Friday, September 17, 2010

Running Update and Week 11 & 12 of NYC Marathon Training

On Thursday September 1st, I started feeling pain in my left Achilles.  This would be 1 day after running mile repeats at sub 8 minute pace. I then attempted to run on Saturday and only made it 9+ miles before I had to walk.  I took three days off then went to Physical Therapy on September 8th.  I got checked out and was told I had Achilles Tendinitis and that I would be OK. 
Where it says in the picture "Achilles tendon with inflamation" is exactly where a little bump has developed and where I feel the most pain.  I have a feeling it flared up due to my speed workouts.  I love my speed but going from running 9:30s to sub 8 minute pace and sometimes all the way down to 6:30 pace might be too fast.  BUT SOMETIMES I MISS BEING FAST!!! I was a sprinter before all this crazy marathon stuff! But anyway, more on that in a minute.

I went into PT, the Wednesday after Labor Day. I had pain when I walked and a beautiful bump of inflammation. It especially hurt going down stairs but I iced and went to PT like it was my JOB last week and on Sunday September 12th, I ran my first 20 miler of my NY Marathon training.  It hurt, I'm not going to lie.  But once I got past 5 miles, I was able to ignore it.  I ONLY RAN ON THE STREET.  Yes, I realize this isn't safe, but the ups and downs of sidewalk could effect the pain. In general, I was pretty happy with how I was feeling.  Even running 12 miles under 9:30 pace and 5 under 9:10 pace. The last five miles, I was holding on for dear life, much like the other two twenty milers I've run previously. But I finished the 20 and then hobbled into Physical Therapy on Monday of this week.  Yes, I said hobbled.  I couldn't even put my heel down, I was in so much pain. Again, my physical therapist was confident I would be okay which made me confident. Today is Friday and I am so much better.  The pain is definitely still there and so is the beautiful bump/inflammation the tendonitis has caused. But I know I will be fine, I just have to adjust my training plan, which is the hard part. My plan as of now is to do my long run on Monday AM and count it on this weeks mileage.  I only have to do 12.  Then PT and cross train all week again and a long run (18+)again on the 25th.

I ran 20 miles last Sunday.  20 mile weeks are usually when my Weekly Mileage is at 40. My weekly mileage last week was 20. My weekly mileage this week (so far) is 0. It's scary but I have to believe that its the long runs that get you to that finish line not the 5 milers you do throughout the week. I do hate seeing my weekly mileage so low though. 

Random Thoughts-
I find myself getting slower during marathon training.  Am I alone on this?  There was a day when all my mile splits were under 9 when I was training for halves and 10Ks (before I blogged).  Now if I see under 9:15 I think that's impressive.  I have to be honest.  I miss being faster.  I feel slow.  I miss running 5Ks and 10Ks.  A lot of people do shorter races during marathon training... if I am going to spend the money, I want to PR but all my PRs are way faster than I think I could run right now.  Something to look forward to next year I guess. (8:16 for 9.3 miles- how did I do that??)

Also random thought... I can run 20 miles, but I complain walking or going up or down stairs.  I take the elevator all the time.  I park as close as I possibly can to wherever I am going.  I worry about "wasting my energy" on anything other than running.  I walk slow.  I think about how I'm going to step down from the sidewalk to the pavement. My brother wants to go hiking tomorrow and I'm worried about how that will effect my long run.  When did I become so crazy?

And one more note... I've gotten a few emails asking about my injury and how my Physical Therapist is still allowing me to run.  Well here's the thing.  I go to a Physical Therapist who GETS IT.  He's a runner who believes in working through injury and pain safely and effectively.  And if I have absolutely ZERO chance of rupturing my Achilles, why wouldn't I train through it?! But training smart.  I have no set "training plan" anymore.  My runs will be based week to week.  This week I cross-trained M-F with Physical Therapy M-W-F which included Ultrasound and Stim.  I iced close to 10 times a day.  And I'm confident the pain will go away.  And even if it doesn't completely, I will have so much adrenaline race day it won't matter. I still wish more than anything I had run this race last year and not deferred... so if you are in a similar situation, I'm no doctor, but I say RUN! Happy Friday!


  1. I totally agree with you about running on the street - I try to stay on the streets at all times! I hope you're doing okay - sounds like you've got the right attitude!

  2. OMG, this post makes me so scared of running again. I remember being such a woos because I did not want to get injured. I'd take days off if I still had pain... and the pain got worse the closer to race day (and I'm talking half marathon - longest I've personally done). It sounds like your PT knows his stuff so I'd trust him but racing through pain is scary because you'll probably push yourself more than ever before... and then may actually seriously get injured. Oy. Just please please please be smart. I know how much of an investment training is and how it's hard to be objective but yeah, just be careful.
    PS - I totally got so much slower when I was running long distances. Your body focuses on endurance/distance rather than speed.

  3. Oh my goodness, I so resonate with this post. I just did my first marathon in May and I got SO SLOW. I kid you not--on my 14 mile day I looked at my garmin and saw that I was "running" a 12 minute mile. WHAT?!? I didn't even know that was possible. I told my husband that this is the last half marathon we're training for (it's in December) and then I'm sticking to 5k/10k races so I can get my "speed" (9 minute miles, I'm no Olympian) back.

    Good luck with training, and take care of your achilles!

  4. As long as you're being smart, I'm sure you'll be fine. You can always sue your doctor if he's wrong ;)

    I had to laugh when you said you ran easy 9 miles. Good luck!

  5. I am so glad you have a good PT! I think having doctors who are athletes is invaluable. They do get it. I once had a Dr. try to convince me running was bad for the body. Umm no.

    Regardless, I am so sorry you're in this situation. I hope you recover soon and have an awesome race at NYC!

  6. Wow, I'm totally impressed you're still running so much! I hope it gets better quickly :)


  7. Ugh, just wrote a big long reply and it deleted it. Anyhow, hope you get better soon. Glad you found a rockin' therapist...

  8. I'm sure it's really difficult to deal with this issue at the peak of training. It sounds like you have a great PT to work with, though. It's so important to find medical professionals who understand the sport.

    I can totally relate to your feeling of slowness. All of my runs are slower now than they were when I trained for a half. Sometimes I get discouraged, too. I know time doesn't matter, but I like feeling fast. And walking up flights of stairs just sucks these days!