Last week I ended feeling a little afraid of running a marathon in early September, this week it feels like a possibility again. I know, I know, you all think I'm crazy... but having polarizing emotions isn't always crazy. Sometimes it's just the way it goes until things become more clear. Last week I ended the week with a touch of shin pain which I historically know wont go away if I keep training through it... so this week was much lighter than I originally wanted it to be but I'm pretty happy with it! Matt and I went on vacation to Colorado at the very end of the week so I mostly just focused on enjoying myself... and shouldn't it be that way?
Monday: Spin Class and PT
I was feeling pretty bummed that my shin was in pain. I had a conversation with my coach about it and about if I should do Erie or not. We ultimately came to the decision that I mentioned last week that we will keep it there because I already paid for it and why not but that we would just train safely and see what happens. Let training dictate the decision to race instead of the decision to race dictate training. I don't need to worry much about doing marathon pace workouts or intervals or gaining speed since I already can hit the paces on easy days... so all that will really get in my way is handling the distance. If I get injured I definitely can't qualify... but if I get even up to 14 miles as my long run I can still take a stab at it (albeit not very smart). I'm hoping I can still use the spin class to build aerobic base since I can't safely run as many miles as ideal.
I pretty much do my hip PT everyday. I try to avoid doing my calf PT before a longer run because I want my calf rested for the run. I usually do it after a long run and take the day before the long run off. I'm making progress! I can do 15 calf raises and I started with 2! Halfway there! (but it's hard!) I planned to go to my moms pool today with the girls, but while getting them ready Maebel knocked over the mirror (that I moved so I could do my PT) and it fell on her and she got a big gash on the back of her head. Panic attack! Thankfully Matt was home so I stuck her in her carseat and sat in the back while I held a cloth to the back of her head while Matt drove. By the time we got to urgent care it has slowed down a lot but I was sooo stressed because we were about to leave them overnight with my mother-in-law for a few days and I felt immense mom guilt. She needed 7 staples (which she handled like a boss) and then the doctor told us she should stay out of Day Care for the next two days.
I was supposed to run today, but with Maebel home it just didn't happen... and I figured an extra day for my shins to rest was probably good. I considered doing the stroller with Maebel but I was still freaked out by the staples and didn't want her sitting with her head back in the stroller. I wanted the wound to close as much as possible before we left for Colorado. I was happy to keep her out of daycare but with this vacation we won approaching we had planned to pack and prep while the girls were in school. Matt had to get ahead on a lot of work stuff, and I had to work... but also had to do all the laundry, pack clothes for the girls, and pack everything for us. So much stuff! So even when Matt came home I just didn't want to squeeze in a run and add to our stress level. I reworked my training schedule to allow more time to run in Colorado (not considering elevation!) because I just love to run on Vacation.
Thursday: 4 Miles 8:40ish
I spent all day packing and cleaning the house and once I had finished I felt like it was a good time to run. I had to bring car seats to my mom and a package that I ordered for my dad to fix our lawnmower... so since I had to drive into Worcester, I just went over to the Fun Run at Sneakerama. I switched back from the lightweight Cloud Flows to the heavier Cloud Ace so that I could have a little more shock absorption for my shins. It helped tremendously! My shins didn't even hurt at all! The shoes are a lot heavier than I typically like but if they keep me injury free I'll run the whole damn marathon in them! I also found out that I will be representing Sneakerama at the Falmouth Road Race. I'm sure you've all heard of it... it's very big... and very hard to get into. I didn't sign up for the lottery because I had been in limbo, but often these bigger races like Falmouth and Boston have numbers set aside that they give to local clubs, or stores, or companies for various reasons (volunteers, sponsorships, donations). So Sneakerama brings a huge group every year and I'm super excited to be part of it! Now if only I can actually run 7 miles!
Friday: 4 Miles at 9,800ft 8:30ish pace
I got 2 hours of sleep Thursday into Friday because our flight was at 5am Friday morning which meant we had to leave at 3:00am which meant I had to get up at 2:30, which meant I'd have a ton of anxiety trying to force myself to sleep, which meant I would toss and turn for the majority of the night.... I thought maybe I could sleep on the plane (direct flight) but I was too excited at that point. Matt and I have never traveled by plane together so it felt really exciting. I listened to a ton of podcasts and actually I did some of my hip drills because I brought my band with me and also brought my foot roller. My legs were throbbing from the lack of sleep, the pressure, and running the night before and not really recovering.... so I was now very anxious about running at elevation. We arrived pretty early in Colorado (9:00ish?) since we were going back in time then we ate what was the best burrito of my life in the airport and got our rental car and drove to Breckinridge. We hit up a grocery store in Fresco and also a Starbucks so we both would survive the rest of the day. I don't do caffeine usually, but I did today! I was in absolute awe of the mountains. They were huge! We've got beautiful mountains in New Hampshire, but these were different. Ours are lots of rocks and granite and trees, but here it was more grass and open.... and snow caps, too! Very cool! When we got to Breckinriedge we saw that the gondola was free so we took it up the mountain. We would typically hike but since most of our morning was travel we wanted to save time and get to the top of the mountain to take in the views in any way we could. Thunderstorms were on the radar for the whole weekend, so I was afraid we weren't going to see anything and if this was our only clear day I wanted to take advantage of it. Once we got down we decided to go for our run on the bike path. I felt okay, but my legs were heavy and the tiniest little incline felt much bigger than usual. I barely noticed the elevation for the majority of the trip, but on this run I was like "aww crap this is hard!"... but at the same time I was getting in a really good effort without high impact since I couldn't run super fast. (although I realized after that my pace was pretty much the same, I attribute that to running with Matt. Even though he always lets me be one step ahead, I usually run faster with him because I don't want to slow him down. We tried to stick our legs in the creek behind the VRBO we had, but HOLY HELL it was way too cold! So we went to the shared pool and hot tub to recover our legs. We went to bed around 10 which is midnight for us, and hoped to wake up feeling really refreshed.
Saturday: 9.5 Hiking/Running miles (about 3 running) Max 12,700 ft of elevation.
We did a Beautiful hike today. Matt was worried about my calves since I was super sore the day before (lack of sleep and travel) so even though I planned to run, we decided to do a long hike instead. Matt picked out a hike that he two destinations. Lower Crystal Lake and Upper Crystal Lake. I think I'm going to write a separate post about this whole experience, so I'll just quickly recap it today.. but wow... what a day of learning and growing for us! The hike was excellent. For the most part, very easy in terms of terrain, compared to what I'm used to hiking (all that granite and roots and rocks was non-existent here), but this hike still offered a challenge. Matt was feeling the altitude sickness creep in so we just walked slowly. He had run more than me the day before, so I think he was dehydrated a bit. but we got to Lower Crystal Lake really easily in about 2 hours. We had the option to just stop there depending on how we felt, or to keep going to Upper Crystal Lake. I felt great so we kept going. This is when the hike got really pretty! The wild flowers and the snow side by side, and the switch backs allowed you to see everything! But there were more and ore sections of snow covering the path. We walked across a few of them and then had to posthole and scramble across one. I didn't like that too much because a. I didn't have gloves and use of hands was safest. It may be July, but snow is still snow. b. If we slipped, which felt likely, we were falling pretty far. The first crossing had mostly grass at the bottom of it so I was like "okay, lets do this" ... but then we approached another crossing and I didn't like our odds. The angle was sharper and there were a few rocks in the middle of the snow below and if we slipped we'd probably be okay but getting out of the area we fell to would be pretty hard. Matt wanted to do it. At this point we were pretty sure where the lake was we could tell there was a crater up ahead. I sat and thought about it. I looked up the path and there was a third area of snow we'd have to cross. I looked at what would happen if we fell there and NOPE. Not doing it. We didn't have poles or gloves, or spikes. we were not prepared. I could tell matt still wanted to do it. Probably we'd be fine. It wasn't impossible... but I promised Raea that "grown ups come back" and I was not going to break that promise or comeback paralyzed. When I said that Matt agreed and we turned back... only to have another couple of groups continue and not fall. I felt guilty and said "fine we can do it" and Matt was like "no you're right, and too late now" and then I was like "your mad at me!" and he was like "I'm not mad, it's just hard for me to not finish something. " It was hard for me too. Really hard. I spent the next hour of the hike back down to Lower Lake feeling sorry for myself.... but then we stopped to eat and I kept looking up at the snow in the distance and saw people coming back. Then I saw one fall. Scary! Matt and I ended up ditching our bags and running to try to help. Everything turned out to be okay. Super scary, but okay... (again, I think I'll write more later on how this whole event shaped the trip). Shortly after our rescue mission thunder was booming and the wind howled. So now we had to run off the mountain. All the other people remaining on the mountain were staying in cabins partway up. We were way at the bottom. We made it to the car before the rain. The rest of the day was low key. Dinner, walking around, checking out shops, ice cream. Altitude was only an issue for me after I ate and so I had to chill after dinner.
Sunday: 35 Mile bike Ride
On Saturday we rented Bikes. I typically spin on Monday so Monday is my cross training day, I moved things around for the trip. Matt and I rented bikes to ride over to copper mountain. We were supposed to stay there but since it was booked we stayed at Breckinridge instead. We wanted to check out what we were "missing." As we rode we got to an intersection that said "bike tour in progress" and people helping us cross. Shortly after we had hundreds of bikes go by us and we realized this bike tour is probably why Copper Mountain was booked. Everyone was riding for a charity. We weren't able to relax on the ride as much as I imagined (my quads were shredded from the run down the mountain) because we really couldn't stop comfortably. Instead we were in a peloton of riders and with our crappy rental bikes, we held our own. We got to Copper Mountain and stopped to eat and realized there was literally nothing to do here except ski and it was a good thing we went to Breckinridge. We got on our bikes and headed back. We stopped for a few pictures along the way since the Bike Tour was over with just a few stragglers still on course. We rode for 3 hours total for the day. At night we got some fantastic tacos and then went up to see a sunset at some lookout Matt read about. He's the planner... I just take the photos. This was our last night in Breckinridge, so we enjoyed it. We knew we were headed for Boulder before our late flight tomorrow so I saved my "long run" run for the lower elevation in Boulder which will be included on next weeks recap. Spoiler Alert! It went fantastic!
So another week in the books. This week gave me lots of hope because my legs are starting to feel like they are adapting. My PT for my hip is really working. It's the first time I am really forgetting it was ever even a thing. I got to see what it's like to run at Altitude. Wasn't really that different for me... Maybe I'm cardiovascularly more fit than I thought! Still not sure about Erie Marathon... but this week I'm feeling like I can do it. We'll see what next week brings!
Welcome to my blog! I blogged my entire pregnancy in 2017 and I had high hopes for where I could take my running after baby number 2, but my body had other plans. At some point I got too discouraged to write and recently realized that it is essential for my personal growth and development to keep putting feelings into coherent(ish) thoughts. I still hope to run sub 2:45 in the marathon one day, but for now I’m trying to focus on the process and I’m learning to enjoy it. You can come along for the ride, apologies in advance for grammatical incorrectness!