Snake River Island Hop 100K Training: Week Two

It sucked.

I went into the week with a bit of soreness & swelling in the left knee – the one with the cartilage damage. I finally broke down & took some ibuprofen. *And then the clouds parted* Sure enough, the pain subsided. I hate the thought of relying on ibuprofen, especially during training. But there’s a reason an anti-inflammatories work: damaged cartilage = swelling.

Saturday’s run was supposed to be fifteen miles. My plan was to head back to the Columbia River Plateau Trail. I needed to be back in the Tri-Cities at 1:00 p.m., so I got up early to ensure I could be on the trail by 8:00. Then the tire pressure monitor light came on. It had come on the day before as well, and on Saturday the person at Les Schwab suggested there may be a puncture. That made me want to stay nearer to my 1:00 p.m. appointment. So, change of plans: I ran at Chamna instead.

About eight miles into this run, I started questioning why I signed up for this race. I was planning to let my knee rest this winter, not training on it. I was questioning my sanity. Around mile eleven or so I gave up running and walked back toward the parking area on the asphalt.  The awful part? My pace for miles 2-10 was over 16:00/mile. At Chamna, where it’s pretty flat.

To add injury to insult, as I was headed back to the car an unfortunate interaction between my feet & a stick caused me to twist my left knee. Un-freaking-believable.

It was a crappy day, all around. I’m trying to be optimistic, and chalk up a crappy long run to a poor fueling choice (note: bread pudding is not great run fuel, as it turns out), the last-minute change of plans, and needing to poop. (That may sound like TMI, but any runner knows what I mean.)

Sunday was supposed to a five-mile run. I debated getting up early enough to attend the 8:00 o’clock service, running at Chamna after church, and then going home to watch the Seahawks game. Instead, I decided to do the workout in my neighborhood, and since I am not running on pavement, I walked.

Except I didn’t. I quit with less than three miles done. My knee hurt. The bunion on my right foot hurt. It just plain sucked all around.

Whilst sitting in the nave prior to the service starting, I found myself thinking, “You’re viewing this all wrong.” I’m discouraged, but I have so much going for me that it’s silly for me to feel sorry for myself. I’m pretty healthy. Even with the sore knee, I can things that a lot of people can’t. I told myself to ditch the pity party and just be thankful.

If only that had lasted. And watching the Seahawks embarrass themselves on home turf did nothing to improve my mood.

Leading up to this weekend wasn’t terrible. I made less-than-stellar food choices – hence the insanity of convincing myself I should try eating the bread pudding during a long run. Monday’s workout was just a mile, so I walked that on a treadmill prior to the core workout — and I covered the mile in 14:27. I was exhausted from several days of not-enough sleep, so I only did two sets, but it was a good workout overall. On Tuesday, I did my stretching/foam roller routine at  home. That was a test, as I wasn’t sure I could do it at  home (cats, distractions, etc.).

I ended up delaying Wednesday’s core workout to Thursday morning, and do it in lieu of swimming Thursday morning. I liked that, but I would also like to get in some swimming and mornings work best.

For the Nomads’ Thursday 5K  & Brews, I started early again. I found myself not being very enthusiastic about running, so I stuck to the pavement & walked for the first couple of miles. Once I got back to where the gravel road is, I tried running a bit. It felt okay, but boy howdy was I slow.

I’d decided against ordering food at Tommy’s Taphouse. And then I ordered the mac & cheese wedges: breaded and deep-fried chunks of mac & cheese, dipped in ranch dressing. Gah. And when I got home, I had another beer. And a piece of pie.

I was supposed to do a three-mile run today. I may try to get up early tomorrow morning and walk it. I’m headed to the club tonight for my core workout. I’m tired – I don’t know if I’m genuinely tired, or if my body is tired from Saturday, or if this is more emotional than physical. I plan to push through this week – no reason to get derailed – and investigate walking the SRIH instead of running it. There’s no reason I can’t walk the 50K, and I may even be able to get in 75 km over the fourteen hours. It’s just really hard to not be discouraged, and I’ve been eating too many sugary treats at work.

I guess I’m still optimistic, deep down. I just need to give myself time to rant a bit, feel sorry for myself, and then suck it up & move on. Relentless forward progress!

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