I have to start off by saying thank you to everyone who commented on my post on Monday, I was having a minor meltdown and all of your comments and encouragement really made me feel better! I’m still in a little bit of meltdown mode (I may have even cried over this last night) but I am feeling a little bit better. No matter what I’ll be at that starting line on December 9th and that’s really all there is to it.
So what exactly have I done in the past few days? Well if you thought some soreness and a break from running would slow me down then you were wrong, oh so wrong! On Monday I actually spent 3 hours at the gym after work and it was exactly what I needed. I wouldn’t necessarily call the gym my ‘happy place’ but it was definitely good for my mind and soul on Monday night. I took advantage of those 3 hours and really just let myself sweat out all my angst and frustration. I spent 40 minutes on the elliptical just taking it easy but getting my blood pumping. Then I took a spin class that I really enjoyed and followed that up with BodyPump. I left the gym tired and content.
On Tuesday I went to my usual BodyPump class but I also added yoga class after that. I figured that I needed some good stretching and this seemed wise to me. I did do a mile warm-up run on the treadmill before BP because I was anxious to see how it would feel; it was painful but not horrible and I made it a whole mile, slowly that is. Yoga was great and again I left the gym feeling content.
I went home Tuesday night and spent 20 minutes icing my left hamstring because at this point this was still a minor nagging pain. After I iced I spent 40 minutes doing thorough foam rolling on my legs. My calves and inner thighs were the sorest and needed the foam rolling the most. After foam rolling I iced my hamstring for 20 more minutes.
I am still waking up most morning pretty sore and it takes me a good 20 or so minutes to get moving fully and yesterday was no exception. But I was prepared to run after work and I was anxious to get out there. During the day I would say my legs feel around 90% better. This feeling is very odd to me because it’s not your typical muscle soreness and I definitely don’t feel injured, I just don’t feel 100%...
For my run last night I had a 4 minute tempo run set and I knew there was no way I was doing a tempo run, I wanted 4 easy miles and I would be super happy with that. I wore my compression socks in hopes that would help some. I definitely felt better on this run than I did Sunday when I tried to run and I would venture to say I felt better than I did at the Turkey Trot, but once again, I’m still not 100%. I put on DailyMile that my quads and hamstring feel 99% better, and in fact that lingering left hamstring problems seems to be fine and worked out. But oh my goodness gracious are my calves a mess! My calves were on fire most of that run, therefore my shins hurt some and I’m having this weird right ankle pain (on the outside portion). So basically if I could chop my legs off at the knees I’d be golden!
I did make it 4 whole miles in 43 minutes (better than I was hoping for and I made myself slow way down from what I wanted to run) but stopping hurt. I also know that while I managed 4 miles there is no way I could have run 26 miles with the soreness in my calves, there is just no way. I have a pretty strong will and lots of determination but I’m not an idiot.
I wore my compression socks for the rest of the evening and I even wore them to sleep in last night. I didn’t have time to ice and foam roll last night but that is going on my plans for this evening. I woke up feeling pretty stiff still and my calves are not happy. Today is a complete rest day, I have nothing planned other than foam rolling, icing and meeting with my wedding planner. I will see what tomorrow holds.
At this point I’m more confident than I was on Sunday but I’m still confused and frustrated as to what is going on with my body. I rarely, if ever get sore so these past 2 weeks have been odd for me. And like I said, the type of soreness I’m experiencing is not like the typical muscle soreness after a hard workout, this is more fatigued muscle type stuff (but what do I really know?). I feel like I’m doing everything I know to do, foam rolling like crazy, icing, compression, resting…I have no idea what else I can or should do, so mentally I am frustrated. I told Alex last night that obviously no matter what I’m going to give it my all on marathon day but I just feel so defeated because I didn’t wake up at 4:30 on countless Saturday mornings to run 10, 15, 18 and 20 miles and I didn’t run on hot days or before Bible study every Wednesday night or when I would rather sit on the couch just to reach the point where I feel like I’m less than 100% on race day. I’m so close to my goal I can reach out and touch it but this is not how I imagined it being. I’m seriously hoping that this is some weird taper business that no one ever talks about and that I’ll just magically wake up on race morning and run like a champ, but for right now I’m just riding it out and hoping for the best.
Aside from these less than stellar 2 weeks I have really appreciated the processes and grown a lot during this marathon training cycle and I don’t regret nor would I change a single thing. I’ve gotten faster and better and I feel like I’m an overall better runner because of it and if I hadn’t been training I would have never known what I was capable of. I just hope that come race day I can perform to the abilities I have been training for.
How do you deal with soreness/injury/fatigue/unwilling muscles?
And is there something to this taper thing that people aren’t telling me?
edited last minute to add that as I was about to hit the publish button this email came for me....
AHHHHH I have a bib number and everything! December 9th I'm coming for you!