Just under five weeks left until Boston. Months ago I planned out an amazing training program for myself. I clipped it to the front of my file folder that sits next to my computer so it would be a daily reminder. A reminder that training runs are a priority and how everything else I hope or plan to do might influence that training and my goal.
I followed the schedule so well for the first four to five weeks, doing the long runs at the proper pace, doing the tempo runs, and doing the speed workouts on the weeks I did not race. I was feeling very confident in my training plan and my ability to execute it.
Then the racing calendar really started to fill in. I realize that I am in control of what races I sign up for but they did seem to creep up on me. It’s hard to say “no” to the trail races (my true passion) and I also wanted to get some fast times on the roads so I knew where I stood. Before I knew it I was racing almost every weekend from late January through mid March. I was feeling pretty strong and almost invincible.
Then on February 13th during a 10 mile trail race my left foot slipped off a root and I twisted my mid and forefoot. It happened around mile 7 or 8 and REALLY hurt but I guess I had enough adrenaline pulsing through my body that I was able to finish fairly strongly. After the race I hopped in the car and during the hour drive home, my foot started hurting like I had tied my shoe way too tight. So I untied the shoe and loosened up the laces yet it still hurt. When I arrived home, I saw how swollen the foot was. After a week of resting, icing, elevating, and no running, I tested it out on a ten mile training run on the trails near my house.
With that week off I was concerned about the Gasparilla 8K on February 27th and worried how the missed training was going to affect me at Boston. I decided to wear my training shoes instead of racing shoes for the Gasparilla 8K and ended up second overall female with a new PR. I guess that week off was a nice recovery for me!
The following week I was back on track with the Boston Marathon training plan which included a 20 miler, some hills, a 15K trail race, and a tempo run. Also throw in there standing for hours and hours at track meets and track practice each day. So my left knee and both lower legs in the tibial tendon/shin area started to hurt a bit. Now I’m worried again that I’m not going to be able to finish all my training for Boston or even worse, end up injured on the starting line.
After three days of rest I debated whether to run the Sarasota Half Marathon on March 13th. It was a tough decision but I ended up running. I think that was why my mile splits for the first nine miles were so erratic. I was not able to go into the race with a solid plan. Once I hit mile nine, I put the hammer down, mostly out of frustration of the inconsistent first nine mile splits. My last four miles were my fastest and most consistent in 6:59, 7:03, 6:54, and 6:51.
This week I am still in recovery mode from that race. One easy three mile run, a spin class, strength training, a massage, and acupuncture. Now I feel ready to jump back into the training plan on Friday with a 10 mile run at goal marathon pace.
I have not trained on this fine line in a very long time. It is exciting and scary at the same time. My goal now with less than five weeks to go is to stay healthy. It’s a lot more difficult than it sounds. I also want to be race ready on April 18th so I can really race at Boston. Between now and then I have to get in those hard training runs, but I will have to do it carefully by getting enough sleep, eating right, taking a recovery day when I feel that ache or pain, and doing the necessary body maintenance of massage and acupuncture. Training is definitely a balancing act and my goal is to do it without slipping off that fine line.
With a little luck and some common sense, I’ll be fine.