Raleigh Marathon Training Week 13…Taper Begins

Well I made it through the hardest physical part of the training…the peak weeks, high mileage, and hardest workouts. Unfortunately I can’t say “I’m feeling great and ready for this race!” but I will get to that later in the post.

Here’s how last week went:

Week of 3/16/14- 3/22/14

Sunday 3/16: 60 minutes reflexion yoga

Monday 3/17: 8 miles easy in the snow (~10:45 pace overall), Pilates for Runners DVD, PM-Body Pump

photo 1 (2)

photo 2 (2) 

Tuesday 3/18: 8.43 miles with 12x400s and 200m recovery (9:05 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 1), 30 mins yoga

Wednesday 3/19: 8 miles easy (10:31 pace overall)

Thursday 3/20:11.25 miles with 6 x 1 mile at half marathon pace (9:09 pace overall), PM- Quick Strength for Runners Week 6 (Part 2), 2.12 miles easy (9:38 pace)

photo 5 snow on Monday, shorts on Thursday

Friday 3/21: 5.61 miles easy (10:13 pace)

photo 1

Saturday 3/22: 18.5 miles with 12 at marathon goal pace (9:03 pace overall)

photo 3

Total: 61.91 miles

Going along with these workouts I have also been doing my glute exercises every day (the ones I talked about in this post along with “level 2” versions that my chiro showed me on Wednesday) and foam rolling for about 15 minutes each evening.

photo 4 (2)New exercise bands and compression socks! 

As I was writing this post it gave me an opportunity to look back on my running this week. I noticed as I was going through it that all of my runs have become slower (I think this has been a gradual thing) over the past few weeks. I’m not pointing that out because I’m upset that I am not running faster- I’ve actually been hitting my goal paces of workout runs pretty well- but more to be aware that maybe my body is probably pretty tired from all these miles. However, I have also noticed that my average heart race is lower with these slower runs, so I don’t think that I am “overtraining” or completely burnt out.

Anyway…let me tell you the story of the past few days and why I am concerned. In general, I have been feeling good. I’ve had random tightness in my hips that I have worked on with my foam roller and gotten some ART by my chiro. My long run on Saturday went really well. At times my hip would feel a little tight but it would go away. I also noticed a little tightness in my right ankle/inside calf area. Neither of these were red flags and only bothered my for a few minutes during the entire 2 hour and 45 minute run.

When I got back from my long run I rolled and stretched, and drank chocolate milk. I took an ice bath followed by a nice warm shower, put on compression socks and compression shorts, and relaxed for the rest of the day. I foam rolled a few more times that afternoon to keep things loose.

Everything felt fine throughout the day and night on Saturday. I walked to church and dinner….and relaxed with some wine.

photo 4

On Sunday I woke up with a weird feeling in my right knee. I had slept in my compression socks and at first it almost felt like they had just dug into my leg in a weird way. I took them off but the pain continued throughout the day. By Sunday evening I was pretty concerned. The only thing keeping me from having a meltdown over this was knowing that I still have 3 weeks until the race and it is time to taper now anyway.

On Monday it felt significantly better, but not 100%. I think it’s really helped to work on rolling out muscles around the knee, like my quad, inner thigh, hamstring, and calf. I have been using KT tape to support it also and have been icing it a few times a day. For now I am sticking with strength training and core work. I don’t really want to risk aggravating it with cross training. However, if I still can’t run by later in the week I may try cycling to see how that feels and to keep up with some cardio.

I also feel a little cheated, because its not like it bothered me while I was running or I ran through pain. That is why I feel like it must be a result of something else- tight muscles either caused me to change my gait or are just pulling on my knee. I know that some time off from running can’t hurt- in fact, it may give everything else a chance to recover a bit before the race. However, if you are a runner you most likely know how I feel! The part of my brain telling me that its no big deal is battling with the part of my brain that wants to run! I’ll keep crossing my fingers that this gets better quickly and won’t impact me as I get closer to the race. Tapering is hard enough without the added stress of an injury!

Have you ever had an injury that it felt like came out of nowhere?

Do you ever feel like your pace gets slower as you get later into your training cycle?

How was your running last week?


13 thoughts on “Raleigh Marathon Training Week 13…Taper Begins

  1. This my last week of the taper, and I have a groin pull that is totally out of the blue too – it didn’t hurt while I was running and just appeared. I’m taking it easy and resting, but I have to think that part of it is just tapering. The reduced mileage gives our body a chance to repair and this craziness emerges. At least I hope that’s what it is, because I’m showing up race morning no matter what! I hope your focus on recovery works!

    • I’m sorry to hear you are having some issues! Isn’t it crazy how the body responds to a build up of miles and then rest? I think you will be ready to rock your ultra…I hope you feel better quickly so it will be one less thing to worry about!

  2. It’s funny – you’re not the first runner with an upcoming race with ‘twinges’ who is freaking out … and honestly I think it is natural … you have done such amazing training (I have thoroughly enjoyed following you and feel invested in your success!), so it is scary to think you could end up with a DNF or DNS!

    I think rest and slow build-back is important to assess where you are at … and like Laura I hope stepping back a bit works!

  3. Thank goodness for this post! I was a little worried about how my paces had become slower, but what you are saying makes total sense. A cold also popped up for me, and I think that is why my Saturday run was so rough. My body was tired! I hope things get better quickly! I am sure it will turn out fine, though! Sending positive thoughts!

    • Thank you…and I am sending positive thoughts right back to you! I think with some rest you will do great! My husband just reminded me that I ran an awesome 5k last year after taking a full week off running…sometimes our bodies really just need time to recover after all the hard work we put them through!

  4. I often end up with a little twinge right before a race, and it’s so scary. The goal of training is to push our body to allllmost its limit, without actually getting there, but it’s such delicate balance that it often starts to slightly tip over the limit. I agree with the others – be careful, and allow yourself the rest you need. The slow drop in pace is an indication that you’re working hard, and that you really need this time of taper and rest. I absolutely KNOW you will rock it! Keep us posted on that knee!

    • Thanks, Megan! There has been ALOT of rest this week. I know my body can use it, but its frustrating to not be running! I am really hoping it is just a twinge related to pushing just past my limit. Thanks for your support:)

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