Hi Friends! I still consider this week "Week 9: The Last Comeback" But I feel like I've taken a big turn this week and my focus has shifted from focusing on the injuries and the "comeback" to thinking more about my future. I know a lot of people say it, but for me it is more true than ever: BQ or BUST. Literally, if I don't BQ it's because I busted something up again. I feel pretty strongly that I've gotten to the bottom of the injuries. Even my hip I've gotten some answers for but not necessarily a complete solution... improvements are being made for sure! The big thing I learned this week is that I'm not even close to out of the woods with injuries. Trying to balance rehabbing the injuries while increasing mileage for the marathon is not smart... but it's what I want to do. Lots of people may disagree with my choice, but it’s my risk to take and my consequences to weigh and I’ve made my decision- I’m going for it. I'll discuss later in this post when I recap my PT appointment... but when your PT says "you're playing with fire" in regards to running the Erie Marathon in under 10 weeks, you know it's not going to be a smooth ride! But I'm going for it anyway. I am exhausted from the injuries, but I'm also exhausted from being sidelined from the goals that matter to me. I really don't want to wait until 2021 to finally experience Boston.... especially when I'm not sure what my family plans are... I want to keep doors open... so I at least need to try. If I play it safe I wait until 2021... if I risk it I either make it in for 2020 or I get injured and wait until 2021.... So I really would rather risk it since the difference between playing it safe and risking it is essentially the same thing worst case scenario. I don’t think I’m doing long term harm in trying. PR's are nice, but so are experiences.... and I'd rather put PR's on hold and experience the races I haven't had a chance to yet. So here is my first full official week of Erie Marathon training, which is the very last day to secure a BQ.
I started my day with a PT evaluation so I did a lot of things like calf raises and more to failure. The appointment was definitely thorough and getting to the nitty gritty. My glutes actually tested pretty strong, and as a result I think I was looked at more closely than usual. Last time I had my hip assessed the underlying issue that popped up first was a glute issue. Now that I finally have that under control the next layer of this injury could be addressed. This appointment ran over so I was able to schedule one for the following day before I got answers.
Spin Class, 25.3 "miles", 216 Watts (Average)
I'm well aware that "miles" on a spin bike aren't real "miles" but now that I have a few weeks of spinning I can at least compare one effort to the next. This is the most "miles" I've covered in one class. I think miles are measured by revolutions, so if the class has a lot of "hills" it's harder to get the mileage... but on the other hand it's easier to get in the Watts. So I put my main focus into the power because that is the best gauge for how much energy I'm putting out. I usually warm up before class really easy so my average has been in the 160-170 range. This time I warmed up and then let the computer reset so I could get a better idea of how much power I was putting out in the hour. I feel like 216 is pretty damn good! My calf felt a tiny bit tight, but I knew it was from PT. My PT was very concerned about the lack of strength in my calves. Now that I have orthotics, my calves are finally being used correctly, but, wow, I couldn't even do 5 calf raises correctly... no wonder I kept getting injured! Super proud of the effort I put in in Spin. My fitness is there! Just have to get my muscles and bones to adapt!
Today I was given my new drills for my hip and calf. I have general calf raises which I have to do with my orthotics to train the muscles that have been neglected for years. My PT is absolutely beside himself with how weak they are given how much running I was doing. I think I don't use my calves until I'm really tired. I use a lot of hip torque and and core when I run... which is also why my hip struggles so much. Compensation, compensation, compensation! Anyway, my hip issue is a stability issue. the muscles and soft tissue that support and keep my hip in its socket are not stabilizing for one reason or another. I suspect things just got over stretched in labor, but as a result my hip is moving around in the socket too much and sometimes pinching things and other times just moving around and rubbing in the wrong spot. Again, compared to a car with a tire that is not tightened. Rattling, bumpy, and inefficient! It makes sense on why I can never quite pinpoint if it's take off or landing that hurts more. It's BOTH! Just different. I have a bunch of new balance and stabilizing drills to do in addition to the calf raises. I need to be really careful which days I do the calf raises in relationship to my runs. The calf raises themselves are pushing the boundry of what I can do, so the run just adds to the stress. I have to rehab really really intelligently. It's a little stressful.
4.5 Miles. .25 walk, 4 run, .25 walk 8:40ish (Run)
Because I'm still walking for parts of my run, I don't have accurate pace. I'm trying to not care. I know I started in the 9-9:30 range for the first mile but the rest were 8:30ish. I ran next to my husband who pushed the stroller initially and then I took the stroller for the end (the downhill section). I felt really good and a lot of relief over the PT that I have been given. I really truly feel it's addressing my needs more than I ever have before. It's really weird though because the drill I have on my right side is different than the drill on my left side because my legs are both so different (one really tight, one really loose!) But this is the best I've felt since pregnancy! Once postpartum, always postpartum.
WEDNESDAY: 4.5 Miles before Fireworks (.25 walk, 4 run, .25 walk) Run in the 8:10-8:30 range
Matt has to work a Fourth of July 4 miler in Keene NH, so we decided to make a family vacation out of it. We stayed in a Hotel so that Matt could get to the race really easily the next day. I ran on a bike path, it was super sunny... but also a little buggy when I was finishing since the sun was coming down. We went to the fireworks after. 50% of the kids liked them. haha! Raea is predictable with how she responds to loud noises. She always cries at first but usually gets used to it once she realizes she is not going to get hurt... but in the future we might try to watch them further away. We were guests to the town, so didn't really know what to expect. It was still fun leading up to the fireworks and once the crying subsided she liked the colors. Maebel loved it and wont stop talking about it!
I had the day off from running and cross training. I just did my PT drills and enjoyed eating all the food at Matts sisters house, who lives near where the race. The kids got to play with their cousins and friends so it was a really low key day. After wards we headed up to Vermont because, why not?
FRIDAY: 4.5 with a walk and run again. closer to 10:00 with the double stroller
Burlington Vermont is one of our favorite places to run so we spent the day up there and ran on the bike path. It was a bit windy and really humid. The wind is so hard with the double stroller since it just catches all the wind. When I finished I let the girls play in the treehouse and on the playground while Matt got his 12 miler in. We got some pizza together and then learned there was a Balloon Fest a few towns toward home. We went to that. It got a later start than we thought so we had to get another hotel for after the Festival. I have a great memory of a Hot Air Balloon landing right outside my window as a kid, so I was really excited to do this with my girls. They loved it! We are definitely going to plan to do it again next year and have a better hotel situation. As I mapped out in my previous post, getting the right hotel is helpful when staying with kids. We were stuck with a room that wasn'kt anything like what my kids are used to and as a result I lost my shit on my wild and crazy overtired kids. Took me a while to fall asleep coping with mom guilt and I even carried it into the next day.... but all they seem to remember is the awesome balloons, so that's all that matters!
SATURDAY: 5.5 mile run on the Stowe Bike Path (plus some walking before and after.... 6 miles total) 8:20ish pace
I was still feeling stressed and upset about the night before so Matt took the girls for a stroller run so I could run by myself and decompress. I needed it! I loved the run and the new-to-me bike path. It was super crowded though. After the run I sat in the river and cooled off/ showered. We had no hotel room now so I was able to "clean off" enough for the ride home to be less uncomfortable. Thank God the girls fell asleep on most of the ride home and so did I. I was tired.
SUNDAY: Finally HOME! a 4 mile easy run in about 8:40 pace
We relaxed all morning and then around 1:00 got out of the house. We took the girls to a playground near the local rail trail. Matt played with them while I ran, then we traded. We followed up the night with some live music and food at a local brewery that we go to often. My kids are so spoiled. Never a dull day! But Matt and I both get back to the grind tomorrow. I think we are all craving that consistent schedule again.... although I'm not looking forward to work! I'm prepared at least!
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!