After several days of really questioning if I am going to be able to do this thing or not, yesterday definitely gave me some hope. First was an 8 miler that for the most part felt "easy," a funny thing, I made an effort to go out slower than usual and I also made a point to stop and walk a minute for each mile- which was hard at first but soon became a bit of a rhythm and didn’t bother me so much- and afterwards I was surprised to find my pace was closer to a 10 minute mile rather than the 11 minute mile I have been doing. My hips felt quite tight by the end but no real pain and I really felt like I could go on running at the end of it.
I then went to see my physio who had a good look at my shoes (I’ve been wearing The Mizuno Elixir 4 and truly never have been really happy with them) and she thinks that because I have orthotics in them the shoe is "over-correcting" and causing strain on the outside of my leg or my IT band. I am almost at 300 miles with these shoes so it is time for new ones anyway and now I can buy some without feeling too much guilt about dropping $100+ because the physio said I need new ones! I am to look for more neutral shoes. I was not happy with the service I got a Kintec when I bought these ones.I went there because I expected to be helped by someone knowledgeable and she wasn’t very helpful at all. I should have just walked out but I had gone in with the intention of buying new shoes and really needed to walk out with a pair… I learned my lesson. Besides the over-correcting thing they have always felt too small and I have 2 black toe nails to prove it.
The 3rd thing that gave me a glimmer of hope was an article in this months Runners World (not yet online) basically it was talking about a new strategy for long runs to avoid injury and that is to break it up over two consecutiveve days. For instance if 18 miles was the long run for that week you would do 9 one day and 9 the very next day. The key apparently is to run at a slightly faster pace. Long runs "build endurance by increasing your capacity to store and conserve muscle glycogen" so you need to increase your weekly mileage to achieve a similar effect. Some serious marathoners are now topping out their long runs at 16 miles with this technique. This gives me hope in that becuse I am behind in my long runs (for instance I should be doing 12 this week, a step back from last week’s 16 that I could not do and then 18, 14, 20, 12 and the taper week at 8) perhaps I can substitute 2 back to back 9’s instead of the 18 .
I will be doing my long run tomorrow because of spring break, and the plan is 15. I won’t be able to get new shoes by then but I am hopeful with my slow steady pace and lots of long runs I can do it. For me, breaking this barrier of never getting past 13.1 will be huge. I am nervous about it but hopeful.
There’s a brand new obstacle in my way however, baby #4 broke out in chicken pox yesterday. Numbers 3, 5 and 6 have NOT had it- which mean I could be in for a bit of a pox-fest here, which could easily include less sleep then usual (if that’s possible) not being able to get out of the house or even get on the treadmill for any length of time and just general craziness. #4 is dealing with it very very well so far, so fingers crossed.
I can only hope.