Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I've Got The Post-Marathon Ankle Blues

It's a thing. A real thing. If you've ever thrown yourself fully into a project or event, you know the feeling. You've given tons of focus to a goal, counted the days until its culmination, and ultimately experienced a wonderful success... or at least, learned a lot on the journey. And...

...then what? I've got the low down, no good, post-marathon blues!

Actually, I don't, but I do feel a trace amount of "What now?" I dedicated hours and hours and hours to my marathon goal. For a whole year, every running step I took was aimed at helping me successfully complete the 2014 Indianapolis Monumental Marathon. I finished in record time, basked in the glow of success, took a week (-ish) off running, and...

...Set A New Goal
I'm very lucky that my marathon of choice is always held the first Saturday in November.  When the low down, no good, post-marathon blues hit me, it's always the holiday season, which brings things I love: family, Christmas decorations and music, colder temperatures, and the Give Thanks 4-Miler.

Give Thanks is a race I've finished every year since its inception.  It's held in Mitchell, Indiana, on Thanksgiving morning, and the race director is a friend of mine.  The course is fun, the people are nice, and there are always snacks and prizes after the race concludes.

Since the Give Thanks 4-Miler is held nearly four weeks after the marathon, I thought it would be a great idea to set a mini-goal to finish it under 32 minutes, a sub-8:00 min./mi. pace. Wendy and I shifted our focus from enduring over distance to withstanding a faster pace for a shorter time.

The Workouts
Wendy gave me three key workouts, and I completed them as planned.

Workout #1, Intervals. I ran 10x300m at planned race pace with a 200m jog recovery.

Workout #2, Mile Repeats. The plan was to run 3x1600m at 8:30/8:15/8:00 with a three minute stopped recovery. I ran 8:20/8:01/7:42.

Workout #3, Progression Run. I planned to run six miles on the track with each mile 15 sec faster than the first, ending at race pace. I was forced to run elsewhere because the track was too icy. Wendy and I opted for Beech Grove Cemetery loops so she could jump in and out of the workout. My GPS went crazy, but Wendy's GPS and my effort level convinced us both that I hit the paces.

The Ankle
I did the mile repeats in the snow, and the outside of my left ankle felt a little sore afterward.  After the progression run, I could hardly walk.  In fact, I started using crutches around my house to give it rest.  The pain has decreased significantly over the last four days, and I'm no longer limping. Nevertheless, it's clear.
Laser Treatment on Ailin' Ankle

I won't be running the Thanksgiving race tomorrow.

Could I run it? Sure. However, there's no reason for me to push through pain and set myself back a week. I'm under doctors' care (diagnosis: really bad tendinitis), and none of them advise even jogging four miles let alone racing four miles. I'm disappointed that I won't be able to take part in the race, especially since I was poised to post the time I was hoping to achieve.

Also, isn't it about right that I get hurt as soon as Wendy starts running after her summer and fall injury saga?

However, in the true spirit of Thanksgiving, this situation makes me thankful for two things. First, this tendinitis graciously waited to rear its painful little head until after the marathon. Second, I should be back to running in two weeks, which is no time when you've been down for months with a femoral fracture.

So, happy Thanksgiving to all my friends and family! May your "blues" be few and your thankfulness be much!

No comments:

Post a Comment