Tuesday, December 20, 2011

MTW5: Woes and Worries

To aid in my quest to run a four hour marathon on March 18, 2012, I'll be writing training recaps each Monday, documenting the previous week. This is week five!

I'm a day late on this - if you were waiting with bated breath for my weekly training recap, please accept my sincere apologies. I may have put off writing this post because this week was not the best - in fact, it was pretty disappointing. Read on to find out why (hint - it happens on Sunday, during my long run.)  

Monday: Rest and recovery from Sunday's long run. 

Tuesday: I started my day with an 8:30am yoga class at the YMCA - Vinyasa Flow, which was great. I like this class, but am not quite sold on the instructor. Still: good yoga is good yoga! After my class I went on a quick three mile run. I ended up running a progressive, which is a fun workout where you run each mile faster than the last. (Splits: Mile 1: 9:46, Mile 2: 9:26, Mile 3: 8:38) 

Wednesday: Ran three easy miles to the YMCA; went to a 30 minute kettlebell class (we focused on shoulders and arms) and then ran one mile home. Average pace for run: 9:31. 

Thursday: Vinyasa Flow Yoga at the YMCA. We did a million hip openers which was great, as I have the world's tightest hips. 

Friday: Big day of exercise! I started with a hard run - a six mile tempo run, with the goal of the middle four miles at 8:55. My splits:

1 mile warm up: 9:42
Tempo mile 1: 8:31
Tempo mile 2: 8:45
Tempo mile 3: 8:38
Tempo mile 4: 8:41
1 mile cool down: 10:59

This was a really hard workout! It was warm and humid and my legs were tired from the start. I really had to push it to make my goal pace and even though I ran a little faster than necessary, it was not much faster. I'm starting to understand why my plan gave me such conservative paces: because running 30 miles a week makes you SLOW.

After my run, I slogged through kettlebell. Luckily we focused on chest, back and abs, and left my poor legs alone.  

Saturday: An extra rest day - I was really sore from kettlebell and the tempo run. 

Sunday: Long run day. I was supposed to run 16 miles but was willing to settle for 14, since last week's long run fell short. Unfortunately, I only made it eight miles (at an average pace of 10:46 - should have been closer to 10:30). Once again, my ITB was giving me serious problems - so much so that I could barely walk at the end, never mind run. Going to brunch after the run helped my mood a little, but I was pretty down for the rest of the day.  

Total miles: 21

Final thoughts: While I haven't been to a doctor, I have consulted my personal physican (Dr. Google) and I'm 99% sure that it's my IT Band. The pain is in the same place (outside of the knee - in my case, my left knee) and it's considered the most common injury that plagues runners. What's interesting is that I've run two marathons and a handful of half marathons, and this is the first time I've ever experienced this kind of pain. Looking back, I can see two big differences between how I trained then and how I'm training now. In the past, I ran three days a week and practiced yoga an equal number of times. Now, I am running four times a week and only practicing yoga twice. I'm also doing strength training twice a week. Basically, the culprit of my ITB issues is most likely over training and under stretching. Which is actually good, because both those issues are easy to fix.

Since I'm about to fly to New York for the holidays (I'm actually blogging from the airport right now!) I'm going to take it easy on the running front for the next ten days. I'm also going to try to go to some yoga classes while I'm on Long Island, or at least do yoga on my own as much as I can. When I get back to North Carolina, I'm going to scale back my running to three times a week and cross train on the fourth day - probably by swimming. I used to swim and I enjoyed it, and the pool at the YMCA is nice and big and located under a large skylight. A skylight!

Despite these setbacks, I'm still going to shoot for a four hour marathon. The race is just under three months away, and I think that should be plenty of time to resolve my ITB issues and still complete a decent training cycle. Every quest requires challenges - if this is as hard as mine get, I'll consider myself lucky.