So I left off halfway through my marathon training in spring of 2011. I was feeling great about my half marathon however as my miles were piling up so was the pain in my left shin again. I swear Emir could not even look at my shin without me screaming. It definitely was BAD! If you have ever heard that doctors make the worst patients well when it comes to the musculoskeletal system, physical therapists rank up there as terrible patients. I just knew if I went to the doctor, I would have to get an xray which would lead to a bone scan which most likely would reveal a stress fracture which then they would put me in the boot and tell me no running for probably at least 6-8 weeks. There's NO WAY I wanted that. I had told everyone I was going to run this marathon and darnit I was going to do it!!! Now I just needed to figure out how to get around this shin problem. I did a little research and found a compression wrap for the shin that everyone was raving definitely helps with shin splints. You never know with online things but the physiology behind it seemed legit so I was like what the hell, I'll spend $20 to see if it can help me. I also started being hard core about stretches and strengthening exercises for my shin and calf muscles. It's not like the wrap and the exercises magically made everything better but gradually over the next couple months things did improve. But I do want to put out this disclaimer that I definitely don't recommend doing what I did! It definitely was not the smartest thing I've ever done and I could have ended up with a more serious fracture. It was just worth the risk to me. I would have hated myself if I stopped at that point. I would have always thought well maybe I could have done something to work through it so that I could make it to the marathon. Anyway over the next couple months I made my way up to 20 miles. Sometimes I would think during a long run "How will I ever make it to 26 miles?!?! I'm struggling with 14, 15, or 16!" But I just kept on no matter how tired or sore I would get. My first 20 miler was not pretty. If you haven't realized already, I might be a stickler for accomplishing my goals but sometimes I don't make the smartest decisions on my way there. I like to have fun and relax and figure things will work out. I know my husband was probably in his head scolding me but the night before my 20 miler I had a few beers oh and a shot(I couldn't resist, it was this jello blow shot thingy that I've never seen before). It was a chance to be out kid free and I wanted to enjoy it! So I had a few and they were the strong IPA kind that I love but that doesn't always love me back! Well let's say the next day wasn't too kind. I had a splitting headache and was definitely dehydrated. It took me half the day to get the pain dull enough to get out to attempt my run. I was definitely sluggish and struggling the whole time. I barely made it to 20 miles when I started feeling awful in my stomach, not to mention all my muscles were screaming in pain. I barely made it inside my front door and just collapsed. Of course being the smart person I am, my sister and boyfriend were coming over about an hour later to take us rock climbing. Let's just say I spent a lot of time in the bathroom the first 30-40 minutes at the rock gym. Oh well as much pain as I was in at times that weekend, I had a great time ;-)
So back to my current 50 K training. After my New Years adventure I ended up taking Wednesday off. I was just so exhausted after work that day and did not feel like running at all. I actually fell asleep with my 8month old while nursing her. So I did the proper thing and got a good nights rest. I did another 7 miler that thursday and 5 miler friday. I was feeling pretty tired in general last week and my son had a cold with fever so I'm sure I had a litttle something. I took naps on my days off and over the weekend and went to bed early but just couldn't shake the tired feeling. Anyway I couldn't decide what I wanted my route to be for my 16 miler on Saturday. I know it bucks the heck out of Emir when I go out without a set plan but it doesn't bother me. Sometimes I like just like getting out there and seeing where I feel like going. I headed to the big trail and figured I would run a few miles and see if I felt like trying some of the upper trails. I know I need to do some training on them for the 50K for the technical terrain and the inclines but I didn't know if I was really up to it. After 3 miles my pace was pretty slow and I just wasn't feeling it but I saw the trail head off to the right and just headed up onto the upper trail. These trails are pretty hard especially compared to what I'm used to running on just flat trail with tiny ups and downs here and there. There's a lot of stone, tree roots and mud plus the long steep inclines. I just kept following the upper trails ignoring the branches to come back down to the main one. Eventually I realized I had no idea where I was and I was at about 7 miles so I headed back down. I figured out where I was when I got back down and completed my 16 miles on the regular trail. It was a pretty hard run for me and I was very tired and sore after but glad I toughed it out. On Sunday I wanted to get Niko out of the house. He had been sick for 3 days and hadn't really gotten out of the house. I finally convinced him to go running with me in the BOB stroller by telling him I would take him to the playground. Poor guy was still so tired and not feeling 100% that he fell asleep after about 1 mile. I still ran to the playground in case he woke up and wanted to play. Of course there are several pretty steep inclines on the way there which were 10x harder pushing a 30+ lb 3yr old. It's been a while since I ran with him probably about a year and a half before I got pregnant with Una. It was definitely a really tough 5miles pushing him!!! But in the end it was a good workout and it will make running without a stroller feel easier. I read something on twitter the other day that rang true for this past week "Every really difficult run is a step closer to a great run"