Life over the last couple weeks has really started to get in the way of marathon training. I currently moving and need to be out the current property so this week (after Monday’s long run) I have been packing, tidying, physio and genuinely busy. I managed to get out for a recovery/small run over the weekend but it’s been a pretty unproductive week in terms of running. I got out and done just under 5 miles. My legs did feel a bit heavy and my knees even though they didn’t hurt felt more uneasy than Monday’s run. I think I am slacking on the rolling and stretching really so I will have to up the amount of time I spend on those bits. Hopefully can get a double figure run in this week before my marathon week (eek!). Fingers crossed.
The day had come. I had to get out and attempt my longest run of yet. I was aiming realistically at 18 miles. It is 4 miles more than my last long run and I was sceptical of my knee and ankle. I decided I was going to go out for 3 and half hours whether I had to walk a lot or not.
I started my run really not fancying it (then again most of my long runs I don’t fancy doing before hand). The only thought I had in my head was
“If you don’t get to 18 miles today, you’re screwed”
I plugged away and before I knew it I was at 5 miles. I had a phone call which lasted 10 minutes which took me to 6 before I’d even knew it. Around my area there’s a lot of hills and for the next 2 and half miles it was all flat, it felt really good to be on constant ground for once. At 8 miles I headed back on a different route. So far the knees felt great, no twinges, no aches or pains. HAPPY DAYS!
I got to the half marathon mark just shy (30seconds) of my Colchester time, I was gutted as I had a few busy roads to cross and definitely lost a minute or so in time on that front so I would have nipped my half marathon PB had I got across quicker but never mind, PBing wasn’t on the agenda today. I was starting to tire and I was only at 13 miles. At the 14 mile point I decided to take a little stretch. My right leg was starting to cramp up a bit going up and down the hills. I then got to 16 miles just before the 3hr mark. I was going to be out another half hour max. My legs were cramping a lot more now and my drink had been Gone for 2 miles. At 16 I was passing my flat so i called in advanced to Rachel and got her to meet me en route to grab a drink. I again stopped for about 2 mins having a stretch and bit of drink. I decided to do 2 laps of my block and that would take me to 18 miles. The cramping did kick in a lot more but I did jog then walk then jog to get round. I am so relieved I finished the 18miles and I think I could have got to 20 pretty easy but I didn’t push my luck. Plus it was getting late and cold. Very happy with this run and definitely feel a lot more confident in finishing the marathon.
Since my last post I have been doing exactly what the physio said. I have been rolling my legs, doing the exercises and also stretching. I decided on Saturday to go for a little run to see how my legs are doing. I was planning on a long run, but had the birthday of a friend in the afternoon, playing foot golf (Google it, it’s great) and out all night. So I decided against it. I hit the roads and in the end went for around 5 miles. The run felt good, my knee didn’t feel bad (only done 5 miles though, previous run my knee went around 7) but my ankles did feel a little sore. I am still certain this is due to my flat footedness and hopefully I can push through it for the race (which is now only 3 weeks away).
I also have purchased the Garmin 10. A budget GPS watch. Personally I think it’s amazing! It does exactly what I want it to do. This 5 mile run was a little tester and it works perfectly. The amount of data I can view online is great. I now have the iPhone app to view my data and also when you log in on a computer it’s even better. I’ve attached some screen shots from my iPhone app to show you the data from the run.
The reason behind the 2 different stats between my phone and watch was I started my Nike app. Then after a minute I realised I hadn’t properly started the watch. I started the watch but didn’t re-start my phone app. The only slight worry I have for the garmin is that the battery life States that it only lasts for 5 hours on GPS. If I have a slow marathon I will not get all my data which is a shame. We will see.
I was going to do my long run on Sunday (yesterday) but as I got in at 4am and had minimal sleep I opted against it. My feet ached from being on them all day too so probably wouldn’t have got far. So tonight is going to be my long run. So expect another update tomorrow. I am also going to try the new Adidas running app out tonight to see if that is any better than the Nike app. So I’ll let you know.
So with my knee problems and with only 24 days to go till the marathon I decided to get myself to the physio. I got there and instantly he noticed my flat feet. He mentioned that could be the root cause. He done some examining of my knee and felt some fluid. Also he said my knee cap was slightly off centre. This causes friction on the knee. I have been told to roll out my outer quad as well as strengthen my inner quads to pull the knee cap over.
The things he mentioned to get me through the marathon are the rolling, lots of stretching, strengthening exercises and taping up. He showed me how to tape my knee up, suggested getting inner soles for my feet and I am going back next Thursday for some deep tissue massage and a full on taping. Going to try a run tomorrow and see how it goes after lots of stretching and rolling tonight. Wish me luck.
It had been nearly a week since my last run. This was due to a couple of factors. 1: my calf was still not 100% and I didn’t want to risk injuring it further. 2: I had my record labels event on Thursday which took up lots of my time along with late finish and lack of sleep. So I decided Monday would be my day to attack another long run. I would be rested, I would eat well and be fully prepared.
I went out and within 1 mile my tape all came off. I had only put it on that morning which I think is the reason it wasn’t stuck properly. I don’t know if it’s a mental thing but by mile two I could feel my left knee getting weak, no pain just weak. Then at mile 2 I also got my calf problems back. The pain it’s right at the top of the calf. I tried a few times to stretch it out. I was expecting to feel pain when stretching but there wasn’t much. I would continue the run an 200metres later it’d kick back in again. I tried my hardest to run it off. I got to 7.35 miles before I had to stop. My knee and calf both just gave up. Luckily i was right near my parents house at the time and I limped to there’s and luckily catched a lift home.
I am sure it is my IT Band that is causing the problem. Some times it’s fine. Some times I get to a certain distance and it gives out. This is scaring me a bit for the marathon as its only 3.5 weeks away and if this happens on race day I won’t get round. It also scares me that I haven’t completed a longer big run yet. I was aiming for 16-18 miles yesterday and had to stop at 7 which isn’t good. I am going to try see a physio / sports masseure this week and try see there response to it all. I will keep you updated.
So again I gave myself a couple days rest after my long run on the 25th. On Sunday I went to see the London Marathon, it got me even more nervous and anxious about the whole marathon thing. I have been reading loads in to it and people are suggestion that you should have hit 18-22miles a few times before the marathon. This is definitely not going to be my case, as I have under 5 weeks left and have the 3 weeks taper period so I have 2 long runs left in me really. I decided to get out yesterday even though I was unsure how my calf would react after Saturdays long run. I got out and decided [probably stupidly] that I wanted to try a speedy run. I wanted to hit every hill with a lot more speed and push myself up them a lot more. It mean’t I stopped a lot but I went pretty fast up the hills. The first 3 miles my calf felt ok, I was definitely conscious of it, but it wasn’t stopping me doing what I wanted to do. I got some heavy legs around mile 4 and decided that I would up the tempo and only do another mile or so. The last half mile back to my flat is down hill so I decided perfect time to get used to speed downhills. Again probably the worst decision I have made as my calf decided that now was the time to give out. I managed to plough through to 5 miles.
My pace was good [9:30 per mile] and if my calf didn’t give out I was sure I would have hit my PB for 10k but oh well! Again I am not going to risk injury under 5 weeks before my marathon. I have woken up today and my calf is really sore. That means my run tonight is cancelled [Was going to aim for a medium/slow run of 8-11 miles] instead I think I am going to sit at home and do some core bits and rest up. I have a busy Thursday and Friday [My Record Labels next event] so no exercise for those days, going to run Saturday and then hopefully hit another long run on bank holiday Monday and try to surpass 15 miles. If I can do that, then try hit 18 miles the following week [My last long run] I will go in to the marathon with a lot more confidence, at the minute that is quiet a longshot so I am panicking constantly about the big day! Fingers crossed I’ll make it round..
I gave myself a couple days rest after the recovery and gym run, before I hit up another long run. I have started to worry about it all in my head. I am worried I haven’t hit the distances I really wanted to at this point. I was hoping to be at around 15-17 miles at this point and even though I have run a few half marathon distances in the last few weeks I am still struggling to find a way to get over that 13 mile slog. My aim today was just to break that 13 mile slog and get over it. The run was going really well. Of recent my half marathon distances have been pipped by my knees totally giving out at around mile 11-12, leaving me with no option but to stop. I know if this was marathon day I would push through it, but I don’t want to cause a massive injury and be out of 2 weeks worth of training. Its not worth it this close to race day. I got to 10 miles and no knee or ankle pain, I was a tad tired but felt great! Then!!!! I felt my calf tighten up, something that hasn’t happened before. It was like a mixture of cramp and a slight pull. I decided to run through it for a bit in the hope it would loosen up, but even though the pain eased a little it was still clear it wasn’t going to go away. I got to 13 miles again and thought it might be time to head home. I decided to go around the block one more mile really slow to get me to 14 miles. I did this mainly as a mental challenge. To get me over this hoodoo of only being able to hit 13 miles. I got to 14 and my calf was throbbing, but at least my knees were ok right?
I done the whole 14 miles in 2:40 by my nike app. I would say I did stretch out and stop a few times and to take a gel or two so It might be worth adding 5-8mins on top of this. But I also done mile 14 so slow it was like a cool down really [17:30 mile] so if my calf wasn’t sore I am sure I would have knocked at least 5-6 minutes off of that time too, so I am going to stick with that 2:40 as the rough time. 11:30 per mile pace. Not the pace I was hoping, but again it was a very hilly run, mile 6 saw a +200ft increase which in my eyes was a massive hill. That mile took me 13minute and the mile after was a slow one at 12:30 too as I was shattered after that. So hopefully I can knock some time off of my 11:30 min per mile pace. Fingers crossed!!