This was a tough one. Coming off of my 44 mile week last week, I was surprised that I felt pretty good. I went out for my Monday run as planned, and then the shin pain hit. I woke up Tuesday morning to a left shin that was very bothersome. I took a few unplanned rest days this week and did lots of icing and stretching to try and get my shin feeling better. I’m not happy about missing mileage, but I’ll do what I have to, to get to the start line in one piece. I have been in training for 16 weeks now, which is a long time. I am kind of ready for the race to be here already.
Monday- 6 mile run on some new-to-me trails in Radford. I had fun exploring some new trails, but was disappointed to find that they weren’t as long as I thought. So I ended my run back in a familiar park. I finished feeling good and was still on top of the world from my 20 miler.
Tuesday- Rest day. This was a planned rest day, but I also woke up with pain in my left shin that hurt every time I took a step when I walked. I was surprised to have a pain like this come on so quickly, without any warning. It immediately had me worried, of course, but I’m not sure if it was just a delayed reaction to my previous week of highest weekly mileage ever.
Wednesday- Unplanned rest day. My shin was still bothering me, so I opted for a rest day in lieu of my planned 6 mile run. My shin was feeling a bit better from Tuesday, and I continued to stretch and ice.
Thursday- 6 miles at a surprising 9:57/mile pace with Barry on the roads around our house. My shin was a bit bothersome during the first mile, but it was my calves that were on fire during most of the run. Lots of extra stretching went on afterwards.
Friday- Rest day. Normally I would have made this my third weekday 6 mile run, since I took Wednesday off, but my shin was bugging me again when I woke up so I took another day off. I spent my workday with a compression sleeve hidden under my work pants. You never know what kind of compression us runners might be hiding under our work clothes.
After work I spent the evening icing and resting my shin, and wearing compression socks, in the hope of doing my 14 mile long run as planned on Saturday morning.
Saturday- My shin was feeling okay when I woke up in the morning. I got out to the trail and took my first few steps, and knew I wouldn’t be running 14 miles as planned. Stabs of pain shot up my lower left leg with every step. It dissipated a bit, but not enough to keep me from turning around at the one mile marker and heading back to the truck. My 14 mile run turned into a two mile run. I shed a few tears as I got back to the truck, wondering “what now??” I went home, iced my shin, had breakfast and took a shower, and then climbed back into bed and cuddled with the dogs.
That’s 220 lbs. of dog in bed with me. I read while they slept.
Up until this point training has been going really well. I was on cloud nine after last week’s 20 miler, which went better than I could have imagined. Now it feels like that cloud just dissolved and I plummeted back to Earth and hit the ground hard. I’m upset and I’m not sure what to do. Clearly my upcoming final peak week (which is supposed to be this week) is not going to happen. I’m worried about what this means for the fate of my first marathon. I know there’s a good chance I’m going to have to severely cut my mileage back in order to make it to the start line. But how is that going to affect my ability to complete the race?
Sunday- Loaded my bike into the bed of the truck (my first time doing that myself) and went for a ride on the New River Trail.
I ended up riding a little over 17 miles. It felt good to be out doing some form of exercise for an extended period of time, but I was still feeling bummed about my run. The trail was gorgeous, though. I even found the iconic New River Trail trestle bridge that they like to use in all of the pictures advertising the trail.
Just one more picture, I promise. This part of the trail has some spectacular views of the New River. The trail is a cut out on the side of a mountain. On some parts of this stretch you have the mountainside going straight up on one side and on the other side it drops straight down to the New River. You definitely have to pay attention, because if you ride off the trail towards the river it will be a quick drop with a sudden stop.
The good news is my leg felt good while riding, which means biking is a viable option until my leg feels better. The bad news is my leg was pretty painful when I got off the bike, but as I walked around some the pain did subside a bit.
Total Miles: 14 miles (it hurt me to type that)
This week’s schedule (final peak week):
Monday: 8 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles w/ 5 @ MP
Friday: 8 miles
Saturday: 20 miles