I finished my last long training run this morning. There was a really good crowd at training team at Forest Park despite two of the local half marathons being finished. A lot of the people who showed up are running the Rock ‘n Roll St. Louis race like me; a guess the rest of them just enjoy getting up when it’s still dark and in the 40s?
Coach Bradley (the guy running training team) recommended 8 miles for those of us running the Rock ‘n Roll half. My Hal Higdon Novice 2 plan calls for 12 miles but I was easily agreeable to 8 given my shin pain recently creeping back. Before this week I already completed long runs (anything over 6 miles) of 7, 9, 7, 8, 11, 10, and 12. So I’ve done the long runs in the plan, just a bit out of order. Deviating from my plan is growth for me…I used to be so strict about following my plan and wouldn’t allow myself to skip any runs or miles. Now I’ve had a few instances of skipping or shortening runs (including one earlier this week–more on that in my training recap tomorrow), and I am 100% ok with that. With this being my fourth half I’m much more comfortable letting my body dictate what I should be doing. And my body wants me to ease up so the pain on the left side of my right leg (near the ankle) goes away.
I’ve been stretching daily. When I get up to use the bathroom at work I stretch in the bathroom. That’s been good since I sit at a desk all day. In the morning and the evenings I’ve been using my foam roller, especially on my sore spots. It doesn’t feel great at the time but I do think it helps in the days after rolling. And I’ve been doing the thing that I think helps me the most, icing. I ice in the morning before work and after work when I’m laying on the couch. Recently I came up with a way to ice when I can’t have my leg stretched out.
That’s an ice pack secured by hair elastics. Tracy immediately began singing “Redneck Woman” when she saw this but I prefer to think of myself as MacGyver. I come off as more badass that way. Speaking of badass, I love this:
I have short runs of 3, 2, and 2 scheduled for this week before the race. I am going to check in with my body each day to see if I want to do them or rest. I’ll likely do at least one so I don’t start having anxiety about being able to run at all, but I may skip the others and either do some type of cross training or simply rest. My short runs for the past two weeks have felt great breathing wise, barely out of breath or not at all out of breath, so I think my body is trained in that regard. So I don’t think skipping additional short runs will cause problems considering the bulk of work I’ve already done.
I’m going back and forth in my mind trying to figure out if my 1:59 goal is still reasonable considering my pain. Breaking my PR of 2:06:25 would also make me really happy. If I’m running the whole time I think I’ve got that for sure; if the pain forces me to walk I’ll have to taper my expectations. I don’t consider this an injury and I can run through uncomfortableness but I’d prefer to enjoy my race. That’s why I think rest is so key for me the next six days. I’ll do what I can control and hope to feel great when I wake up on Sunday.