Last Saturday, I set out to tackle the Nike Virtual 10k challenge, which I was including in my scheduled 8 mile training run with my Team in Training family. We met up in Wakefield again, but this time our route was a lopsided figure-8 on backroads and then around part of the lake from last week. The map was handed out, with copies needing to be shared, and off we went. Coach Laura forgot to mention that we were starting hill work this week.
About a mile and a half in, the first pack (about 100 yards in front of me) realized that we had missed a turn & some adjusting was in order. There were three other ladies running with me, and we followed their lead in getting back on course. That, however, lead us to a monster of a hill right around mile two. (If you look at my course, you can see it gets red around there. Red = slow.)
At the turn between miles two and three, we finally were back on course & following the map. It was finally at mile four I realized that all the turns were backwards (left meant right, and vice versa). From there out, I was able to navigate the rest of our route, and could then focus on dodging icy puddles while ignoring the growing pain in my knee and ankle. Yes, unfortunately the knee pain isn’t going away. This run was actually pretty difficult for me to finish, and I have my TEAMmates and our cause to thank for motivating me over the finish line.
The good news is that with this training season, I’ve been keeping a pretty great log of my runs – including weather conditions, shoes, pain, distance – and that was really helpful when zeroing in on what caused my pain. The first minor twinges of pain only started after I was running with new shoes. Needless to say, those shoes are now retired.
But I needed more guidance than just putting away those shoes, so it was back to physical therapy for me. Luckily for me, I was able to see the same PT (Ashley) that I saw over the summer, so I didn’t need to start from scratch explaining my issues. We went through all the diagnostics (questions, flexibility testing, pain testing), and then she gave me some new stretches and exercises to add to some of the ones I had before with the IT band injury. I’m now at a total of 10 exercises, 4 stretches and all the foam rolling and Stick-ing that I can stand. Ashley also added in some electronic stimulation therapy with my icing. It definitely felt weird, but also pretty awesome.
The best part is that Ashley is a runner, and she understands my commitment to running the half in DC. We are working together to modify my training plan in order to still be able to run that race (and hopefully ramp up my milage to get back in sync with the TEAM by early April). For now, it’s slow and short, but at least I’m not banned from running like last time! Bad news part – I’m completely out for the GoRuck challenge. The weighted bag was really what put that from a maybe to a no-go in Ashley’s mind, especially if I want to be ready and healthy for DC. It definitely sucks, since I had just moved from terrified to excited for the GRC, but that excitement will have to wait for another day.
With the Nike Virtual 10K under my belt, that’s four events so far in 2013 (three of which were virtual). I have at least two more virtual races on the books, but I am definitely looking forward to some real events this spring and summer. I am keeping my eyes peeled for a few more races to squeeze in to the calendar, but waiting on registering for anymore until this injury is all taken care of.
Stay healthy & see you on the roads!