Week one of Half-Marathon training is upon me! Day one… a rest day. I can dig that!
I put in a little over 4 miles on Saturday morning, and my legs were noticeably heavy. Not quite sure what the exact problem was, but I am thinking it was due to lack of proper hydration and supplementation; a wagon that I have fallen off of as of late. I am a preacher of drinking water. Drink at least your 8 cups (64 oz) of water a day, and more than that during the summertime. The injury got me off my game with training and with the above theory; I have just not been cognitive of my water intake. My food intake, yes I have been mindful of, but hydration has been forgotten. Bad me!
I made it through the run, but did have to walk almost a mile at the end. Walking breaks are fine, but when it is something that you have to take suddenly, due to performance issues, you have got to look at the “why”.
Today I am looking at training schedules. It was easy with the marathon training because I had a couple of books that were dedicated to the topic. However with a Half Marathon it is a little more tricky to find solid tried and true advice. It’s out there, but you have to weed through the web to get it. I believe I am settled on one of Hal Higdon’s. I may just be overly cautious due to the fact that I am coming back from an injury. I’m going to take this slow. REPEAT. I am going to take this slow.
For now, here is an inspirational quote –
“I don’t love broccoli, and I don’t love the treadmill, but I love the way I feel when I’m healthy and strong. It empowers me in all facets of my life. So remember, that although something may not be fun in the moment, remind yourself of the ultimate reward, and allow that to motivate you through the tough times. ”
I am super excited to announce that my training limbo is coming to an end, and that my Half Marathon training schedule begins this MONDAY! My foot has finally healed enough for me to feel comfortable with hitting the pavement again. I have been running an average of 5K (3.11 mi) three to four times a week, and walking the same distance a couple of times a week. Those have all been on my lunch hour at work. In the EARLY mornings I have been taking our new pup on walks at least five times a week, so that has also added to my weekly mileage.
At first I started back up with my foot wrapped and taped, to help support my arch and to also stabilize that problematic navicular bone. I have gone through about six rolls of athletic tape in the past three weeks! Ace Bandage should send me a Thank You card!
In the past 5 days, I have successfully ran two days without taping my foot at all – one was 3.21 mi and the other was an accidental 4.21 mi run. I say accidental because I got a little lost and extended my mileage more than I intended. My plan is to still tape my foot on the longer runs just to play it safe, but for the 3 to 4 mile runs I feel safe enough to skip the tape and just go.
I’m going over the 12 week training schedule, and looks like this is all going to fall into place!
Yesterday I went to my doc to get the results of my foot MRI. Unfortunately they were running behind, so I had extra time to sit in the waiting room to wonder about what the results would be. Time can be an enemy!
Finally after about 40 minutes I was taken back to the exam room – to wait some more. Yay. The nurse was kind enough to give me some literature to read – the MRI report. Man there was some confusing terminology in this report! I had to continually look up things on my iPhone.
Yo tengo BING!
Finally the doctor came in to sum everything up and to talk to me on how to get back on track again.
The MRI showed joint-centered marrow edema within the distal, medial navicular and middle cuneiform bones. There was no evidence of an actual fracture in the navicular bone.
The diagnosis is a stress reaction of the navicular bone. A stress reaction is the stage just before an actual stress fracture. A bullet has been dodged in that sense, but it still requires using a walking boot and no running for at least three weeks. The doctor explained that I would need to be completely pain-free for three weeks before getting back to running again.
When I do return to running, I will have to cut my mileage back at least 50%, and then add on no more than 10% per week after the first couple of weeks. He also thought it to be a wise idea to not plan on running the full 26.2 marathon in December.
There is a possibility that I would be able to run the Half Marathon, however this is going to depend on how my foot reacts to training. I will have to play it save, so not to risk more injuries.
I already had come to terms that I may not make the full marathon. I had some bouts of disappointment, in thinking this would be the case, but then I had to realize that I was in this for the long haul. I could not push my body to the breaking point again, and risk more severe damage. That would risk me not being able to run, walk, or even bike for a longer period of time; it could even risk me not being able to swim, if surgery were needed. Being around someone like myself without a physical outlet such as exercise is not fun for anyone. So the risks outweighed the benefits. I’m waving my white 26.2 surrender flag….for now.
Even in the best of training, we encounter days where we feel tired or not as motivated. I’m having one of these days, but I am working hard to push on and get past the funk. I have compiled a list of ten things that help with avoiding and stomping out runners burnout. I’m going to be reading this over and over, and put it to practice!
Take a cutback week. Reduce your mileage by at least 50 percent for a week or two. Take at least two days off during the reduced scheduled week, and maybe try some cross training (cycling, swimming or hiking, as examples). Other sports can revive your mental outlook.
Change your exercise routine. Train on different routes than you usually do. If you don’t train on trails, head to a local park or drive out of the city to run.
Join a running group or team whose members share your same goals. These individuals can provide the needed emotional support. Groups or a training partner can help make completing the long runs easier than doing these alone. It is essential to find people who run your approximate pace so that long runs do not turn into races
If you’re an long-distance athlete, take at least the week following your last event to train a lot less than normal. Don’t worry about your mileage. You won’t lose your fitness level and you’ll be less susceptible to injury.
Be careful of long-lasting conditions such as dehydration and lack of sleep. Over-training and burnout is a downward spiral that requires some changes in your training routine and mental outlook. Chronic dehydration is more likely in the hot summer months.
Spend time alone. Establish a daily morning quiet time to reflect and mentally prepare for the day. To cure burnout, take 15 minutes for yourself first thing in the morning for a physical, mental and intellectual boost.
Get sufficient sleep and rest. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day to feel well rested and energetic. Additionally, proper rest is necessary to maintain good health and reduce the chances of burnout.
Don’t stay sitting. If you’re sitting at a desk all day, you’re bound to feel bored and sluggish, especially toward the end of the day. To stay alert, try moving around every hour, even if it’s just a trip to get a glass of water or look out the window.
Anxiety and stress can be huge energy killers and can contribute to burn-out. To combat stress, make an effort to fit relaxing activities, such as reading or listening to music, into your day.
Emphasize the short-term objectives, not the outcome goals – Burnout gets fueled by an overemphasis on outcome. If you over stress the importance of succeeding in a running event you are training for, and instill a fear of failing, you will distract yourself, tighten up, and interfere with performing to your potential. Furthermore, the pressure that comes from overemphasizing your ultimate running goal, will kill your enjoyment of running and contribute burn out. Instead, remind yourself of the importance of the process. This means that you will want to focus on proper execution, technique, strategy, etc. If you spend more energy on these process elements, the outcome will take care of itself.
After a long run this weekend, and after that great ride yesterday I am enjoying a lazy day. It isn’t a do-nothing kind of day however. I took my girl Christie to the hospital this morning for a scheduled surgery. I am spending time in the waiting area, listening to classical music, doing some reading, and of course taking care of a few items on my to-do list.
I have reached out to the folks at Scottish Rite Hospital to share my journey. I am hoping this opens some doors to start to speak to people about hope and my belief that if you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything! I really believe I have a higher calling!