The last couple weeks of running were supposd to be build weeks. Apparently, I wasn't understanding "build" meant increasing mileage in those weeks. My feet were quite certain it meant decrease.
My first build week I pigeonholed myself for no other reason than being a slacker. The goal was to run around 40 miles and since I usually do my long run on Sunday, Mondays make it really easy to do nothing. Well, Tuesday hit and I still felt nothing was the right thing to do, meaning I would have to run everyday for the rest of the week to hit 40. It wasn't really a problem until Sunday. I owed 14 miles to make my 40, but the temps were less than 0 with the windchill. I really disliked the idea of running in the cold for about 2 hours, but managed to eek it out. My hamstrings were aching something fierce along with my right knee cap, but that didn't stop me from hobbling into the bagel shop for my victory breakfast.
The next build week I set a goal of 44-46 miles. I attended a cycling session after pharmacology on Monday night, but again skipped running on Tuesday and Wednesday because my knee was still aching. I kept wondering if I was pushing too hard and moving closer to the "Injury Zone." Either way I now had only 4 days to run the goal mileage. Cursing myself on Thursday I set out for an easy 10 miler, trying to think of an intelligent way cover my mileage wihout getting hurt or being dumb about it. As I approached the 10 mile marker I realized I was feeling pretty good and the knee was not aching. I suppose that tends to happen after 3 days of rest. Although, I had no water or gels I decided right then and there to go for 16. All was going well until 13-14 when my stomach started crying for sustenance. I wanted to push the pace to get home and eat but I knew that could be disastrous so I kept up my turtle trot, well I might have run a few seconds a mile faster ;) I was definitely a bit tight the next day so I opted to split my run into a 2-a-day. I did 3.85 on the 'mill before heading to clinicals with the intention of covering 5-7 on the roads when I got home, but as I stared out my patients window I saw the snow falling and falling. Uuuggghh. It was going to be a long drive home and the roads were going to suck. I bailed on my second run that day, bringing me to Saturday with a grand total of 19.96 miles run and a little over 26 to go. Sh#t!!! I had less than 2 hours to run after a few hours of studying on Saturday so I managed to crank out 11 before heading to work bringin the remainder mileage to 15 for Sunday. I had high hopes for getting in 11-12, but MK was there Sunday morning and wanted to run 15. I told her I would be willing but I would need to go about 8:30-8:40/mile because my legs were tight and tired and my hamstrings were again acting up. She didn't seem to mind and we rolled 15 right on pace. She definitely seemed to be doing much better than me. Running 46 miles in 4 days did a number on my legs and all I could think about was getting my feet up and off the ground. I did not fail to celebrate my mileage vicotry with a pat on the back and some coffee with baileys, even if I was dumb about it.
Week 3 of my build again the goal was to hit around 46 miles. Not wanting to have a three-peat of the last two weeks I ran 6 easy miles on Monday. I was extremely tight and my hamstrings were nagging. I felt very nervous and anxious since it was the same aching I had right before I tore my hamstring last year. Again, Tuesday I missed. Tuesdays are such a hard day to workout. I have class for 4 hours in the morning and then I have to work until nearly 11pm at night. It is just not working out to workout!!! Wednesday I decided to rest my hamstrings one more day. Thursday I tackled an 8 miler with AH. I still felt tight through the first few miles and when the pace dropped below 8:00 minute miles my cavs started screaming at me. I was really suffering and I shouldn't have been. I was nearly at race effort and I was dying, not to mention I was getting slower each mile. I was so frustrated that a 7:38 mile hurt THAT bad. It shouldn't have. I am in the best running shape of my life right now. I know it's cold and I have been building mileage, but I hate overestimating my abilities through excuses so when I hit the 8 mile mark on my garmin I told him I had to walk the cramps were just too bad. We cooled-down with 3 minutes of frustrated power walking back to the house. Friday I managed 4 super, slow, tight and painful miles on the 'mill followed by an ice bath. My legs felt so much better after and I had hoped I might actually cover 28 miles in the next 2 days. Saturday I did 10 easy to test the legs and although I felt the fatigue in my legs it was a million times better than Wednesday. Sunday, I planned an 18 miler, but when I went to bed Saturday I was extremely nauseated and just plain tired. I woke up at 7:00am planning to run with MK, but I didn't feel any better, so I pulled the plug and went back to bed. I woke up 2 hours later and feeling a little less fatigued and hungry. It was a good sign I was feeling better, my appetite was back and the nausea was gone. I ate and studied for a few hours before deciding I would at least make an attempt at my 18 miler. It had taken me 2:17 to run 16 last week so I figured 2:30ish for this run. I haven't been using gels for anything under or near 2 hours, but today I packed 2 in my gloves. I knew the chances of finishing this were not that great. I hadn't been feeling well and with my hamstrings aching on and off it didn't look good. I rolled through the first hour feeling okay and took the first gel with some snow. I wasn't taking any water because it was so cold anyway it would have just given me abdominal cramps. The second hour went by with only a few twinges in my hamstrings and I was ecstatic. I wasn't pushing the pace and my hamstrings were holding with less than 4 miles to go. I knew I could do it and at 2:32 in I finished 18.27 miles...WOOT, WOOT!!!
The kicker....these long training runs are faster than my best marathon race pace and I am on a recovery week...YES!!!!