Thursday, May 15, 2014

Moving Forward (finally)!

I'm not going to lie.  The afternoon of the Pittsburgh Half, while laying around watching movies and shoveling food in my face, I was looking at marathon training plans.  My mind was totally on "what's next".  I felt really great that day.  Which is good.  And bad.

I should know by now, but I never truly have an accurate judge of "how bad did that race hurt me" until a few days afterward.  I feel fantastic afterward (albeit tired and ravenously hungry), and typically feel pretty good the day after.  It's during that evening and the following day(s) where the ouchies come in.  This time was no different.

Last Wednesday I attempted a 2 mile run.  My legs felt like they weighed 50 pounds each and I was mighty stiff, but I completed it.  Then the rest of the day I just got more and more sore and stiff and started to have an extra twinge out of the general vicinity of my stress fracture.  Poop.

Thursday I planned on doing another run (preferable longer than 2 miles), but I thought better of it and only went as far as I felt "ok" (15 mins - 1.51 miles was how far I got) and then just did some cardio on the cross ramp.  After that I was hurting a bit.  Not excruciating, mind you, but even my husband noticed I had a little bit of a hobble going on the rest of the night and I was just not comfortable with what I was feeling.  I was downright concerned, if I'm being honest.  So, I decided I was going to rest on Friday instead of doing anything at all... I definitely wasn't going to run but I wasn't going to do anymore damage to anything by trying to be a superhero on the elliptical or anything else.

Thankfully by Friday night I was feeling better.  Saturday I went out with the mindset that I'd go as far as I felt good again.  I made it 4 miles, but was pretty spent afterward and still just on that side of sore that I didn't want to chance running again for a couple more days.

Monday I started a new weightlifting rotation (I've gotta get cut down again and shed some of this extra bulk I picked up while being injured) and that went well.  I was feeling pretty much back to normal.

Tuesday I ran 4 miles again, but this time I felt good.  Really good.  No nagging twinges, no aches and pains, no stiffness.  Just a smooth wonderful run.  Thank goodness.  I ran Wednesday and today (Thursday) too and still feel great.  I'm just going to chalk this up to the fact that I asked my body to do something extraordinary on May 4th and since it delivered beautifully I needed to listen to it in return to give it the extra rest it needed to recover.  See - I am getting better at listening to my body and not just blindly following a plan or doing what everyone else does! ;)

Speaking of blindly following plans, back to the marathon training plans.  Admittedly, I've been pouring over this for a long time.  I've bought heaps of books, browsed tons of websites and articles, talked with people, etc.  I finally narrowed it down to Hal Hidgon Intermediate 1 (I used Hal's intermediate half plans for my previous half marathons and his intermediate 10K plan which totally helped me rock the Great Race last year), FIRST (from the book Run Less, Run Faster), Jack Daniels' Plan A, and Pfitzinger's 18/55 plan.

I did look into the Hanson plan, especially since a bunch of people I follow on DailyMile and elsewhere were using it to train for early Spring marathons.  I'm uninterested in it right now for 2 reasons:  First, as much as it kills me to admit, I believe that kind of heavy buildup in conjunction with that kind of speed Hanson's wants would just bring me to injury quickly.  If this were pre-injury Nichole I wouldn't think twice about it.  But now?  nah.  Second, it would drive me freaking nuts to only run a 16 mile long run.  I would go psychotic wondering if I could run 10.2 more miles.  10 is such an intimidating number for me.  6?  Not so much.  That's just me.  I've read and understand the reasons why the plan "works" the way it does, I just don't think its for me.

I'll get into further marathon training plan research in another post.  I still have a few weeks before the beginning of training (looks like that will be June 23rd).  Until then I'm going to work on building slow mileage and staying injury free.  I've been wearing my heart rate monitor again and I will probably do that for 2-3 runs a week just so I don't drive myself too crazy with it.  I'm out there loving wearing a tank top at 6 AM and seeing all the cute little baby creatures along the North Shore trail in the morning - lots of bunnies and goslings!


  1. I'm glad that you are feeling good post half marathon, and getting into the marathon spirit! SO excited for marathon training!

  2. I hope to see you out on the North Shore!! I'm very excited for marathon training =)

    1. I'll be sure to say hi! I'm one of those wave and smile at everyone types. Sometimes I think people think I'm crazy (and they're probably right!).

  3. Cool! I live on the Northside and also run on the trail in the early mornings. Maybe I will see you (I am usually wearing a headband)!

    1. I'm either in a headband too or a hat, usually! I really like that trail. I didn't like it there for a while when they were still working on it, but it's gotten wonderful!