Monday, January 27, 2014

Mississauga Marathon training: Week 1

I'm a week late starting my 'official' marathon training plan, thanks to that whole bruised toe deal. Fortunately the overall mileage was still supposed to be relatively low, so after a bit of rewriting, I jumped right into what is technically week 2 of my plan, with the intent of revisiting how I was feeling each day and being fully prepared to bail out and go back to resting if necessary.

Monday: The toe felt good, so I headed to an evening TRX class. Unfortunately class was really heavy on chest work, and I have a bad shoulder that objects to too much pushing. So that was a bit of a bummer when I had to modify a lot of the exercises, but I still got in a great core workout. And my arms were still a bit trembly 45 minutes after class.

Two innocent little straps that can be SO PAINFUL.

Tuesday: Easy 8k at lunch to test out the toe. I am so sick of thinking about my toes. I will be very happy to go back to being blissfully ignorant of their status. And just to make things extra special, I appear to be losing a nail on my NON INJURED foot. What? I guess it just wanted to join the party.

The weather featured Polar Vortex 2.0, so I got to further confirm my co-workers assessment of me as 'completely insane' as I wore All The Things to face the -25 windchill.

It really wasn't that bad. Although my phone did die after I took the pictures because iPhones don't like polar vortexes.

The toe did not object at all, so it was a successful run.  Bit of aching in the joint later in the day, but I think that might have been phantom pain, since it came and went and didn't show up again during the long walk to the parking lot after work.

Wednesday: Time for hills! 2x repeats on the 'easy' hill, 3x repeats on the steeper, harder hill, then I realized I was a km short and did a final repeat on the 'easy' hill to wrap up. 8k total. Legs were sore after that. Right, hills are hard. I vaguely remember that.

Toe felt a bit ache-y during the afternoon after the run, but it kind of came and went, so I decided to go ahead and run Thursday and reevaluate after that.

Thursday: FINALLY managed to give Patty the half of her Christmas present that got lost in the mail. Only over a month late. Stupid post office. It's a cute little kettlebell necklace because she's the one who turned me onto kettlebells.

Not the best photo, but you get the idea.

We ran 9k at dark o'clock in the polar vortex - by the end, the sun was starting to come up. The sun is coming back!!! YAY!! Layered up so the cold wasn't really a factor. Run was a bit of a slog due to some fresh snow and my legs being tired, but no toe or foot issues. I wanted to take a picture of my awesome frost covered hair at the end, but my stupid phone died from the cold again. Can someone knit it a little sweater or something?

When I entered my run into my Running Ahead log, I noticed this on my race countdowns. Eep.

Did a kettlebell/TRX workout in the evening. Due to the tired legs and my bad shoulder still complaining a bit, I kept it simple. Squats, KB swings, deadlifts, etc.

Friday: REST. Foot and toe felt 100%.

Saturday: Snow. Wind. Ugh. Met up with Patty to run on our usually reliably clear route, but it was a snow covered slog. My calves were killing me within 10 minutes. Turned back to the cars after 3k so I could put my Yaktrax on. They did make things much better. Left Patty around 9.5k because she was doing a shorter distance and I knew if I went back to the cars with her I would call it a day and not get the planned 20. Headed onto Northshore Blvd because I figured it'd be relatively sheltered from the wind, plus good training for Around the Bay. Why do I always forget about the two smaller hills that are in between the golf course hill and the Lasalle Park Hill? Unfun.

Run in the slushy street with the scary skidding drivers, or on the snow covered sidewalks? Both choices kind of sucked. The pictures really don't capture the terribleness of the conditions.

I did successfully finish the 20k, with no twinges or anything from my toe. So yay! But pretty much everything else about that run sucked.

This is one thing that absolutely does not suck. Oh My God. I cleaned out every package they had at the local MEC last week to stock up.

Sunday: Right from the start of this run, my legs were so dead. But I knew a run would help them feel better so I headed out for an easy, very slow 7k. Sure enough, by the end my legs felt better. Recovery run win!

My phone didn't die after taking this picture! Yay! Running at sunrise is just the best.
I decided not to run the Robbie Burns 8k this year, mostly because registration time came up just as I'd spent $$$ on Chilly/ATB/Mississauga. Since I knew a few people running the race I decided to take my cowbell and my camera down to the 5k mark to cheer and try my hand at a bit of race photography. I definitely have a new respect for race photographers; it's challenging focusing on runners! Although the pros would have the right lenses, which I most definitely did not.

It was fun being a spectator, especially seeing those three guys up there battling for the lead. Although I have to say, the runners did not look like they were having a good time. No wonder everyone thinks we are crazy, running looks seriously painful when you watch a race!

Summary for the week: 5 runs, for 52.5 km, and two TRX workouts. Solid week, and a great start.

I feel comfortable saying my toe has now healed, since I successfully ran every scheduled run this week and I'm pain free. I'll be posting weekly updates to document how training for my first marathon goes.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Injury Recovery Update

Man, who knew a tiny little toe could cause such ongoing problems!

So I rested for five days (although I did swing around my kettlebells and do some no-impact TRX strength work - gotta get those exercise endorphins somehow). Each day the toe situation felt better and better, so by Friday I was ready to give a short run a try. An easy 6k lunch run felt good. Success!

Chedoke golf course. For some reason the 'closed' sign amuses me. What, no snow golf allowed?

However, on the foot front things were admittedly a little bit twingy and weird feeling. No pain, but a bit off. Since there were no lingering issues Friday afternoon or evening, Saturday morning I joined Sam for an easy 10k. Again, the toe felt fine, but my foot felt funny - kind of stiff and just not quite right. Likely my gait has been messed up for the last few weeks and will need some time to readjust.

Saturday afternoon the injured toe felt stiff, with a touch of tenderness on the ball of the foot, so to be on the safe side I'm taking today and tomorrow off (although I will do some strength training), then (hopefully) will be able to resume full on run training on Tuesday. But I'll be taking it day by day. The most important thing right now is to get it fully healed up so I can have a great family vacation and then run some quality marathon training miles! And tackle some serious hill training - running up the Valley Inn Road hill with Sam showed me that I am seriously out of hill running shape.

I hope I can run seriously again soon because it turns out that if you keep eating like you are running 50k+ a week when you only run 16k, you don't feel so great and your pants get weirdly tight. Damn chocolate.

As an aside, to a Daily Mile friend who seems to have vanished from the web: Anna G, if you are out there, we miss you and hope you are OK. Please feel free to get in touch!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Not the post I was planning to write

This week was supposed to be the exciting start of official marathon training.

Instead, I'm doing this:

Why does no one ever ask me for fashion advice? C'mon those socks are awesome.

I'm facing the fact that although I've managed to (possibly stupidly) run 98 km on my injured toe, it's still hurting and I should probably sit my ass down until it's actually, truly better. Because running doesn't make it feel worse I've been sucking it up and running anyway, because runners are dumbasses, yo. I seem to have reached a point where the recovery has stalled out and the pain level hasn't improved much over the last few days. So it's time to rest and see if that helps.

I'm crossing my fingers that a few days of as much rest as possible will magically fix things, but if it's a week, two weeks, well, that's what it will be. This is, honestly, not really about getting healthy for run training. If I wind up stumbling through an under trained Chilly half/ATB, then so be it, and there's still time to put together adequate training to finish the marathon. Not as fast a marathon as I might want, but it'll get done.

The reason I need this thing better is because we have a family vacation coming up soon that is going to involve a ton of walking (think mouse ears), and the last thing I want is to be limping for that! I've got some time and it's time to use it wisely and get fully better. I want to have fun chasing my kids around various theme parks, not yelling at them to wait for me as I limp along in pain.

So, marathon training can wait.