Scrapping fall racing plans

I left off last time with a bit of a concern about a tendon near my ankle (tibialis posterior, I think) and I had decided to take an extra day off on top of the two rest days built into my training plan in order to let it heal. I thought this would be enough of a break to let the niggles work themselves out before I got into the meat of the cycle. The first day I didn’t feel much difference but after the second day I couldn’t feel any issues in the ankle. After three days, it felt great so I ran a 2×20′ tempo run on Monday. Things still felt okay immediately after that, but I felt some funny twinges on my Tuesday morning run and then some more frequent pain on my Tuesday evening run. After that, I decided to take a week off running and cross train to get in my cardio. I wouldn’t call it a full-on injury but, instead, a preventative period of cross-training.

I enjoyed biking even though I was just using my wife’s hybrid bike. Admittedly, it probably would’ve been a lot more fun on a proper road bike. I got in some good rides, my longest being 40 km and 50 km. 

I tried an 8 km run on Monday after five days of cross-training and the following day my ankle was throbbing. I then took 4 days of complete rest (no biking or elliptical) and found that the tendon which used to be sore to the touch no longer had any hot spots. This was a great boost to my outlook and I thought I had beaten this injury. I tried another 8 km on Saturday and, although it felt okay during the run, the throbbing was back that evening and all the next day.

So what’s next? My next move is two take two weeks off and see if I can let this tendon heal fully. That will bring my total time off running to roughly 4 weeks (most of August), after which there will only be seven weeks until the Toronto Waterfront Marathon. Ideally I’d have twelve or more weeks of marathon-specific training and with a week to taper and a week or two to build back up after this break, I’d only have four or five weeks of workouts before Toronto. Even if I shifted things back and ran the Hamilton marathon, that would  only buy me two additional weeks.

I definitely am not interested in running a marathon only partially prepared so I’m scrapping my fall racing plans and will figure things out once I’ve got this injury under control and am back running. That means no CRIM 10 miler in Flint next weekend and likely I’ll only be able to run the Springbank Half in London as a workout. That’s a big bummer as I was looking forward to  all those races.

So that’s the situation I find myself in. How did this happen? What can I learn from this so that I reduce the likelihood of it happening again?

The last time I had this type of overuse injury in a tendon (admittedly, a different tendon) was when I cranked up my mileage before the Waterloo marathon. I did the same thing this time. That’s dumb, you’re probably thinking. Circumstances were a little different this time as I had a coach helping me and I talked myself into thinking that this time it would be okay because someone else thought it was alright. I should have spoken up and been more cautious. Hopefully over the next eight weeks I can build up my mileage more carefully and be ready to put down a good marathon in April.

[On the topic of April marathons, if you know a good one – let me know!]

Not much training from the last two weeks to recap but here it is anyway.

Week of August 3

  • M: Workout: 20′-20′. 5 km warm-up, 20′ @ 3:27/km, 4′ jog, 20′ @ 3:20/km, 5 km cool-down.
  • T: [AM] 18 km easy. [PM] 12 km easy with 12x 20″ strides
  • W: [AM] 45′ pool running with 10×2′ hard (1′ recoveries). [PM] 30′ elliptical + 20′ core.
  • T: 50′ bike ride.
  • F: 85′ bike ride.
  • S: 110′ bike ride.
  • S: 60′ bike ride with 2×15′ at 160 bpm.
  • Total: 53 km + 6.25 hours of cross-training.

Week of August 10

  • [AM] M: 8 km easy. [PM] 45′ elliptical.
  • T: Rest.
  • W: Rest.
  • T: Rest.
  • F: Rest.
  • S: 8 km easy-ish.
  • S: Rest.
  • Total: 16 km + 45′ of cross-training.
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