Training -First Two Months Recap

My Prince Charming and I began our training using a couch to 5K plan.

Week 1- Okay. The truth is this was not training but just getting out and moving.  The idea was harvesting in my little mind about running a race.  I was just trying to get active.   Looking back at my RunKeeper app I can’t believe I ran/walked 5 days this first week.  To see the training stats in a nice table you can click here.

Week 2- I looked up 1/2 marathon training plans and figured out that I should be running a distance run on the weekends. I started running the first week with a 3 mile solo run. I didn’t follow a run/walk timed intervals. I just decided to do my best. I ran when I could and walked when I needed too. Usually I ran when it was shady and walked the hills and really sunny patches of the trail. Was it hard? Of course. Was their pain? Plenty. Did I keep going? You betcha! I kept telling myself the speed didn’t matter I only had to finish the distance and by the end my speed wasn’t so bad- for me. 3 miles in 49:15 minutes with the average pace of 16:21. I figured that is almost Disney qualifying.  This planted the seed that maybe I really could do the Princess Half Marathon and not get swept up by the dreaded, evil sweepers.

I ran a total of 6 out of the 7 days.  Hmmm….not such a smart idea.  No wonder I developed IT band issues.

I  started loosely training using the Couch to 5K plan. Prince Charming thought it was important at this point to work towards being able to run at least 30 minutes straight.

On Saturday Prince Charming (PC) and I ran/walked 4 miles. At the end of the run I was feeling good. I felt like I could have maybe even went further.

Official time 1:06:54 for 4.12 miles at avg/min/mile of 16:13.

Week 3- The following week we did 4 total runs and on the weekend we slayed 5 miles while still feeling strong. Time was 1:23:56 for 5 miles with avg/min/mile 16:47. My previous ankle pains (tendon behind ankles) were improving. I noticed my speeds seemed to overall be consistently improving especially on daily runs. I also started trying to run at least 2 miles each day on my shorter runs during the week.

Week 4- Then the following week I rant a total of 4 more runs.  The six miler came and boy did it really wipe me out. Prince Charming and I did 6.14 miles in 1:37:02 which is avg/min/mil of 15:49!!!! Finally below Disney’s 16 min/per/mile. I was staying tired even on non-run days for the entire week after this. I felt great running but when I wasn’t running I wanted to sleep. My calves were getting really sore. I was told by fellow runners I was running too many days a week and not getting any recovery in.  Later, after learning a lot more than I knew then I would realize how true this advice is.  My body’s fatigue was a foreshadow of an injury brewing.

Meanwhile, Prince and I began researching and trying out Jeff Galloways prescription for run/walk method and his different interval times. Prince decided he liked this better than trying to run constantly. Fellow runners advised that going the distance was the goal not running constantly. We decided to slow down and run two days during the week and then the third run would be the long run on the weekend. I switched from the couch to 5K to Jeff’s 30 second run/45 second walk formula.

Week 5- This week we did a total of 4 run/walks. (What happened to only 3 runs a week- I’m so stubborn)

This week I also ran my fastest ever overall time with a 14:58 avg/min/mil. However, that weekend I was in terrible calf pain and was only able to walk a 5K for my long run. I was terribly disappointed.

Prince was aggravated because he thought I might be able to push through the pain but it was too severe. I tried! This was a different kind of pain. I’m learning as a runner that some pains you can push through and others mean stop what you are doing immediately or risk further injury. So we walked a 5K, or should I say, he walked and I limped. I was so sad.

Week 6- But I got up the next day and ran with a 15:20 avg/min/mile. My second fastest time yet! A few days before the Saturday painful run was when I had ran my fastest pace yet. This is probably why I was in so much pain.

We ran/walked 4 days again this week.

The following Sunday our goal was 7.5 and with a lot of hard work we made it! (our avg/min/mil was 15:14) It was very long but we pushed through. I was doing 30 sec run/45 sec walk and had to walk out a few intervals but we survived. Also we ran over a couple of overpasses. I was so excited! And sore. And tired. I don’t know if I could have done much more. The first few miles were hard but they always are for me. Then I got into my super euphoric high and felt awesome until about mile 5. After that I struggled. It was then that I appreciated why I needed to train to do the half. Just because I could go 2 miles doesn’t mean I could go 13.1.

Week 7- The next weekend we had company in town for the holidays and only ran two days.  I decided to only travel 4 miles but tackle some hills. We ran a very hilly course and I upped my pace to 1 min run/1 min walk. We finished very strong and our avg pace was 15:55. This wasn’t our fastest run but we tackled a lot of hills and uneven sidewalks. Feeling awesome.

Week 8-  I only ran 2 days.

Here’s where the trouble begins.

First Mistake: I had horrible problems finding running shoes that were fitting me correctly. I will save the long story for another post, but the short story is I had been running on very old, worn out shoes from the start. Not the best idea.

For about a week I had begun to have some consistent nagging knee pain. A kind of an achy feeling around my knee caps with some crinkling noises at times. Almost like something was rubbing behind my knee cap. I also felt like my knee was locking up a bit as I ran. It felt weak and unstable at times. It hurt mostly after a run and during a rest day . It felt okay while running except a bit weak. I ignored the pain because it wasn’t really bothering me and didn’t seem to be getting worst. Second mistake.

I had only been getting two runs total in for two weeks because of the holidays. Then it was the big day! We were going to run our 9 miler. I was so psyched and excited. It was raining and we nearly rescheduled with our babysitters but decided to brave the elements. I had finally purchased some new shoes that I thought might take me the distance.

Third mistake – new shoes. Not sure if this was an actual mistake. I need the new shoes and finally found a pair that felt great. However I think that the new shoes might have played into what happened next.

I woke up and mentioned to my husband that I might need a knee brace because my knee had been bugging me a lot the night before. Very achy. I had worn my new shoes around the house for a couple of hours to see how they felt. Felt great. But my knee ached a lot that night. I didn’t correlate this with what happened next.
So we set off. We did our first mile in the drizzly rain. Looked down and the first mile was a pace of 14 miles per minute. That was great! Really great for me! This included our 5 minute warm up. Maybe my new shoes were making me speedy.

Then my knee started to ache a bit. Then it got worst- really fast. It had never bothered me during a run before. This couldn’t be! This couldn’t be happening. I wanted this 9 miles today. I wanted to accomplish this goal. My new shoes were feeling so good. Please NO!

Pretty soon my run intervals were hurting. Sharp pains.

I wanted this so bad. I would not give in. I would push through the pain. I could do this. Maybe if I kept going the pain would get better. I tried to stretch. I kept going. Pretty soon I was almost crying in pain but I would not give up!  (so stupid by the way)

I decided to try to walk it out for a bit. Then I tried to run some more. I pushed through till about 4 miles (a lot of which was walking) and then realized that I wasn’t going to be able to run anymore. The pain was just getting to be too bad. We called for a ride because we were 4 miles from home and at this point I could barely walk. I kept walking till 4.5 miles and our ride showed up. I was so stubborn. I was so defeated and sad. Besides my knee everything else felt awesome and it was turning out to be such a nice day.  My mind wanted to keep going, but my body was saying No Way Lady.

I should have stopped at mile one when the pain sank in. If I would have stopped maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad.

I could barely walk for three days after that run. Now it’s been almost a week and I haven’t been able to run at all. It’s Friday and it still hurts to walk if I’m not on Ibuprofren, taping it, and icing it.

I’m praying I didn’t really hurt something. I NEED to run this half marathon. I NEED to train.

I want this so bad.

This is where I am now. Hurt, upset, and afraid that I might be injured for this race.

How it all began….

Once upon a time their was a girl.  An evil spell had been cast upon her and this girl had become unhappy with who she had become.  She didn’t like the way she felt anymore.  She didn’t like the way she looked anymore.  She couldn’t believe the face and body that stared back to her from photos and the dreaded mirror.  She wanted to make a change but didn’t know how to break the spell?  She tried different things but she stayed the same.  The spell was too powerful.  It kept her enslaved.  She couldn’t break free.  She desperately wanted to make a change.

Then one day she found her glass slippers  and an idea emerged.  Maybe she could run?  Maybe if she ran far enough and fast enough she could break the evil spell that held her prisoner.  Was it possible?  She really didn’t think it could be but she had to try? Right?  Could she?  Did she have the courage?  The strength?

Then she remembered a dream she once had.  A foggy dream that whispered to her through the powerful magic of the spell.  She remembered a girl who once ran and started to become fit.  She remembered a girl who once became powerful for a short season and ran a 5K against all odds.   She remembered how the spell had begun to lift.  She remembered how she had worked so hard.  She remembered the joy and excitement of the race day.  How she had conquered so much fear.  She remembered how powerful she had felt.

Then the larger dream whispered through the spell she was under and she was able to remember how she had looked with envy as others had conquered and even larger beast and slayed the 1/2 marathon.  She remembered that day how a dream had settled in her heart that perhaps she too could one day conquer that beast and break free of the spell once and for all. Could she really?  This overweight girl in the mirror laughed at her.  Mocked her.  The spell was so strong.  The fear breathed fire upon her trying to hold her dreams at bay.  She didn’t know if it was possible but the dream didn’t disappear.

With courage one day she put the glass slippers on and ventured from her tower.  She asked her Prince Charming to come with her.  She ran very slow that day but the old injury that had been inflicted on her wasn’t bothering her.  She felt some joy.  Some excitement.  She asked Prince Charming if he would begin to train with her.  Excitement began to break through and the spell weakened a tiny bit.  Could she do this?  The Princess 1/2 was coming up in 4 months.  If she trained really hard could she do it?  She knew she wouldn’t be fast but could she finish? The fear tried to cast his evil doubt, but with each run she was able to push the fear away a little more.  She decided to sign up for the big race with Prince Charming and at least try…..

The spell had to be broken at all cost so she could be the girl, the Princess, that she was meant to be.