If you’d like to read more about my previous experiences, check them out here!
Marathon Monday: Week 3 of 16 (Half Marathon Training)
It was another week of feeling good and inspired. The weather wasn’t awful, but it was cold. It was a pretty trying week for me, however.
Monday 1/29: 3 miles (11’52”) – Oh boy. This run was going so well. Mile 1 finished at 11’20”. It was a whole minute faster than the average of my last seven runs. I felt amazing and thought this was going to be the run that would change things for me. Well, it did, even if it wasn’t in the way I hoped.
Imagine the way you’d feel if you peeked at your watch and you were set to run your fastest 5k since starting your wellness journey over. You’d feel amazing, right? I bet you’d dig in and find a way to hustle, right? Well, that’s what I did. The training plan called for a 3-mile run. At three, I dug in to add .1 mile and at a fast speed. The problem? I literally dug in. My left foot, in BRAND NEW SHOES, tucked oh-so-nicely into a bit of cracked Liberty Avenue sidewalk and down I went. There was nothing slow about it, but somehow I guarded my right shoulder and took the brunt of the fall on my right knee. My pace above includes about 30 seconds of me crying out to Jesus that this wouldn’t end my running journey.
Both of my knees have war wounds- bruises in a block shape about 3-by 4 inches and both will scar. The left is pretty much scabbed up, but as of writing this, the right is wide open and raw. (I quickly became friends with these wound covers.) It is sort of refusing to heal, but maybe it’s because I am refusing to rest it. I took Tuesday off running and then…
Tuesday 1/30: Rest. I was one with the couch, no shame.
Wednesday 2/1: 2 miles (12’33”) – As crappy as my knees felt, I wanted to get out there and try again. So I laced up the shoes (which have now been retired for CrossFit only – more to come on that) and hit the same path on Liberty Avenue again. This time, I didn’t fall. There was a decent amount of ice out there, so I was a bit cautious. I only wished I’d worn my knee sleeves because I could feel the fight between new skin and wound and muscles that hadn’t gotten quite enough rest. Ouch.
Thursday 2/2: Rest – Greg took one look at my right knee and said no. I napped!
Friday 2/2: Rest and Chiro – It was my 4-week eval, and while I don’t know the results, I feel so much better than I did that first visit.
Saturday 2/3: 3.52 miles (11′ 58″) – I woke up and headed out to the UPMC Sports Medicine Complex on the South Side for the official Half Marathon Training Kickoff Run (basically, if you’re doing this thing, you should be in training now!). The sponsors brought in Steel City Road Runners coaches to pace 3, 5, 7, and 9-mile courses. I joined up with the 12:00 pace group and took the 3-mile option (looping the parking lot and a quick up the trail to grab another half mile and meet my training plan goal).
I’ve never run with a pace group before. My mind was always like, “I’ll hold them back” or “they’ll hold me back”. This time, it was exactly what I needed. The pace ranged from 11:45-12:15 and we were running at a run and talk pace. It felt incredible to be supported by others doing this thing who have similar goals as me. I didn’t think about the hills or the cold, and when we hit that three-mile mark, I was wowed.
When I was done, I took in a deep stretch (so cool to do so on the indoor training center for the Steelers) and had some moments of feeling grateful for this journey. I might have obsessed with running thoughts the rest of the day.