Monday, September 26, 2011

Marathon Training: Week #11

Let me apologize in advance if this gets too long/emotional/boring. These recaps are mostly for me to have something to look back on and see what I did wrong or right and to improve in the future (or remind myself to never train for a marathon again - only kidding...sort of). Also, there are some bruised foot pictures at the end so just prepare yourself for that if you are weird about feet. They're not terrible and I don't have black toenails.

This has been a tough week for me. Looking at our training schedule, this past week had us running our maximum weekly mileage (36 miles, which is one more mile than the week we do a 20 mile long run). So really, it's no surprise that I would have a rough week. I mentioned last week that I really didn't like running 3 days in a row. I really appreciate all of your comments and suggestions. I haven't really decided what to do about it yet and I don't feel like I can switch training schedules this late in my training. I may in fact alter my weekly schedule to only run 2 days during the week and do more cross-training on the bike. Thoughts?

This week I decided that instead of 5-8-5, I'd front-load my mileage to get it out of the way and do 7-6-5. It's the same number of miles, but by doing that I thought it would be mentally easier to have something to look forward to the next day (today's run is easier than yesterday's!).

On the schedule: rest or cross-train
I used this as my rest day. I was pretty tired from my 17 miles.

On the schedule: rest or cross-train
Rode 16.76 miles in 1:09 (14.5 mph) with Andrew. I love being able to ride with him. It was a little cool outside but it felt nice!

On the schedule: run 7 miles
Ran 7 miles in 1:10 on the treadmill (10:00 pace). This was actually a good run on the treadmill. I did it after dinner, which is always questionable, but I was okay! I stopped once after 2 miles to go to the bathroom but when I got back on the rest of the run went really well.

On the schedule: run 6 miles
As you can see, the week started out okay, but on Wednesday I was tired. I stopped my run early because I was stressed out. I was stressed about marathon training, stressed about my job (I've been in a new position for 9 months and I have days when I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing), stressed about having to spend $1,000 on vet bills for my sick kitty (he's doing okay now!), stressed that the vet wanted to schedule a follow-up appointment during my long run and my husband couldn't take him either (I got the appointment moved!), stressed about being tired and not getting enough sleep (still working on that one), and stressed about not getting to spend as much time with my husband as I would like (because of all these other things listed - still working on that one too, but I am so thankful to have the most understanding husband who is so supportive of my training).

I was running on the treadmill on Wednesday, hoping to get in 6 miles. At mile 3 I just gave up. I actually got off to go to the bathroom and I just never got going again. Physically I felt okay, but not spectacular. After 3 miles it was already past 8:15 PM (supposed to go to bed at 9!) and I just felt like I needed to be at home taking care of things in order to feel less stressed. So I left! Later on right before I fell asleep I ended up having a little break down that involved crying, but my husband consoled me and made me feel much better about things (he's so good at that!). Sometimes I just need a good cry to make myself feel better. I hope I'm not the only one (Mom, if you're reading this, I PROMISE I'm okay!).

My run ended up being 3.04 miles in 32 minutes (10:31 pace). I was debating making up the mileage the next day but I decided just to move on. Sometimes that's best!

On the schedule: run 5 miles
I tried to look at Thursday as a new day and thankfully I was running with my amazing running partner and that always seems to make a run 100 times better! I forgot my watch so I tried to use the Map My Run app on my phone, but apparently I paused it as soon as I put it in my running belt, so I really don't have an exact time. I know I ran about 5 miles and it probably took about 55 minutes. At this point in the week, I really didn't care how far/fast I went. There was some walking involved, but we both needed it!

During our run, I came to find out that we were both having the same thought of, "I AM NEVER TRAINING FOR ANOTHER MARATHON AGAIN...IT'S CONSUMING MY LIFE!". Sometimes knowing that someone else is going through the same thing makes it easier to go through yourself. We both feel like all of this training will be "worth it" when we cross the finish line, but training for a marathon is such a huge time commitment when you have a full-time job and a life (okay, I really don't have much of a "life", but still). Thankfully I know that this is only temporary and in the end it will be very rewarding! It's also obviously physically demanding and it's not like you can run 18 miles then go do a million other things the rest of the day (maybe some of you can, but I sure can't). Anyways, it was a relief to know that I wasn't the only one dealing with being stressed out about training.

On the schedule: rest
Ran 8 miles in 10 minutes. HA - JUST KIDDING! I rested. Really? Me not rest? After this week? I don't think so.

On the schedule: run 18 miles
Ran 18 miles in 3:17 (10:55 pace). I was slightly nervous about this run, but not too nervous actually. The 17 miles the week before had gone pretty well and this was adding just one more mile. How bad could it be? It was humid outside, which I feel like always makes me feel terrible and go slower, but we actually had a slightly faster average pace than last week's 17 miles when it wasn't as humid. Really the first 13 miles weren't too bad and seemed to go by without a hitch. When we stopped at the car for the last time to refill with 5 miles to go, I noticed that the top of my left foot right under my big toe was hurting a little bit but I didn't think it wasn't anything I couldn't run through. Over the next 3.5 miles it didn't bother me way too much, but I could definitely feel it. The last 1.5 miles were a bit painful honestly, especially when going downhill. I had to land and push off of my left foot gingerly to avoid pain, but I knew we were almost done so I pushed through. Stubborn, much? I don't think it would have made too much difference if I had stopped anyways. When I was done I took off my shoe and inspected my foot. I could tell it was red and pointed to right where it hurt, which also happened to be right under an eyelet where the lacing comes out. I loosened my shoe and put it back on to go home. When I got home, I took of my shoes again and took this picture of my foot:

Looks kind of bad, doesn't it?

I took an ice bath, and when I was done my foot looked like this:

Less bad, but still a noticeable bruise. It didn't hurt to walk, but it hurt when something (like a shoe) would touch the top of my foot. I made the mistake of Googling "pain and bruising on the top of my foot" and I start thinking that I have a stress fracture and freak out that my first marathon will be a big fat DNS. If I am truly hurt, that's okay, although I will be devastated. For now my conclusion is that my shoes were laced too tight or incorrectly. I found these videos from Runner's World, so clearly this is a common enough problem!

Skipping eyelets:

Parallel lacing:

On Sunday the bruising had gone down; it was a bigger splotch and a lighter red color. Today (Monday) my bruise is completely gone. I can fully support my weight on my toes and it doesn't hurt to walk. It still hurts a tiny bit if I put pressure on the spot where the bruise was though. I ran in these shoes during my 17 miler, and while I had some toe pain on both feet, I didn't have this bruising on the top of my foot. I don't know if it's the actual shoes, or if I just had one of them laced to tight, or if it's something totally different (please don't say it's a stress fracture, please don't say it's a stress fracture...).

My plan is to take it easy this week (biking instead) and run again on Thursday (maybe) and Saturday to see how I feel. Thankfully this is a cut-back week and I have never been so excited about only running 13 miles in my life! If it still hurts after changing my lacing, I'll go to the doctor.

Anyone ever have this problem or have any suggestions?

Again, sorry for the lengthy recap...if you made it to the end you should get a prize!


  1. Ouch! That does look painful! I don't have any I hope that your foot feels better after some rest!

  2. I get a pain in a different part of my foot, but I chalk it up to just having "bad feet". I can't wear heels or shoes with no arch support. I'm going to be an awesome old lady. I have so much practice already. I hope it heals up and doesn't come back!

    It's hard to have rough spots in training (like I am now!) but good for you for realizing when you just need a break and when it's ok to give up a rest day to run 8 miles in 10 minutes ;-)

  3. Ouch! That looks like it hurts. Hope you feel better soon!

  4. OUCH! Not sure I could ever run that many miles all at once...just seems impossible to me but maybe one day! Wow, very impressive workouts for you are gonna kill it!

  5. Ouch! I'm sorry to hear the stress has been beating you up and apparently shoe eyelets, as well!

    See, now you've set the standard for things to just get better...I mean, seriously, its going to just better from here!

    Stress....schmess! Your gonna rock this thing!

  6. glad that bruise went away so quickly...sounds like you were amazing about taking care of it and giving it the immediate attention it needed! good job pushing through some tough runs this week...marathon training can definitely be overwhelming and time consuming but you are doing great! hang in there!

  7. xoxoxox. I had my cry day yesterday, and you got to see it up close and personal! Your hugs made is all better!
    Your blog is wonderful, and I am so proud of you for doing this. What discipline!
    Ouch on the bruises.
    In addition to training this weekend.....HAVE SOME FUN!

  8. I wish I could help with the bruising. Hope all is better soon!

    I'm always curious about how other people train so I enjoyed reading the lengthy recap :)


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