Marathon Training: Week 7 and 8

Week 7
Monday

2.02 miles run. Easy run. Nothing special.

Wednesday
6 mile tempo run. That was really supposed to be a 4 mile tempo with a mile warm up and cool down. That is basically the way it played out. Not quite the total 6 miles, but it was close enough.

Found loot on runThis was a Eureka! day. Not because anything super special was discovered in my mind, but I found loot on my run. I have rarely found things. And almost never anything of value. But that day I found 2 hitch pins and a toy lizard.  The first hitch pin I saw I just took note of it in my mind and thought it was curious. The second one caused me to stop and think that maybe I had a collection started. I picked the second one up and then turned around to get the first one.

After rounding the corner on my way back to the house I saw a little toy lizard. I was not convinced it was a toy at first, so I was careful when trying to grab it. Since we had just started a meeting in a church with a group of friends, I determined right off that the lizard was going to go to church with me and be used to scare some ladies. What fun!

I got home with the loot and showed the lizard to my 5 year old daughter and told her she could have it after I used it to scare people at church. When she prayed for breakfast the prayer was something like this: “Heavenly Father, thank you for letting my daddy find a lizard that he is going to give to me after he takes it to church and scares some people with it. Amen.” Somehow she forgot to pray for the food. The lizard was too exciting for her.

By the way, it was mostly just the older ladies who screamed at the lizard. The younger mothers seemed to be used to creatures being shoved in their faces.

Saturday
16 mile long run. This run was done completely in the rain. 3.5 hours of torrential rain. At times I had trouble seeing the cars on the road, I am sure they had trouble seeing me. The hills were a bit of a challenge (I was in east Tennessee near Gatlinburg).

The ugly truth
I think I am out for this marathon. At least for doing a good time at it. Without any warning or previous discomfort, during the long run on Saturday I felt the pain of a stress fracture in my left foot after 12 miles. I made it the rest of the way home, but my foot definitely needs to heal. I have babied it since with just shorter runs. Now, a week and a half later, the pain is almost completely gone, but I know there is damage in there.

How will I proceed from here?
I am going to limit myself to shorter runs (2 to 5 miles) for a few weeks. I am also going to ramp up my cycling. I will try and keep my endurance up with that, but cycling is no substitute for running. You can’t prepare for a marathon on a bike. The muscles used are a different set. I will do some strength training work on those important running muscles and keep running the shorter runs. My goal is to see if I can get a couple of longer runs in just a couple of weeks before the marathon and see how my foot does. I only have 7 weeks to go before marathon day. I am not out of running and I am not giving it up, but I am going to do more cycling to let my foot heal and come back stronger.

What caused it?
I suspect I know the cause of the stress fracture again. Too much too soon. Last year I had been running much more consistently when I started my marathon training. While I have been running well this year, I have mostly done shorter runs. When I looked up the cause of stress fractures in the foot I found a picture of me by the definition. Trying to run either too fast or too far without working up to the speed or distance. I just added the miles too quickly this year. I have also put on an extra 25 lbs. That added weight just adds to the stress on the feet.

Week 8
Monday
Ran 2 miles with friends. Nothing fast nor fancy.

Wednesday
Nothing.

Saturday
20 mile bike ride over into Alabama. Since I don’t listen to my iPod during bike rides I tend to meditate more on scripture. That day the verse “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help.” (Psalm 121:1) came into my head. Hills and cycling are not what I consider a great combination. At least not for someone who is biking in flat Florida.

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