Friday, March 31, 2017

Limping to the Finish Line

The way this training cycle has gone I feel a little bit like I'm limping to the finish line of the season. I'm going to make it to my goal race, but just by the hair of my chinny chin chin. One day during my run I was pondering this whole situation I'm in and why out of all my friends who run at least semi-seriously have none of them ever just totally bonked an entire season like I currently am (at least that I know of). That's when I realized it's because they usually get injured and don't make it to the end of the season when they bomb a season by overtraining. I think I backed off just enough to keep from getting injured, but not enough to allow my legs to fully recover from the fatigue of overtraining which just kept adding more and more fatigue. For the last couple weeks I've been joking with Ty about how I am limping to finish line of the season and I'm just so darn thankful that I'm making it to the finish! I know I did some unwise things during this training block, although I'm not sure which thing in specific has led to my downfall or if it was a combination of things, and I'm just happy that I've been able to remain healthy so I can run the Aquarium Run Half-Marathon on Saturday. I may not be able to run the time I was training for, but I'm not injured and that's enough reason to celebrate!

I am a little concerned with how my left shin has been feeling lately. When I laid down in bed Friday night it was throbbing and it has been sore on and off ever since. I can pinpoint where it hurts and there's a bit of a lump where it is hurting, I'm thinking maybe a calcium deposit, but it doesn't hurt more when I run and most days I don't even notice it while running. I notice it the most when I'm laying in bed at night or when I am sitting down relaxing. I don't think it will affect my race on Saturday but I am a little nervous it may turn into something more serious down the road. Even though Saturday is my big goal race I also have some other April and May races planned that I am really looking forward to, not to mention a fall season where I want to chase after a sub-1:30 again. I've added some shin foam rolling into my foam rolling routine but I don't feel like it is helping that much, partially because I am terrible at it! I'm definitely hoping that this shin issue doesn't end with me literally limping to the finish line on Saturday, but I am planning on wearing compression socks in hopes of combating that!

With all the running struggles I've had lately and all the runs gone bad, I'm really holding onto the positive runs. The killer 8x800 repeat workout I ran a couple weeks ago, the awesome 4x1200/400 workout I ran faster than the fall, the 6 and 7 mile tempos I ran at the beginning of the cycle, and runs where I just ran faster than expected. This past Sunday I ran my last longish run before the race with a 9 miler. I just went out at what felt comfortable and when I felt like picking up the pace during the last 4 miles, I did. I was pleasantly surprised to finish my 9 miles in 7:38 pace compared to the 8 mile tempo I had struggled through the week before at 7:24 pace. During my 9 miles I was running comfortably and during that 8 mile tempo I was pushing the and struggling. I am holding onto a little bit of hope that even though I overtrained this season and didn't do my body any favors there, these taper weeks will help me out a lot and tomorrow will go better than I am expecting. I definitely plan to go out conservatively and just see where that puts me pace-wise. I am hopeful that it will be somewhere around 7:00-7:15 pace. Even though I know running a PR is likely out of the question, I haven't given up hope and if 6:55 pace feels sustainable, I will go with it. I'm not going to force it by any means, but I also figure I have nothing to lose. If I take off at what feels sustainable and then crash and burn in the 2nd half, I really have no problem with that. Might as well go for it, if it's slower than 1:31:35 it won't be a PR anyway so who cares how slow it is, right? I also know it's easier to make up time when you go out conservatively and feel strong in the second half then it is to keep from losing too much time when you are hurting at the end, so I'm not going to try to force a certain pace from the start. With my terrible late season tempos, I don't have a good idea of what a reasonable goal pace should be so I'm going to have to listen to my body. That seems to always work best for me anyway. When I go out with a certain pace in mind and try to hit it from the start, the last few miles are always a struggle.

The best part of the race? The sea turtle theme! We have visited the sea turtle exhibit 5 times since it opened the first week of March and I am in love with the sea turtles! One of them is very social and is always at the glass checking everybody out. He'll look right at you and follows you along the glass. The other one is also social, or so I've heard, he's just been napping every time we are there. I just can't get enough of the sea turtles. Thursday I ran with Elise while Carter was at school and we ran from the aquarium. I ran the first section of the race, which is an almost 3 mile loop that we will do before heading out onto the Riverside trail, to get a feel for it. Then I ran out a little before heading back along the finish of the race course. I started getting so excited about the race, picturing myself crossing the pedestrian bridge during the last mile of the race and then kicking it in to the finish line at the entrance of the aquarium. Regardless of what time I run, it will be a fun race and I'll get to walk around the aquarium for a little bit afterward. After our run Elise and I walked around the aquarium and then picked up our packets. The shirts have a sea turtle on them and are just plain awesome! The closer the race gets, the more excited I get! I think this bumpy training cycle has been beneficial in that it has forced me to let go of my expectations for this race. Instead of going in nervous about running a PR, I am just excited. I can't wait to run and am hoping for a better race than what I'm predicting. I'm predicting sub-1:35 with a possibility of running under 1:33, but I'm also not putting much pressure on this race. I'm just celebrating the fact that I made it to the race uninjured and I'll be able to go for a PR again in the fall! I can't wait to get out there and run!
The awesome race shirt!
The friendly sea turtle during our visit on Thursday.


  1. Your comment about most people getting injured when over-trained is spot on! There are always bright sides and I hope you fall racing season is you best yet. I love the sea turtle theme too!