Thursday, September 22, 2011

09/22/11: What goes up, must come down....(and a request for advice)

I'm nearly done writing about my injured legs. I know reading about them probably gets old for all of you....but this blog is a way for me to talk about what I'm going through and experiencing. It's the way I can put what I'm thinking out there, without driving my hubby or friends nuts from hearing about it constantly. It's a way for me to track my progress, a place for me to go when I need a little mental boost. I can read about all the things I'm doing now, that I never thought I'd do. Ever!

I'm a runner. I'm not going to break any land speed records....I'm not going to win any awards (unless "sticking with it no matter what" is an competition). I'm much slower now than I was a year ago. Hills used to be my friend...and now they are a foe. Getting up early in the morning used to be easy, but now I struggle. I hope that as my confidence comes back, and the pain keeps going away, I'll find some of these things coming back to me.

But until then, I'm still a runner....just a much slower one. And, compared to what I've been going through this past year, I can deal with slow. Slow will work just fine for me.

I ran near my house this morning. There was no getting in my car and driving 15 minutes to a flat trail. Nope. I just threw my gear on, and walked out my front door.


And, even though my time wasn't anything to cheer about, the fact I was running up and down hills without excruciating pain was!!

Were my calves burning? Were my lungs screaming? Hell yeah! But they're supposed to do that...and I welcomed it with open arms.

Hmmm...OK, maybe not open arms. I mean, burning calves and screaming lungs aren't the same as staying in my comfy bed and getting an extra hour of sleep. Let's be honest. :-)

I was also reminded of how many streetlights the neighborhoods around my house DON'T have. I was running with my super dooper awesome headlamp.....but I was still finding myself not fully striding out. Potholes are like ninjas. They hide in the shadows and take you without notice. :-)

I've done 10K's, I've run hills, and I've done long runs over 8 miles....all without the pain of my injury in my legs. I'm not going to jinx anything by saying you wont' hear me mention it again.....but I will say that I feel I'm nearly to the end of this journey.

Thank goodness!!!!

So now, to finish up this post, I want to ask all of you a question.

I'm going to start training for my first full marathon once the half this weekend and the one in October are finished. The marathon is 30 weeks from my half in October....and the training plan I'd found to use was.....get this...exactly 30 weeks. Kizmet??

But, on to the question.....what are everyone's thoughts on the run less, run faster theory? My doc and PT's have me running, right now, three days a week. Two shorter runs during the week, and one long run on the weekend. No running two days in a row.....period.

The training plan I'd found says the exact same thing....but somehow the idea of training for a full marathon on only 3 days a week seems.....lacking? Don't get me wrong, only three days a week of pounding on my body sounds great. I'll fill in the other days with cross training and rest.

But can I actually complete a full marathon on only three days a week of training? Hal Higdon wants me to run at least 4....the leader of the running group I belong to wants me to do 5.......

Am I just asking for injury the more I run. Will using the shorter runs for "speed" and hills and long runs for stamina do what I need them to do?

I'm going into the full marathon with the same thoughts as my first half. No time limit. I'm doing it to finish....period. Normally, I'd say I'd be happy with a full finish in under 5 1/2 hours....but now I'm not sure what to expect. I guess I'll find out. :-)

3.01 "hilly-ish" miles, 37:33, 12:29 overall snail speed pace, 343 calories, 182 Max HR, 162 Avg HR


C2Iowa said...

I posted something along the lines of your first part of the post.

As for training~ I would try to have a mix of hills, speed, tempos, long runs and recoveries. If just completing the full is the goal - long runs are the key. However, balance out your training. There are some that believe that quality is more important than quantity; and some to the opposite.

As for # of days a week - you must do what you follow your brain. If you think it is going to take 4 days a week or 3 or 5 -- then go with it. Just be flexible to change your training if things are not working out as you wish. Just make changes gradually.

Than again - what the heck do I know? I am just a hack runner. I hope that you find a clear direction. Peace and Godspeed.

Nej said...

@ C2 - I'm even starting to bore myself talking about my stupid injured it's refreshing to think I can almost put it behind me now!! Woohoo!!!

I've been doing 3 days a week, since they've allowed me to start running again.....and it's working. So, for the time being, I'm not going to mess with it. I don't want to start adding "junk miles" just for the sake of thinking I need more miles. I'm definitely going to focus more on cross training and cardio (but lower impact). I've started doing yoga twice a week now, and it's amazing how much I think it's helping as well.

Flexibility (in schedule and physically) is the name of the game for sure. :-)

Faith Ann said...

When I trained for my one and only marathon, I only ran 3 days a week. I biked (stationary bike) 2 days a week and rested 2 days a week.

I was only training to *finish* a marathon and was ecstatic with my time of 4:55. I felt that my training was sufficient for my goal.

I think if my goal was to complete the race in a specific amount of time, I would have needed to run more often.

My husband runs 5-6 days a week and he is a LOT faster (obviously). I find that 3-4 times a week is a good amount for me.

Heidi said...

I'm not exactly experience, but my friend is ... and she typically runs 3 days/wk and has for years. I think especially since you are a bit prone to injuries you should strongly consider limiting the # of days you run. You can always cross train with other activities that aren't so stressful on your body. If your doc and PTs think you should stay to 3 days/wk that's probably best. I think consistency is the most important. As long as your not skipping entire weeks and you're building up slowly (as you would over a 30 week plan) I think you'll be just fine on 3 days. Good luck!

Fran said...

I think that with a schedule of 30 weeks you should be fine running 3 days. I would start with that and see how it goes. I wouldn't overdo it if I were you, staying injury free should be your first priority. If you are a few weeks further in your schedule you can always run a day more if you need or want to.

And don't worry about talking about your injury. As you say, it's your blog and if we don't want to read it, we don't (but I always do).

Nej said...

@ Fran - I'm definitely going to add more spin classes and biking into my workout routine this coming training season. 4:55 is great! I would LOVE to finish in that time. I'll be happy (right now) with a finish under 6 hours (hehehehe). :-)

Nej said...

@ Heidi - I completely agree. And Thanks!!!!!!!

Nej said...

@ Fran - Injury free is for sure priority #1. I'd rather run less and slower, than not at all. :-)

P.S. Congrats again on your great race!!!!!