Back at it.

The theme of this past week was eat all the cheeseburgers “cautiously optimistic.”  If you had asked me a couple weeks ago about my expectations for Week 1 of VCM training, I probably would have rolled my eyes middle-school style.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I am sorta really out of shape.  Yes, I have been running, but a few road blocks have impeded my ability to run like Shalane a slightly above-average hobby jogger.  In no particular order:

1) My lower left leg has been quite the grumposaurus.  For several months now, I have been feeling aches and pains in just about every part of my leg below the knee.  For example, I had to back out of a turkey trot at the last minute because my ankle decided to stop working that morning.  Stopped working as in I couldn’t even walk.  A couple days later, my ankle resumed working just as quickly as it decided to take a vacation probably to somewhere warm since Vermont gets cold that time of year.  Eventually, the pain decided to settle in on a small spot along my interior shin.  This particular injury is not new to me, so I immediately* made an appointment with a sports medicine doc to get checked for a stress fracture.

IMG_4137
“My, what shapely calves you have!” said nobody.

*And by immediately, I mean I ran through the pain for several weeks before making an appointment.

Of course the x-ray didn’t show anything, because they never do, so the very nice doctor who showed me how to do squats, which was weird, ordered a bone scan.  Several days later I was shot up with radioactive material and scanned.

alex-mack-768
Here I am!  Wearing my hat backwards, per the ush.

Several days after that I received the results.  No stress fracture!  Hurrah!  Just a lot of inflammation in my lower left leg.  I can deal with inflammation, which is why I’m cautiously optimistic.  In fact, I already have been dealing with it – through strength exercises, compression, stretching, foam rolling – and the pain has already diminished to pretty much a 1 on the scale of no pain to HELP ME I AM DYING!  The tennis ball is definitely my best friend when it comes to massaging the sore spots.  Unfortunately, the tennis ball is also someone else’s best friend.

2) In keeping with the theme of getting checked out by doctors prior to beginning marathon training, I decided to pay a visit to my GP to get my iron levels checked.  For a variety of reasons including the fact that I have been very huffy and puffy, I suspect that I am anemic again.  [Insert angry noise here.]  I had my blood drawn last week and results are TBA.

3) Just like a certain yellow very fluffy friend I know, I have put on some winter weight.  Five to ten pounds may not seem like a lot to hippopotamuses, but the extra weight definitely slows me down a bit.  I’m hopeful that the weight will melt off as my mileage increases.  I’m also trying to cut down on delicious things, which does not make the Shannon very happy.  😦

IMG_3587
A few extra neck rolls never hurt anyone.

So now that I have discussed all of the negatives, let’s turn to the positives!  Given all of the above, Week 1 of VCM Training went amazingly well.  In the past I have followed a mashup training plan best described as the “Things Shannon Found on the Internet that have to do with Training for a Marathon Plan.”  This time around I am switching things up from the aforementioned world-renowned plan and following one of the plans from the book “Advanced Marathoning.”  I will do my best to follow the plan to a tee, with the exception that I will need to veer from the plan to accommodate races and a trip to Ireland.

leprechaun-run.jpg
Don’t worry, I plan on running while in Ireland.  I also plan on shaving my legs.

Here is the official Week 1 Recap:

Monday – 2 up, 4 at tempo, 2 down = 8 total – Felt swell

Tuesday – Strength Training Adventure – OW

Wednesday – 9 easy miles – Felt not swell

Thursday – Rest day – I planned on cross training, but I had a bunch of errands to do whomp whomp.

Friday – 4.12 recovery miles – I am attempting to get over my fear of ending a run on a random number – Plus strength

Saturday – 12.6 mile long run – Felt great, but I picked a horrible route.  I ran on Rt. 2 (busy, paved road) because a combination of snow, warm temps, and freezing temps made the less-traveled dirt roads impassable.  Well, the shoulder on Rt. 2 was NOT plowed and I nearly became roadkill on numerous occasions.  In addition to my leggies, my middle finger also got a good workout.

Sunday – No running today, but Basil and I will likely go on an adventure later and I may do some strength training.

Total Miles = 33.72

Only 17 more weeks to go!

See ya next week.

IMG_4072.JPG
My stretching buddy.  She is so helpful.