Twin Cities Marathon Week 6 Training Recap

This week did not go according to plan. I won’t get into the details in this post but I will say that I may be facing a nagging knee issue that could keep me from being able to make a true BQ effort. (Doctor Google says it may be anything from Runner’s Knee, ITBS, quadriceps tendonitis or something else because the symptoms don’t exactly match anything. I’m hoping it’s just tight muscles.)

Monday week 5 long run
The weather wasn’t any better than last Saturday except for a bit more cloud cover. This run started as a mental battle. From the first step I kept telling myself that I could do this. (I lost track of how many different mantras I mentally shouted at myself.) Eventually I settled into the run but I can’t remember when. I was supposed to do some moderate intervals at the end but decided early that my goal would be finishing the full mileage and staying hydrated. When I got back to my car I refilled my bottle and drained a 20 oz Gatorade. Soon after, I decided that I would do walk/run intervals of 9:1 after mile 15 and turn around when I got to 15.5. A parked train blocked the trail so I turned at 14.75 adding one more little out and back before I could finish. After I had my next Gu chomps I decided to get to 17 before walking again, then 19. I ate chomps at both those miles. I walked at 20 then started counting down hundredths. I decided against stopping at 21 and just kept going. I also broke through the “wall” and reached that point where your body just keeps going because you’ve already gotten that far. I’m really not sure how this happened but I clocked my last mile at 8:16. Seriously? Long run success!

Tuesday easy recovery run
I’m pretty bummed. I forgot to mention Monday that I felt a weird tightness in my right knee around mile 12. It worked itself out fairly soon after and I didn’t feel anything throughout the day so I didn’t think about it until that night when I got up to go to bed and discovered that it protested when I tried to bend it past 90 degrees. I hoped a good night’s sleep would help. I think it felt fine when I woke up but I can’t remember. By the time I got to the gym I could feel it. It didn’t really hurt and the weird tightness gradually went away during these three miles (which I know I probably should have skipped) but I’m still concerned. My whole IT Band feels tight. (At least I think it’s my IT Band. My “injuries” never fit the common stuff so I can never figure it out.) So, I’m still trying to figure it out.

Wednesday recovery run + hill intervals walk
It was really weird to just walk but two days off definitely did me some good. My muscles felt really tight. I think I may have some muscle imbalances because I keep having nagging twinges on my right IT band.

Thursday stationary bike
I felt good on this ride. I did lose a little time adjusting the seat but other than that it was a great ride.

Friday tempo intervals
I ran inside because of the dark and the humidity. I could have run outside but I couldn’t work up the motivation. The run itself felt fairly good. The intervals were hard but in a good way. I did decrease the speed a tiny bit on the last interval but put it back up where it was supposed to be by the end. My hip felt a little bit odd but nothing super out of the ordinary. I still can’t tell if I overreacted or not.

Saturday long run
This was an extremely tough run mentally. This run was plagued by weird issues in my right leg. There was never pain but lots of tightness and stiffness around my knee and even a little in the front of my hip. I want to say that it didn’t affect my gait but I’m not sure. I had to decide whether it was a precursor to an injury (cut it short) or just me being neurotic (finish it out and become mentally tough.) I took two breaks: a bathroom break just after mile 2 and a water/mental regroup break close to mile 6. Up until this point I had run all of the miles (except the first) just a little bit faster than my average goal pace. I felt mentally defeated so I walked for a minute with 30 minutes to go and then again at 20 to go. I planned to do that again with 10 minutes to go. A runner I had just passed started talking to me and told me that he read my blog and that I’d been tearing it up this year. Those kind words made me feel a little bit guilty because I’d given up and wondered if I had an injury. Soon after that interaction I turned around and headed back. I felt pretty good considering everything, including the weather, obviously buoyed by the other runner’s kind words. I didn’t walk again and even increased my pace for the final mile. I finished with an exact 8:30 average for the run, my goal pace. I’m really conflicted about this run because I feel pretty much normal after and have no idea why I’m struggling with this knee thing again.

Sunday rest
I have been following this to the letter, stretching and foam rolling. The knee feels normal-ish but I’m hyper aware of everything so I’m not sure.

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