“Training” Update for April

Spoiler alert:  April did not go as planned.  For a while, I was definitely in a “I don’t want to talk about it” place.  Now that things are improving and I seem to be on the other side, I will talk about it, and try to learn and move forward.  If it weren’t for the challenges in life, we wouldn’t learn and grow our wisdom, right? 


Here is how the month went down.

April 4-10th – cutback week.

I took this as a cutback week, and ran 63 km’s total.  It included some cadence work (which had me running faster) plus hill sprints, but otherwise mostly easy running.  In retrospect, I probably could have taken this week easier than I did and run a bit less.

April 11th – 17th.

This was a big week.  Big.  The week started with an easy recovery run.  Tuesday, I ran commuted, this is always a big day.  I ran easy on the way to work, and then on the way home I wanted some quality.  My route home has a number of traffic lights, and can’t be run continuously, so I did HM pace fartleks, basically just running HM pace to each red light, and recovering while I waited.  It was a good run.

Wednesday,  Lori and I did our normal Wed night, with a 16 k run, and strength training afterwards.  Friday we did a 20 miler (32 k) long run.  It was the 3rd one this cycle, both of us were tired, and it felt long, but was a good run.  Our paces for our super long runs have been better than any previous cycle, and I’m encouraged by that.  We also ran a new route that took us on paths along the Bow River around Douglassdale, neither of us had ever run this part of the Bow pathway system, so it was fun to go exploring!

Saturday we did 20 km’s of trails, making for a back to back run, and giving us 52 km’s over 2 days.  In retrospect I probably pushed too much on the downhills on this run.  It was a beautiful day and the trails were dry.  I was feeling relatively good all things considered.

Sunday is where things went wrong.  I was at 99.x km’s for the week, and decided to do an easy run to get myself over 100 k.  Playing the numbers game can be bad, but it can also be good, let’s just say that it is risky.  I went out for an easy run, and took to the trails in Fish Creek.  I figured that this would keep me honest with my pace and effort levels.  Part way through this run I felt something that felt like a knot in my right quad.  It was a discomfort, but not really pain.  I stopped a couple times to try to stretch it out, but kept running and finished my 8 k of recovery.  By the time I got home it was clear that something was not right.  I massaged it, rolled, iced, etc and tried to do what damage control I could.  At least I got a good picture though, right? 😉

April 18th – 24th.

This was to be the week of the Police Half Marathon.  I started Monday with a sick kid, which meant that I was home for the morning.  I had been planning on a quality run either Monday or Tuesday.  My quad was sore when I woke up, and I thought maybe it would be ok once it warmed up.  Since I was home, I decided to warm up on the trainer first and did a 30 minute easy spin to try to get the blood flowing.  After which I hopped on the treadmill and ran 1 km.  It was clear in that km that continuing would be a bad idea.  I didn’t even log the km, I just deleted it and decided that I would need a rest day.  I had no idea where things would go from here, but still thought ‘maybe tomorrow’.  Tuesday, things felt better but not good, so I spun and ST’ed in the hope that I would make my run with Lori on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night I met Lori.  My quad was feeling ok, I could still feel it a tiny bit but it actually felt pretty good, so I decided to start the run and thought I could always bag it if it wasn’t good.  Things were good for about 4 k, but then my quad started to talk, not yell but talk.  I put my compression sleeve on my knee/quad and kept going.  Lori’s ankle had been bugging her too so at 5 k we decided to turn around.  My quad was getting worse the further I ran, and by just over 7 k I decided that I should stop running.  At this point I had almost 3 k to walk to get back to the gym.  It was a long 3 k and by the time we got back I was limping.  In retrospect, I should have turned around the minute I felt a twinge, and should have started walking much earlier.  I think that if I had stopped earlier or not even run this night, that this injury would have been a much smaller blip.

I’m chalking it up to a learning experience.  I’m pretty sure it was a muscle strain, and I’ve never strained a muscle before, so didn’t have any experience as to how my body would react.  There are a lot of pains, tightness, niggles that I can train through and not have them spiral out of control.  Now I know, if this happens again, it’ll be a dead stop for a few days at least.

The rest of the week is mostly big red patches in my training plan where I did not complete a planned workout.  I spun on my bike and rested.  I was registered for the Police half on Sunday morning, when I picked up my race package I paid the $5 to switch races and dropped to the 5 k, hoping that I’d feel well enough to run it super easy.  When Sunday rolled around, my quad was 80% better, but Wednesday night was fresh in my memory and so I decided that DNS was the best decision I could make.  Lori’s ankle was still not 100% after her warmup so we decided to commiserate and go out for brunch instead.  It was definitely the right call.

April 25-May 1st.

I started this week with the plan to try to cross train and get my ‘time’ training up to around what it would be on a regular running week, but to take the week completely off running.  I started this Monday morning with swimming.  It was the first time I had swam in a year I think.  Tuesday I spun on my bike. It is true triathletes are born from injury.

Lori and I met again on Wednesday, we had planned on pool running, but as happens every time we try to pool run, the dive tank was booked for some other club or lesson, so we ended up on the elliptical cross training.

By Thursday my leg was really feeling better, plus I had a massage, which really helped.  I cross trained on the Treadmill by doing hill walks.  This was a great workout and did not stress my quad at all.  I also jogged a bit at my daughters adventure running club, and the leg still felt good!

On Friday, I decided to test things out, I had the afternoon off, and had left my car at the service center, so I decided to run to pick it up.  I had measured the distance at 8 km’s, so knew that if things weren’t right in the first few km’s that I needed to turn around and just go home.  It felt ok though, I kept the pace super easy and took a few walking breaks.  I ran the whole 8 k and everything held together.  I rolled my legs really well that night.  On Saturday, my legs were still feeling ok, so I went out and did another super easy run, just 6 km’s.  Phew!  Things were looking up.

Sunday was a scheduled 20 miler.  This would have been a very bad idea.  So Lori and I decided to do get in a long effort by doing a for fun, self supported triathlon.  We met at the pool and started with a 30 minute swim (1000 m’s), then we got changed and headed out for a bike around the res.  The bike was all on city paths, so wasn’t fast, but it was a beautiful morning, and really nice to get my bike outside for the first time this season!  We rode 18 km’s.  We changed shoes at the cars, and headed out on our run.  The plan was to run 10 k and see how we felt.  My leg felt really good and actually improved as we went.  After a quick break at the car at 10 k, and a snack (I was STARVING), we headed out for another 6 k to bring us to 3 hrs total, which is pretty close to our 20 mile time.

I came out of the week thrilled to have run 16k and encouraged that I’ll be able to get a decent week of training in.  My plan this week is to run around 80 k/50 miles with all easy effort runs.  I am not going to push my luck by trying to get any quality in, I just want to get through one last 20 miler, and feel good in my runs!  If this week goes well, then I will slowly introduce quality back next week to get my legs moving again over taper.


7 thoughts on ““Training” Update for April

  1. Pingback: There are no gimmes in marathons – Terry's Blog

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