NJ Marathon Training Week 13 Recap

From the highest of highs in week 12 I get the lowest of lows in week unlucky 13.

Okay maybe that’s overdramatic, but compared to last week, this week I received a big old shipment of fail in the form of a chronic injury rearing its hideous head.


I mentioned this briefly in my post yesterday, but I’m having issues with my left shoulder. When the pain really flares up, it also affects the upper part of my chest and back, my neck, my right shoulder and my lower back. Sounds great right? So  yeah…the theme of this week has been “pain management”. If I were a piñata and you hit me with a bat, ibuprofen would come flying out instead of candy.

What a weird mental image.


Week 13 Grade: From a ‘getting it done’ perspective I’ll be generous and give myself a B. 

Monday, March 16: I kicked off hell week with a barre class. I think I mentioned this in my recap from last week, but Sunday evening I got a massage. The masseuse was REALLY digging into my shoulders to the point where I had to tell her to lay off. I think that massage played a very large role in what went horribly wrong.

At barre class my shoulder was already feeling sore, but since I’ve gone through this before I didn’t think too much of it.

Tuesday, March 17: St. Patrick’s Day! Despite soreness in the morning, I got in my 5 (7:49 pace) and it felt good. Perfect temps outside that had me ditching my running jacket even before I started. Then in the evening I was all signed up for SurfSet at Beachfit Baltimore. I had no idea what this class was all about and little did I know I was about to have my world rocked.

Never had I ever taken a boot camp style class before. So what better way to initiate myself than bootcamp on a surfboard? I DID BURPEES ON A FRIGGIN’ SURFBOARD. I had maybe done burpees like three other times in my life. The class was so much fun with great energy and so challenging. By the end I felt confident that I was going to be sore the next day.

I really had NO IDEA.

Wednesday, March 18: Because this was a 20 mile week, my Wednesday run was 5 miles instead of 8. Thank goodness because I never would have made it 8 miles. It was a pace run, but my upper body was screaming so I didn’t want to push it. Instead I ignored my watch and ran at a pace that felt good. My first two miles were slow as I warmed up, but in the end I finished up close to my goal pace (8:22).

Disaster would strike later on in the evening at the most unlikely of places…yoga class. I was excited to get into that hot room and try to stretch/relax my screwed up muscles. Unfortunately bad shoulder had other plans. I made it about halfway through before admitting defeat. I DNF’ed MY YOGA CLASS. I cried all the way home. I’ve never walked out of a yoga class early. It was horrible.

It became clear that there would be no kinds of strength or upper body training allowed until I got everything under control.

Thursday, March 19: 5 miles again and I was prepared for it to be torture so I took it to the treadmill. Because I had to go so slowly in the beginning, I made the best of it by ramping up the hill setting much higher than I usually do. Once again after running for a bit, my shoulder felt looser and I was able to pick it up ending with an overall 8:35 and pace SO THANKFUL for a rest day on Friday.

Thursday night would be the night I woke up at 3am screaming for Mr. Salt because I was literally unable to move my arms. It was exactly as scary as it sounds.

Friday, March 20: I spent the day feeling like I had been run over repeatedly by a truck and attempting to move as little as possible. I couldn’t even pick up Betty. This did not sit well with her.

Saturday, March 21: Due to the snow that had fallen on Friday, my pain level and your votes, I had already decided to move my long run to Sunday. I slept in a bit and then went to the gym for an easy cross training workout. Because getting a little movement into my arms helps the pain, I hopped on the ARC trainer on an easy setting.

By mid-day though I wasn’t sure that my long run was going to happen at all the next day. I went through all sorts of scenarios in my head. Would finishing a marathon even be possible if I missed a run of that magnitude?

Obviously yes, but I was blinded by irrationality and pessimism.

Before bed on Saturday I loaded up with meds, rearranged pillows and blankets into a configuration that helped ease some of the pressure on my neck and shoulders, set my alarm for 6 so I could re-medicate before and crossed my fingers.

Sunday, March 22: The alarm went off and I was afraid to move.

Once I did move though I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I didn’t feel as horrible as I did the previous day. I still wasn’t sure that I would make it 20 miles, but I could at least attempt to put together some kind of long run.

The race recap portion of that run is here.

After the race was over, I still had a little more than a 10K to go and I’d be lying to you if I said it was awesome. It wasn’t. I dialed it back a lot because I definitely went harder in the 15K than I would have had it been a regular training run. By mile 18 I had almost talked myself into stopping and probably would have if I didn’t have to get back to my car. In the end though I got in all 20 at a VERY decent pace considering what I had been dealing with in the days leading up to this run.


Week 13 Mileage: 35

Today I went to the doctor for x-rays which showed nothing out of the ordinary just like every other time I’ve gotten x-rays when this issue pops up. I did get some stronger pain medicine which is about to knock me out as I’m typing this.

Week 14 is a step back week again with only a 12 miler for the long run so I will be taking very good care of myself in the hopes that things are back to normal next week for the last hard week before my taper.

One thing is for certain. No more massages for me for awhile.

Do you suffer from any chronic injuries? Have they ever showed up at a REALLY bad time? Have you ever been in a lot of pain following a massage? 




73 thoughts on “NJ Marathon Training Week 13 Recap

  1. Kristin says:

    Ouch Salt, so sorry about your shoulder and I hate hearing that you cried on the way home from yoga class… 😦 Awww I wanna give you a hug. That’s frustrating!! I used to have bad shoulder/tricep pain after my swim workouts. It’s been pretty good this year so far, though. Swimmers have lots of shoulder problems due to repetitious movement. I understand why you were so upset during yoga. Frustrating not being able to get strength training in! Awesome runs, though!! You are amazing!! Always pushing yourself and staying focused!! Feel better! XOXO

  2. aliceruns says:

    Oh dear, I am so sad to hear of your struggle. You crushed it like a boss, though, You didn’t give up, and that’s what counts! I hope for you to recover quickly.

  3. Chaitali says:

    Yikes, that sounds horrible! I hope that this week goes better and the pain dissipates. I’ve had problems with massages in the past and I almost always end up with bruising from them so they’re not the most relaxing thing in the world. I’ve found one person who can give me massages without leaving bruises so I only go to her at this point.

  4. Diann says:

    Congrats on your impressive runs! So sorry to hear about your shoulder though. I speak from experience of one who pushed through way too much and am now paying the price: If you’ve had issues before, definitely get it checked out further (and my understanding is that an X-ray won’t show tears anyway). Rotator cuff issues from yoga are pretty common, esp. in classes with a lot of chaturanga and similar poses that put pressure on the shoulder joint. Good luck, I know how upsetting that is.

    • runsaltrun says:

      This is something that goes way back to high school and I know that yoga has upset it in the past although I know that’s not what happened this time around. I’ve already seen a bunch of specialists for it, but now I guess I’ll be going to PT and getting another MRI too. Fun times. 😦 Thanks, friend.

  5. SuzLyfe says:

    I can’t ever. I am so sorry lady. I wonder if the massage and the surfboard burpees just made whatever it was flare or get pinched?
    You are still a beast for rocking out the 20. Just take what you can from each day, whatever your body gives you. Gingerly sending you a hug.

    • runsaltrun says:

      I think it was the perfect storm. I don’t think anything is pinched…it’s just an old issue flaring up again (rotator cuff) at the worst possible time. 😦 Thank you for the gentle hugs. 🙂

  6. sarahdudek80 says:

    Oh girl this sounds so painful. The mental image of the piñata and ibuprofen is one that will stick in my head for awhile. I have a rib that pops out of place. It moves just ever so slightly but it makes me feel like I can’t get a breath in. It is an old injury from skating and it randomly happens if I carry something or if I sleep weird. Let me tell you it freaks me out and makes me panicky about breathing when it happens. When Rock and I were first dating it happened and we ended up in the ER. They made him leave and asked me if he beat me. So embarrassing! I hope you are feeling 100% again soon!

    • runsaltrun says:

      OMG that is SO EMBARRASSING!!!! I guess I understand why they have to ask, but UGH. Poor Rock too. 😦
      The same thing will happen with mine occasionally…an odd night sleeping or an odd day sitting at my desk. This is the longest that it has really been thrown out of whack though. Hopefully it calms down fast. Thank you, friend. ❤

  7. FLRunnerBoy says:

    A Salt Piñata … REALLY lol! I could never hit you with a stick blindfolded, that would just be rude. No chronic injuries for me, however I tend to get phantom injuries that come out of nowhere like this current one with my leg. I literally woke up got out of bed annnnnnd ta-da! Muscle tightness … ugh! Hope you are back to 100% soon!!

  8. Running Boston and Beyond says:

    Oh dear, I’m so sorry you’re having an off week. To have that kind of pain, well, that sucks. You’re not on a fail boat, you kicked butt in your long run. I’ve only had one massage so she didn’t dig deep or anything, but I’m hoping to go back for more as I get into heavy training again. And be careful!!! I would offer a hug, but, you know, don’t wanna hurt ya!!!

  9. klregan says:

    Oh no! Chronic injuries are the worst. I really hope you feel better soon. I have an ankle injury that rears its ugly head every now and then. I had an MRI on it and found that I had torn a ligament in the ankle. They really couldn’t do anything about it, but it was nice to know that I wasn’t crazy. I know shoulder injuries are particularly bad for a yogi. Good luck with recovery and rest well. 🙂

    • runsaltrun says:

      They really are hence the DNF. I couldn’t do anything! I am actually headed for a super restorative class tonight to see if I can at least stretch a little bit since the 20 miler left my legs really tight (as I’m sure you can imagine). I will be getting an MRI as well. I’m pretty sure there’s no tear (unless it has been torn for 20 years), but something is definitely off.

  10. Run Colby Run says:

    I “liked” this post. But I don’t like it. One bit. I am a HUGE fan and believer in massage….but WHATTHEEFF happened with yours!?!? Good grief, Salt. I’m so sorry. That sounds simply awful. Baby the snot out of it. Sending anti-inflammatory vibes your way. I’d give your week an A++. You’re a warrior. Now rest that arm. 😦 xoxo

    • runsaltrun says:

      Terrible horrible no good very bad massage. 😦 I am a huge fan too normally, but this one was just a bad one. Thank you so much, friend. I’m thankful I have this week to dial it back.

  11. the mile report says:

    man oh man, what a week. you still rocked those runs, even with a bum shoulder! I’m sorry it was such a crazy week. The pinata image was a great visual, by the way. Hope you’re filled back up with candy soon!

    • runsaltrun says:

      I just wanted to get them done. And this week I just want to get them done too, but I have to be so damn careful. I hate my stupid shoulder.

      I hope I’m candyfilled soon too. Way more fun than pain meds.

  12. Jennifer @ Running on Lentils says:

    Wow. What a week. 😦 Silver lining is that it all happened now, while you still have several weeks to rest and recover. You are a trooper for getting in all your runs. I think you deserve an A+! I felt your anguish in having to DNF yoga class though. I hope you can rest up this week and feel better soon.

  13. DarlinRae says:

    I’m very fortunate not to have any chronic illnesses or injuries. I’m sorry about the crappy timing of this for you, but I’m impressed at how much you managed to accomplish in spite of it. Sending lots of healing thoughts your way!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you so much. I was just telling my coworker earlier that I wished this had happened during like week 5 or something. It’s just so late in the game and I am not loving the idea of downtime. Hopefully if I take it really easy this week next week will be better.

  14. Marie ( the older half of 2 generations running) says:

    Hi Salt. Firstly congrats on your race- which you rocked! You are a fast lady! And obviously you have a lot of heart and gumption to go on and finish the long run despite such a crazy week. Also, you are clearly super dedicated so my advice is try not to be so hard on yourself. Given your level of training, a few modifications this coming week ,like an extra rest day ,won’t have any adverse effects on your overall performance. I hope this week goes much better for you! While I don’t have a chronic injury I am sometimes “achy all over” because I am older😉 – so I eat lots of raw ginger which I’ve read is a good anti inflammatory. Anyway have a great week- whatever the mileage!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Marie thank you SO much for this. I was thinking of this this morning on the treadmill (the treadmill is easier on me so any running I do this will will be inside) and telling myself that I could cut miles off here and there or skip and day and it will be okay. All cross training besides gentle yoga has come to a screeching halt. I just hope I can get better fast. I also planned on grocery shopping later so maybe I should add ginger to my list!

      • Marie ( the older half of 2 Generations Running) says:

        Sounds like a plan and you’ll see. Things will workout For the ginger buy a good size piece, peel it, cut about 5 discs and drop them in a pan with a couple of cups of water. Bring to a boil and let it sit. As you go about your day, sip the ginger water and , if you are able , eat the softened ginger ( my daughter cringes when she watches me and prefers her ginger in candy form 😀) or dice it and slip it in your food. ( this way I don’t have to subject my entire family to my obession with ginger!) I can’t prove that this has helped me but I know the ultra runner Scott Jurek is a believer in ginger’s beneficial properties so I figure he would know!

  15. afastpacedlife says:

    A bad massage is terrible and can harm you. 😦

    You did great despite all the setbacks. When I start my marathon training and things go wrong, I’m going to dig in, keep going, and say to myself, “Be like Salt. Be like Salt.” ‘Cause, girl, you are so awesome.

  16. Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine says:

    Oh man, that is just awful! But you still had an awesome week despite all that going on! I hope it feels better soon. Isn’t it the worst when you think you are doing something good for your body but end up making things worse?

    • runsaltrun says:

      I went in there all prepared to feel like amazing when I left. Yeah not so much. I think I’ll be skipping the massages from here on out especially when I’m close to a race. Thanks lady!

  17. Sweaty Mess says:

    Get a new massuese! (did I spell that right?) You still rocked it like only Salt can despite the pain. Not sure I would have. Baby yourself a little bit this week so you’ll be all set for next week.

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s probably how I would have spelled it. Ugh I should have gone to Ojas. They do the BEST job up there. If you are at the gym this week that is where you will be seeing me. No exercise outdoors. At least if I treadmill I can’t get stranded anywhere. 🙂

  18. she's going the distance says:

    eek.. sorry about the shoulder! that’s bad timing, but hey your 20 miler looked solid! I don’t personally get massages because I’m ticklish.. BAD. I only let my chiro do accupressure on me cause I need it to hurt, otherwise i’m squirmy, laughing and uncomfortable. crazy i know.. but I hate massages.

  19. Rebecca Jo says:

    I have a chronic injury in my shoulder as well – tendonitis. Its a *#*#@()!!! to put it mildly. So I guess it – yoga is HARD on a bad shoulder, holding your weight.
    That’s so awesome you still got in your 20 miles… you are AMAAZZZZINNNNGGGG (said in the voice of Oprah)

  20. Sun says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your recurring injury! That blows, especially during such a big running week! I hope you are feeling better today – extra rest day after the race?

    I’ve had off and on knee issues. A physical therapist told me the issues stem from a hip strength imbalance but I suspect it is also due to a knee surgery I had from a high school sports injury. Definitely frustrating when these types of things decide to rear their ugly heads!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Thank you. ❤ I'm scaling it back mileage wise this week (still running but shorter than the plan calls for) and doing everything on the treadmill because it's easier for me. Hopefully all will be back to normal next week. I hate when old stuff pops up like that! Especially at times when it's super inconvenient. 😦

  21. Meg says:

    Ugh. I am sorry you are having a rough week with injury! Good to hear it wasn’t your foot/tendon thing that you had in the past, but this shoulder thing doesn’t really sound any better!

    Good thing you have a less difficult week, so to say, ahead of you so that you can “rest up” a little!

    • runsaltrun says:

      That’s the funny thing…the lower half of my body feels great. It’s from the waist up that I’m struggling. I’m definitely scaling back this week to give myself a little bit of a rest.

  22. Hailey @ Striding Strong says:

    Ouch. That sounds like a terrible injury! I love the, “would it even be possible to finish a marathon,” thought after the training you’ve had. Silly girl. I do get being a tad dramatic and pessimistic though when “the plan” attempts to destruct itself ;). Fortunately, I haven’t had anything any past issues pop up in this magnitude, but I’ve had random pains in my foot that only last for a few minutes of a run and then are mysteriously and thankfully gone the next, I broke my collar bone when I was younger and that bothers me a little bit sometimes when I run when it’s cooler out, and sometimes the scar on my stomach from surgery I had years ago bothers me out of the blue…bodies are just weird sometimes! I hope you’re feeling better! Keep us updated! 🙂 Oh and have you ever tried the Thermacare wraps!? They might help ease the pain and get you some mobility back too!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Hahaha I’m just all kinds of dramatic to begin with.
      Bodies are so weird! I’m glad that any strange pains you have end up going away quickly. I hope mine takes a lesson from yours! I actually haven’t tried a Thermacare wrap yet, but I will be making a trip to the store later to find some.

  23. Michele @ PaleoRunningMomma says:

    My hamstring injury from age 13 (gymnastics) still comes up once in a while, now mostly in the form of screwing up other things on my left side. Hopefully this is the last you’ll feel of it at least until the race! Sorry you’re dealing with this! You still got in an amazing run though, wow.

    • runsaltrun says:

      Blah I’m sorry you have to deal with something like that! 😦 And thank you. I hope that once it’s under control it won’t rear it’s ugly head again for a very long time.

  24. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs (@cowgirlruns) says:

    I’m sorry you had to leave your yoga class early 😦

    I had a massage this week and the guy (who I will NEVER see again) was rooting around my knee ligaments and tendons and they still hurt. Seriously who pokes at the back of your knee joint?! I’m pretty sure the number one rule of massage school is don’t fuck with joints. I was pissed.

    I hope you feel like your self again soon!!

  25. Jess @hellotofit says:

    Salt!!! Sending you BIG. HUGS. Chronic pain is the worst, and can be discouraging when we want to keep doing what we normally do!! Feel better!! I have a bad right knee which doesn’t let me run more than 3-4 miles without pain…the pain isn’t nearly as bad as your current shoulder pain, though. XOXO

  26. Sue @ This Mama Runs For Cupcakes says:

    I have a chronic neck injury that I have dealt with for the last 10 years. I will randomly wake up in the morning and not be able to turn my head and it will last for days. It SUCKS. I have tried massage at the time that it is happening but it usually doesn’t help much. It just has to release on its own. In fact, sometimes massage makes it worse. I feel your pain sister! Feel better soon!

  27. hellyontherun says:

    Nooooo!!!! Ugh!!! I’m so sorry friend! But like others have said, you are seriously a freaking champ for still rocking out an amazing training week! Love that about you!
    My unexpected “injury”? Getting sick right before my marathon 😦

  28. irishrunnerchick says:

    Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that Salt. What a bad masseuse. I hope that you can get it back under control soon. But you are such a rockstar to get out and get that 20 miler in the bag. I don’t have a chronic injury – just lots a random new ones! Take care!

  29. Alanna says:

    So sorry to hear about your bad week! I hope you feel better soon! I have shoulder problems too. I have this wonderful ability to grow extra bone (aka bone spurs) in my shoulder. I had surgery to get them removed a few years and the recovery aftermath of that surgery was awful. I noticed a new one a few months ago. It’s kinda freaky to look in the mirror and see bone sticking out where it has no business being. I really don’t want to have surgery again so I try to deal with it. I can’t lift very heavy weights because of it and oddly enough the cold makes it hurt worse. Burpees on a surfboard sound pretty awesome though!

    • runsaltrun says:

      Woah that’s crazy! You’re kind of like a super hero although that power is pretty obnoxious. 🙂 I hope you won’t have to have surgery!

      You should come up this way and try Beachfit! I bet you would love it!

  30. kiwiyogirunner says:

    I’m so sorry you had such a rough week! That shoulder pain sounds brutal!! 😦 if this helps in any way, of all the workouts to DNF on, I think yoga would be the most appropriate, because it would be all about self care being more important. And it sounds like you followed that 🙂 I don’t think I articulatd that very well but I’m sure you know what I mean 🙂 hope you have a better week this week!

  31. Change of Pace says:

    Sorry to hear you have to deal with this on a regular basis. It sounds brutal.
    Glad you were still able to get your long run in- it’s amazing how irrational our thoughts can be when pain and running are involved 🙂
    Hope you enjoy your cutback week!!

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