NJ Marathon Training Week 16 Recap {Taper Week 1}

Now that I’m tapering (thank god), I’m starting to stray away from the plan I’ve been using since December 22 and I’m throwing that whole grading system thing out the window. If I didn’t my report card would probably look worse than any I ever bought home in high school. I was not a good student in high school.

Monday, April 6: Rest Day. With the second 20 miler behind me, I took this day off completely.

Tuesday, April 7: 5 miles. This run was unbelievably awkward to start, but once I got past the first mile it was fantastic, even if it was a little rainy.

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I got a chance to start really breaking in my new Hoka Clifton and ended up with some great splits. I LOVE these shoes.

Wednesday, April 8: 4 miles on the treadmill @ 8:10. This was supposed to be the final pace run of this cycle, but I don’t have an intended pace anymore so I just did whatever I wanted. I felt good after this was over, but got really sore later on in the day. Yoga that night helped a little bit, but not much. There were elderly women in the room that were far more flexible than I was. (Not that you are supposed to compare yourself to others in yoga class, but I couldn’t help but notice it.)

Thursday, April 9: Super easy 5. (9:25 pace) Not the worst feeling run ever, but I was just tired and ready for a rest day.

Friday, April 10:

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Saturday, April 11: This was supposed to be a 12 mile long run, but the inactivity from the previous day left me feeling more beat up than when I started. I opted instead for 50 minutes on the Arc trainer at the gym and then an hour of yoga. That day I took Betty downtown to play tourist for the day because the weather was so beautiful and we did a TON of walking.

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I was pretty sore by the end of the day. Luckily I have the sweetest child on the planet who with absolutely zero prompting grabbed my massage stick and rolled out my back.

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Sunday, April 12: At first I thought I might try to switch my 12 to Sunday, but after another sore night I decided I was not going to push it. I went to the gym and did 4 on the treadmill, then called it a day. We ended up going down to the Orioles game and I did a TON more walking so I definitely earned my beer at the ballpark!

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Okay it was beers plural.

2 MORE WEEKS TO GO!

I got my confirmation for my hotel on Friday. It’s getting real up in here.

The big news for this week is that I ordered an inversion table which should be to me hopefully sooner than later. I can’t wait to spend lots of time upside down. Other than that my plan is to run if I can, but if I can’t then I’ll be on the elliptical to keep some of the stress off my back. Also continuing with yoga and doing some exercises/planks to re-strengthen my core because over the past couple weeks I’ve been feeling weak in that area.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! Special shout outs to all of you who ran at Cherry Blossom and to Sue because OMG PARIS MARATHON!!! And good luck to all of those who are in the taper home stretch for races this weekend. I can’t believe Boston is in a week. I’ve got so many people to root for!

Xo,

Salt

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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.

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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.

Anyway.

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.

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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? 

xo,

Salt

NJ Marathon Training Week 12 Recap

In summary:

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Week 12 Grade: A+ x infinity

Way good considering that I was sick for most of the week.

Monday, March 9: MEGAbarre. I was back on that crazy torture contraption again only this time the class was way more fun. Probably because I wasn’t a bumbling idiot with no idea what I was doing.

And let us not forget a fun evening fro yo date with Mar!

Tuesday, March 10: 5 miles @ 8:03. It was a little chilly outside. The route I had planned is mostly uphill for the first couple of miles, then loops around and heads back mostly downhill. I had a nice little progression run going…8:33, 8:02, 7:58…I was cruising along and then suddenly ICE ICE ICE EVERYWHERE. I didn’t even see it until I was trying to run on top of it. One of my legs shot out from under me, but somehow I managed to stay upright. Mile 4 @ 8:03. I finished up mile 5 in 7:36, really happy with how it had gone, but for some reason I was feeling much more exhausted than I normally would after 5 miles. It would become apparent why as the day went on and a pinching sensation started in my throat and my glands started to swell in my neck.

Swollen glands or no, I wasn’t going to miss my Floyo Combo class that evening which I recapped here in all its Ugg boot wearing, surfboard yoga-ing glory.

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Wednesday, March 11: 8 miles and YEP definitely sick. I’m also definitely stubborn and don’t like to admit illness so I figured it would be okay if I just did my run on the treadmill rather than outside. I would have an easy out if I needed to call it quits early.

The run started off okay. I was playing with my pace and hill settings to keep from getting too bored. Then about 3 miles in this guy got on the treadmill next to me. He was familiar; I see him around the gym all the time. Anyway I was instantly super annoyed because there are about a hundred treadmills and plenty of them were open.

After a little while though I didn’t mind him so much. It was clear that he was pacing me because he would look over at my display ever so often and adjust his own treadmill. So I decided that I was going to have a bit of fun and pushed a little harder than I normally would. This was supposed to be a pace run, but I was already way ahead of marathon pace.

I finished up my 8 miles in 1:02:54 (7:51 pace) and as I was cleaning up the sweaty mess on the treadmilll, guy next to me smiled and said “That was a great run!” It was a nice compliment, especially since he had kind of been invading my personal space. I almost forgot I was sick until around 10 am when I had the worst headache ever and could feel a fever coming on. It hurt to swallow. I took Advil and pushed through, even going to hot yoga that night in an attempt to sweat out whatever it was. I felt a little better afterward, but not much.

Thursday, March 12:  woke up at 1 am with a fever of nearly 102. Took more Advil, went back to sleep, and when my alarm rang at 5:15 there was just no way conceivable way that 5 miles was happening. My alarm went off again at 6:30 and somehow I managed to get myself dressed and to work where I sat at my desk for a couple hours before finally admitting defeat and going to the doctor. It took about 5 seconds to get a diagnosis. I already knew what it was before they told me.

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I didn’t have to go back to work that day so I picked up my multitude of prescriptions and headed home to sit on the couch. After the painkiller they had given me kicked in and I was feeling much better and it was so warm and pleasant outside. My windows were open and the birds were singing. Maybe I could lace up my shoes and go out for a little walk. Fresh air might be good for me.

I got to the end of my drive and thought…hey I feel pretty good right now. I had my watch on and everything. Maybe I could go for a little jog. I would take it really slow and easy and not worry about my pace. So that’s what I did and I was shocked when my watch signaled that I had gone a mile and I looked down to see that it said 8:19. I felt fantastic. I might as well keep going right? Mile 2 and 3 in 7:34  I have no explanation for what happened during mile 4 beyond maybe the pharmacy accidentally swapped my z pack for steroids.

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This was the fastest mile I’ve run so far this year.  I paused my watch and saved the run. I wanted to stop while I was ahead. Instead I treated mile 5 as a cool down and despite my efforts to keep it slow my pace was still 8:06.

So yeah running was maybe not the best idea that day, but I felt awesome afterward and I’m not going to lie…I was completely out of my mind elated over it.

Friday, March 13: LEGIT REST DAY. I was feeling much better, but I had pushed my luck enough for one week.

Saturday, March 14: And as anyone around here who ran a Rock n Roll race in DC that day can tell you, it was freaking pouring. I had a half marathon planned and wasn’t about to drag myself through the rain for 13.1 miles after having just been sick. Off to the gym I went with that same time pressure I had from a few weeks ago. 2 hours to get it all in before Mr. Salt had to go to work.

The time was a total non-issue. I finished in 1:47:05.

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That’s one of my fastest half marathons. While I wasn’t keeping track of my laps, I do know that it was negative split after negative split because I was adjusting my pace and elevation through the whole run.

Sunday, March 15: REVBlast!!!! I love REV Cycle so much and it was even better this time around because it sounded like they got a new sound system in there and my ears didn’t feel like they were getting assaulted.

I’ve noticed something over the past couple weeks: since I started back to spin class, my running times seem to be improving. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence or not, but  I’m going to continue to keep it at one of my main cross training activities just in case.

Also yesterday I went to a restorative yoga class that was so restorative that I literally fell asleep for a few minutes in the middle of class. Then I got a massage, which I was way overdue for and hurt like hell, but I can tell some of the kinks got worked out. She must have really gotten into my muscles though because this morning when I woke up I could barely move.

Week 12 Mileage: 31.1 although if you count the week from Sunday to Saturday I had my highest mileage week EVER at 49.1.

I am SO EXCITED, you guys. Throughout the past 12 weeks I’ve had some runs here and there that felt good and gave me a little bit of confidence, but this whole week was my far the most solid altogether. Everything felt great – workout wise. Obviously the strep throat did not feel great, but I’m feeling nearly 100% now and ready to take on Week 13!

How is everyone else’s training going? Do you run/work out when you’re sick? Do you take spin classes? When was the last time you had a massage? Does it annoy you when someone gets on the treadmill RIGHT NEXT TO YOU at the gym!? 

I hope everyone had a great weekend and that this new week is wonderful for you all!

xo,

Salt