This past Monday was supposed to be my first day out of my complete Boston recovery mode and easing myself back into the swing of things. I’ve pretty much decided (still finalizing details) that I’m going to run Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in June. I want to get a good long run in this weekend before making my final decision. From Boston to Grandma’s is a 10 week stretch, so I felt confident that it is a good pick and could be a successful race.
Except I woke up Monday morning feeling off. My intention was to swim in the morning and do strength and PT exercises in the afternoon. When I woke up feeling weird and off, I decided I would workout in the afternoon and stay in bed a little longer. Well, as the day progressed I felt worse and worse – so I went home and found out I had a fever of 101! It was so weird because I had no other symptoms that usually accompany a higher fever – I just had chills, aches, and a fever. No sore throat, no stuffy nose, no cough. I took a sick day from work on Tuesday and basically slept from Monday afternoon through Wednesday morning, with a few breaks to watch TV or go on my computer. It was so odd. Then, I got my daily update from the TimeHop app on my phone only to find that I was home sick twice in previous years on this same day! I think Boston training really took it’s toll on me this year, especially since I was in panic mode with my injury. I think my body finally told me that I needed to slow down. I got the hint!
When I was coherent yesterday afternoon, I was reviewing my workouts from my coach. He gives me my run workouts, but also some swim, bike, core and strength workouts. So I’m pretty set with the cross training, but with my Achilles injury and fitting in physical therapy, I slacked in some areas that I’m usually on top of. Over the next 9 weeks as I head to Grandmas, these are areas that I am recommitting to improving and/or incorporating regularly:
Yoga: One thing I rarely talk about anymore is yoga. I’m actually a certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance. I am considered an RYT and completed my 200 hour teacher training program in 2009. I used to practice Ashtanga yoga six days per week and had an intense practice. I believe the intensity of my practice prevented me from getting faster – there is such a thing as being too flexible when it comes to running. I also believe that doing some form of yoga has incredible value and should be incorporated to keep muscles and fascia flexible to prevent injury. I believe my lack of yoga is the main cause of my Achilles issues, because my calves were never tight when I practiced yoga regularly. I plan to schedule at least two days per week where I get on my mat and practice the Primary Series Syllabus from Ashtanga Yoga. I used to practice second and third series, but that’s a story for another day. While I don’t think I should be on my mat as often as I used to be if my goal is to run faster, I do think it needs to be part of my weekly fitness routine.
- Core: I used to do core every single day. I did this for the past year, but once I got to the point where I was trying to do a million things and fit in PT, I slacked. No more excuses. I’m back to doing core everyday – including daily planks. I used to be able to do something like a 5 minute plank. I’m bringing it back.
- Foam Rolling – Every week, I say this is the week that I will foam roll after every run. Or even just for 3 minutes each day. My foam roller stares at me from my living room floor but do I use it? Rarely. I have a travel sized one that comes with me to work everyday, but do I take it out of my bag? Nope. Time to make this a daily habit.
- MYRTLs – A while back, a fellow blogger introduced me to the MYRTL routine to strengthen your hips and I loved it. I did it regularly after every single run and I truly felt it working. Again, enter physical therapy and I also dropped my MYRTL routine. Time to recommit to post run MYRTLs.
- Form Drills – This is an area where I have zero experience. I want to begin all of my runs with some form drills. Partially so it will warm up my muscles before running, but also because if I do it right before a run, it might start to translate into keeping good form throughout my run, even after fatigue hits. You know, the whole muscle memory thing.
Diet – I eat pretty healthy and try to follow a Paleo diet because I have a love/hate relationship with gluten. Sometimes I can tolerate it, sometimes not so much. But I have a sweet tooth. I use Fitness Pal but often lie to it so I need to start owning up to what I’m eating. I’d like to lose about 6-7lbs to get to what I believe would be my ideal racing weight, and nine weeks is reasonable to make a good dent in that. Plus, lets be real. I have a pool and it’s almost time to whip out my bathing suit collection.
- Physical Therapy – I was released from PT but I’m still not 100% healed. I need to make sure I stick with the exercises that we covered in PT to make sure I can continue the healing process. I like doing them on the days I hit the gym to strength train since all of the equipment I need is there. I didn’t do them the week of the marathon or the week after, but now that I’m ready to roll again it’s back to my routine.
My thinking is if I post about it, I will hold myself more accountable. I’m interested to see how things go over the next nine weeks by focusing on some of these critical areas.