:27 pace
Difference: +13:28

After the race

It started drizzling just after I crossed the finish. I had to make my way through the crowds to get my bag and by the time I was changing my top and putting on my jacket it was almost full on raining. Finding my way out of the park turned into a bit of challenge. There were lots of runners doubling back ON the course (not beside it which is totally annoying) and I didn’t want to do that and I don’t know Prospect Park very well. I ended up finding my way out, made a pit stop, and headed to the train. By the time I got off at my stop it was full blown raining. Really glad it held off for us this morning. Hoping next weekend’s weather is good for the 15k!

 

Prospect park
Prospect Park is not a bad place to get lost in. Even in the rain.

Ugh… I give up.

Seriously. I’m done. Running with an injury has sucked all of the joy out of it. To make matters worse, I now have a second injury. Well, technically it was my first, but who is counting.

This sad story starts back in October. Exactly a week and a half after my half marathon. I went out for a “race pace” run the day before heading down to Florida to see family. The run went well and I technically got a PR on the run. I felt good and was feeling confident for my 5K that was coming up in a week and a half. The next morning I woke up with a dull pain in my left calf. It didn’t hurt all too much so I didn’t give it much thought. I went out for a few more runs through the weekend and following week. The calf pain didn’t bother me while running and it was never painful enough to raise a red flag for me. A week later when my right knee started acting up my focus shifted. And as I decreased my mileage for my knee, the calf pain almost disappeared completely.

I am not sure whether it was my bump in mileage last week, my 6 mile long run, or the 3 climbing sessions, but yesterday I noticed the dull calf pain was back. Again, it wasn’t significant enough to alarm me, but I noticed it. Then this morning, it was worse and as I got into my commute which has plenty of stairs, it got even worse. My calf was so sore that it hurt to cross my legs. I made an appointment for lunch time to see a sports medicine doctor.

The doctor was fairly certain it wasn’t clot because of the location of the pain. Phew. As he poked around he thought it could be some kind of strain and said it would be best if I took some time off running. I immediately said, “That’s not going to happen.” To which he replied, “Are you psychologically addicted to running?” “That’s besides the point.” is what popped into my head, but instead I told him about my guaranteed entry plan and that I had two more races — a 4 miler this Sunday and 15K (9.3 miles) next Sunday. He was very concerned about the second race. He asked me to take it easy for both, run/walking for both, and to not run at all other than the races. He recommended RICE, a high dose of anti-inflammatories, and compression socks. He also told me that he wouldn’t be surprised if my right knee issue wasn’t being caused by my left calf issue. As any runner knows, an injury typically leads to your body compensating in an unusual way that can lead to other injuries.

As we were talking through, he rechecked my calf and he noticed it was swollen. And he looked a little concerned. He made a phone call and told me he was sending me for an ultrasound for my calf to rule out a blood clot. Great. He asked me to email him afterward (if it wasn’t a clot) and we would make a plan from there. Luckily, the almost 2 hour visit to the diagnostics lab did not find a clot. It means that we don’t exactly know what is wrong, though, and that I can’t run.

I emailed the doc to see whether it is okay to climb and do any other sports while in recovery and am still waiting to hear back. I have a feeling he is going to want me to lay off anything that will use my calf. In the meantime, I skipped climbing tonight, came home and pulled on my calf compression sleeve and have been RICEing my calf and knee. I also took some ibuprofen. From what Dr.Google has told me, a calf injury can take 7-10 days to heal if it isn’t a tear. If I don’t run until my 4 miler on Sunday, that will be 7 days. Hopefully that will allow me to heal enough that I don’t do more damage. I’ll take it easy and then take off next week until the 15k if I have to. I’m nervous about running 9.3 miles with practically 2 weeks off of running, but I also don’t want to risk a tear.

This is not how I wanted to this to go. Things went so well with my training this year. I’d be lying if I said these injuries haven’t made me think about marathon training next year. I just keep trying to remind myself how much I progressed from the end of April when I started training for my 5 mile race to the half marathon in mid-October. A total of 24 weeks of injury free training while increasing my weekly mileage by 300% and my race distance by almost the same. Nine races in five months with two to go in the next two weeks. I just need to get through these next two races without permanent damage and take a break to recover fully. Marathon training doesn’t start for another 7 months. This is not how I wanted this to go, but I should still be able to complete my guaranteed entry. And that is all that matters right now.

Race Report: Prospect Park 5M Turkey Trot

I have always wanted to do a turkey trot. Something about running on a holiday makes it feel like more of an accomplishment. On a holiday that is centered around gluttony and sloth, it not only feels like accomplishment, but like a smart life choice. Even so, I went back and forth on whether to add this one to my race schedule. Since I have been struggling with my knee, it seemed silly to add a 5 mile race. But a friend asked if I was registered and said that she and her girlfriend were going to run/walk it. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to mark this race off my bucket list, have a good time with friends, and earn a medal. As a bonus, the race swag was a sweet knit hat instead of a shirt!

 

Turkey trot race swag
Sweet hat!

 

Before the race

The night before the race was low stress since this was going to be a fun run. I did K tape my knee for the first time ever with the help of YouTube. It was horrible weather the entire day before the race, but was supposed to clear up over night so I had no worries when I headed to bed. Race morning was also pretty low stress aside from deciding on my commute. I ended up just taking the subway which was easy enough. I did manage to forget my heart rate monitor which was disappointing, but I wasn’t too concerned. Got the race a half hour early, used the facilities, dropped my bag, and headed to the start. Met up with the ladies a few minutes before the start.

 

K taped knee
K taped my knee the night before the race to add support.
Flat Brandi. Holiday Edition.
Flat Brandi. Holiday Edition. I made the arm warmers from holiday socks!

 

The Race

The start was interesting. There were 2500 runners and walkers, and no corrals. We all just kind of herded in and waited for the gun. The start wasn’t even marked. We only knew we were crossing it because of the timing mat. Just after the start we were at a pretty good jog when all of the sudden the race came to a halt. Runners were all bunched up and no one seemed to be moving. We slowed to a very slow walk. It wasn’t until I saw the huge puddle taking up half the roadway that I understood what was going on. Puddle bottleneck! Once we passed it and turned onto the outer loop of the park, the congestion cleared. As my watch alerted me at mile 1, I looked for a mile marker on the course but couldn’t find one. It wasn’t until mile 2 that we realized that there were small markers, low to the ground on the inside of the loop. This definitely wasn’t an NYRR production!

My friend’s girlfriend hadn’t run in awhile so my expectation was a pretty slow pace with plenty of walking. I was surprised when at mile 2 we were still running and at a pace a little bit faster than my typical easy (Z2) pace. Around mile 2.25 we started walking. For the past quarter mile it seemed like it was starting to rain or snow, but it was so light and sporadic we couldn’t figure it out. As we started walking, it started coming down more heavily and we realized it was a light snow. I really love running in snow, but am typically wearing a water-resistant jacket which I hadn’t worn. So the snow was landing on us and then melting and making our clothes wet. Not ideal in 36º weather, but it was all in good fun. We started running again around mile 2.75 and kept at a good clip until 3.2 and then walked to 3.3. After that brief walk break, the ladies picked up the pace to 10:00mm and continued to speed to 9:15mm to mile 4.1. We took short walk breaks between 4.1-4.3 and 4.5-4.6 then ran the last ~.5 mile around 10:00mm until our finishing kick. My watch clocked my finish at 6:52mm.

 

After the finish
Post-race selfie

 

The race: The stats

Official finish: 58:42
Pace: 11:44/mile

Weather: Cloudy with light snow, 37º, 75% humidity, 4mph wind

-Mile 1: 12:14
-Mile 2: 11:33
-Mile 3: 12:54
-Mile 4: 11:01
-Mile 5: 11:03

Garmin distance: 5.11
Last 5M PR (8/10/2014): 53:36
Difference: +5:06

After the race

After the race, we grabbed a water and took a photo with our medals before the ladies headed off to the train. I picked up my bag, used the facilities, changed out of my wet shirt and put on my warm-ups over my running clothes. I tried to grab a gatorade, but the machines were all sold out. Munched on my KIND bar and headed to the train. I was freezing, it was lightly snowing, it was an outdoor platform, and holiday service so it took awhile for the train to arrive. It was fun to look around the train on the way back and see all the turkey trot hats and medals. I always wonder what non-runners think of these scenes on the subway.

Injury report

We ran faster than I had assumed and on the way home I noticed my knee was hurting pretty badly. Going down stairs is definitely not my friend. Or up stairs, for that matter. Some yoga seemed to help, but I was definitely feeling my knee for the rest of the evening. Today it is hurting, but more so on the back of my knee than the front. I am wondering if the K tape just shifted the issue. At any rate, I will need to take it easy for a few days again and just try to maintain my fitness for my last two marathon guarantee races.

 

2014 Prospect Park 5M Turkey Trot
2014 Prospect Park 5M Turkey Trot

Race report: Race to Deliver 4M

As I mentioned a few days ago, I am still recovering from my injury. I believe now that what started out as overtraining before my last race turned into an actual injury during the race. As a result I have had to cut back a lot on my training. This week I was only able to get out for an easy 5 miles and took off the 4 days after that lead up to my race this morning.

Race week: Appreciating NY running history

Friday evening I headed to NYRR headquarters to pick up my race packet. It was my 8th trip there since the end of June and it has become quite familiar. There is something about turning on to Fred Lebow Place and then walking into that old (1902-built, Beaux-Art style) townhouse that Fred Lebow bought in 1981 as the first permanent home to the New York Road Runners. It is starting to feel a little empty since they plan to sell it soon, but there is still something magical about walking through the home base for New York running history. Or I was just feeling extra emotional that evening. Whatever it was, I felt a sense of appreciation and a little bit of sadness that NYRR is moving. I was, however, excited to see what color my bib would be since my last race set me in a new pace group! I’ve been rocking the pink bib (or brown for larger races) since 2011. I am now officially aqua corral! (Which totally matches my running gear better. Bonus!) The night before the race was pretty uneventful. Since I was just going to race to finish and try to take it easy because of my injury, it was very low stress. I had some spaghetti and got bed early after setting out everything I needed on race morning.

 

Race bib
New corral/bib color–Aqua!
Fred Lebow Place
Fred Lebow Place

 

Race morning: Preparing for a planned anti-climatic race

The morning of the race I got out of bed 10 minutes later than planned. Showered, dressed, ate, grabbed my bag, and was out the door on time. Stopped by the bodega for a coconut water. Got down to the platform on time, but I guess the train was early because I missed it. The next one was in 20 minutes. I felt a little stressed because I needed to drop my bag ahead of the race, but decided to dismiss it. If I had to, I could always run to bag check and the start. I used the time to finish dressing–putting on my arm warmers, Garmin, and SpiBelt–and to pack my drop bag then slide into my backpack for efficiency in dropping. (NYRR security requires you to use a clear bag and you can’t just slide your backpack into the clear bag. Contents have to be visible.) The commute was pretty smooth after finally getting on a train. I always enjoy the build of runners on the train. Where I get on in Brooklyn I rarely see other runners, but as I get in to Manhattan more and more hop on the train. By the time we get to the Museum of Natural History stop, it is a crowd of runners exiting the train and heading into Central Park. It’s a scene that I never tire of.

I got to the park at 8:00, dropped my bag at 8:10, used the porta-potties and was heading to the start line by 8:13. Side note: I will never understand why people don’t walk to the furthest porta-potties. Not only are they typically cleaner IMHO, but the lines are always shorter. The closest lines were 10 deep and the furthest was only 2. I was literally in and out in 2 minutes. Anywho, got to the start line and did the standard shifting around as girls flicked their ponytails, people flailed around seemingly unaware of those around them, and people stood uncomfortably close to me even though there was plenty of room for personal space. After about 10 minutes, the race was finally starting.

The race: Mile 1 and ditching the plan to run happy

So as I mentioned, my plan was to run super easy so I didn’t aggravate my injury. For the first half mile, I cruised along at 11:45 pace and took in the scenery–the remaining fall leaves, the Obelisk, The Met, The Guggenheim. I even stopped to snap a pic of the Fred Lebow statue. It seemed reasonable that I would I keep my pace around 11:30 for the entire race. Then something happened. I’m not sure what it was, but I just found it really difficult to run that easy. I kept looking down at my watch and I was running around a 10:30. My knee felt fine, but I kept telling myself to think about the long term goal. Run easy, play it safe. I still have two marathon qualifiers to run for my guaranteed entry. But it was a losing battle. Every time I looked down, I was running too fast even when I thought I had slowed down. I was getting frustrated. That’s when I decided to run by feel.

 

Fred Lebow statue in Central Park
Fred Lebow statue in Central Park

 

The race: Miles 2 and 3

My Garmin is always a little bit off when I race so I can’t really rely on my lap pace when it ticks off a mile because I am typically not at the mile marker yet. So in the miles after the first, I have to do math to figure it out. I decided that was frustrating, too, so I stopped doing it. I don’t know what happened. Maybe it was the perfect weather. Maybe it was that my knee wasn’t bothering me as much as I thought it was going to. Maybe it was that I can’t stand the thought of just finishing a race. Whatever the reason, miles 2 and 3 were around 10:30 pace. I felt good, the pace felt good, and I wasn’t stressed about pace or injury.

The race: The final mile

Around mile 4 I decided to let myself push a little harder. My knee felt okay and there was only a mile left so I figured why not. When I looked down at my Garmin, I was running a sub 9 minute mile. Now I know I probably shouldn’t have done what I did next, but I just couldn’t help myself. I was so excited about how good I felt and my pace that I raced that last mile. At a half mile to go, I was starting to feel it. (Pushing, not my injury.) When I got to the turn for the last .2 or so miles I was hurting, but the finishing chute was in sight and there was no way I was slowing to trot through that thing. I pushed even harder and finished that last mile at a 6:46 minute mile pace according to my Garmin. Final lap time was 8:45!

The race: The stats

Official finish: 41:47
Pace: 10:27/mile

Weather: Cloudy, 45º, 39% humidity, 7mph wind (Perfect!)

-Mile 1: 11:41
-Mile 2: 10:47
-Mile 3: 10:34
-Mile 4: 8:45

Garmin distance: 4.05
Last 4M PR (7/12/2014): 42:02
Improvement: 0:15

 

Race stats. Splits differ because of Garmin drift.
Race stats. Splits differ because of Garmin drift.

 

Post-race: Heading home

After the race I grabbed my bag, changed out of my sweaty shirt and arm warmers, added some layers and then sat for a bit. I was super light headed and hadn’t packed a snack. After about 5 minutes, I headed to the train still with a little bit of race brain. Heading down to the platform I had a funny exchange with some runners who were stretching on the stairs. I got to take the C train which is one of my favorites–they are the oldest still operating–and got to help some very thankful tourists with directions. Came home and made some yummy breakfast, relaxed, stretched, napped, and am feeling pretty good. I am optimistic that my knee may actually be okay, but I never know until the day or two after.

Just two more races now to complete my guaranteed entry to the 2015 NYC Marathon! It’s so crazy that in 20 days this thing I have been working on for 3 months (5 if you count from my first MQ) now will be done.

 

Post-race selfie
Two more qualifiers to go!

Injury woes

And so it continues… my knee continues to be angry and I continue to try to train just enough to finish my last three marathon qualifiers safely. I got in two runs last week–a 3 miler and 4 miler. It’s my lowest mileage in months if you don’t count the 10 days I took off for recovery. On Tuesday of this week I headed out for an easy 5 miles. The knee was feeling okay before the run, during the run it was great, but after the run it felt horrible. My usual post-run yoga routine plus some foam rolling of my quad helped. (I think the rolling more than the yoga.) But by the time I had commuted in to work it was angry again. Yesterday it was bothering me even more. I RICEd it last night. Then today I broke out the old knee brace and wore it to work. This evening it continues to ache. I plan to do some conditioning exercises and roll out my quad again in addition to RICEing some more.

I ended up adjusting my training schedule earlier this week to be super conservative for the next few weeks. The plan was to get in the minimum miles that would make me feel confident for the 15k. I was supposed to run 2 miles today and decided it was better to postpone since I have a marathon qualifier on Sunday. I’d rather rest it and struggle a little during the race from deconditioning than go out and push the knee more and end up not able to run at all. It’s a delicate dance that I’m doing now between trying to stay conditioned enough to run these races while not injuring myself further.

I will definitely be taking time off after the 15k if my knee isn’t healed by then. It will be difficult mentally, but I can’t afford to have a perpetual injury going into the new year. In January I had planned to cut my mileage and focus on base building so taking time off shouldn’t be too big of a deal right now. Better now than going into marathon training already bashed up.

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!

On the injured list

For the first time since August 2013, I have been injured and not able to run for 7 days. My knee had been a little upset in the days leading up to last Saturday’s race (race report coming soon) and I pushed for and achieved a PR in that race. The day after the race was the NYC Marathon and I was on my feet walking or standing and cheering for about 6 hours. After I got home on Sunday evening I noticed my left quad was pretty sore from pulling the weight from my sad right knee. Needless to say, by Monday I was in pretty bad shape.

My commute in to work is 3 flights down, .6 mile walk, 2.5 flights down, 5 minute train ride, 1 flight up, a very tall escalator spanning 4-5 flights, another flight up, a walk down a long platform, 5 minute train ride, then 2 flights up, another even taller escalator (it has to be at least 6 flights), then a .25 mile walk to the office. The commute home is all of that in reverse. I stayed home on Monday and Tuesday to avoid all of the walking and stairs.

When I left the house on Wednesday I felt good for the first half of the commute in, but considered coming back home by my transfer point. I ended up going ahead and heading in and iced my knee a few times at work. I had hoped to run that evening, but by mid-day it was apparent that wasn’t going to happen. Such was the pattern for Thursday. By Friday I had resigned myself to just trying to get in my Saturday morning team run. I wasn’t feeling well today so a run was out of the question.

I am now hoping to get out the door tomorrow. I have a 15k (9.5 miles) on 12/14 and my longest run since the half marathon in mid-October has been 5 miles. I am a little nervous about being properly trained for the 15k. I don’t intend to race it for a PR or the other two 4M races before it, but I do have to finish all 3 races for my guaranteed entry to the 2015 NYC Marathon.

I had hoped that a week off wouldn’t mean too much of a loss of fitness, but my SportTracks is showing that my fitness level has dropped to lower than it has been in 4 months when I did the 5 mile race and started training for my 10 miler. I haven’t been doing anything this week–not just not running, but no yoga , climbing, or strength/PT exercises either. Hopefully getting back into my normal routine will get me back on track quickly!

 

SportTracks Training Load
SportTracks Training Load

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