My knee hurts. I wrote in my last training recap that my knee began to felt cranky toward the end of my last long run. It felt fine on Monday. Then Tuesday’s workout rolled around and the pain popped back during a 1.5 mile interval at half marathon pace. “No, no, no, no,” I kept thinking. I “cooled-down” and walked a couple blocks home dejected.

I think I irritated my IT band, and I blame a lazy glute that isn’t pulling it’s share of the work. Raaaaawwwwr. I’m pushing down the occasional bursts of all-out panic and fiercely thinking, “I’m fine. This is fine. It’ll be fine.” The worst case scenario rushing through my brain is starting the race, presumable healthy, and having this knee pain kick in somewhere along the race and derail the goal pace I’ve been training to run for 10+ weeks. Of course, the real worst case scenario is not running the race at all, but I’m definitely not there yet.

But let me think positively – race day is 10 days from now. Not tomorrow. I have a little time. I’m going to rest from running for a couple days and see how it feels – maybe I just irritated it. I have had 9+ great weeks of training and mileage; a couple days off will not undo me. I’m going to use the time to actively take steps that will get me to the start line with a happy knee. And if the worse case scenario does happen, there will be other upcoming races I could turn into a goal race. Life happens.

Yoga does do a stressed out human’s mind and body good.

For the record, I think my knee began hurting because I began to slack on the little things. Not just one particular thing, but one or two smaller things a day.. I got lazy about doing the PT exercises I used to be so diligent about before my run. I sped through my dynamic stretches instead of prioritizing them. I started getting to bed later. I foam rolled every other day, etc., etc.

Thus…the plan:

  • Daily PT exercises (clam shells, bridges, resistance band works, etc.)
  • Daily stretching
  • Fitting in yoga classes when I can – good for the body and the meditation is excellent at calming down the “why meeeee” voice in my head
  • Extra sleep
  • Alternative workouts to keep up my endurance: elliptical, swimming, biking
  • An extra Pure Barre class this week and next – I swear it’s better than a session of physical therapy

Wish me luck. Hoping for a more positive update on Monday!

Owens Corning Half Training Recap: Week 1

One week down, eleven to go!

I actually hadn’t decided on which of training plan I was going to follow for the Owens Corning Half Marathon until Wednesday. As I wrote last week, I want to challenge myself this time round, and that requires a little more weekly mileage and speed than I’ve done in the past. Typically, with the exception of a few marathon goal pace miles last fall, all my miles have been run at an “easy” (AKA conversational) pace. The beginner half marathon training I always recommend, and have used twice before, is by Hal Higdon. I considered his intermediate plan, which had pace miles sprinkled in, but ultimately settled on a 12-week plan from competitor.com. I’m going to give it a go for a couple weeks, and then assess…

  • Monday: Pure Barre
  • Tuesday: 3.0 easy miles* + upper body weights
  • Wednesday: Pure Barre
  • Thursday: Strength work* (squats and kettle ball swings), 1 warm-up mile, 3 at half marathon goal pace, 1 cool-down mile
  • Friday: I like you, rest day
  • Saturday: Pure Barre, followed by 4.0 easy miles* (definitely forgot to do the scheduled strides…)
  • Sunday: 8.0 easy miles* from my house to Wildwood Metropark
  • Weekly mileage = 20

*Warm-up first: hip raises, single-hip raise, clamshells

As you can see, I’ve gotten sucked onto the Pure Barre bandwagon. I love it, and I think it’s excellent cross training for runners. I’ve been trying to take advantage of a 4 week pass as much as possible, but I think I’ll look to incorporate it 2-3 times/week normally.