Monday, March 5, 2012

Week in the Rearview Mirror: February 26 - March 3, 2012

Overall, this was an interesting week. Of course my first marathon was a blast, and I not only met my original goals but exceeded them by quite a bit. In some ways that is amazing, yet in other ways I have to admit that I've kind of intimidated myself. What I mean is that by being able to post a good time for my first marathon like that, it now feels like that time "sets the bar" (so to speak)...and a bit higher than I'm comfortable with. I know that I don't have anything to prove to anyone (with the possible exception of myself), and that every marathon and day is different, but it just feels like it is out there as sort of a water mark now.

In some ways, I can't wait to do another one just so I can establish some perspective. The conditions at Cowtown were very nearly perfect, starting in the mid 40's, the humidity was fairly low, and there was no rain. There was a bit of a southerly breeze (and some gusts at times) but that didn't affect me the entire race, and the temperature only rose into the high 50s by the time I finished. The crowd support was really good, the volunteers were excellent, traffic control was wonderful, and there were well run aid stations throughout the course and every mile was clearly marked (I missed a couple, but that was just me). It is very likely that the next one will NOT be that perfect (perhaps in several ways), so I'm looking forward to a not-so-perfect race to just add another facet to the marathon experience. Here's to hoping I didn't just put the old Chinese curse on myself ("May you live in interesting times").

Within 3 or 4 hours of the marathon, the soleus / fibularis (Peroneus) longus muscles in my lower left leg sort of froze up and got really, really sore. Walking was pretty much out of the question, although I could limp around when I needed to. I took Monday off from work, and it got a bit better, and Tuesday was also a rest day (although I did go into the office) and it was better still, although I still couldn't go up or down stairs. I did a gentle cycle and short walk on Wednesday. I couldn't stand on the pedals or climb stairs, but it was still getting better. On Thursday I was able to put a bit more power in on the bike ride, and stand on the pedals. On foot, moving laterally was still tender though. As a stress reaction no doubt, I gained about 3 pounds of water weight by Monday morning, and retained it until Friday morning. That was also when I started feeling better in the calf, and was able to run on both Friday and Saturday.

As of this morning my left calf area is still a bit tight, and coming out of a squat or putting that leg forward and holding a lunge position is still a bit painful, but it is slowly healing. Other than that, I don't have any residual affects from last Sunday's marathon, some I'm counting myself lucky.

I suspect this was just an over-use strain on those muscles caused by the hills, and the fact that I really pushed the pace in the final miles after I was already tired. It could also be something that I failed to mention previously. At about the 5 mile mark in the marathon, I felt my left ankle kind of roll just a bit due to uneven pavement (a chunk was missing). I caught it quick and it didn't actually "turn" the ankle, and didn't hurt so I thought it was no big deal. In retrospect, it "might" have been this, coupled with the hills and the final push. Oh well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger...right..?

Here is what last week looked like...

Day   Activity   Distance (in miles)
Sunday Running 26.47
Monday Rest Day
Tuesday Rest Day
Wednesday Cycling 14.14
Walking 1.06
Thursday Cycling 20.20
Walking 1.75
Friday Walking 1.13
Running 5.05
Saturday Walking 1.03
Running 5.53
Walking 0.40

And that added up to the following time and distance totals for the week:

Activity   Time Total   Distance Total (in miles)
Running 5:33:05 37.05
Walking 1:23:24 8.84
Cycling 2:22:40 34.34
Overall Total 9:19:09 76.76

As a consequence of being able to run a couple of times at the end of the week, and having the marathon at the beginning, this ended up being a weekly running distance record for me as well, so that was a plus.

In cross-training, I've continued with the pushups and pullups on alternating days, and the March planks challenge is coming along. It had been a while since I had focused on planks, so it is taking me a day or two (or more) to get back into it. I tend to be the most sore from those in my lower back, so that is where I'm the weakest at this point.

I also attended Yoga on Thursday and Saturday with my favorite instructor. I think I'll stick with two classes a week for now, so I can manage the costs and attend those classes with the instructor I like.

Happy Running Everyone !!!


  1. What a good week! I am so happy to see that you are recovering well after your FANTASTIC marathon :)

  2. nice week... cycling is excellent for tired sore legs.

    this line made me smile.

    " I can't wait to do another one just so I can establish some perspective"

  3. Hi Michael,

    Love the new photo...looks like you are having an easy run..8)

    You clearly pushed pretty hard in your race....and the results are the proof.

    As I said before I think you have serious potential, but yes, it comes with risk of injury ...(pushing limits will eventually break something).

    Ah well, just enjoy your shiny new PR for now!

    Remember, there are years ahead...what I heartily recommend is that you run some marathons purely for fun. Don't worry about your time, take a camera and take pictures and just enjoy running 26.2 at a pace that leaves you in good shape.

    I'm doing Eugene as a big peaked effort, but after than it's going to be marathons for fun of it for a while 8)

    try it, you'll love it..10% slower makes all the difference!


  4. Cowtown - was that not the race that the guy who won was stripped of the win?

    Thanks for stopping by today.

    Sounds like a good run you had at the full.