You may have noticed I missed a week. Well, that’s because I logged a whole ~2.5 miles the week after the Invermere Half and found myself under the care of a physiotherapist due to a bum left hip. It’s been bugging me for a while (a looooong ass while) with some related IT band pain. I would especially notice it on long runs, causing me to stop and stretch when I go over 1.5 hrs. My most recurring though during the whole half was “I should probably go see a physio for this”, so when I returned back to Calgary, I asked my Dad for the number to his physio and promptly made an appointment.
She did a strength and flexibility test, and determined that my gluteus medius was weak and didn’t have the endurance to carry out those long runs. It’s also not firing how it should be, so what the PT and I have to do over the next several weeks is get it to relax, get stronger and get firing.
She was concerned about my 19 mile long run on the weekend, and suggested taking the rest of the week off. She told me that *most* people would take a break after racing a half, and she understands the desire to keep pushing, but since this is my 5th marathon training cycle, I don’t have to worry AS much about making the mileage and I can afford to take a week off.
Turns out, this mental and physical break worked in my benefit. As it has happened with injuries in the past, I have had to change my running style and focus on form, which in turn makes me a better runner. One thing both my trainer and PT had suggested was to think about engaging my glutes while walk/run/bike/do anything. This will strengthen the muscle and remind it that it has work to do, and isn’t just along for the ride.
Monday – 45 Min Bike Ride
I hopped on my black beauty and took off for a sunset ride along the Bow river (remember that asshole, well one of the assholes, that flooded the city two months ago?). It was nice. I focused on firing dem butt muscles.
Tuesday – easy 5k/3miles
Wednesday – Track Party
Jamie and I hit the indoor 200m track at Mt Royal University for some speedwork. I did 6x800m with 400m recovery in between. I didn’t do the best job at negative splits, but I’m ok with that. My goal time was 3:34-3:44, and I ran them in 3:34, 3:28, 3:27, 3:38, 3:36.
I also did some new strength moves. Lots of stabilizing exercises. I like that. One can never do too much core! (that’s probably not true but it is very important when it comes to running)
Thursday – 4.5ish easy miles
I had physio in the morning, so things were a bit sore and tired. I mentally needed a run, so I slogged out some easy miles on the dirt paths in the river valley. My legs felt heavy, and I bailed hard on some stairs.
Later that evening I had dinner with some friends. We attempted to BBQ but the propane tank caught on fire (near death experience #2!). Then we went up to my friend’s rooftop patio, and climbed onto another, higher up portion of the roof to get a better view of the sunset. I almost didn’t go, as heights and I are not friends, but I did. I was scared and sweating the whole time. But the view was pretty fantastic and I did it. Go me.
Friday – Strength
Saturday – Cruise Intervals
Cruise Intervals are a type of tempo workout, a bit longer and slower than tempo intervals. My goal pace was 7:50-8:00/mile and I had no issues maintaining that pace for the 0.75-1 mile intervals.
Sunday – Long Run (17 miles)
I was craving a run around the reservoir, and Chelsea met me for the last 7 miles. I focused on engaging my glutes as I ran, and although it was tough at some points, I really feel that benefits my running form. I find that while doing that, I land more midfoot in a shorter stride and have a stronger push off.
I’m working pretty hard to get over this minor setback and come back stronger. Looking back to my training for the Vancouver marathon, my hamstring was bugging me and I got sick right about this time in the training cycle too, so I know that if I step back and rest up it won’t harm my training (and might actually do me some good).
My track workout, tempo and long run perked me up mentally, so I feel pretty confident going forward and I’m starting to get excited about the race. I just gotta keep working dat ass.