Solid Build Up and Then Some Setbacks
Training Block 5/5: for Rocky Raccoon 100 miler
Solid Build Up and Then Some Setbacks
The focus for this training block is to get in some longer runs and have a better feel for what it’s like to spend more time on my feet as well as run on tired legs. This block consisted of two phases of three weeks on and one week of rest between them. I managed to get 98 total miles for the first week with my longest run just over 31 miles. This run was okay but I realized I would need to do a few things different on the next long run and also for the race. Running with a hydration vest for this long took a beating on my ribs. It was the constant bounce of the bottles which became very uncomfortable so I’ll scratch that off my race day attire. I also learned that putting body glide on the inner thighs helps to avoid chafing but also results in a heat rash so I’ll have to be conscious of that and stick to Vaseline or something else during the race.
My ankles took a beating from running on a sloped surface off the side of the road as traffic was heavy for a few miles so for the next long run I’ll try to avoid running on the shoulder or off road. The second week I got in a total of 95 miles with my longest run at 41 miles followed by a 19 mile run the next day. I actually felt very good for this run and had a new pair of shoes which made a huge difference for my feet and ankles. Instead of a hydration vest I carried a couple handheld bottles with my planned hydration needs. I had to stop a few times to refill the bottles but other than that I moved along at a comfortable mid-7 minute pace which was a big confidence booster. Towards the end of the run my shoulders and upper arms started to get tired and stiff. I probably should have been doing some sort of upper body strength training and core workouts but got out of the habit of doing anything the last 5-6 weeks. I’ll get back into a routine the next three weeks as I’ll need to have a stronger core to help maintain my running form as my body starts to get fatigued during longer hours of running. The week leading up to the long run I took a few days off and only ran 35 total miles going into the weekend so my body performed well with a decent amount of rest. I’ll mimic something similar to this for race week. The third week wasn’t quite as much overall distance but I ran a 50K trail race (see race report) at a good effort so I got in a solid three week period that I’m happy with.
Everything had been going well and my confidence was up following the last few weeks so my plan was to repeat or do something similar to what I just did and continue with another three weeks of higher volume. However, this is where things started to fall apart and my body seemed to rebel against me. I took a week off to recover but the trail run took a toll on my ankles and legs. I rolled my right ankle early on in the trail race and then continued to abuse it while running without any light for a while and not being able to see my footing before the sun came up. I also had a really tight left hamstring during the second half of the race which didn’t bother me too much during the run but stayed tight the following week. The first week of getting back into running was painful. It felt like my Achilles was pinched and had me nervous. I did most of my workouts in the pool and ran in deep enough water so my feet didn’t touch the bottom. I also took a couple days off that week and only managed to get in 44 miles. It was a disappointing week but I figured it was better to stay off my feet as much as possible to avoid any long lasting injuries. I got a couple massages, tried foam rolling, and wore compression boots for a while to help with recovery. The second week I started with shorter distance runs to ease back into it. The pain didn’t go away and it was now moving up to my calves and shins. I started feeling some knots on both legs (inner calf/outer shin) that were becoming very sensitive to touch. I went to see a Chiropractor that specializes in this area and he named three areas that are aggravated. Peroneal Tendon, Peroneus longus, and no clue what the third one is called. Everything is connected and he did some acupuncture and other active release techniques along my lower body to help me to loosen up. I was tight from my lower back, glutes, hamstrings, to my ankles. That week I was stubborn enough to run every day and manage to get in 100 miles. I had a great 24 mile progression run on Sunday with a strong finish which was another confidence booster since I had been down for the last couple weeks. For the third week I planned to get in 100 miles and figured I would have more time to run since I was off a couple days for Thanksgiving. I did a 20 mile long run in the middle of the week and the last five miles of it my lower back gave out and it was very uncomfortable to finish. I have no idea what caused this so I’m once again doing my workouts in the pool to at least stay active. I only managed to squeeze in 70 miles for this third week. It seems like there is constantly something falling apart with me and this concerns me the most as I don’t want to experience back pain like this on race day. I can shuffle my way through a run at a decent pace with leg pain but running with back pain is torture. I have massages scheduled and another couple appointments with the Chiropractor so hopefully this is something minor and gets better sooner than later. I would have liked to get in another 40 mile run and a couple more 100 mile weeks during this last training block but it is what it is and the higher mileage I’m finding out takes a toll on the body. I’m fortunate to have had some solid runs and a good feel for what that effort takes as well as understand what nutrition my body needs to perform at those longer efforts. Tomorrow is the beginning of two week taper that I’m looking forward to and I’ll be rested and ready for race day on the 13th.
10/13 – 11/09: 302 miles
Week One Goal: 100 miles. completed 98
Week Two Goal: 100 miles. completed 95
Week Three Goal: 100 miles. completed 75 *50K Rocky Raccoon Trail Race
Week Four Goal: Rest Week. completed 34
11/10 – 11/30: 214 miles
Week One Goal: 100 miles. completed 44 *dealing with aches and pains. Cross training
Week Two Goal: 100 miles. completed 100
Week Three Goal: 100 miles. completed 70 *lots of cross training
12/1 – 12/13 (race day): Taper
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