22 Days and Counting

It’s been a tough month or so since Around the Bay. My troublesome right hamstring took a turn for the worse a few weeks ago when I took a near tumble and strained it causing further injury. I’ve been struggling with myself trying to do the right thing by resting it, but the fear that I’m going to lose everything I’ve done over the past 4 months has kept me from really giving it a good rest. Until finally, this past Tuesday I realized I just can’t keep running through the pain.

Right from the start of that run, my leg felt sore. Worse than usual. I thought that once I warmed up it would feel better. And it did. Not 100%, but the pain that I was feeling gave way to the familiar ache of the last few months and I continued on my way. Slowly. The difference was that I noticed at the end of the run that my right leg, felt as fatigued as it normally would after I run 25-30km. In fact it felt more fatigued that it did after I ran Around the Bay. The thing was, that I had just run 7.6km.

It was then that I had to concede. I have more issues with that leg than I’ve been letting myself believe. I could not deny it any longer. I decided that was it. No more running until after I saw my physiotherapist a few days later where I would need to make a game plan to get me to the start line of my second marathon.

So after another assessment, the plan as it stands right now is lots of calf stretching, light hamstring stretching, physio treatments twice a week and no running. In fact absolutely no activity that engages my hamstrings at all. Not an easy task. I’m hoping that another week and a half of rest along with the physiotherapy will allow me to get in some easy runs for the last 10-14 days before the marathon. We’ll reassess at each treatment to see where I stand.

Right now, the challenges are: trying to figure out how to get in some cardio workouts doing an activity that does not include activating my hamstring, and keeping myself from going completely bonkers. It’s like going through the taper crazies but you’re not supposed to be tapering yet.

To paraphrase something my very wise running buddy Ginny recently said, for the next few weeks I’ll need to control the struggle between the smart and stubborn runners on my shoulders yapping their opinions at me.

If all goes well, the smart runner will win the fight and make it to the race.

Ottawa_Marathon-620x350

Advertisements

A whole different experience

It’s been two months since I’ve written here and a lot has been going on as I continue training for my second marathon.

First off, let’s talk about this ridiculously cold, long winter we’ve been having. I know we live in Canada and it is just part of life, but this winter was exceptionally cold with more extreme cold weather warnings issued than ever before. A big part of the cold were these crazy strong winds that have been whipping around and have literally lifted me off the ground on two separate occasions. All that being said, I’ve had to move a run or two around, but the weather has not caused me to miss any runs.

Mike and I took a trip to Florida for an extra, extra long weekend in February. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending how you look at it) they also experienced a cooler than normal winter this year. The heat and humidity weren’t as bad this time and I was able to get in all the runs I planned which was great.

IMG_0363

13km in Miami Beach on a cloudy day

I started training with the Running Room Marathon Clinic again in January. The coaches this season are great, the members of the clinic are very supportive and I’ve made a few new friends as well.

The clinic is especially important to me because my training buddy, super-sad my biggest motivator, has  had to back out of this marathon due to injury.  Although she’s had to drop out, I’ve had her continued support as well as the support of the rest of the ladies I run with, and there are times when I have a buddy or two join me on some of my runs, but for the most part I’d be running on my own without the support of the clinic.

Next weekend is the traditional Around the Bay 30k Road Race which I will be running as a training run as I move toward the ultimate goal of the Ottawa Marathon. I’m running with two of my buddies with a few more cheering us on from the sidelines. This will most likely be the last long run with friends (who wants to run 30km++ when they’re not training for a marathon?) before I have to really dig deep within myself and start mentally preparing for marathon race day.

IMG_0425

Now, two months into training, I’ve settled into a routine. The long runs are getting longer and in preparation for the marathon, I’m going to try and do some of the really long runs completely solo. I’m a back of the packer, so being out on the course for over 5 hours on my own, I really need to be able to enjoy my own company. Or, at the very least, keep my mind occupied with happy thoughts. To that end, I’m looking to increase my running play list and fill it with some great, upbeat, 80’s and 90’s music. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

I’m going to Ottawa!

So apparently I’ve been bitten by the marathon bug. What was supposed to be my “tick off the bucket list one and only marathon” has become my “first marathon” and this year promises to be another busy one with a lot of plans in the works already.

So far I’ve signed up for Around the Bay 30k on March 29th and I’ve also committed myself to the Ottawa Marathon on May 24th. I’m not sure which came first but they actually fit really well together. The training program I’m following has a 29km run scheduled for March 29th so I’ll probably try and run that race as a training run. Hey, if you have to run 29km, you might as well do it in a race with a few thousand people right?

I’m really excited to be running Ottawa as my second marathon. The Ottawa Half Marathon was my second half marathon which I ran in 2012 and I really loved it. 389656_437145026303140_1622318527_n The city makes a whole weekend of it with races in the 2k, 5k and 10k distances on Saturday afternoon/evening and the half and full marathons take place on Sunday morning. A ton of people come out to participate, and to watch all the races. The course is nice, has pretty great crowd support and has sponge stations. That’s right, sponges filled with cool water just when you need them! Hopefully that hasn’t changed from a few years ago.

Training officially began this past weekend. I’ve been keeping a good base since Chicago, so I’m hoping it’ll be fairly easy to get back into the swing of the 5 day a week running schedule.

I do expect that I’ll have some challenges. Not so much with the winter training. Though I may complain about it at some point, and I am definitely not a winter person, I prefer to run in the winter rather than in the heat of the summer.

The challenges will be in getting the night time training runs in during the week. Hopefully I’ll be able to make it home in time to head to my run club meet-ups so I’ll have someone to run with. I’m fine with running alone, and in fact enjoy a peaceful solo run. But night time running is always safer in a group.

The other challenge will be getting my miles in during a five day trip to Florida in February. We took a similar trip at the same time of year a couple years ago and after training in the cold air, the humidity kicked my butt. I had a hard time running even 5km. The schedule has an 8km, a 6km and a 13km run that weekend.

Whatever challenges come my way, I know that staying focused on my goal, will help me to face them head on.

Look out Ottawa, here I come!

DSC04605

A few km into the Ottawa Marathon – May 2012