Chicago Marathon Training Week 8

Sunday, July 23: 80 minutes XT
Biked for 35 minutes, then did Motionally Stable from NTC for 45 minutes. I’ve definitely got the rhythm of Motionally Stable down at this point, which is nice, because it makes the workout feel like it goes by a lot faster when I know what’s coming and how many sets I need to do of everything. I haven’t been able to increase my weights on it at all, but since my end goal of strength training during marathon season is more about injury prevention than actually getting noticeably stronger, I’m not (too) upset about it.

I was upset later Sunday evening when my knee hurt, though :/ This is the second Sunday in a row that I’ve noticed some PFPS-esque (runner’s knee) pain in the same knee that gave me unending amounts of grief in 2014. I noticed some pain when I walked home from the train after the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, and I noticed it this Sunday after sitting in my desk chair for awhile in the afternoon. I’m really trying to be good about doing PT exercises to keep my butt and hips strong to prevent my knee from getting cranky, and feeling any sort of pain certainly motivates me to do more of that. Hopefully it won’t happen again.

Monday, July 24: 9.25(ish – see below) miles in 1:36:51 for a 10:27 (but probably not really – see below) pace + SPF
After noting last week how the first mile on my run commutes always seems to be much faster than I anticipated, Hanna noted that I should check my GPS stats to look for weird spikes or dips in my pace. This turned out to be a very helpful suggestion! All it took was one look at a run commute GPS map to see that my watch has been going haywire in the first mile or so of my run. So now I’m in a bit of a pickle. The whole point of run commuting is to be able to leave my office and head straight home, but I suspect I have been shortchanging myself on all of my run commutes 😦 I attempted to measure out a mile on Google before leaving for this run, and found that my watch thought I had hit a mile almost a full quarter mile before Google said I’d hit a mile. I’m thinking I may just always run x.25 miles on run commutes from here on out, in that case, though I also plan to continue keeping an eye on when my watch tells me I’m a mile into my run in case it doesn’t always say I’m there .25 miles too early.

Anyway, this run was basically a disaster. I don’t know why, but I had a lot less patience for people getting in my way on Monday than I sometimes do, and I may or may not have sworn at a cyclist on the Lakefront Trail…like, to his face swore at him. Oops. I was running up behind some people taking up too much space and walking too slowly on a crowded part of the trail, so I intended to pass them on the left, but since I was in a crowded area, I looked over my shoulder first to make sure I wasn’t going to get hit by a cyclist. I saw a cyclist approaching, so I waited, but then instead of passing me, he slowed down, too, and wouldn’t go around me. At this point, he was right on my tail and I was right on the tail of the aforementioned people taking up too much space, so I (not very nicely) yelled at him to, “GO! YOU’RE FASTER THAN ME! GOD!” He did not go, despite being faster than me, so I went around the people and fumed. He soon caught up to me (see: faster than me), yelled at me for yelling at him, which prompted me to yell back at him, calling him things that, if repeated too many times, would earn my blog an R rating at the movies, which prompted him to continue yelling at me, even after he passed me, which prompted me to flip him off when he turned around to look at me a few seconds later. All in all, an expert display in maturity, grace, and forgiveness on both of our parts, clearly. I really try to not do this, since I think there’s more than enough animosity between cyclists and runners on the trail to go around as it is, and obviously this sort of behavior doesn’t do anything to raise one group’s opinion of the other. Hopefully I’ve now gotten it out of my system for the rest of marathon season. It also probably would not be the worst idea to come up with an alternate run commute route that doesn’t force me to spend a good portion of my run on highly congested areas of the Lakefront Trail.

Oh, and to top all of this off, my knee hurt on and off throughout the entire run (which probably didn’t help in the patience department). I spent a fair amount of time at the end of my run trying to decide how long I should let this continue before scheduling a doctor’s appointment.

Tuesday, July 25: Moving
No workout for me on Tuesday since I moved that day, though I don’t think moving really counts as a rest day. My knee, once again, hurt on and off throughout the day, so I called the sports doctor and got myself on the calendar for the next available appointment (which is not this week, but next week). I figure if it takes nearly two weeks to get in, I’d rather be on the schedule and cancel then wait it out and have a lot of trouble trying to get in if I really need an appointment further down the road.

Wednesday, July 26: 5.03 miles (tempo) in 50:01 for a 9:56 pace + SPF
I took the day off work on Wednesday to recover from the stress of moving, so I was able to do this run in the morning. Thank goodness, since it got super hot and humid as the day went on! It occurred to me after my last tempo run that I really was not taking advantage of my watch’s interval timer like I should be, so I set it up for five minute intervals and headed out. I was absolutely dying by the end of the run, so my last interval was more of a shuffle than a run, but I did a great job of slowing accelerating and…uh, progressively decelerating (to say that I decelerated “slowly” would be a bit of an overstatement haha), so I’m really happy about that!

Thursday, July 27: Rest
So, I don’t remember exactly what happened, but at some point Thursday morning, my left hip flexor started to ache in the exact same spot and the exact same way as it ached when I strained it during marathon season in 2013. I *think* the pain started after doing squats that morning (during marathon season, I make a habit of doing PT exercises throughout the day, especially when I’m at work, as a way of keeping my glute muscles strong [and, hopefully, the rest of my legs uninjured] and as a way of working said glute muscles, which spend most of the day parked in a chair atrophying [<– pretty sure that muscle doesn’t actually happen that quickly, but you get the idea]), but I went almost immediately from doing those exercises to a meeting with my boss, which got interrupted halfway through by a fire drill (and the resulting traipse down five flight of stairs and up that same flight again after a gentle reminder from the property manager of my office building about the importance of listening to announcements during emergencies, because if they’re telling you to use a particular staircase, there’s probably a reason for it!), so I’m not really sure if the pain started during the squats or after the stair climbing, because it all kind of blends together. Regardless, the ache in my hip felt all too familiar, and since I would very much like to avoid PT this marathon season, I decided to take a rest day and ice my hip rather than risk furthering a potential injury.

Friday, July 28: Rest
To my great surprise and equally great relief, I was able to get into a physical therapy clinic on Friday afternoon for an injury screen. I was concerned that I’d make the wrong decision regarding my run on Saturday–either I’d skip it when I could’ve gone for it, or I’d do it when I should’ve skipped it–so I was in the market for some professional advice on what to do, and a professional opinion on what was going on with my hip. The PT I saw noted that my left hip has some pretty significant internal rotation–twice as dramatic as the internal rotation on my right hip, which is already significant–and that that like contributed to my discomfort, which he thought might actually be in my adductors rather than my iliopsoas (hip flexor). He told me I could continue running as long as it didn’t get worse, but if it didn’t get better in two weeks that I should go to the doctor to get a script for PT, and that I should baby it in the meantime with stretching and a heating pad. This was, to my great delight, the first time I have EVER gone to a physical therapist and had them do the test where you lie on your side, raise your top leg up in the air, and then try to keep the PT from pushing your leg down to the table and NOT failed spectacularly. My regular leg lifts and side lunges are working! That, of course, doesn’t make me feel better about my knee acting up, but I’m glad to see I, at long last, have some strength in my glute meds!

Saturday, July 29: 13.15 miles in 2:15:30 for a 10:17 pace + SPF
My hip felt much better Saturday morning, so off I went on my weekly long run. The weather was just about perfect, with a bit of wind that made the full sun a lot more bearable than sometimes. My knee wasn’t in great shape, though, which was a bummer. It was a nice surprise to run this “half marathon” faster than the actual half marathon I ran two weeks ago at Rock ‘n’ Roll and to be able to keep up a decent pace the whole time.

It’s been awhile since I’ve had injury paranoia, so it was a bit of a surprise to have so much this week. I don’t really know what prompted it, though if I had to guess, the stress of moving probably was a contributing factor. I’m keeping my doctor’s appointment for the moment just in case, but we’ll see how this week shakes out. I’d love to not have to go in, so hopefully this was all a situation of misplaced anxieties that, now that the move is over, will go away.

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4 thoughts on “Chicago Marathon Training Week 8

  1. Running on the Lakefront Trail around downtown/River North right after work sounds awful. I was walking on the Riverwalk around lunchtime the other day and felt back for anyone trying to run – it was just way too crowded. I assume the LFT was the same way around the evening rush hour.

    Also, you know you’re a runner when the tests you want to pass are the ones the PT gives you, LOL.

    • Yeah, it is…not ideal, to say the least. I get to work early and leave early compared to a normal 9-5 schedule, which I’d like to think helps a little bit, but it’s not like tourists are operating on a 9-5 schedule either, and they, as far as I can tell, are the root of the problem. They don’t spend as much time on the Trail as regular bike/foot commuters, obviously, so they get in the way of the regulars, who then get in the way of other regulars, and it just becomes a nightmare. I know they’re working to separate the bikers and the pedestrians on the trail, but I think we could solve just as many problems by separating the regulars from the tourists! Haha. Me and my pipe dreams 😛

  2. Pingback: Thursday Things | accidental intentions

  3. Pingback: Chicago Marathon Training Week 10 | accidental intentions

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