As "the best-laid plans of mice and men go awry", so does my marathon training. My six month training plan started in July and was upset by illness and injury right out of the gate. As I started Week 1B and successfully accomplished it, that Saturday night I came down with a wicked case of food poisoning that knocked me out for the entire Week 2 (8/3-8/8) of the plan. I started to feel better towards the end of that week and managed to get a few swims in for my upcoming Lake Tahoe swim.
Continued Hip Pain
Week 3 began on 8/10 and I only made four of my five runs because my hip pain flared up again. Week 4 began on 8/17 and after spending all weekend googling running hip pain I pretty much talked myself into having a stress fracture and not being able to run for the next 6-8 weeks. Distraught couldn't even begin to describe how I felt, but I managed to call a sports doctor and wiggled an appointment in for mid-September. Now, I had no idea what was wrong with my hip - it could have been bursitis, tendinitis (both fixable by strengthening exercises, stretching, and icing), or a stress fracture which means absolutely no running. Of course I had to self-diagnose myself with the absolute worst of those and thought I had a stress fracture. Knowing I at least had a doctor appointment scheduled to help me figure out what was really wrong, I didn't run Week 4 and stuck to cycling and swimming. My Tahoe Swim was that Saturday of Week 4, so at least I had something else to focus on.
Tahoe came and went and it was wonderful. My hip was already feeling better so I decided to talk to Marci about what I should do next. One of the many great things about a running partner is having a sounding board when you start to go a little crazy. Marci's been through illness, injury, and marathon training before and was there to listen to my worries and concerns and help me get through it. I know I couldn't do any of this without her support! After chatting for a while, Marci and I came to the conclusion that I should do her plan with her (I don't know why I thought I needed another plan) and to not run three days in a row like my Nike plan laid out. We both had vacations in September so we had to reconfigure the plan a bit during the first few weeks. We also talked about shoes and I noticed the shoes I had been running in from the spring were very worn down on the soles. Typically, experts say you can run 300-500 miles in a pair of running shoes. I was tipping to the 300 mile mark, but figured, as with my other shoes, I could get to at least 350 miles in them. However, the new shoes I've been running in are much more minimalist than my other, more stable shoes. These new shoes were wearing down faster. So I decided to also change out for my next pair of shoes (I'd purchased three pairs in anticipation of having to change out during training) and see if that helped.
My last week of August was not for official marathon training. Instead I ran without watches, timers, speed training, or hills. I just ran three three mile runs and one four mile. So far the hip was feeling much better and I was being overcautious of it, running extra slow and stretching and foam rolling a lot afterward. I also think changing out for a fresh pair of shoes made a huge difference almost immediately. Then I spent the past two weeks in Kaua'i (travel post coming soon so stay tuned!) and got a handful of runs in to keep my legs semi-fresh.
Now, it begins. We are officially 17 weeks out from the marathon and I've started our training program. I like it because its the same program we've done for all our half marathons, but it continues on after we run the Malibu Half Marathon in November.
The new plan will be four days of running and two cross training days. I'm hoping on day seven I'll do some gentle yoga, but I know most Sundays I'll just be exhausted and resting.
I've been continuing swimming for my cross training, but will probably switch out to yoga some of those days as well. Now the key is to remember to always stretch and roll and not freak out! Only 383.1 miles to go until race day!