Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rollin', Rollin', Rollin'

I don't know if any of you have looked at your calendars lately, but if you haven't noticed, race day is just 4 weeks away... 4 WEEKS!

With the exception of a few missed days, I've done surprisingly well at sticking to my training schedule.  When I mentally prepare for my long runs, I am less worried about getting through the run itself, but more so with how I know I'm going to feel afterward.

Two weeks ago I did 9 miles and when I was done I was physically drained.  Stamina wise (heart and lungs), I felt like I had more in me, but physically, my body was out for the count for the remainder of the day.  During the run, at about mile 8, the arch in my left foot and my hamstrings were screaming at me! I pushed through the pain, and when I got home I iced the you-know-what out of my legs! By morning, they were fine and I had my energy back.

Fast forward to 5 days ago... I did 8 miles at the track with two of my girlfriends and I felt like complete mess.  I had blisters on my feet, not from my amazing Nike Free's (best shoes EVER), but from my work shoes (yes, I'm the teacher who wears heels to school--I can't help myself).  I think the blisters were causing me to run funny, because all of a sudden I started to get a pain in my left knee that I haven't experienced since I began running.  I wanted to give up at mile 7, but Carly helped push me to the end.  Thanks, Car! Anyway, after my run, my left hip flexor was hurting so badly that I could hardly walk.  No joke, I was gimping around the house all day.  I iced it any time I was stationary, and lucky for me, the pain was gone in time for me to go to work the next day.

Sunday was a 10 mile training day; my longest 'long run' so far.  I knew that if I could do 9 with relative ease (as easy as one could claim running 9 miles to be...), that I was sure to be able to handle 10. After all, what's one more mile, right?  HA!


If I thought my 8 day on Thursday was rough, boy was I in for a surprise on Sunday.  I was a disaster! I still had blisters, and just like 2 weeks prior, the arch in my left foot was hurting again.  Also, just like 5 days prior, my left knee was still hurting.  This time, though, it was so bad I was actually wincing in pain! But... because I hate feeling like a failure, I pushed through the pain.  I made faces and grunted and groaned through it all, but I finished my 10.  And to top it off, I was at the gym.  I'm too afraid to run alone where I live, and the college track is closed on Sunday's; so there I was, flying my freak flag at the gym! (And you all thought I cared about what people thought about me...)

During my water and Gu Energy Gel (which I can't stand, btw) break, I texted Carly to get advice on what to do about my knee.  Aside from icing (which I almost always do), and stretching (something I was guilty of skipping until recently), she told me that I needed to stretch my tibialis anterior (the muscle on the outside of your shin) and to foam roll my legs after each run.  So, I foam rolled my whole body when I was done and had no pain in my legs for the remainder of the day!  I was even less tired than I was after my run on Thursday-imagine that!

The arch of my foot is still hurting; however, which upon researching I'm getting the impression that it's connected to the knee pain and tibialis anterior muscle.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Yesterday was a 'rest' day, so I didn't run, but I did do The 99 Workout (I subbed the 11 minute run at the end for a set of 11's).  Today after work I have to run 3 miles, so we'll see if that stretching and foam rolling paid off based on how my knee is feeling... I'll keep you posted.

Lessons to take away from today's post: 

1. Don't predetermine the outcome of future runs based on previous ones.  No two runs are the same--they are all different. 
2. I might look like a crazy person, but "at least I'm doing it" (name that TV show/character)!
3. GU Energy Gels are gross.
4. Nike Free's are amazing (and I need a new pair). 
5. Get a foam roller or utilize the ones at the gym. 
6. "Pain is nothing compared to what it feels like to quit." ~Danyale George

I hope you all had a fun, relaxing, healthy Labor Day!


1 comment:

  1. When you wear high heals it shortens your calf muscles and keeps your ankle constantly flexed...then it affects the knee and hip. It's that damn kinetic chain. Keep foam rolling the calves, anterior tibialis, IT band(side of leg) and quads and include some hip stretches and calf stretches after foam rolling! Also, try messaging your arch and whole foot on a small ball(golf ball, etc.) =) Foam rolling is my best friend!