I’m just askin’, but can a girl get an easy comeback or nah?
This is a week where I just kind of felt like, “Am I ever going to be able to actually train again?” I legitimately thought I wasn’t going to get anywhere ever again with these two legs I was born with. Over dramatic? Yes. Warranted? In my head, yes times a thousand. It seems like everybody else gets injured and the longest they’re recovering is a year (at the very max) and that’s only because they’ve broken things, had surgery, and also had a baby (I’m so dramatic today). Their comeback is like “Poof! Run again, you freakin’ gazelle!” as some fairy Godmother sprinkles the running dust on their poor broken legs and in seconds they’re training at their peak with no setbacks or annoying pains (phantom or real). Where’s my fairy running dust, hmm?
Last week I felt a little off. Foam rolling on the inside of my right calf hit a sweet spot that felt like a deep bruise. Its mere existence didn’t hurt, but poking and prodding it in a “is it still there?” fashion definitely did. Shoot. I spent a majority of the week icing, rolling, and massaging like it was my job.
This week I felt really off, much of which I’m hoping is a result of the deep tissue massage I got. For the most part, that sweet spot disappeared but the twinge in my right leg comes and goes. It’s comical, really. I spent 6-7 months dealing with the annoyance of tendonitis in my left leg and now my right leg wants to be the jerk off in a completely different way — in such a completely different way where I can’t even say “Oh! I certainly know what the problem is and what I should do!” because it’s so different from the other leg. Hashtag story of my life.
But I’m not going to let my legs get off that easy. I’ll keep paying attention to my body and taking it easy when warranted. I’ll take more time to warm-up (I’ve slacked on that lately, trying to beat the sunset while I had a chance) and incorporate some walking to my warm-up, if need be. I’ll take more time to cool-down, including icing a couple times at the end of the night. I have races on the calendar but none are for time, moreso a test of fitness and how my legs will hold up before cranking up the training in March if my body lets me.
I have to admit, it was nice to see the highest monthly mileage I’ve had since February 2014 when all the wheels fell off (that month was rough). I had 31 miles in October – I saw 61 miles last February, and 34 last January. I think overall (with exception to this week), I’ve had more quality runs and “feel good” runs than I ever did in those two months. I pushed too hard, too fast then and I knew it. I set goals I couldn’t meet. It sucks to know I’ve had a couple bumpy weeks, but not having set goals and knowing I can take a few weeks of running the same miles if needed is such a Godsend.
Monday: Easy “It’s Beautiful Outside!” Run (43:00)
- I was really struggling with how beautiful it was outside in the last week of October (over 70 degrees!) and the fact that I should be resting because Sunday’s run was kind of crappy and I wasn’t sure I wanted to run back to back. In the end, Laura suggested going for a walk to start and then go for an easy run… so I did.
- I started with about 9 minutes of walking (just over half mile), ran for about 26 minutes (2.57 miles), and cooled down with an 8 minutes walk (.44 miles) — overall, 43:33 minutes and 3.53 miles between the walks and runs.
- The walking just might be the key. I felt great throughout the run but had a couple phantom pains. They were like weird little dull aches that I could put in a general area, but couldn’t touch if I tried.
- Recovery consisted of beer (Pumking) and a long, hot epsom salt balt.
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Sports Massage (1:00)
- I’ve been tossing around the idea of a massage for the past week ever since my legs started to get a little cranky and I finally set one up. The woman came recommended from runners, including the cross country and track coach of one of the colleges in the area. I told her all about my tendonitis and the phantom/real pains I was experiencing. Then, I made the mistake (I think it was a mistake?) of putting on my form that I like medium/firm pressure. Ouch.
- The massage was anything but relaxing, which is okay since I wanted the massage to help my legs — not exactly relax me. I definitely grit my teeth and clenched my eyes shut as the knots in my shoulders that had been bothering me crunched over and over again. Yuck. When she moved to my legs, she put a ton of pressure and focus on my shins. She took her thumb and forefinger (I’m assuming – eyes clenched!) and pushed down over the tibia every few inches, keeping very, very firm pressure into the muscles on both sides. She did it all the way up to my knee and pushed up over the sides of my knee which was probably the most painful part of the massage.
- I brushed off the pain and decided that it was a deep tissue massage, I have all sorts of funky things going on and Chris’ Graston massages were worse but helped immensely. Unfortunately, over the next days my right knee was sore going up and down the stairs and I felt like I was hit by a bus. I expected some soreness, but things were hurting that never hurt before. What did I do to myself?
Thursday: Easy Run (23:00)
- J was planning to run so I joined him for something light and easy. It sucked.
- We ran for 2.13 miles (23:36) so we weren’t pushing the tempo, but after about 21 minutes my right shin and ankle was actually yelling at me, “Stop. Stop it right now!” in real pain. I pushed for another three minutes because it was cold and I have a problem admitting we should stop before reaching the goal “stop” point. Yes, I’m stupid and yes, you can yell at me for it.
- I used to dress up for Halloween because my friends were always into it. J and his friends aren’t really crazy about it so I just put something quick together: a runner. It was very beneficial to my night because sports bras are comfortable, calf sleeves are the best when your shin and ankle are still hurting from the previous day’s run, and Under Armor keeps me warm when I’m usually freezing.
- I was a little nervous to run again on Saturday after how Thursday’s run went and the fact that things were still sore Friday. On top of that, I climbed the stairs and my right knee was still a little painful (who gets a massage and then has other problems?)
Sunday: Long run (40:00)
- Not running on the date of the NYC Marathon feels almost sacrilegious. I misread the time of the coverage start (and by misread, TV guide listed it at 10:00am!) and got up at 8:30 to run. Despite being unhappy that I’d miss some pre-run shenanigans, I felt like I got more than enough sleep, it was sunny (but crisp) outside, and I was ready to see how the legs would feel today.
- It seems that my magic number, if you will, is about 25 minutes before things start to go awry. At that point, my right tibialis started to feel cranky. This time it was more around the same area as when I did have tendonitis in my left leg. I decided to concentrate on my stride and continue running because I was still over a mile and half from home, it was 35 degrees out, and I was in shorts. Walking home for close to half an hour was not happening.
- After I got home, my right knee kept hurting on the climb up the stairs. Go figure.
- I took my time rolling my quads and hips because they were very tight. I used the R8 on my right calf. I took a couple ibuprofen just in case my tendons decided to hop on the inflammatory train. At night, I iced both posterior tibilias tendons and took another dose of ibuprofen after using the golf ball all over those suckers.
It’s been a heck of a week. I’m not really sure if the massage made things better or worse, but I really am not happy with how my body is reacting to it. I’m kind of hoping that the massage is what caused all these issues and sometime next week they will resolve.
Weekly Total: 9.5 miles (8.6 running miles), 1:47 time (1:30 running time) — an increase of half mile (five minutes) of running.
Upcoming Goals: Listen to my body. If things are good, up to 1:40 running time and a CrossFit class. If things suck, whatever feels good and nothing more.