“Realizations” or “How Amy is a Dumbass” or “Maybe the PT Knows Best”

So, I was going back through my training records (because I keep them. meticulously), and realized that every time I’ve dealt with any kind of leg injury in the past year, it’s always, always been when I start running four days a week. The first week of August, I ran Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Sunday. It was a great week. A 32 mile week. I felt so awesome & strong. And then I did my track work the very next Tuesday & pulled a muscle.

My PT told me (repeatedly is probablyΒ  not emphasizing things too much) that I shouldn’t run more than 3 times a week – at least not if I wanted to have a long running career.

And, every time I run more than 3 times/week, I get injured.

But, see….the deal is that I don’t care that there are a ton of people that run faster than me. That doesn’t bother me. I am just excited about how much faster I am now than three years ago. BUT, I am jealous of the people who can run more than me. I don’t necessarily want to run 50+ mile weeks, but I would like to run 5 days/week.

Apparently, at this point in time, anyways, that is not a realistic goal. I need to remember that I run for me, and if I want to keep running for me, I need to run smart.

So – I am currently revising my running schedule for the next 45 (eek!) days leading up to the marathon. I am going to run smart and strong.

After the marathon, I am taking six months to build up a good, strong base. In that six months, I am going to concentrate on my swimming & biking, and running will be for maintenance only.

I probably won’t hit 1,000 miles this year, but that’s okay – because if I run SMART, that means that I can try for 1000 miles next year, or the year after, and every year after that until I’m dead, right?

I haven’t finalized my plans post marathon (and of course everything is subject to change), but I really want to work on strength training, weight loss, and (as mentioned) swim & bike. Because I really want to do more tri’s next year. Maybe even a 70.3. Maybe. And I don’t want to be plagued with injury throughout that training.

In GOOD news, my pulled muscle is no longer really bothering me, although it starts to twinge if I sit too long (so I’ve been trying to get up & move around more than usual). I had GREAT swimming lessons with The Ambitious One on Monday. She’s a great coach, and I’m already feeling more confident & stronger in the water.Β  Pretty soon, I’m going to learn another stroke! And then I’ll be all fancy!

Last night, I went for a bike ride with the architect. We did about 11.5 miles at an average 12 mph pace (i.e. slowish, even for me, and practically standing still for the architect). I wore my bike shoes for the first time in a LONG time – I had a few accidents in them last year – not being able to get my feet unclipped in time – and am afraid of them. BUT, with a seat adjustment, and the shoes, and pedaling in the largest front chainring, I felt that I was biking much more efficiently.

I feel pretty good about having such great swim & bike resources. The running (when I’m not being stupid) is something I feel comfortable/confident about already, but the swimming & biking are challenging – although becoming less so.

And, in keeping with the “Amy is a Dumbass” theme, last week, I bought a mandolin slicer. I have wanted one for a long time, because the slicing! Is fancy! and mine also juliennes! The architect made some funny jokes about how many times I would use the slicer before slicing myself.

Answer: twice. Ladyfingers anyone?

Recent Comments

  • Alisa
    August 19, 2009 - 8:57 am ·

    I have similar issues. My body doesn’t like to run more than 3 times a week either, especially if I’m doing quality workouts (like speedwork or hills during the week). Lots of people complete the marathon (quickly) by doing only 3 days a week. Cross training is key and you’re already doing that!

    Also, you are definitely getting stronger in the water. By next summer you’ll be smokin’ past all those peeps in your AG!

    • gazelle
      August 19, 2009 - 10:50 am ·

      I need to remember that I am getting ‘quality’ in, and that ‘quantity’ is less necessary. I usually do one speed, one hill/trail & one long – and that is enough. I don’t need that 4th ‘easy’ run. I just don’t. So- more time for swimming & biking & weights & yoga…..it’s all good, right? πŸ™‚

  • Elisabeth
    August 19, 2009 - 9:12 am ·

    I just decided to change my training plan to only running 3 times per week for this very reason. I’ve actually been getting SLOWER (which didn’t even seem possible), and I was having my standard calf tightness again that had gone away for so long. I talked to my running coach, then to my PT, and we all agreed that it is feasible to train for a marathon and only run 3 pain-free times per week. That doesn’t mean that I’m not doing something 6 times per week (yoga, strength training/core & cross-training), but only 3 of those days are spent running.

  • Carolina John
    August 19, 2009 - 10:20 am ·

    screw that. i love only running 3 times a week. any more and i have pains. it leaves plenty of time for biking!

    enjoy the new slicer, they are way cool. but yes you will slice off your fingers. “twice” made me chuckle.

  • RunToFinish
    August 19, 2009 - 10:38 am ·

    I truly enjoy running, so I agree with you I like just being able to run every darn day if I feel like or not if I don’t. Who knows maybe right now your body just needs the extra time and after you get all perfect again you can run more than 3 days a week.

    hmm I keep looking at new kitchen toys but figure I won’t really use them

  • kristen
    August 19, 2009 - 1:39 pm ·

    Yikes! Thanks for not posting pictures of the mandolin mishap. I want one too, but that is one of my biggest fears.

    Sounds like you guys had an amazing time camping. There is so much beauty in this area isn’t there. Sometimes I feel bad for people who don’t ever get to experience the Pacific NW, but then I remember how ignorant they usually are because they think it rains all the time. Their loss.

    Sorry to hear about the injury. Are you still planning on running the marathon? Sounds like your the perfect candidate for the FIRST trianing plans. They look like tough workouts, but only three days a week….

  • Jen
    August 19, 2009 - 6:14 pm ·

    I think I run best at 4 days a week, luckily both of us have the swiming and the biking and whatnots to keep us busy the rest of the time! Deal with it!

    Too funny about the slicer. Hope you are ok. πŸ™‚

  • cindy
    August 19, 2009 - 7:29 pm ·

    ahh!the mandoline scares me. i want to get one of those safety handles so i don’t slice off my fingertips–which it sounds like you might have done πŸ˜‰
    glad to hear the hamstring is better. i would love to run without any aches, but lately i’ve felt like i’m juggling 3-4 potential injuries. the 3 d/wk probably works best for me too.
    good job with the bike shoes! i still don’t have the nerve. i went out with one bike shoe and one regular and bit it.

    • gazelle
      August 20, 2009 - 1:37 pm ·

      Mine has a safety handle. But that leaves almost 1/2″ of veggie UN-julienned! So, I decided that I could julienne with my fingers and be safe. I decided wrong.

      I didn’t fall down even once on Tuesday in my bike shoes. I’m all full of confidence now, and might try again! And then someday, will commute in the fancy shoes. I am BRAVE! πŸ™‚

    • gazelle
      August 20, 2009 - 1:37 pm ·

      I’m a terrible food blogger (I’ve usually eaten half the food before I even think about photographing it), but I’ll do my best! πŸ™‚

  • aron
    August 20, 2009 - 4:33 pm ·

    that’s so hard when you WANT to run and feel good but know you shouldnt. way to be smart and know your body and cut back when you know you should. i think chris is finding this too… everytime he has gotten up to 4 days a week something has happened, so he is doign the same thing and incorporating biking and swimming too to keep himself busy πŸ™‚