Weeks Ten, Eleven and Twelve: the final push and taper

I got behind again, I know: forgive me. I really have no excuses.

Week 10:

Monday: 50 min. easy cycling

Tuesday: Plan – 1.25 mile warmup; 4×1600 @ 7:37-7:48 with 800m jog rests; 1.25 mi cooldown (total: 8 miles)

Actual: 1.25 mile warmup with Nerdy Boyfriend, then ran easy another 2.75ish, and walked about 2.5-3 miles around the track while NB rocked his mile repeats.

Pilates class in the p.m.

Wednesday: 5K with Dean! Actually was a little shy of 3.5 miles.

Thursday: rest day, with some stretching, foam rolling and icing of my uber painful IT band

Friday: another rest day, more stretching – did some yoga/pilates/sideline series to work out the kinks.

Saturday: feeling about 95-98% back to normal, but took one more rest day before…

Sunday: 12 mile (rainy) long run

As you can see, week 10 did NOT go according to plan. I skipped a ton of workouts, hardly cross-training at all. My IT band was really sore after the 11 miler the previous Sunday and as we did our long warm up on the track Tuesday morning, I knew it was a no-go. I might have been able to push through it, and maybe the fast repeats would have gotten ride of some of the tightness, but I honestly didn’t want to push my luck. So I jogged easy and then just kept walking around the track, occasionally stopping to stretch. I gave NB my Garmin to track his paces (I think he liked it) and he totally kicked ass, which goes to show that his training paces are WAY faster than mine and I am a selfish boob for making him run with me. (well, okay, really only about 30 sec/mile faster, but still)

Despite my better judgment, I ran the “5K” with Dean Karnazes the next day anyway. It was super muggy but otherwise a nice day, and I had SUCH  good time. I want to write a real report for this, so I’m going to hold off. Hopefully it won’t take me three months to get to it. I know I suck at this running blogging thing. By the end I actually felt OK – the easy run (I didn’t push AT ALL) seemed to help with the tightness. I then took three full days off, only doing some yoga/pilates stretching, sideline series and a TON of foam rolling and icing. By Saturday I was feeling almost back to normal, but decided to wait one more day.

I was home in Ohio for the weekend, attending a friend’s bridal shower, so I did my 12 miler from my dad’s house. It was raining pretty hard for a good bit of it, but it’s good to get used to that. I actually did pretty well. I was an idiot and forgot to turn autolap back on since the Tuesday track workout so I didn’t have my mile splits, but my average was dead on where I needed to be, considering I had felt stiff at the beginning and had just taken several days off.

After the run, though, the pain returned with a vengeance. This was not helped by the fact that it was come-back-from-run-shower-put-on-nice-clothes-drive-an-hour-sit-for-three-hours-carry-stuff-drive-two-more-hours before I got home. I didn’t put heels on right away, instead rocking flip flops. I wore compression socks while I was in the car and pulled them off and put them back on each time I got in and out. I was in severe pain at the shower, but luckily didn’t have to move around much (which in itself I”m sure didn’t help. Sitting on your ass after an almost two hour run is NOT ideal).

Week Eleven:

Monday: rest day

Tuesday: 3 miles easy (flip-flopped the schedule to make my tempo run on Thursday); pilates in the evening

Wednesday: 10 min. erg warmup + 10 min. bike warmup; arms/legs combo workout (no squats, IT band still hurting a bit); pilates sideline series; stretch & roll

Thursday: 6 miles; 1 mile warmup + 4 miles @ tempo + 1 mile cooldown (epic fail. I”m not sharing my splits. They sucked. I was only on pace once, and even that was way slower than I’d been rockin’ previously, when running with NB. I psyched myself out. Completely)

Friday:  30 min. easy elliptical (rather than 3 mile easy run) worked out the kinks

Saturday: total rest day

Sunday: 5K walk for the cure

I had to take it pretty easy this week. It was two weeks out from race day, and had a quality workout scheduled which I clearly failed at. I just let myself get psyched out, honestly. I also ran in the afternoon (it was 37 DEGREES in the morning, with frost on the ground. Eff that noise) and it was quite warm and humid, and I was tired from work and sitting at a desk all day, so that didn’t help. The original training plan had me running the 12 miler this Sunday, but I didn’t want the last long run to be a mere week before race day, so I was going to do 8 or something. That of course never happened, and instead I did the 5K walk for Race for the Cure for my friend and co-worker Lara. I met her friend Shannon, who used to work in the New York office of our company. She was super nice. We had a really good time, and it was really inspiring to walk this a week out from  a race for which I’d raised funds for the cause.

Week Twelve: taper taper taper

Monday:5 miles easy (this was my last “long” run. I obviously didn’t stick to my idea of doing an 8 miler Sunday, and thought it would be too much by Monday. Mostly, I like sleep, and rest, and tapering)

Tuesday: evening pilates class (kicked my ASS)

Wednesday: 10 min. erg warmup; then arms and abs workout; stretch/foam roll

Thursday: Plan: short track workout; .75 mi warm up; 2×1600 with 800 jog rest; .75 mile cool (total: 4 miles)

Actual: was thwarted by CMU graduation set up and instead did 4 miles of hill repeats. It SUCKED.

Friday: easy 2 miles (apparently this was not the plan. I was supposed to do this on Tuesday. Oops)

Saturday: I CAN SEE INTO THE FUTURE. Tomorrow will be a rest day + race expo + final carb-y healthy dinner with NB and my mom

Sunday: RACE

I totally threw everything out the window this week. I moved my “long” run to Monday and shortened it a bunch (though to my credit I picked a super hilly route), then only did pilates on Tuesday. It was a REALLY rough class but I left feel really great, in that fatigued-but-strong way.

I haven’t been lifting much lately, so I really burned myself on Wednesday, and it felt really good. I was decently sore for the next day or two (finally feeling normal today… I think) so it was definitely a success. This morning I did an easy 2 on what was supposed to be a rest/XT day (oops) but oh well – it actually felt good.

The soreness is still there, but it’s a lot less and it’s way more intermittent. I’m being way more diligent about stretching post-run, as well as doing active stretches to warm up before each run. I’m icing, stretching and foam rolling through the day and evenings. Since my track workout got scrapped and I had to to hill repeats, I knew I had to be careful about soreness: I wore compression shorts and socks under my work clothes all day and felt a lot better by evening, and the two miler this morning also helped get rid of some lactic acid.

At this point, there’s nothing left to do, training wise. I’ve been carbo loading all week: I’ve made batches of brown rice pasta (I’m not gluten intolerant, but my mom is, so I’ve cut down on the amount of gluten I take in, just in case, by eating rice pasta instead, since pasta is a staple food for me. It tastes the same, IMO: the cooking time is different, and it smells like rice, but it’s still delicious) and mashed potatoes. I’m getting Italian tonight with a friend, and tomorrow I’ll be making quinoa.

Great news is: my mom is coming into town for the race. I’m really excited about this. She’ll sort of be crewing for me, and taking pictures with my camera if all works out well, though I realize this is a HUGE race and it may be hard to do. Hopefully not, as she’s probably going to be standing around in the rain a bit. Did I mention rain is in the forecast for race day? *sigh*

Not so great news: NB may or may not be able to run. Several weeks ago he was having shin issues, and decided to switch back to shoes he’d used previously (the store we went to had put him in stability shoes rather than motion-control, and he’s flat footed). It seemed to solve the problem after a while, but then his other ankle started hurting him. He iced and rested and did the elliptical a lot. While I was doing my rainy 12 miler in Ohio, he felt well enough to do a 10K with our friend Rob. He ROCKED it, with about a minute PR, but was limping after the race, and there was significant swelling over his ankle bone (no bruising). At the end of the week he was able to get in to see a physical therapist, who said the ankle bone was actually slightly out of place, and was able to slide it back in. He told him to take time off, ice, rest, and see if he could run an easy two miles the next Tuesday (this week) and if that was okay, try three miles easy on Thursday. He said the Tuesday run felt okay but not great, and a little swelling returned the next day. More icing, and he tried running Thursday: about the same. As far as I know (he’s in Atlanta with his fam) he hasn’t had a reccurence of swelling, but I”m not positive. His dad and a family friend, both athletes, said the ligaments were probably still healing. The PT guy had said he had really put a lot of strain on the muscles with the ankle bone being slightly of place, so that was what the pain and swelling was about.

We might be making a decision at the last minute. I”m picking up his bib number tomorrow at the expo, since he doesn’t return to Pittsburgh until the evening, around dinner time. I really want to run this race with him, and he’s worked so hard, but I’d also rather see him live to run and race another day, injury-free, than risk worsening an injury now. Hopefully everything works out for the best.

To anyone and everyone racing this weekend, a big GOOD LUCK! And remember: have fun. It’s a sport, not a life or death scenario. Set goals, but remember you’re just getting out there to have a good time and stay healthy.

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I'm a 30-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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