Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon: Week 14 (Lots of Rambling, Little Running)

I'm once again really bummed to report that my bum leg derailed yet another week of training. I did specifically opt for more rest, hoping to feel better for my race on Halloween. I ended up only running on Saturday and rested the other days.

I did feel much better on Saturday, but still not really the same. The pain is now tolerable enough to run, and I can run much more normally, rather than limping and hobbling along. However, that certainly doesn't mean I'm healthy.

I don't want to spoil anything for this coming week's recap, but when I tried to run yesterday, my heart rate was once again sky high, I assume from my body processing the stress of the leg while trying to maintain what is normally my easy pace. I think the leg will stretch out and be better after about 5-7 miles, but it's not ideal.

Obviously, I'm pretty upset and disappointed that I put in such a good training cycle and was in such good shape, only for it all to fall apart at the end. I'm still contemplating what my race strategy will be, and I have some ideas about how I will tackle marathon training in the future, both of which I will hopefully cover in future posts. Either way, the chiropractor thinks weak and inactive glutes are the root cause - which seems perfectly reasonable to me - so I will be making some sort of home glute routine to try to prevent this from popping up again.

However, I thought I would be more distraught than I am. Even though running long distances can sometimes feel like a chore, I guess I really do love the training, if not getting a pay-off at the end doesn't bother me all that much. I know I will be able to complete the marathon under the time limit and most likely can't cause any significant harm. If I couldn't race at all, I would be much more upset!

I do have, most likely, a six week "off-season" coming up after Chickamauga, and I'm already planning fun, active things to fill it with, which I think is really helping my mental state. There's so many cool outdoor things to do here, and I feel like I've ignored them all because of marathon training. This could probably be a whole post by itself, but I plan to take a lot more advantage of these opportunities in the off-season, and hopefully find a way to incorporate them even when I start training again, ie - maybe do a ranger-led hike instead of run.

I'm also beginning to contemplate what I'll have to do once it snows. I'm thrilled to work so close to the Towpath now, but it is not plowed in the winter. I also have a feeling the farm roads around our house where I have been doing almost all my running will be lowest priority on the plow list. I don't mind running in our neighborhood, but the most you can do in a loop is about two miles, or three via an out-and-back. This is fine, but this will probably get really old!

Luckily, there are lots of options for winter sports really close by, plus lots of chances to get instruction! I would love to learn how to snowshoe and cross-country ski, because I think they would be really good, fun substitutes for running, and are much lower impact. While it looks like snowshoes can bit a tad pricey, cross-country skis are way cheaper than I ever expected, so if I want to invest in these as choices, it won't break the bank. There are super affordable rental options nearby for both (like $5/day for snowshoes and $15/day for skis affordable!), so I plan to try them out once we get some snow. Skiing under the stars on the Towpath after work sounds pretty magical to me!

Run Miles: 3.1 mi
Total Time: 28:04

Sorry for this post and its many tangents, but I feel like it was a lot more interesting than regaling you with all the ways I'm icing my leg with a bag of carrots. If you do winter sports and have any tips/suggestions/ideas, please let me know! Because basically the only thing I can do right now is snow tube - not exactly perfect cross-training!


  1. Sorry you're having some leg troubles! Hopefully you will still get to enjoy the course. Both cross country skiing are snow shoeing are awesome cardio workouts. Depending on how deep the snow is, snow shoeing can be hard core, but fun!

    1. Yeah, I've been meaning to try winter sports, but we had a weird amount of snowfall this year. Now that I'm in a lake effect area, I'm sure I'll be seeing plenty and having it stick around.

  2. I also am sorry for your leg troubles! I know how awful it feels to have a training cycle fall apart at the end. However, you still have so many marathons ahead of you and you have such a great spirit that I know you'll still enjoy your upcoming race.
    It definitely sounds like your off-period will be fun. I'm going to try out snowshoeing this winter too! On my own and also by volunteering with Special Olympics.

    1. Thanks - it was definitely a bummer after so much good training! I think I'm still in pretty good shape, so I'm hoping at least a small PR at the race.

  3. Ugh running injuries :( Hoping for smooth and as-quick-as-possible healing for your leg so you can be back doing what you love pain-free again!

    1. Thanks! My leg is already doing much better. The marathon didn't seem to make any worse, so I'm very hopeful that with a few weeks of no running, mixed in with a lot of yoga, will get it all cleared up.