Marathon training is a tricky thing. Do too little and you’re unprepared for the gruelling distance. Do too much and you’re steadily increasing your risk for an injury that could prevent you from even running the race. I knew heading into this training schedule that there were going to be obstacles and I was going to have to take it week by week simply because in addition to an 18-week running schedule, I was also training for a cycling event and a 75km backpacking trip. This coming week is all about easing my body back into running and training and focusing on the fast-approaching Chicago Marathon.
After falling off of a ladder on the West Coast Trail, accumulating dozens of bruises, and waking up every morning this past week with tight calves, I did my first post-hike run on Thursday. I had almost a week of vacation in Vancouver before I headed home so I knew my training wouldn’t be perfect. The WCT was definitely super hard on my body so I wanted to make sure I was doing things intelligently and not diving into high mileage runs that I wasn’t ready for.
Monday, after finishing the trail and travelling about 6 hours (including ferry wait and traffic) to Vancouver, I crashed hard and got a beautiful long and restful sleep. I knew I owed myself at least two FULL rest days so I didn’t hit the gym or lace up my runners on either Tuesday or Wednesday. I did however spend a lot of time walking around Vancouver and it was the perfect active recovery I think my body needed… even when my phone claims I walked over 20,000 steps on Tuesday to and from and around Granville Island.
Thursday I decided to lace up my running shoes and test out a run. I felt pretty good, a little achy in my calves and a few sore spots on my shins. I topped out at 5.36 miles, did lots of stretching, and called it a day.
On Friday I hit up James’ apartment gym because I was craving some solid weight lifting. BURNS SO GOOD. I did a walk on the treadmill to warm up at a 15% incline and then did 60 minutes of upper body, and finished off my shoulders with a little rowing machine. I missed weights. Who am I?
On Saturday I would normally be taking off on my long run but when I woke up and looked outside it was pouring rain and blowing sideways. I laced up my shoes and decided just to go as far as I wanted, or as far as the rain would let me, and without hurting my shins or calves too much. The rain stopped and I felt FABULOUS. My first truly pain-free run in weeks. 10.12 miles and I needed water or food to keep going, neither of which I had, so I headed in. 🙂
Yesterday, Sunday, I took a full rest day. No exercise, just a cleaning shift at work, a wash and vacuum of my car, and some laundry. My legs were definitely feeling the 10 miler (yeah, I know a marathon is 16 more miles… don’t remind me) and I took it easy, ready to dive into the 13th week or training!
My two major non-running events are in the books (The 160km bike ride and the West Coast Trail) so now it is time to focus on the Canmore half marathon, the Edmonton Night race, and the Chicago Marathon. SO MUCH RUNNING… I’m exhausted just thinking about it.
What was your favourite active vacation?
Least favourite running condition – wind, rain, snow, or heat?
How many races have you done this year? How many are left on your radar?