One Last Long Run…With Feeling

After spending most of the week recovering from last Saturday’s 22-miler, I set out to do my last semi-long run (12 miles) this Saturday — exactly 15 days before the NYC Marathon.

Before I get to that, here’s a quick recap of my week leading up to today, in case you cared. I did my usual 4 miles around the neighborhood on Tuesday. I wouldn’t say it was the best 4 miles I had ever run, but it wasn’t the worst.

My right shin/calf  is the one giving me the most trouble these days and I have to be careful when I run not to favor it too much. If I do, I fear that I will put too much stress on my right hip, leading to bigger problems. So I REALLY focus more on my stride and less on my speed now. Maintaining a good stride will be key for the marathon if I have any nagging injury issues.

On Thursday, I had planned to attend a spin class at a gym near my office but wasn’t able to get out of the house early enough to get there. So instead, I managed to get in 4 miles on the gym’s treadmill later that day. It had been a LONG time since my last treadmill workout. I quickly remembered why. Treadmills suck, even if you can watch CNN’s endless coverage of “Balloon Boy” while you run. Once you get in the habit of running outside, it’s very hard to get back into treadmill mode. It was a struggle, but I managed to get in a few miles.

socksBy the time Saturday rolled around, the A.M. temperatures had dropped down into the 40s, making my intended 12-mile run more of a chore than I had ever expected. Because my son had an early soccer game on the schedule, I knew I had to hit the road early if I had hoped to get it done on time. One too many smacks of the snooze button put me slightly behind schedule. I was delayed even more than usual due to the layers I had to put on, including a winter hat (which, needless to say, took me awhile to locate.) And I know you’re just lovin’ those stylish socks!

When I finally started my slow, shin-shaking trot, the clock said 7:15. After the first 6 miles, it was 8:05. Ugh! I was going too slow If I planned to do the full 12. So when I got smacked in the face with a teeth-chattering 20 mph wind a few miles later, that was all I needed. I decided to cut the run short at 10 miles. The decision bugged me a little, but I quickly got over it. It was more important to get home in time to make sure we got to the soccer game as scheduled.

soccerAs a bonus, they won the game.

I wore my compression socks for about two hours after the run. The verdict is still out if they are helping with my post-run recovery. All I know is, they feel good while I’m running and really help to support my calf muscles. And that’s good enough for me.

Over the next two weeks, I am supposed to run 4 or 5 miles on about 8 or 9 different occasions. Whether I keep that schedule will depend on how I feel each day. I might also try to get another deep tissue massage for my legs at some point before I head up to New York with my family. The time is quickly approaching…

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