Thursday, December 3, 2015

Back in the (training) saddle again

I can't believe that it's actually time for true training to begin again.  The past few months have been spent ever-so-carefully returning to a normal running schedule.  Take a look at my weekly miles... 

From, where I track my runs...

Week 34 was back in mid-August, when I slowly started back into running again.  I refused to let myself get carried away with how good I felt as the miles added up.  I only ran three runs per week for 11 out of the past 15 weeks.  When my foot wasn't feeling so great after the Hot Chocolate 15K, I only did two runs.  It's taken me awhile, but I've learned that if I don't pay attention and listen to my body, things will quickly go downhill for me.  

I will be honest, I haven't completely avoided running fast over the past few months.  Not all the time, at least.  I ran fairly quickly at the Hot Chocolate race, and a few of my runs have been on the speedier side (average in the mid-8's).  Most of them, however, have been in the high 8's/low 9's.  Speedwork doesn't officially start until January (more on that later, though).

Okay, enough avoiding the inevitable question that my true followers (all four of you LOL) are asking... how is my foot?  My appointment with Dr. Bright was lackluster at best.  He completely dismissed my chiropractor's view that it was not actually plantar fasciitis, and assured me I had a "classic case" of PF.  It wasn't that I didn't want this diagnosis... as I believe that I have stated previously, PF is one of the "better" running ailments--you can usually train through it.  He recommended continuing the treatments I was already trying (taping, stretching, icing), as well as getting a night splint to wear.  He also recommended physical therapy, but I couldn't see fitting that into my crazy-busy life right now (it was easier in the summer when I was off from work!).  Besides...

I still don't think I have PF.  I don't have some of the more "classic" signs--feeling the most pain with the first few steps out of bed in the morning (mine is pretty much the same all day long), warming up throughout the day (again, it never really changes), tightness/pain in the arch (it's all in my heel).  I still don't know what's wrong with me, but I do know that nothing that I was doing to treat it was working.  A few days ago, I called it quits.  I stopped taping, stretching, wearing my Oofos sandals everywhere, etc.   I wore my wedge shoes to work on Monday, and lo and behold--my foot felt pretty good at the end of the day!  I ran six miles at a relatively fast pace on Wednesday morning (overall pace was 8:23), and while I could feel my heel most of the time, it wasn't any more painful or annoying that it usually is.  I decided to go ahead and schedule an appointment with a new doctor, and had my records transferred to MaxSports Westerville, which is much closer to my house.  My friend Amy has a doctor there who she really likes, and I am going to see what her thoughts are about what's going on with me.  I see her a week from tomorrow and I'll be sure to update on how things are going.  I do plan on writing at least a short blog every week of my training cycle, to keep track of how things are going, how I am feeling, etc.  

The big change this training cycle: the days when I am running and working out.  I have arranged it with my son's dad and stepmom to have my oldest son Hunter on different evenings, so that I can run at least twice a week with my friends Jess and Amy.  Up until now, I ran on different days from Jess, but we are hoping to train together more this cycle, so changing made sense.  Here is my planned schedule:

Mondays: AM: comfy pace (8:30-9:00/mile) run between 5-9 miles (increasing throughout the training cycle), PM: boot camp or Body Pump

Tuesdays: rest day 

Wednesdays: AM: speedwork (won't officially start till January, but for now I'm good with anything from 8:20-9:00/mile), PM: CXWORX class

Thursdays: AM: easy recovery run (no faster than 9:10/mile) between 3-5 miles, PM: swim

Fridays: rest day

Saturdays: AM: long run (10-20 miles)

Sundays: AM: bike on trainer

All of this is definitely subject to change... I may try to swim occasionally on Friday nights instead of Thursdays, and I'm not sure how Wednesday nights are going to work out with Joey being at basketball practice.  Right now I'm swimming on Wednesday nights because I can go after Joey has practice.  And I haven't set up my new bike or borrowed trainer yet, nor do I have bike shoes, so obviously Sunday mornings isn't happening anytime soon.  I'll slowly get into the swing of things.

As far as the actual running goes on this plan, I've written my own plan (again).  I just feel most comfortable when I'm in charge of what I am doing.  I have trouble giving up control to someone else--big surprise LOL!  I have made sure that this plan isn't huge on the mileage (I am peaking at 40 miles, which is really short for marathon training), and is limited on the speedwork (only once per week, and every three week, none at all).  These are two things that I feel strongly about for me, at least during this training cycle... that I need to take it relatively easy on all fronts--and that includes keeping my long runs easy as well (although some will have "fast finishes" or "marathon-pace miles").   As I've reminded my training partners several times, my plan is fluid.  But I am happy with how things look for the next 10 weeks, so I will go with that and continue to reevaluate as needed.

With that, let the training begin!  Look for a blog entry each weekend that will recap the week of the cycle.  :)

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