Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sticking with Philly...Just a Few more Weeks!

I have ultimately decided to stick with the Philadelphia Marathon as my goal race.  It's amazing what two weekends of no racing will do to make me feel better.  My left leg continues to occasionally be troublesome; I've concluded that it is 100% muscular.  Whether something is strained, or just tightening up on me, I can keep it at bay with heat and compression.  If I stop for a couple of days, I get bad tightness in my inner left thigh.  I can also tell my left quad, hamstring, and glute tend to tighten up before my right leg on longer runs.

Hopefully a sports massage (which I have never had done before) will clear it up.  In the meantime, this was an interesting week so far....

     AM: 4 miles, easy.
     PM: 10.5 miles total, mostly easy.
     Legs were still sore from Saturday, though after each run, they felt a little better.  I had no tightness issues

     Early PM: 50 mile bike ride, relatively flat, easy pace
     Evening, Track workout (~8 miles total with w/u, c/d): 3200, 400, 2x100 stride, 800, 1600, 400.  At least I think that is what it was.  I nailed it pretty well with the 3200 at 5:30 pace and the 1600 near 5:20 pace.
    The soreness had subsided substantially by this day.  Unfortunately, the bike did not agree with me very much and left my lower back rather sore.  I don't know if it's because my legs were already tired, or if something about my riding position has changed, but I've been all of a sudden getting a lot of lower back pain lately.  For now, I'm going to stop riding the bike all together until after Philly.  With the end of the Duathlon season, I can really focus everything I've got left into the marathon.
     I could feel my left quad tighten up a bit later that night, and by Wednesday/Thursday/Friday, the pain was back.

Wednesday: 4 miles, easy
Thursday: 5.3 miles, easy
Friday: 3 miles, easy

I eventually discovered that heat/compression do the trick to clear the pain up.  Once I started doing that hardcore on Friday, I was good to go by the afternoon, but still opted to not push it any further.  The tightness gets substantially worse if I stand in the cold, as I found out Friday.  After being outside 20 minutes after my run ended, I literally could not step off the curb.  I know it wasn't just the easy runs that did the trick, because it was only getting worse until I finally applied the right mix of treatment.

Saturday: 22 miles @ 6:30AM.  I was really glad my leg cleared up, because I was looking forward to this run.  Thanks to my new connections with the faster people in Baltimore, I was set up to do a long run with someone else also looking to run around a 2:40-2:42 marathon in NYC, so we both had a similar pace.

We started at Sparks Elementary, ran 2 miles on the roads, and then hit the NCR Trail just as the sun was coming up.  We didn't skip a beat and started off at 6:45 pace.  I usually start in the 7:20s, so it was nice to get going sooner.  The miles also go by when you have more company than your own voice (no headphones for me!!).

Ultimately, my bowels conspired against me (not sure why this is happening to me more now than it used to), so I couldn't quite keep up over the last few miles, but i ended up with a 6:14 average per mile.  1 week after a marathon, with no water (by design), and no food during the run (because I'm an idiot), is damn well good enough for me.

This is just what I needed to prove to myself that I have the capability to maintain 6:07 or better for a full marathon.  Doing it after having only done a 14-15 mile run the week before, with water and food (stingers, the next attempt at finding what works) should be a hell of a lot easier!

Tomorrow will probably just be an easy 7ish miles.  The total mileage for the week will be a bit low, but with my splits, its hard to justify needing more miles.  I'll skip a 20+ mile run next week (26.2 and 22 back to back is certainly enough) then do one more the first weekend in November if my body cooperates.

1 comment:

  1. Although I didn't chime in last post, I think you made the right call. Keep up with the recovery practices-I find sports massage and compression of all sorts to be my lifeblood.

    Have a strong rest of your training cycle!