Here we are, approaching the end of 2015. I haven’t posted here in over a year. As I was reading my last post I realized I never continued to post about my training for the Savannah Marathon in 2014 I was training for. So, before I get into what this post is about here is a quick recap of how the 2014 race went…
Training for 2014 Savannah RnR Marathon
My training went as planned and the plan shown in the image from my previous post HERE. The last big run had me doing a 20 miler. The previous few weeks had seen me put in a 16 and 18 mile runs. Both went well, though on the 18 I recall hitting the wall at like mile 15 for some reason and struggling to finish the last 3 miles. Moving on, to the 20 mile run the following week, I ran solid and actually maintained about half the run at or near a race pace (About an 8:40-ish pace – looking back this was probably a mistake).
The next few days I took off running, mixing in a deep tissue massage the day after my 20 miler (probably mistake number 2). I was in taper mode and feeling a big tired still from the long 20 mile so run I took an extra day off. On Tuesday I was scheduled to do a easy 4 mile run. At the start I felt tightness in my left calve. I assumed I was just tight and it would loosen up. I lightly stretched before taking off on my run, though I felt it through most of my run and a half mile before finishing up a sharp pain shot through the middle of my calve. It was like someone had jabbed a stick into it. Not good!!!
Long story short I didn’t run again until the morning of the marathon 10 days later. I did put in a couple of road bike rides just to get some cardio in but really stayed off my legs. I bought some calve compression sleeves and hoped for the best. I was committed financially to the race (race fee and hotel) and my family was coming down to cheer me on.
I was in the second wave at the start and was able to go out at a reasonable 9:30 ish pace. I wanted to start out very easy and just let the race happen. A mile in I started to feel the calve and 3 miles in it completely blew up on me. I don’t ever recall a more deflating moment in my life as hundreds of people, maybe a 1,000 or more, passed by me as I’m miles from the finish line and knowing that the last 3+ months of training were a complete bust.
As I was walking, about a 1/2 mile or so, I see the 4 hour pace group pass by. Seeing this something in my mind, and spirit, clicked and I began to start trying to run. I was limping noticeable and my calve did not feel that great, but I kept moving. I got myself in front of the 4 hour group and decided to just keep moving. As the race ran the gauntlet through the downtown streets of Savannah, before heading away from the city center, I started to feel ok and my calve started to not bother me. About 10 miles in I started to think that I might be able to do this. Just after a quick text to my Dad I was “going to go for it” (I had already texted him about my calve at mile 3) both of my knees (IT bands really) started to hit me hard. I realized at this point my body was in complete compensation mode and I would be an idiot to continue. I should have stopped then and just walked it towards the finish, but I did manage to trot it in to complete the half course. It was strange at the finish as all these people were thrilled and happy to have finished a half marathon and I’m like “big whoop!” I wasn’t even tired…
New Year and New Opportunities
2015 saw very little running. It did see a lot of amazing mountain bike rides. I made a huge upgrade to my MTB (Carbon Fiber frame Fuji 29’er) which has made riding on the trails even more amazing.
By the end of the summer my legs started to feel a little bit better (both of my calves gave me some issues after my marathon attempt in 2014). I did start to put in some short trail runs at Sope Creek from time to time but nothing that consistent. After some crappy Fall weather, and taking a little bit of time off from anything I decided that I wanted to give a marathon another try. I really want to cross this off my list 🙂
So, a few weeks ago I started training again to do a marathon. I will be attempting to run the Publix in March of 2016. This was going to be my first marathon 2 years ago before IT Band issues sidelined me for almost 6 months that year.
Because of the injury issues I’ve been dealing with now, off and on, for the last 2 years I’m taking a much different approach to my training. I’ve adopted the MAF training method and am seeing my pace being slower than it has ever been (see image of my last week or so of runs). My first week I was at like an 11:00 pace, staying within my max aerobic HR zone. I’m 3 weeks in to my 16 week training schedule and I’ve already seen improvement on that pace, clocking a more reasonable 10:16 avg. pace on my last 3 mile run in the neighborhood this week (note my run after that my HR monitor didn’t work and I pushed my pace a little).
Ultimately I’d love to run a decent timed marathon in March, but were I’m at physically and mentally I really just want to finish the training and the race with no injuries. My pace will be my pace and if it’s a 10:00/mile then great. If it turns out my fitness gets me to 9:00/mile then great too. I just really want to remain healthy and fall back into needing to run and feel great like I did back in 2013.