Entries in Walking (11)


Rest Days, Walking, TFL troubles, and Foam Roller 101

Last week was somewhat anti-climatic for me. My 'plan' was to cut back on running while continuing to increase my walking distances in preparation for the AVON Walk in June. So I was only going to run 6 miles last week but walk about 23 miles. But my body had other ideas.

I was so excited coming off the Illinois Half Marathon & 5K race PRs, that I wanted to keep the momentum going. But the nagging pain in my left hip joint returned and I decided it was better to leave Sunday and Monday as Rest Days and let my body relax. I am not sure what this pain is but it is definitely muscular, and it mostly starts if I stand for long periods of time (like 30+ minutes in a line or something).

I think the pain is either from my Tensor Fasciae Latae muscle (TFL) or the upper part of the Iliotibial Band (IT Band). I have some stretching exercises with the Foam Roller for both of these which I will be using a lot more. But if this hip issue continues, I think I will pay a visit to my doctor (who is a marathoner himself) and see what he thinks. I do not want to have this become a nagging issue for me throughout the summer as I train for the Chicago Marathon.

Using the foam roller helps (as does the Jacuzzi). It does not bother me when I run so that is a good thing, but I just want it to go away. So instead of doing my 6-Mile run on Tuesday, I made it another Rest Day. I knew it was the right decision, but I was really getting antsy. I don't like it when I can't get my 'foot time' in. Running helps calm my mind and helps me get a good start to my day. You know what they say: Running is far cheaper than therapy. LOL

By Wednesday, I had to get 'moving'. So after work, I went for a good 6.6-mile Walk before dinner. It felt great to be outside. I got started at 7:20pm so by the time I was done 1.5 hours later, it was completely dark (and I had neglected to bring my headlamp with me). But it was a good Walk (with no pain) at a 14:35/mm pace, and my mood was greatly improved.

But on Thursday, that nagging hip discomfort was back. So I took Thursday and Friday as Rest Days so that I could do my Long Walk on Saturday. The Saturday Long Walk was good (no pain) but I had to cut it down to 10.5 miles -- instead of the 13 I had planned -- because of other time commitments that day. It was foggy and damp and chilly, and I should've worn a long sleeve shirt but I didn't. I won't make that mistake again. LOL

I walked with a Hydration Pack for the first time, and I was pleased to find that it did not feel heavy or uncomfortable to wear (and no chafing!). I will keep wearing it on my Long Walks because I plan on wearing it for the AVON Walk. Thanks Michelle for letting me buy your extra one from you!

Saturday afternoon, I took the first of a two-day course on getting the most out of using a Foam Roller. I have used one at home for a long time, having learned several exercises from my coach. But this class was awesome! In about 75 minutes, I learned a TON more ways to use the Foam Roller on multiple areas of the body from head to toe (literally). I have the second session next Saturday. I am really looking forward to it. I think I will post an article about what I have learned.

Sunday was a full, busy day so no runs or walks that day either. So instead of logging 29 total miles last week, I only logged 17. Not entirely happy with that but I think the rest days were necessary (and I was pretty tired the first two days after the Illinois races). It is important to listen to your body and not be too married to a training schedule.


6 Days to Race Weekend, 41 Days to the AVON Walk!

It is Sunday morning and I am chilling out in a hotel in Milwaukee, waiting for Room Service to bring breakfast. I am relaxing, watching MythBusters, after doing a quick run in the Fitness Center at 7:15am. I got in 3.65 miles at a 10:45/mm pace (including my warm-up/cool-down walks) and felt pretty good. My 3.06 mile run segment was at a 9:34/mm pace which is acceptable. That brings my weekly mileage (both run and walk miles) to 24 miles (definitely in Taper mode). Now it is time to let my body recover and get ready for the Illinois Marathon Weekend on April 27-28.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. I have running the 5K on Friday night and then the Half Marathon on Saturday. I want to PR both races. I feel that I am prepared physically to achieve my goals. The only concern is the fear of injury during the 5K that could prevent me from running the Half (that would be devastating). My piriformis is doing much better (only slightly sore now), and I am hoping the massage I have scheduled for Tuesday night will help loosen it up a bit further.

I am going to take this week pretty easy. I have a CardioPoint Assessment scheduled for 7AM on Tuesday (to evaluate my heart rate zones since my last assessment in early January). I want to make sure my HRM is set accurately before the race weekend. I look forward to seeing if my VO2 MAX has increased and how my zones have changed. After my assessment, I am going to run a 3-mile Easy Run (my last run before the race weekend). Then later that evening, I will have a 1-hour Sports Massage with focus on my hips, piriformis, and legs. I think that is the most I can do to prepare myself. Starting Tuesday, I will begin carbo-loading across the three days leading up to Friday.

Hey! As of today, I have logged 97 miles! I will surpass 100 miles for the month on Tuesday after my 3-mile run! W00t! Then, add to that 19 miles from the race weekend and a Long Walk on that Sunday (for up to 11 miles), I may log a total of 130 miles for April!! How crazy is that!?

In May, I only have one race scheduled -- the Soldier Field 10-miler. Not really planning on running that race hard - I am treating this as a Fun Run, because the main excitement is to run down the field to the 50-yard Finish! For a Bears fan, it doesn't get much better than that. LOL But other than the 10-Miler, I am going to be reducing my running and increasing my walking in order to be fully prepared for the 39.3 mile AVON Walk. I need to get at least one 18-mile Walk in before the actual event.

So my plan for May is three Walks and one Run each week (the run will be a 6-Mile Easy Run). My three Walks will be a 6-Mile on Wednesdays, a Long Walk on Saturdays, and a 10-Mile Walk on Sundays. The Saturday-Sunday walks are similar to the event itself (which is like the WDW Goofy Challenge but for walking). This will get my body/feet comfortable with the two-day Walk schedule. My 18-Mile Walk is scheduled for the May 20th, 12 days before the AVON Walk itself. I should be in good shape at that point, with plenty of Taper time before June 2nd.

May is going to be another large mileage week, with over 100 miles of walking and 34 miles of running. This will probably be my highest mileage month of 2012. I worry that this might be too many miles! But I am not sure how else I can gradually increase the distance. I suppose I could skip or reduce the Sunday walks. We will have to see how my body responds. I definitely don't want to get injured.

But to raise money to help the fight against Breast Cancer, I am up for the challenge! And if you believe in this fight too, you can help me by making a donation. I appreciate your support.

Bring on the Illinois Marathon Weekend and the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer! I am stoked!!