Sunday, July 19, 2015

Training: Week 2

We made it to the second week! Yesterday, in the midst of my 5 mile run (we did two of them this week, eek), I was thinking about what to write today. Pretty soon, it became clear I would need to address the tightness and uncomfortable feeling in my right knee and ankle. When I was done running, these feelings turned more into pain, and I am thinking maybe shin splint-ish... if you can kind of have shin splints, I do not know. What I do know is I am determined to care for my body properly so minor pain does not turn into something debilitating to my training. Mainly, I cannot let P outshine me ;)

When I got home from the run I immediately began hydrating. Although I typically stop several times at water fountains along the trails I run on, it is still important to take in a significant amount of water upon finishing. I shoot for 20-24oz or so, especially on these very hot summer days. Something we have been talking about a lot this week (me and P), is running in the heat, yesterday was in the 90s in Chicago and humidity was very high. Denver has had more very hot days this year than Chicago, but it is void of the thick moisture factor. P wonders whether this will be a problem for him come race day, but I reason that the whole altitude thing will still tip the scales in his favor. It's hard to say.

Anyway, while drinking plenty of water I went through a pretty basic yoga flow, one I detailed in an earlier post. I also included pigeon pose which I find to be quite helpful in stretching out tight hips. My goal here is to feel a deep stretch in my calves, hamstrings, and quads. I also do some light flowing before my run. Maintaining diligence here has been essential to avoiding injury thus far. Next, Patrick suggested massaging my shins. I tried, it hurt. But as I gently press on my shins now, I can still notice a bit of sensitivity and think I will try again later today. I spent the rest of the evening with tight wraps around my shins and then soaked my feet in a tub of hot water and epsom salt. This evening I will alternate ice and heat for a few hours while relaxing.

I was so proud of Patrick this week because, in opposition to my week, his started out a little rough and got better. Instead of throwing in the towel he took the initiative to go to the library and find a book about running health. The result was a strong run yesterday despite the heat, and him being the one to encourage me.

Today marks the first day of birthday week for both of us, so we are going to try to avoid all of the sometimes unhealthy behaviors that come along with celebration, maintain healthy eating habits, and stick to the training plan! Wish us luck! (Disclaimer: Imma have a glass a wine or two and eat a big 'ol juicy burger)

As I mentioned above, I felt very good heading into this week, and really felt better this week than last throughout. Unfortunately, I experienced my first post-run pain in my shins yesterday after the run pictured. I am taking care of myself so it does not become a major factor. I plan to do some more reading and research regarding runners care, and injury prevention. Finally, I am proud of my accomplishments already as 5 miles is the most I have run in at least five years, and I did it twice this week! I can't believe it's already week 3, looking forward to it!

My second week of training, like the first, had its ups and downs, (downs and ups?) The achilles pain I mentioned last week was still hanging around and really just getting worse with each run. Halfway through the week I was done. I became very frustrated and discouraged and was ready to take the rest of the week off to let myself rest up. However, with some encouragement from my running partner (she knows who she is ;)), I got it together and realized I couldn't let her have more milage than me at the end of the month. I proceeded to do some research and found that it may have been my form that was the cause of the pain in my achilles. I was landing on my heel with every footfall. Therefore, during my 5 miler Saturday, I applied this new knowledge and focused on striking on my forefoot and the ball of my foot. This little tweak in my form made a huge difference and the pain was basically gone. Also, I took almost a full minute off of my average pace compared to earlier in the week. I am pleased to have ended the second week on a positive note, and now I am looking forward to week 3!

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