After Urban Cow I took a day off then did an easy 4 miles Tuesday. I took Wednesday off from running for some reason I no longer remember. And since Thursday was a rest day already, that meant two days off in a row. Whoops. Although I didn't run Thursday I did do something exciting - I chopped off all my hair! I'd been craving a big change and a drastic haircut hit the spot : ) Then Friday was the big one - 20 miles, my final big long run before the Marine Corps Marathon in a couple weeks. Lucky for me my coworker Heather was able to join me for part of the run. She was tapering for the Nike Women's Marathon (her first!) and needed to do about 10 miles, so we met up at my house before the sun was even out and took off. We set off toward William Pond Park on the bike trail at an easy pace and the miles ticked by. It's amazing how much faster time goes when running with company! Heather was having some ITB pain so we took intermittent stretch breaks and around 6 miles we turned around and headed back toward my house.
At 10 miles I dropped Heather off, pulled out my Ipod, and continued on my way in the opposite direction. Although I was tired from already having done 10 miles, mentally it was nice to just focus on what I had left and think that I just had 10 miles to do. My hips started really bugging me at this point, but it was more of a nagging pain than anything else so I just kept moving. I took little pit stops when I needed to and soon enough I was at 15 miles and turning around again to head home. I actually picked up my pace on that last leg with the final 7 miles all run at sub-10 pace. I stopped once again at my oasis to fill up my handheld and kept trudging along. I ended up hitting 20 miles about a half mile from home, and being the stubborn person I am I stopped my watch at exactly 20 and walked the rest of the way. But holy cow did it hurt to walk! In fact, I think it would more accurate to say I shuffled. It took me like 20 minutes to cover that half mile : / My average pace ended up being 10:17 min/mi which is great for me, but looking back I probably took more little pit stops then I should have. Oh well!
my lovely oasis : )
Luckily I had the day off (which is why I did my long run earlier that weekend) so I could finally have a proper recovery! I drove to the store, bought some chocolate milk and a big bag 'o ice then proceeded home to take a nice, cold ice bath. I ate lunch later to work on my long run calorie deficit and then passed out later that afternoon. Naps after long runs are always epic, right?
I ended up taking 3 days off after my 20 miler (I know, my training has been no where close to consistent lately) but I've just been exhausted with work and I was on the graveyard shift again this week. Plus, my hips seem to have gotten worse. Not only are they sore when I run, but they actually feel bruised to the touch. I don't think it's anything serious, more than anything I would bet it's from a lack of adequate stretching/recovery on my part. But still, it's frustrating.
Finally on Tuesday I got back out there and did an easy 4 miles before work. I think the extra rest was helpful, especially mentally. I think I've been pretty close to a burnout lately. Physically, the rest didn't seem to do much for my hips. Then Wednesday during work a coworker took me to see a local chiropractor/somatic therapist/PT who supposedly works miracles. He asked me what was wrong, pulled and bent my feet every which way, then out of nowhere he dug his fingers into my stomach! It wasn't so much painful as it was extremely uncomfortable. Then he moved his finger even lower and pressed as hard as he could pulled my leg up til I couldn't stand it, then proclaimed, "Got it!" before moving on the other side. Apparently he was releasing my psoas. He then asked me about my shoes and my running and forbid me to run anymore in my current shoes (I only got them in July!). In fact, he told me I should really be replacing my shoes every 2 months (2 months?!). He also told me I suck at hydration, which I took as a personal blow - I carry my water bottle everywhere! But alas, it was as if I light bulb suddenly went off. Although I always have my water with me, I haven't been drinking as much as before, especially while I'm at work. No wonder I've been so exhausted lately - I've been dehydrated! Ahhh epiphanies : )
Despite being told not to run in my shoes anymore, I thought I wasn't really going to have much choice since LB is this weekend. So imagine my surprise when I get back to work and I'm handed a box of brand new shoes! I'd ordered them over the weekend and they came in much earlier than expected. A sign from above, I think : ) So that night after work I slipped on the new kicks and headed out for a test run. My hips had felt a lot better after the adjustment, so I was hoping I would be able to run pain-free. I originally was only going to do 4, but then 4 turned into 5, then I dropped my dog off at home and did another 2 miles. I have no idea why, I just wanted to run. But alas, my hips could not remain quiet and the same nagging pain flared up on those last couple miles.
I did my final run before the LB half last night with my coworker, Alex. He's much faster than me (trying to BQ in December) but he assured me he would take it easy. That's the part that just makes me laugh and reminds me just how relative running really is - his easy is my fast! So we set out with our matching headlamps and my dog in tow and did a nice 4 miles as we chatted away. I felt like I was working pretty hard but I managed to hold a conversation so I suppose I wasn't working that hard. Today I'm going into work for a short shift and after I'm planning on going on an easy bike ride. I haven't rode my bike since my triathlon and I've really missed it. I finally got fit properly a few weeks ago, too, so I'm excited to test out the new fit. I have yet to ride with my new clipless pedals either, but I'm eager to start using them. And by eager, I mean terrified of falling! Stay tuned to hear how things go this afternoon - I'm sure it will be amusing : )
Tomorrow I'll be posting more about LB and my plans and goals for the weekend. Also, congrats to all Kona, Portland, and Chicago finishers! We had the Ironman World Championships streaming live in the breakroom at work and man was it an awesome race! It was definitely an exciting week for the world of endurance sports.