On training day #76 I ran 25 km, my furthest distance yet. I was limping afterwards, but since I've been sore before, I didn't think much of it. The following morning I couldn't put any weight on my left leg and my left knee was tremendously sore. I came downstairs on my butt and parked my butt on the couch. The fear of not being able to run the marathon came upon me and I started to accept the fact that I had injured myself. However, after a morning on the couch with my left knee elevated and covered in a bag of frozen peas, I was able to hobble around a little.
I babied my knee for 4 days and didn't run for 8 days making sure that my ligaments, joints, and tendons had time to be restored. Then I went for a 12 km run (pictured above) and felt great! No soreness whatsoever. After chatting with some other runners, I have decided to ease my training to just 3 runs a week which would give my body lots of recuperation time. I'm learning to listen to my body.
View Larger Map
After a couple great runs last week, I decided to run the Calgary Bow River Valley Trail with my visiting sister, a fellow running trainee. She ran 16 km. I ran 24 km (see map above). We parked at Edworthy Park in the west and ran east. I ran 12 km to Deerfoot Trail and turned around. It was terribly frosty at the start so I ran with leggings and a light jacket. I was amazed at how little I sweat because of the coolness of the air, but I was even more amazed at how I felt like I could have gone on when I had reached Edworthy Park again. Because I didn't sweat, I barely touched all the electrolyte drink I carried. The sights along the path, notably the Bow River, Calgary Zoo, and Downtown, made the run far less weary than a treadmill, so I'm quite certain I'll complete my last three long runs down there. My next long run, the longest prior to the marathon, will be 32 kms. I'm thinking the 3 hours+ run might take me to Fish Creek Park (one of the largest city parks in the world - and one I have yet to visit).
I stopped by The Running Room last week and picked up a Fuel Belt with four pouches the I can use to carry my salt/lemon/honey concoction. I also purchased two energy gels to try. The last time I tried these was on my bike trip and they were horrible. The two I got, Honey Stingers, were great though - all natural stuff and basically it's honey. Who doesn't like sucking on honey, especially while running!! Each little packet gives you 120 calories. Since I'm burning 800-900 calories every 10 kms, I'll need a about 3 of these on race day.
Yesterday, I did some cross-training. It was my last day of spring break and I felt I should make the most of it.
View Larger Map
Today, I decided to do some hill training after school. My mom left her car at our place, so I drove it down to Bowness, then ran home. Amber drove me back after supper so I could pick it up. I climbed 175 m over a 9.4 km run making it about a 2% grade total, but half the run was flat, so the pitch was closer to 4% when I was running uphill. Since I didn't feel stressed at all during this 60 minute run, I figure I had better find a better hill. Cochrane has a nice one, about 5% for 4 kms ... maybe do that up and down and up and down next week.
I've decided that I will not listen to music on my ipod during the marathon. I want the raw experience. Plus, there are bands and cheering groups along the course and it's safer to have all my senses fully aware of my surroundings. I'll continue to train with it, but I ran without today and it was just fine.
If you asked me 3 weeks ago how I felt about the marathon, I would have bitterly replied that it was the worst goal on my list. Ask me today and I am much more positive. I feel great. I've lost 15 unneeded lbs. I enjoy the less frequent, but high quality runs and I greatly anticipate the day of the marathon.
Finally, a little bit of the agony. I popped this lovely blister about 3 weeks ago. (sorry for the picture DB)
- sterilize needle
- sterilize blister
- lance blister and thoroughly drain onto tissue paper
- apply polysporin to popped blister
- wrap a band-aid around toe for 2 days