Week 10 of marathon training has been complete, however it doesn't resemble exactly what was on my schedule. I was suppose to complete a total of 36 miles for the week with an 18 mile long run on Sunday. However, this past week my body had its own idea of what it was going to allow me to do.
What I was suppose to do:
Monday: 3 miles, Cross-Train or Rest
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 6 miles
Sunday: 18 miles
Total Mileage - 36
What I actually did:
Monday: Cross-Train (30 minutes on bike trainer)
Tuesday: 3 miles
Wednesday: 3 miles
Thursday: 4 miles
Sunday: 18 miles
Total Mileage - 28
As you can see the mileage on Tuesday through Thursday didn't quite hit it's mark. Why? Well let's just say that a little lower back pain (S1 / Sciatica) on Tuesday reared it's ugly little head this week and the longer I ran the worse it got and started going down my right leg into my heel. I was really worried that I wouldn't get the 18 miles done on Sunday.
Well as it turned out, when Sunday came I got down to business and completed the run.
I didn't realize until today that I could include the elevation chart with the map from Daily Mile. It's pretty cool because you can see that from the start of my run the elevation begins at 300 feet and climbs close to 650 feet through Mile 2. I wasn't kidding when I said the first 2 to 3 miles were one serious hill climb. And let me just say that I love that beautiful decline in elevation from mile 3 to just past the 4th mile mark. My legs love this part of the recovery and I end up feeling strong into miles 5 and 6. Besides the first 3 miles the next hill I dread is at mile 11. It's one serious steady climb from around 225 feet to just over 400-450 feet. The past few weeks I have been able to run this hill without any grumbling or profanities escaping my mouth. Very proud of myself for that!
My splits show what kind of pace I was running. I keep having to tell myself that this is trail running so my pace it going to be slower than if I was on pavement.
So how was the pain? When I first started running I felt a twinge in my lower back and thought there was no way I was going to be able to complete the full 18 miles. However, within a few minutes the pain subsided and I was given some hope.
I clocked the first 6 miles and hit the car for more hydration/potty break feeling pretty good. Clocked the next 6 miles and hit the car again for another round of hydration/another potty break (seriously need to re-evaluate my nutrition). Said hello to my honey and told him that I felt good, a bit tired and was feeling some lower back pain which intensified during the mile 11 climb. I was originally hoping to turn this 18 miles into a 20 mile run because I really want to be able to get a 22 mile run in before the marathon. So we decided that I was going to run the next 6 miles around the lake, which is relatively easy, and re-access the situation.
All motivated I went back out to finish my challenge. Mile 13 wasn't too bad. Mile 14 the pain in my back was saying hello. Mile 15 it was getting worse and I knew I would be lucky to get the 18 done, totally forgetting about 20. Mile 16 I was telling myself "Failure Is Not An Option." Mile 17 I was saying, "Run Fat Boy Run" (love that movie). Mile 18 the pain was pounding my back down my right leg to my heel. I was questioning how I would get to 26.2 on race day if I could barely eek out 18 with the pain. (Not to self: You can never ask those questions prior to and during a long run. You are not thinking clearly.) I clicked my Garmin for mile 18 in the parking lot next to the car. I immediately told my honey that I was done and I couldn't go for another 2 miles. I could barely bend over my back was so stiff. I spent a lot of time in the parking lot stretching and loosening things back up and as soon as I got home I started ice pack therapy on my back.
When all is said and done, I hit my goal of 18 miles. That's all my schedule was asking of me. I may not have hit the total miles for the week, and my long run may have suffered from it, but I did it. I will have to decide in a couple of weeks about the 22 mile run. Until then, I am working on icing, stretching and strengthening exercises in hopes of fixing this little problem.
I am not sure how much, if at all, I will have to alter my training this week. I am taking today as a rest from running and may ride the bike trainer for 30 minutes after work just to shake my legs out. I am not in any major pain today. My lower back this morning was throbbing and stiff, but the discomfort is gone now. Tomorrow I will run on the track and see how it goes. Right now, I am hoping things will go well this week in the land of marathon training.