Well, it’s been a good while since I updated. That’s mostly due to the past few weeks being the most frustrating & discouraging of training thus far. The ups & downs of this whole process are pretty intense and I’ve come to learn that training is as much mental as it is physical.
My knee injury got better, and then got worse. I am now dealing with patella tendonitis as well as patella maltracking. The tendonitis causes pain in a different part of my knee and also makes my knee pretty darn swollen most of the time. My long run the past two weekends has left me in excruciating pain and I’ve only been able to do about 12 miles. At this point in my training my mileage should be higher than that, but I’m trying to listen to my body and be smart about ending the runs when necessary.
But yesterday I ran the New Bedford half marathon with my brother and didn’t feel any pain until mile 11, which was a great accomplishment. We ran the race in 1:50, a pretty good time considering I was still a bit sick from the cold I caught earlier in the week (of course the only cold I get this winter came a few days before a race). Our time could have been a bit better, but like with most races the first 2 miles were packed with people and hard to run at a proper pace. But once we broke out of the pack we kept a pretty steady 8:15 pace for most of the race.
My half marathon PR is 1:45 from last year’s More Marathon Women’s Half in NYC .. and I’m hoping to beat that this year. I haven’t been doing much speed work these days, but am going to try and incorporate some intervals into training over the next few weeks.
One good thing that’s happened over the past few weeks is that I got new shoes! The Saucony Kinvara 2’s. I love them so much. They have a very minimal heel-toe drop distance, so it encourages more of a forefront stride and puts less pressure on your knees. I could tell a difference the first time I ran in them. They are also incredibly light weight which makes a huge difference.
Right around the time I got these shoes I found myself in a place where I was mostly frustrated about training/constant knee pain and wasn’t looking forward to running every day. So I decided to ditch the garmin and my iPod and do a week of relaxed, low pressure runs. This turned out to be exactly what I needed. I focused on my breathing, enjoyed the warm weather, and remembered why I started to love running in the first place. I’m trying to keep these feelings at the forefront of my training and not get consumed by the fastest pace or the furthest distance. The past week has been a lot better and I’m truly looking forward to 34 miles of running this week.