Unfortunately I had to cut short my run this morning – the weather was great – right around the freezing mark with little to no wind. It felt great out there.
Unfortunately that also meant that the roads, sidewalks and paths I run on were not in great shape. There was a lot of slushy snow that slipped under foot, puddles hiding black ice underneath and frost in several areas. All things I have run in before and have adapted to. But about 5 miles in I could feel my right knee starting to ache a bit and by mile 6.5 it was getting a bit worse – at that point I figured I should cut my loop short and head home finishing out 7.63 miles in 1:14:26.
I decided to cut the run short due to some issues I had with my right knee and hamstrings back in the late spring early summer before the Manitoba Marathon. I have had ongoing issues with the knee right back to high school football (nothing serious) and it is usually really good but sometimes if I push it too hard it can get a bit wonky or start to hurt. Because that has happened quite a bit for me over many years my body has naturally adapted to compensate for that knee when it needs to. When walking, etc that is great but when running it screws with my form and can other leg issues.
This happened to me in the later stages of training for the Manitoba Marathon and I pulled my hamstrings in that leg when I was compensating. That cost me a few runs completely (including a long one). A few weeks before this problem occurred I had PR’ed the Winnipeg Police Services Half Marathon with 1:46:00 and I was ready to do a strong PR at the Manitoba Marathon. I recovered well from the injury but the knee acted up again during the Manitoba because I hadn’t given it enough chance to heal. I still PR’ed with 4:09:44 but if my knee hadn’t gone it would have been a sub 4 hour marathon.
So what I am saying is that I now get very nervous about running on my knee when it is hurting – especially now that I am in the last stages of training for the Dopey Challenge, I don’t want to repeat history! Maybe this old boy can learn his lesson? I wouldn’t count on it but at least I did the right thing this morning.
At this point I would rather back off on a run or 2 and prevent further aggravating that knee. Hopefully a bit of rest today will fix it up and training can continue as normal. I also have an 18 miler scheduled for tomorrow but the weather should be different enough that all the same issues should not occur with traction – plus I will be on a different route that I think is in better shape. We’ll see with that tomorrow but for now I won’t beat myself up for dropping a few miles today.
No drama tonight – got on the treadmill and set it at 7 mph and just kept going. At about 55 minutes I bumped the speed just a touch to make sure I hit under an hour for the 7 miles for tonight. I’m in my second last high mileage week for Dopey Challenge training so I didn’t want to do anything that would have a negative impact on the rest of the week.
I finished the 7 miles feeling strong and ready to keep moving. That is always a nice feeling after finishing up a run!
4 weeks today is the 5k portion of the Dopey Challenge – feeling ready and excited! The next 2 weeks are going to drag – lots and lots of running with back to back high mileage weeks leading into Christmas. Once Christmas is over though, time will just fly! It’s going to feel good to get out to Disney World and get this challenge done.
Definitely a good day today!
Got home from work to see that my info package for Disney’s Magical Express had arrived (all my bus info for the ride from the airport to the hotel for Dopey Challenge and back after).
Then checked online to find Twitter blowing up that the Disney World Marathon Weekend waivers and corral placements were up. Found out I got into corral D. I am more than happy with that – maybe would have liked to be a bit higher but since I’m not doing the Dopey Challenge for speed I am more than happy to let someone who is going to be pushing harder start ahead of me.
Things are starting to get very real now!
I discovered last year when I was in corral C that most of the earlier runners don’t stop for the character photo ops on the full and they were wide open with no wait. I plan to take advantage of that this year on the full. The half I might push a bit harder but the full will not be done with the intention to set a new PR – the full will be about enjoying the atmosphere and the run, not about racing.
The run tonight was 10 miles done in 1:19:14 on the treadmill – included in there were a couple minutes of walking and a full mile straight at 8 mph. The rest of the run was done where I would spend a minute or 2 at 7 mph and then slowly increase that every minute or so until I got up to 8 mph. I would then back down and ramp back up again.
The run felt good tonight – my right knee was feeling a bit wonky before I got on the treadmill but it sorted itself before to long.
I also started breaking in a new pair of shoes tonight – my current indoor pair (and designated Dopey Challenge back up shoes) are over the 200 mile mark. With the remaining miles scheduled before the race in January they might be dead by the time the races come around. So I am breaking in this new pair to be the new backups with the intention of having them be around 50 miles in before the race. That way I will have a good feel for them and know they are well broken in – will probably use them for the 5k and 10k races and then use my Hoka Cliftons for the 2 longer races. That is the current plan anyway…things can change rapidly in the next month so stay tuned!
I slept in really late this morning so I wasn’t sure I was even going to have time to run but I needed to do something so I managed to get out. And surprisingly once I got going I had motivation to keep going to try to make up some of the miles missed due to the deep cold last weekend killing my long run on Sunday.
Weather was pretty good today – hovering near freezing when I got finished – there was some wind however that really wasn’t a factor until near the end. I spent many of the miles today in a sheltered area and when I came out of it I was sweaty – the wind became a factor pretty fast there – luckily I only had a few miles in the open area before I got into shelter again because even in that short period of time I could feel my hands starting to freeze up pretty good. It was all good in the end but it came as a heck of a surprise when it hit me for the first time.
Other than that the run was slowed quite a lot by areas that were slippery and uneven (the warming temperatures meant a bit of melting and snow that was hard packed was now loose and shifted under foot at unexpected times. There was also a minor amount of slush here and there adding wet feet to the fun mix.
At least those kinds of footing conditions help strengthen the legs and stabilizers – they also make sure I do the long slow runs as a long slow run. Can’t try to sprint ever run!
Heading now into the last 2 weeks of hard training for the Dopey Challenge in January – I have another 18 miler and a 20 scheduled in those 2 weeks which is highly ambitious but we will see what happens – will need to monitor myself closely and back off to prevent any injuries. The current outdoor running conditions will be very unforgiving if I get sloppy on my form and I want to make sure I avoid any injuries. At this point I am ready for Dopey so staying healthy is my most important goal.
OK – time to keep pushing!
3 solid runs over the past 3 days – didn’t have time to blog or twitter them so I will combine them into one post here.
Thursday – 7.5 miles in 59:32 on the treadmill. Decently strong run with good time spent up near 8 mph. Didn’t stay there for long periods of time as I am trying not to destroy my old treadmill while we still wait for parts for our newer one.
Friday – 4 miles in 31:17 on the treadmill. Had myself up to 8 mph for 9 minutes for one period of the run. It was good to sustain some speed for a while. The run was a harder push but still not where I was peaking a while ago but the old treadmill can’t handle the speed without the breaker tripping off. So I have to take it a bit easier and 8 mph is about the most it can handle for any length of time.
Saturday – 10 miles in 1:32:06 outside in the cold. It was quite slippery and very uneven in many areas of the run this morning. It certainly helps strengthen the stabilizer muscles in the legs with that kind of terrain. The first half of the run was fairly slow (probably less than 6.5 mph average for the first 40 minutes or so) but once I got my footing I was able to push a bit harder in the second half. I had a sustained period where I was in the 7.3-7.4 mph range – not too bad considering the load of winter gear I was wearing and the uneven and slippery surfaces. Very decent run.
Tomorrow is supposed to be much warmer (almost up to the freezing point!) so I am thinking I am going to go off my 13.1 miles scheduled for tomorrow and go longer – this would be to try to make up for the missed 20 miler last weekend and to cover my ass in case the weather tanks into the deep freeze again and I can’t get one or both of my last 2 long runs done over the next couple weeks. Winter marathon training here in the north certainly requires you to be adaptable!