Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it has been far too long since I put some words together and wrote a blog. I’ve had some highs and lows since my last entry. I also thought it would be a good chance to tell you where I’m going to race this fall.
Let’s start with where it all went wrong (I’ll keep it short)
I have to take you all the way back to the first week of February. I had just run a race the week before (Twosome Race – Kingston Ontario). We decided to make it a fun workout (5k warm up, 5k tempo, 5km race tempo, 5km cool down – PM E run) It was a good day. However, the following Sunday was a different story. It was icy and very cold so I took my session onto the treadmill. After the first hour running easy, I progressed to marathon effort for an hour. With 15min left in the session, I felt my left quad tighten. I didn’t pay it any mind. I figured it was just I didn’t fuel well and I that I wouldn’t notice it after stretching.
The next week was brutal. I could hardly hit paces and my leg just felt tight. We decided to use the elliptical for a couple of weeks to let things settle themselves, then get back into running. Boring, Boring, Boring… I ended up doing a long elliptical session that lasted 2.5h. That is something I don’t wish on anyone.
After the couple of weeks on the elliptical, we started running again. I was back up to the 170km+ weeks but didn’t have any power and my stride was very right leg dominant. I was like Zoolander, I wasn’t an ambiturner. I was unable to turn right. I couldn’t produce much power with my left leg because of the strained sartorius muscle. I continued the build because I’m a stubborn person. I trained in full right up until 4 weeks before the Hamburg marathon. It was a shin splint that made me throw in the white towel. The kinetic chain and all of the stabilizer muscles had worked too hard for too long. They needed a break.
After conceding defeat, I took 2 weeks off everything: no running, no elliptical, no biking, no weights… still did some yoga, but just relaxed. It was stressful flirting with the idea of not finishing the race, going all that way just to come back broken hearted. But, it was a good learning experience. The recovery process was 5 weeks with very limited running. I give thanks to Kurtis Marlow (RMT to a number of runners in Kingston) who saw me once a week maybe more during the tough times. He never gave up on the idea of me beating this injury and getting better. And, thanks to Steve Boyd for believing in the dream. I am sure you had to read a few unwelcoming emails! We realized that I couldn’t run fast at the time, but I still had the lungs and heart to run a pretty solid marathon. So, we played on my strengths and not on my injury.
After taking time off and recharging physically and mentally, I came back fully recovered and eager to run again. We gradually built my mileage back up. I started back with an 18km week, bumped it up to 90km, then up to 110 (with the Limestone Half Marathon). I am going to give it to you straight, that 1:11:40ish half marathon was a pretty tough race. The last 8km felt like the end of a marathon. I guess my thinking “fresh off the couch” doesn’t hold true for half marathons.
After that, I hopped into the Kingston Beat Beethoven. I had been having some pretty solid workouts and knew I was going to be right around 24:20-30 for the 8km. The course displays downtown Kingston really well but makes it tough to get in a rhythm. I ended up running 24:32. And, it was a fun race!
Since then I have been making strides to improve fitness. Steve and I have things dialed back in. We would both agree I am the fittest I have ever been going into a marathon build.
Since the body is feeling good and my quad is fully recovered, we decided that a fall marathon would be a great thing to focus on this summer. I had a few different options and places I wanted to race. After some thought and some emailing, I selected the Chicago marathon to be the fall 42.2km. I really like the city and the caliber of runner will be right where I think it needs to run a great race.
I will be tuning up in Flint Michigan for the 10mile (Crim) in August. I think 10 mile races are a great way to look at fitness without shredding the legs like you would during a half. So to Michigan we go!
Thanks for the read and hope to see you on the road!