Is it possible to have a marathon training cycle without drama? I would like to know.
This update is being posted because.......
I said I would post an update.
A few weeks ago things were really going well. We got sick, I took time off to get better-a couple of days. Then I hit it hard again. Not to make up missed mileage, just to pick up where I left off. I left off just before another week of 100% of my planned peak- 80 miles. I got in 75 last week, but ended it with a sore knee.
I am not really sure what the knee issue is. What I do know is:
- It is above my kneecap and on the inside edge. I saw my massage therapist Wednesday (Carol Duncan is a HUGE blessing). She thinks it might have to do with an adductor.She showed me some stretches I haven't been doing and worked some knots out of my calves, hammies, adductors, etc.
- It gets better when I don't run. I can run for a while with it only having a little discomfort, but when I hit about 6 miles it starts to get worse.
- I am going to take more time off for this to get better. I am NOT a "time off" kind of runner. This is a huge test for me right now. I love a good taper, mind you, but I like it after a good training cycle.
Processing it all and questioning things (Physical)
I have a lot of thoughts on how, and why, things like this are happening. It's been a year since I have had a running injury of any kind.
Following Daniel's training principles have helped me to recover from my Boston training injury a year ago, and run almost all PR races in the last 12 months. It is frustrating to get to a peak point in training for a marathon, but not to be able to continue on with the plan- as planned. It leaves me with questions:
- Each time I get injured, it's on the right leg.Why? Is there something off balance with my right foot/leg? I think this is very possible. I have been looking at/reading about foot types and gait, arches, etc..
- Did I just set my peak too high for miles? This could also be the reason. I had hoped that with several weeks in the 70 mile range before the speed work started, I could shoot for 80 as a peak. Looking back now, there was no ground for this. I had a few 70 mile weeks before the training cycle, but not with any speed work. Adding speed work with new mileage is a great recipe for disaster. Hopefully I have learned my lesson here. Going from 70 MPW to 80 is a 10 mile jump, Daniels suggests you try increasing by 10 miles/week only after successfully staying at the lower MPW for three weeks. I was following his "plan A"- but probably violating the principles by setting too high of a mileage goal.
- Will I have time to recover and still race Eugene well? I have no idea here. But recover, I must. My last marathon training cycle / injury was a good lesson to me in the value of patience. If I only take a week off here, even 10 days, I might stand a chance at Eugene. I did take off about 3 weeks last year for that injury (peroneal tendon?) and went on to race a PR. We'll see how things go. Eugene is an AMAZING course. It's a course I know. Anything is possible there. I am staying positive. Trying to. And trying not to think about running.
On a spiritual level, I have been doing much reflecting about why I am injured again during marathon training. You might think I am a nut case. You are probably correct. I am spilling my guts here anyway.
It should be no secret that I would really like to run a fast marathon, (By fast, I mean that I would like to beat the calculator predictions based off of my performance at other race distances). I think, yet again, that God is trying to speak to my heart in a way He KNOWS He will get through. He has my attention here. Running is my way of coping with problems in life. It is also my way of seeing success when I am not victorious in other areas of my life.
God is showing me that He offers something better than running. His heart's desire is for me to find JOY in serving Him, and in having my heart in line with His. But what is my heart's desire, really?
Sometimes I would like to press a button and just not care about running at all. But other times, like right now, I would like to just put on my shoes and go for a slow, easy 20 miler. I can unplug my brain when I run- or focus it very intently on what my body is doing and what pace I am going. That's a nice place to be.
So, I know what God wants from me in all this.
He wants my heart to match His. And that's a lot harder to do than any marathon.
Today I am thankful for:
A bit less laundry
Walking without pain...having my legs and an able body
Grace and forgiveness
Healing from illness and my kids' recovery from poison oak- learning how allergic they are to it.
My parents and in laws, sister and brother-in-laws
Some quiet time to think and write