A THOUSAND apologies for completely breaking faith with my blog. It’s been FOREVER since I posted last. I guess it’s true what Gretchen Rubin says in her Happiness Project about how it’s easier to do a thing every day than to try to do it most days. Amazing how quickly TWO WEEKS can get away from you.
When I left off, I had just finished Week 12 and managed to make it through following the disastrous Halloween Knee Situation. Week 13 began, and I was determined to run every run that week as scheduled, and complete the highest-mileage week of the program – 36 miles. And I did it. Monday (5), Tuesday (8), Thursday (5), and Saturday (18).
Not much to say about the weekly runs, I guess. On Monday, I was still sore from the first of the 18s, and I walked a bit, but still managed a good 10:43 average pace. Tuesday was SLOWWW…and I was disgruntled because I want to get all the way through an 8 without walking before the marathon comes, and after this one, I only had two chances left. Thursday was awesome…I ran the whole 5 and had my fastest pace ever for a 5-miler. So that carried me into Saturday’s “final” long run. I put “final” in quotes because after this, there’s only a 9 and an 8…haha…yeah, I said “ONLY.” =)
The 18 was really pretty okay on 11/13…for most of it. I wanted to start early and try to simulate race conditions. It was plenty cold, and I got a bit of a late start…around 8:40 am. As I’d done the week before, I planned to do my 8-mile loop, then my 6, and then a 4, each loop bringing me back to (or near) the house for refueling.
I was sluggish. Felt very low on energy all the way through the first 8. Tried to follow the Galloway run-10-walk-1 minute plan, but that deteriorated way earlier than it had the week before. I got back to the house with a decent 8-mile split time, and headed out again for the rest. The 6 went fine, and I even mixed up the route a bit so that when I got back to where the 6 would normally end, I was actually almost at 7 miles…only a little over 3 to go for the day.
At the end, everything came apart. And by “everything,” I mean my right knee. Same one that gave me problems around Halloween. Different pain this time, though still the kind that is absolutely run-prohibitive. This isn’t a tough-it-out situation, this is an oh-my-God-I’m-doing-irreparable-damage-to-my-knee situation. It showed up at about mile 17.4 (as I later found out). I hit the stop button on my watch and I was at 3:34:something…a little slower than last week’s. Then, as I hobbled out the final 0.6 mile like a pirate with a pegleg, in excruciating pain anytime my foot met uneven ground or my knee had to push my weight, I decided to time how long it took me to finish the real route. I did it in 3:43:48. That final half-mile took me 9 minutes.
So I iced it. And downed as much ibuprofen as I thought I could without creating a medical emergency. And rolled it out with a Stick. And called a bunch of people to panic over it. And then went to visit Joe, and then had a beer with my friend Keith, who made it all better by expressing undying adoration for me for propelling my body through 18 miles in under 4 hours in ANY condition, and reminded me, as I berated myself for being slow throughout the run, that if I had gone harder throughout the 18, my knee problem might only have shown up sooner.
And just like that, I became marathon roadkill. Or so I felt.
(…to be continued in the next post…since I haven’t posted in two weeks, I feel like I owe you more than just one!)