Friday, August 10, 2012

Dialing it Back

I was riding the subway home the other night, after a delightful dinner with friends, feeling elated and full. I decided to browse this month’s Runner’s World, which usually brings me so much joy, yet so much agony once I’ve read it from cover-to-cover knowing I have to wait another 4 weeks for a new issue.

An article that interviewed some of this summer’s Olympic athletes piqued my interest, especially the part on “injury prevention.” Shalane Flanagan, one of the women who competed in the Olympic Marathon, said how every runner will feel an ache here and there – but once it goes past 3-4 days, it’s considered an injury.

I got really hot, and cursed the non-pregnant young people who were taking up all the precious seats. After a minor hot flash/freakout, I came to terms with the fact that I am “injured.”

I thought I kicked my knee injury after my PT Session two weeks ago, but after running 4 miles Monday night and 6 miles Tuesday morning, it was definitely in a bit of pain. I noticed stiffness in my knee Tuesday at work, and tried icing and stretching, and didn’t think about it too much.

But after reading that article, I realized, I really do need to do something about it. My training plan has been somewhat conservative until now, and starting next week, it really begins to ramp up. I know that my knee is not going to fare well if I increase mileage, and I know that because I’ve been base training for about two months now, I will be fine if I take off or decrease the mileage on a few runs.

To give me some hope, I thought back to last year’s marathon training plan, when I followed the bare-bones beginner program. It got me through a full marathon, with only one minor injury along the way.

Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer - you have
a special place in my heart.
I opened up my copy, and I was shocked at how low the mileage was for the first half of the plan. A wave of RELIEF washed over me. I’ve been doing much higher mileages for weeks now, and if I need to lower mileage for a week or two to get back on track, it won’t wreck all the training I’ve already done.

So I got up on yesterday morning, listened to my body, and left my gym bag at home. I felt a bit antsy, but I knew it was what I needed. On the upside, I made oatmeal raisin cookies.

Not my cookies. I didn't take a picture of them.
I was too busy eating.
I went to the gym this morning, and though the treadmill was screaming my name, I gave my joints a break and did my cardio on just about every other machine (including that weird gazelle machine that simulates running. It was the next best thing and I still hated it).

I can already feel my body thanking me - I woke up with a ton of energy this morning, and basically leapfrogged out of bed. So while it’s hard for me to dial back my training plan, at the end of the day, I want to finish the Philly Marathon. I would rather run it and miss my goal time, than sit on the sidelines on race day.

1 comment:

  1. Smart girl - always have been, always will be!