Tag Archives: Marathon Training

Is it an Injury?

A runner in motion | happyfitmama.com

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably saw me mention that Tuesday was my first run in four days.

I purposely took some time off because I was questioning…Is it an injury?

Let’s back up. Two Saturday’s ago, I ran 16 miles. I felt pretty good through all of it. Mariette and I did stop a couple of times to stretch. I’m not sure if it was during one of those times or after Sunday’s easy run, I began to feel like I pulled or strained something in my right upper calf/inside of my knee. A downside of being super flexible – you can get way too deep into a stretch! It didn’t hurt to the touch. It never swelled. Never bruised. I didn’t even feel it all the time. I could run on it for the most part. It was at certain times when my heel dropped lower than my toes, I felt it. Marathon training leaves you sore and stiff but this was different.

Like the stubborn runner that I am, I ran Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday even though my calf was feeling like this. Part of me was thinking I shouldn’t run at all. It was a cut back week in training after all. But then my irrational fear of NOT running takes over. I’m going to lose everything I’ve gained! I knew I wouldn’t lose all of my running fitness in four days but when it comes to injuries, I have a tendency to exaggerate and think the worse. We have a history after all.

Plus I like to live in the land of Denial…if I don’t acknowledge it, it’s not there.

Since this pulled/strained feeling wasn’t any better by Saturday, I told myself I needed to take some time off from running in hopes that it would clear up. I reasoned that it’s better to do it now rather than have it exacerbate into something bigger later in training which might jeopardize marathon #1 entirely.

Even though I’ve had to take time off from running before and have not had to wake up early for a long run on the weekend, it was the strangest feeling. Even Ron commented on it. The day seemed so long! I felt restless all day. What do I do with myself?

I’m very proud to say I stuck with my plan of not running for four whole days. I did some yoga, rode my bike and iced like it was my job. No problems. Tuesday morning rolled around and I was ready to run. Ironically, just as I was stretching out my legs before getting out of bed, I got a wicked big cramp in my left calf. I jumped out of bed and worked it out but it left a knot for some time. Seriously? Is the universe trying to tell me something?

The run went well. I didn’t feel the same strain/pull as last week. I took it at an easy pace and just ran for fun. It felt wonderful to be back to doing what I love. I’m not sure if what I was feeling was really an injury but I’m glad I took the time off. Lesson learned – you can take some time off from a training plan and get right back into it without any problems! Fingers crossed that this was just a fluke and I won’t be dealing with this issue anymore.

Oh and the knot in my right calf went away too.

Thank you universe!

Have you ever taken time off from a training plan because of fear of an injury?

Are you a stubborn runner?

4 Tips to Survive a Long Run

Over the weekend I did my first 14 miler since May. A lot has happened in those five months – no running for 6+ weeks, a nagging foot injury that doesn’t seem to like to stay in one place and a few shorter distance races. While I’ve been doing 10 milers and one 12 miler last month in preparation for my next half marathon in November, this seemed like my first true long run in quite some time.

Early Fall Morning - happyfitmama.comInstagram pic from Sunday’s run. It’s just too pretty not to share.

When I stated out on Saturday, I didn’t even really think too much about the distance. Fourteen just doesn’t seem that long to me anymore (famous last words). There was a time when I thought 8 miles was outlandishly long. Isn’t it funny how marathon training can skew your perception of distance for life? Originally I had hoped to run with a running group but then I remembered that this weekend was full of big races that the majority of my friends were running (Way to go Dana!). So I opted to run solo. My plan was to run a 7-8 mile loop in one direction, pit stop at my house for water/Gu, followed by another 6-7 miles in another direction.

The first 7 miles flew by. I was feeling good and abiding by the rules of LSD (long slow distance) running. I wanted to keep it easy and hopefully finish the last miles faster. I made it to my house at mile 6.5, grabbed some water/Gu and was off again to finish a little faster.

Well those last 7.5 miles were painful! Not because I was physically in pain but mentally pained. My mind was all over the place. I swear the distance on my Garmin was slowing down despite my pace picking up. One mile felt like ten! I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy to be finished just because of mental boredom. My mental toughness is definitely out of shape when it comes to long runs!

So I started thinking about ways to survive (and thrive) during a long run when you are ready to poke your eyes out from boredom.

Tips to Survive Long Runs - happyfitmama.com

  1. Pick a new/favorite route – I should have gone with my first plan of running the infamous New Castle loop along the seacoast. It’s one of my favorite routes and one I haven’t done in months. A change will do you good. At least that’s what Sheryl Crow says.
  2. Run with a friend – Running with a friend or group makes the time pass much quicker. You talk about everything including all the fun #RunnersProblems we’ve all experienced.
  3. Listen to music – I very rarely listen to music when I run outside (on the treadmill it’s a whole different story). But when I do, it keeps me entertained for those middle miles when the ‘newness’ of the run is gone and the finish line is still far away.
  4. Break up the miles – Don’t focus on the final mileage goal. Instead break it up into smaller segments at a time. I could have broke my 14 miles down into run the first 4 easy, the next 6 at RP and the last 4 easy. It makes the long run go by quickly because you are focused on the segment instead of the entire distance.

I also really like Cori’s idea of writing down certain things that you want to think about for each mile you run. Wish I would have remembered to do that before my run on Saturday. Check it out if you haven’t already!

I’m linking up with Katie for MIMM because it’s going to be a long week!

What are your tips for surviving a long run?