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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Know When to Back Off

It's a short running week on schedule this week. We are travelling. This comes at an inconvenient time, five weeks out from my next marathon, Philadelphia on November 20th. The logical plan to follow was to cram all quality runs into the first three days of the week and, if time allowed, sneak in a run while travelling. 

Monday:  Speed training.  This was done on the treadmill where it's easy to set the desired pace and go with it. It's boring but that's part of the mental training in my book.  A 20 minute warm up followed by 8 x Fartleks for 3 1/2 minutes with 1 1/2 minute recovery jogging in between.  An extended cool down of 50 minutes ensued.  Total miles: 11.3

Tuesday: Easy/Recovery run for a minimum of 60 minutes.  I ran for 7.3 miles at an easy pace.  Towards the end of this run, during the last mile, I noticed ankle pain any time the road camber got pronounced.  When I did a U-Turn, I had to slow to a walk.  I was wearing my running shoes that offer support rather than cushion and wondered if it could be the shoes or was there something beginning to happen in that right lower leg.
The plan was to see how the ankle felt during the course of the day, skipping the PM swim class and giving myself every advantage to accomplish the long run scheduled for Wednesday. 
I set the ankle wrap within reach for the morning, if needed, and went to bed by 8:30pm.

Wednesday:  The alarm went off. I focused on the ankle:  Did it hurt? All was well but I was ready to cut the run short.  I would begin on the treadmill which offered cushion as well as a flat tread so the right leg wouldn't be challenged with any torque.  Treadmill miles:  10 1/4.
*I have Newton Training shoes designated for the treadmill. They are minimalist shoes yet the only ones used for my treadmill runs.
When Shane and I set out to finish my long run, I put on my Nike Flys. They are minimalist shoes and offer little by way of support but do offer a nice cushiony ride.  Apart from three bouts of hard pain in the front of the foot which subsided after the first 2 miles, the run went well.  No lingering pain. My conclusion was the pain came from wearing the wrong shoes the day before.
Total miles accomplished:  18 1/4 at an average pace of 9:12.

When pain is experienced and you are dead set on sticking with your schedule, be smart. You must pay attention to that pain as you run. KNOW WHEN TO BACK OFF.

1. Does it go away after you warm up, within the first three miles?  If so, continue running.
2. Does it get worse as you run, even AFTER your warm up phase?  If so, STOP!
3. If you experience soreness and it remains sore but gets no worse and not any better as you run, cut your miles/time short.  Your body is telling you it needs rest.

If I had set out on my scheduled run which was to be 16 - 20 miles and the ankle was still sore, I would have shortened my run if not backed off completely depending on the level of pain.  Since the ankle didn't bother me at all, I ran 18 1/4 miles, keeping in between the goal distance, feeling good afterwards.

Now we can get on with our travels to Kansas as planned. The weather looks great and maybe I can sneak in a 4 or 5 miler. 

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