Last Saturday, after having taken a couple of weeks off, I joined back up with my training group to run 17 miles. It was not pretty. I wore compression sleeves and these helped my leg pain a lot, but my stamina was nowhere near where it had been. Throw in some crazy humidity and I had to run/walk the last 3 miles. It was very discouraging and one of my pace leaders (Alan) suggested that I think about dropping down to the half marathon.
Even worse, I was super sore for several days afterwards. So I focused on preparing for my next long run. Instead of running mile repeats with my group on Tuesday night, I ran an easy 5.5 miles with a few other injured runners. I went to the State Fair on Wednesday and wore my compression socks under my pants. (So stylish!)
Then on Thursday, I got my first sports massage. Holy cow, this massage was like none other I've ever had. The masseuse is also a personal trainer and works with a lot of pro athletes, so she knew what she was doing. She worked so much tension out of my legs and glutes. I took an Epsom salt bath afterwards and the next day still felt like I'd had a hardcore lower-body strength workout. (Full disclosure, I had bruises from where she'd gotten really deep into those muscles!)
Friday morning, Michael and I got up early to go for a run and for the first time in, well, months, I did not feel like I was limping while I ran. My legs were sore, but I still felt good and a few easy miles shook those muscles out.
Saturday morning, I ran with the 4:30 pace group instead of my usual 4:10 group. I missed my teammates but this group was really nice and good to run with. The slower pace was just what I needed and I was able to finish the whole 18 miles. It was an amazing confidence boost!
I feel like I have missed a lot of key workouts (hill repeats and mile repeats) so I have adjusted my marathon goal to "just finish." I think for my first marathon, especially with all the problems I have had, this will have to do.
This week's plan:
Sun 10/21: 25 min yoga (Yoga for Runners podcast)
Mon 10/22: 3 mi easy + power yoga
Tues 10/23: 1 hr run (not sure if I'll tackle mile repeats or take it easy again)
Wed 10/24: 3 mi easy
Thurs 10/25: 60 min run
Fri 10/26: Off
Sat 10/27: 20 mi easy
I am also signed up for a 5K on Sunday 10/28, eep! Not sure how I'll feel about that after having done 20 mi the day before.