Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jess Goes Running: Marathon Training--Week 8

[sharing my running adventures as usual on instagram.]

Week 8.  Another week requiring patience...  as I spent the beginning part of the week resting and trying to recover from plantar fasciitis in my left foot.  I did a lot of stretching and icing and resting, keeping my foot elevated.  Even though I wished I could have been running--I was told to wait at least a week and see how I feel before attempting to go running again--I did my best to stay focused and stay positive.  I did a lot of reading (of running related books, of course) and looked forward to Thursday.  I also made plans to go running with my friend and fellow runner K., who lives out in the Western Suburbs.  Though the schedule was calling for 13.1 miles, I decided to modify it to 10 miles instead.  I figured that would be reasonable for my first long run in a few weeks; I had been feeling strong in my running even when I was in pain so I thought it was safe to test the waters now that I was feeling back to normal.

Because I wasn't in pain!  Tuesday I went back to work, and though I experienced some soreness near the end of my shifts, I was never really in pain.  It was more of an annoyance than anything else, really.  So after work on Thursday, I put on my running shoes and went out for 3 miles.  It was a slow 3 miles compared to how I have been running, but I must admit I had a moment of terror that I could go out and ruin all the progress I had made in the the week before in such a short distance.  And then I knew I at least had to try, because I would never know if I didn't at least give it an attempt.

I ran out to the edge of the pier at the beach, felt the lake breeze on my face, then turned around and came back.  The third mile was the fast and was comfortably in the range I was in before being diagnosed with PF.  I didn't hurt at all during the run, although I felt a little bit of tightness somewhere near 1.5 miles.  When I got back, I stretched it and iced it for good measure.  I was so glad that I had gone out and done it, and felt really optimistic as far as getting back to training was concerned.

I wanted to at least attempt to run on Friday and Saturday, in order to keep up with my training schedule.  However, on Friday, the weather was not in my favor and on Saturday, I felt more tired than I would have liked (Fridays and Saturdays are my early days and some Fridays and Saturdays are more energetic than others).  Given that I was planning a long run for Sunday, I figured that maybe it wasn't such a bad thing that I had taken a few days to rest.

Early this morning, I woke up, got dressed, ate a quick breakfast and got in the car to head out for my run with K.  We met at her place and she took us to the Prairie Path.  I was excited to run in a completely new place and it certainly did not disappoint.  The trail is primarily limestone, which felt great as a running surface.  There was plenty of shade and plenty of gorgeous scenery.  In addition to all that, K. was a great running partner and the 10 miles pretty much flew by!  I felt really good and didn't have any pain in my foot at all.  We alternated running in 4 minute intervals to walking 1 minute and it was a nice and steady pace, still keeping us moving.  It was definitely one of the more enjoyable training runs I have had over the last 8 weeks and I am definitely going to try and branch out more often!

Tomorrow is the start of week 9, and it's also August 1st.  I can't believe how quickly this summer--and training--are both flying by.  The mileage is upped a little bit this week, but I am feeling so refocused and refreshed after today's run that I am ready for the challenge.  This weekend I'll be doing my long run in a new to me state park and I'm really excited to explore uncharted territory!  As I ran 10 miles this week, which is the distance for next week, I'll be doing the 13.1 miles that I passed on today for my next long run.  The weather is supposed to be really nice next Sunday per the 10 day forecast, so I hope that holds out.

I am feeling positive about August, about my reentry into training and the second half.  October 9th isn't really that far away, but I have plenty of time to continue to make progress.  I am continuing to stretch and ice and watching out vigilantly for any sign of pain or occurrence of the issues I was having before with PF.  I am hoping that the worst is behind me, though, and ready for whatever comes.  "I can and I will."  I can run a marathon; I will make this happen.  I got this!

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