After my shin issues flared up on Sunday, I shuffled around my training plans yet again. I had booked a day off work this week to run a 23 mile workout on the Waterloo marathon course but the closer that day came, the more it became clear my shin wasn’t healed enough for it.
I’ve now been battling this injury for over three weeks and I need it to heal up by the end of this week if I am going to be able to get one last long run or race in to test my fitness and choose my (adjusted) goal pace. I was originally aiming for <2:40 but with the way my workouts were going in March, I thought 2:36-2:38 might have been possible. Since the injury, my fingers are crossed that I can still pull off a sub-2:40.
Here is how my week has gone so far:
Monday: Off completely.
Tuesday: 45 minute elliptical workout (15x 2′-easy/1′-hard).
Wednesday: Met with a new physio therapist. She was awesome, explaining how the tightness in my ankle was limiting the ‘whipping’ motion of my foot as I push off. She loosened that up and had me do a number of movements to look for other issues. She was confident that it wasn’t a structural issue as that would present itself almost immediately, but instead he thought it could be a muscle imbalance that just aggravates things over an extended period of time. That matches up with what I see when the pain doesn’t appear until I’m several miles into a run.
The physio therapist taught me a couple stretches to do throughout the day to strengthen my tibialis posterior. In addition, she taped up my ankle to support the tib post and told me to run(!) today to try it out! That was awesome for me to hear so I got out for a 4 mile run with the tape and it felt great. I picked up the pace each mile from 7:00/mile to my marathon pace, 6:02ish/mile and then for the final mile I accelerated to near top speed. Everything felt great and the rest over the last three weeks allowed me to pump out a kilometer PB without really trying (3:15/km).
Following the 4 mile run, I tried out pool running for the first time since university. I did a 60 minute workout (4′ wu, 7x 5′-hard/3′-easy) which went by quicker than I thought considering how many circles I had to ‘run’ in the deep end.
Pro tip: Put an old MP3 player in a toque, courtesy of Reid Coolsaet. If you use iPhone earbuds, turn them upside down and plug them in opposite ears and you can keep all the wires up in the toque to keep them (mostly) dry.
I didn’t want to spend $100 on a pool running belt, so I made one myself from a pool noodle, a hockey pants belt, and zip ties (see pic up top).
For the rest of this week, I’m going to continue pool runs in the mornings and shorter jogs at lunch or after work. My goal is to be ready for the local road runners 10K race this Saturday as a fitness test, two long running workouts next week, and then a week to (re-)taper for the Waterloo marathon.
Speaking of the Waterloo marathon, a running friend of mine from Sarnia signed up so it looks like I’ll have some competition to keep me going in the later stages of the race!