Weekly Recap – week of April 7, 2014

I’ll be doing a separate Parkway race report, probably post it on Wednesday. I did not run the 17.75k on Saturday (more about that below).

Totals:
30.4 miles run
3 x 1h bike plus post run Sat, post run Sun, probably 20 minutes each time – super low resistance but high cadence
3 core workouts (my workout is basically this one)
3 Wharton flexibility workouts
lots of calf stretches rx’d by chiro Fri/Sat/Sun

multiple Roll Recovery sessions and Trigger Point sessions with the ball on my calves, hams, glutes, also some orange TP roller on hams
Other: weekly chiropractor appt. (Friday)

Got my chiro exercises in twice this week! (ok, I forgot one of the set on Tuesday, realized it on Thursday and skipped it anyway, but still….)
Highlight of the week – PR’ing at the Parkway 10 Miler on Sunday, especially following scary calf twinge and week of not the greatest running, combined with allergies.

This coming week will be somewhat of a recovery week. I’d planned to take Monday off work thinking I would be doing 2 races this weekend, but I expect I’ll go into the office instead, save some leave. Telework Tuesday with a chiro appt, massage Wednesday. Not sure yet what kind of miles I’ll do, probably just play it by ear based on recovery from the race. Looking back at last year’s log, I biked the first 2 days after Parkway, then went back to my (then) 7 days a week running schedule. This time I’ll hang with 5 days a week for a while I think. I’ll be starting to work on my training plan for Baystate, expecting to start it mid-May with a 4 week hill module, then a 4 week speed module, then the 12 week marathon-specific plan.

Note – right now, thanks to the Another Mother Runner folks (I read them & tweet with them but have no other connection), you can get 20% off the Trigger Point therapy tools with code AMR20.

If you want more detail, read on. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by and have a great day!


Mon 4/7: Core workout, 60 min bike in the morning – telework during the day, noticed while walking around on conference calls (and doing laundry) that my legs felt fairly fresh – not too stiff or sore. Yay! Forced myself to do my Wharton flexibility exercises before dinner, along with a moment in cow-faced pose and then low lunge with a bit of hamstring stretch before doing my Roll Recovery.

Tues 4/8: RUN 6.2 miles – 6 mi at varied ez pace (1st 3 slower, 2nd 3 faster) with 0.2 at a fast pace. My L knee and my R glute min (the R now too?!) complained during my walking warmup – the R glute to the point I was a little concerned, sharper pain rather than soreness. Was ok during the run. My hams, however, which had improved yesterday, didn’t love the run. A bit frustrated by that as we’re 3+ weeks past the marathon now. They need to get with the program as fall marathon training is only about a month away! First day of 3 days of almost all-day (sitting) meetings at work, not great now that I’m used to standing most of the time. Both glute mins were screaming this afternoon. May have to try to surreptitiously use a trigger point ball during the meeting tomorrow. I realize it may be helpful in a “taper” week to have more time off my feet, but this is a bit excessive. I did my chiropractor exercises before dinner, and was surprised at how decent they felt, including the plyometric “Ohnos”. (realized Thurs that I’d forgotten the leapfrogs on Tuesday, chose to omit them Th)

Wed 4/9: RUN 3 miles at ez pace. Toward the end of this run, felt a horizontal “zing” sharpness pain across my R calf. It persisted for <1min, then started to fade. Never had that before, a bit worrisome. Core workout before. Had a full day of sitting in meetings today, and brought my Trigger Point therapy ball. I sat on a Spri disc to elevate my hips, then put the TP ball against my L glute min and tried to push back into it (challenge with a mesh chair back). 2 hours in the morning, an hour and a half in the afternoon, and I stood at lunch and whenever I wasn’t in the meeting.  I felt like it helped some, but not as much as I wanted. However…..

Th 4/10: Woke up to NO pain in L glute min. Amazed. Must get another TP ball for work (and maybe something for my car commutes too). RUN 5miles at ez pace. Both glute mins were as happy as I can remember them being in quite a while, and even my hamstrings weren’t complaining too much (probably due to slower pace) or at least the L wasn’t complaining any more than the right. For some reason I felt like I was using my quads more on this run, not sure how I changed form to do that. By the evening, L glute min was making a little noise, but still much less, and hams were still fairly happy. This is nice. A little tightness in my hips, not a lot of energy. This could be explained by the spike in the pollen count – even with the commercial HVAC in the office, by the afternoon my sinuses were buzzing. Did my chiropractor exercises again (skipping the leapfrogs) – the Ohnos weren’t quite as good, some soreness in the outer hips. But I figured better do them today instead of tomorrow. Hope to work in my Wharton routine on Friday. (taking the day off work, yay! necessitated somewhat by packet pickup being almost an hour away for the Saturday race, and no race day packet pickup)

Fri 4/11: Core workout, 60 min of bike in the morning. Had taken the day off for my chiro appointment, haircut and driving down/back to 17.75k packet pickup (the location/times are not good). In the morning I had another moment of weirdness in my R calf, so I made sure to mention it to my chiro – it became his immediate and only focus for the appointment. He fetched one of his many anatomy books and explained to me that what I’d felt was where the gastroc and soleus in the calf narrow down and start turning into the Achilles. He said the pain meant the calf was very tight and that I needed to get on top of this right away with stretches as there was risk to the Achilles if I didn’t get some length back into the muscles. The way he explained it, the muscles/tendon work as a system, and when the muscles contract or shorten up and can’t contract further, the tendon starts trying to do that job, and that can have bad results. He did ART (Active Release Therapy) on my calves first, then e-stim, then Graston up and down the calf and even around the ankles. It hurt quite a bit, probably more than anything he’s done to date. His words before starting, somewhat gleefully, were “you’re gonna hate me”…afterward he said “you hate me now, right?’ and I said “not as long as it works!” He also gave me some variations of the common calf stretches that he feels are more effective and said to do them at least twice a day, more is better. He said I could run, just stay aware of it and back off if there was a problem.

Then I went to get my haircut and to deal with packet pickup. On the way home from that (2.5 hours in the car), my calf started zinging again, when my foot was stationary on the brake pedal. I freaked out and called the chiro office when I got home. Though he’d left, his assistant assured me that spiky pain was common the first day, with more soreness the next day.

With all that, and my frustration with a slower-than-desired recovery from Shamrock, I decided to DNS the 17.75k. The decision-making process caused me a fair amount of angst, self-doubt, self-flagellation and other such probably unnecessary emotional and psychological stress/turmoil – but you know how that goes, right?

Factors:

  • 17.75k is a hilly race – really spiky at some points – which I’m not used to, and has some trail segments, which I’m also not used to. I was doing it to do a race with DH and so that we could both get entries into Marine Corps (though we were not sure we would run it).
  • I prefer the style and course of the Parkway, did it last year.
  • I decided there was no real benefit – and a fair amount of risk – to run 17.75, given that my goals are Boston, my fall marathon and December ultra. Anything that could cause me setbacks, delays or otherwise compromise my training and performance for those isn’t worth it.

I decided I’d try a shorter, easy pace run on Saturday, see how my leg felt during the run and for the rest of Saturday, and then decide about Parkway. Overnight Friday into Saturday, I felt a zing or two in my calf just laying in bed, so motion doesn’t seem to be a trigger, just tightness. I wind up having to unkink my legs and stretch some before I get out of bed to avoid cramping anyway.

Sat 4/12: RUN 6.2 miles, increasing easy pace. Walked 15 min before as usual, then did my chiro calf stretches. Felt fine during the run. I seemed to be running more from my quads, which meant my hams complained less. Not quite sure what I’m doing differently, need to figure it out so it’s more controllable or so my form improves overall. Afterward I spent some time spinning on the bike, then did the chiro stretches again. Mid-afternoon, I did my Wharton flexibility routine, plus trigger point on the calf, per a video from Athletes Treating Athletes (a site I like) that I saw cross-posted on Kinetic Revolution. I also found a spot on my L lower glute that, when trigger pointed (so to speak) with the ball, seems to help my ham, bonus! In the evening, I did the calf stretches again. I decided I’d try the race, just go and run easy and try to have a good time, though I really wanted to PR and had a “dream” time goal beyond that. I was looking forward to meeting some local runner tweeps and just appreciating the experience.

Sun 4/13: RUN 10 miles – PR! (race report to come) Got up around 4am. Walked on the treadmill for 10 minutes, then did trigger point on my calves and glute and did my chiro stretches. DH woke up and graciously drove me to the shuttle buses (yay). It went well. During the run I felt good, my calf didn’t bother me, and the usual/new issues (new one being some weird ankle/foot twinges) didn’t bother me to the degree I needed to change anything.

Writing this sitting on the porch late Sunday afternoon, my calves are very tight (I’ve already stretched and done Roll Recovery once, need to stretch and do trigger point once or twice more). The R calf cramped during my post-race bike spin (never happened before) and the left cramped a little when I was trying to stretch my hamstring at the park at the finish. I’m well-hydrated (now anyway) so I think it’s the tightness plus all the extra attention my calves have been getting. I see the chiro again Tuesday.

Thanks for reading! As always, I love to hear from you either via comments below, through twitter or via the contact me page on this site.