Since I am in training for the Dallas Rock ‘n Roll half marathon in March, I should really have a specific training program. Let me put that on my list of things to do, right up there with paint my bedroom, post the recipe for zucchini boats on the blog and help my daughter study for her spelling test. The life of a wife, working mom and blogger pretty much means I always feel about 5 steps behind.
Thankfully I did plan ahead and sign up for several races over the next few months, which are great training runs for the half marathon. This weekend I am running the Hypnotic Donut Dash 5K with my husband, so it will be more of a fun run/walk/eat donuts race instead of a serious training run. However I do have the Hot Chocolate 15K coming up in two weeks, which is my first ever 15K. For those of you who only think in english units, that is approximately 9.3 miles.
Last weekend I knew I needed to get in a long run but with my lack of a training plan, I was not sure how far I should run. Since I had ran the Hotcake Hustle 10K the week before, I just decided to run about a mile further for a nice even 7 miles. Very scientific of me, I know.
Instead of getting up early and running outside in the cold, I decided to sleep in on Saturday and run later in the day when the weather was supposed to be in the mid 60′s. To make sure I went for my run, I put on my workout clothes as soon as I got out of bed and made sure my phone was charged so I would have music. Around 2 PM, I headed out the front door with 7 miles ahead of me. Our neighborhood is filled with hills and is too small for long runs unless I want to make 3 loops of the same route, so I headed towards Andy Brown Park in Coppell.
Me in my running clothes, before my 7 mile run
Around mile 2, I felt GREAT! It was the thrill of running outside, no pressure to get back to work on time (like my lunch time runs) and the beautiful weather. Then about half way through my first loop in the park, my left knee started to ache. I looked at my Garmin and saw I was at about 3.5 miles. I decided to push through to 5 miles then see how I felt.
When I reached the gravel trail on the other side of the park, it felt better on my knee and I really wanted to reach my goal of 7 miles that day, so I kept running. On the way home, my knee started hurting again and I started thinking about how long I had been running in those shoes. It has been at least a year since I have bought new running shoes, which is waaaaayyyyy longer than the 300-500 miles or 6 months that is recommended.
As I walked back through the front door of my house, my Garmin showed that I had run 7.02 miles in 1 hour and 5 minutes. I immediately took a cool shower, put on some comfy stretch pants and a t-shirt then sat down on the couch to ice my knee. Unfortunately, the damage was done so I ended up limping around the rest of the night and most of the next day. My husband even suggested that I stop long distance training, which I told him I would think about…
Did I push myself too far? Probably. Am I stubborn because I wanted to get in 7 miles? Absolutely. Did I race out to get new running shoes? Sort of.
I took some extra rest days this week, skipping out on boot camp on Mon and Wed to rest my knee. On Tuesday, I went to Luke’s Locker and got fitted for new running shoes. The shoes shown above are in the reject pile but I did finally find a pair of Asics that felt good and satisfied the running expert who stared at my feet while I ran around the store. However the color was boring, so I had them order my size in the brightest color available. Hopefully they will arrive in the next few days.
Then I went to see a new sports chiropractor on Wednesday who was UH-MAZE-ING! She thinks my knee pain is IT band related and gave me some exercises / stretches to do at home on the foam roller. Apparently my hip flexors are also very tight, along with the muscles in my glutes/lower back. She worked on lots of stretching, massage and electrical stimulation in my problem areas. Finally my upper back, neck and right shoulder needed lots of work too because I sit at a computer 40+ hours a week. But I am confident that she will get me feeling much better and I will not have to give up all of the things I enjoy doing to keep in shape.
Like running. I know I told my husband I would think about giving up long distance running but I don’t think I am ready for that to happen yet. But I will promise him to will listen to my body and cut back when it feels like I am over-training.
How long has it been since you last bought running shoes? Have you ever had to drop out of a race or training program because of an injury? Have you ever used a foam roller?