Let’s get right down to it:
Monday (scheduled): rest day
Monday (actual): rest day
My shins are back to being jerks and have gone all splinty. Both of them. Apparently they didn’t like my 5-mile run on Sunday very much and hurt on Monday anytime I touched the bones, even gently. I iced them up when I got home from work and pretty much just tried to keep them in a position they didn’t hate too much. This rest day included much resting.
Tuesday (scheduled): speed workout
Tuesday (actual): rest day
Like I did two weeks ago, I decided to skip the track in favor of resting my shins. (I also had a few toes that were on strike after Sunday’s long run, so I was happy to give them some rest too!) I brought an ice pack to work and tried to stay on top of icing:
The scheduled track workout sounded hard, and like one that would have angered my splinty shins even more, but I was still bummed to miss out – 1600m at 5K pace / 60s rest / 8 x 200m sprinting / 30s rest after each 200 / 1600m at 5K pace / 60s rest / 8 x 100m sprinting / 15s rest after each 100. That’s 3.5 miles of running fast. Great speed training! But ouch.
I intended to spend the time I would have been at the track stretching and foam rolling and doing things to make my shins feel better, but everything hurt so I just continued to ice. And rest.
Wednesday (scheduled): core/arms/legs
Wednesday (actual): beer tasting/yet another rest day
Remember how I called out my own pattern last week and said that I should start doing a circuit of core/arm/leg things between changing out of work clothes and sitting on the couch? I came so close to accomplishing this this week. So close. Instead, I got distracted by how gorgeous the weather was and spent what should have been circuit time sitting on the porch, and then watering the garden. Good for the plants, not good for my training.
Then, instead of doing it after, we had a quick dinner and drove to Lowell to meet my friends B & B at a nano-brewery for an impromptu beer tasting/brewery tour. B & B do home brewing, and they got chatting with the guy who co-owns the nano-brewery about all kinds of beer-making stuff while I sipped the best shandy I’ve ever tasted and also enjoyed a mighty tasty milk stout. It was fun to see behind-the-scenes in a tiny brewery, and it was interesting to learn how this guy and his father-in-law decided to start a brewery. So again, not good for training at all, but interesting nonetheless!
Thursday (scheduled): Shammies Fun Run #5
Thursday (actual): Shammies Fun Run #5
I probably shouldn’t have run this race, given my splinty shins and the fact that they’re not entirely healed yet. However, I was going a bit stir-crazy having not run since Sunday, and I’m extra glad I went through with it because I’m going to miss the 6th and final fun run next week. It’s just unfortunate that my last fun run ended up being my worst yet:
I didn’t want to push too hard in hopes that I wouldn’t anger my shins any further, and plus it was incredibly humid. It was a cooler evening than we’ve been having, but there was a storm front moving through…
…and the race was actually delayed a few minutes by a downpour. Unfortunately the rain didn’t help the humidity level at all, making it a tough run. I didn’t have to run it alone this week though (like I have the last few) which helped keep me from walking or giving up altogether. Colleen, a Shammie I ran with several months ago on a Thursday night tempo run, was back after being away for a while and stuck with me the whole 2.4 miles, even though I was totally slowing her down. It was a good distraction being able to chat and catch up, and she didn’t even mind when we walked up the Mile 2 Hill of Doom. (Cheers, Colleen!)
After the race I got chatting with a new Shammie who knew Colleen, and it turns out we’re neighbors! (Another bonus of run club – getting to meet people in my new city!) We walked back to our neighborhood together and got to enjoy the amazing post-storm/sunset sky:
My shins didn’t hurt quite as badly that evening as I expected them to… until I took off my compression sleeves. Ouch. After I showered I put another pair on, just to hold my shins together, and even wore them to bed. Not sure if that did anything helpful, but they didn’t hurt as badly the next day so maybe it helped?!
Friday (scheduled): rest day
Friday (actual): rest day
I wanted to take it easy Friday just in case my shins acted up again, but they seemed mostly okay. Phew! I spent the evening watching Drew’s soccer game and enjoying yet another gorgeous sunset:
Saturday (scheduled): long run
Saturday (actual): core/arms/legs
Well, look at that! I finally got in my little workout that’s been missing from my Wednesdays for forever… just at the expense of my long run. I was not feeling a long run Saturday morning, not one bit. I didn’t want to use my water bottle for fear it would leak all over the place again, but I didn’t know how I’d handle 5+ miles without water. I also couldn’t help remembering how miserable my last long run was, especially before I gave in and ate some chews, and I didn’t have any more to bring along just in case. Basically, I didn’t trust myself to make it the number of miles I wanted to go without any help from water and/or carbs, and I was just not tempted by the thought of running around the pond again. And I was too lazy/unadventurous to come up with a new route.
But, instead of being a total lazy lump like I usually am, I decided to do a quick workout while Drew was out playing softball. I had downloaded the Sworkit app a while ago but hadn’t used it yet, and figured I’d give it a whirl. I loved it! Instead of doing the same old exercises a few times each like I usually do, I did whatever exercises this app assigned me for 30 seconds each. It included helpful little video instructions for each one, along with verbal cues from a pleasant-sounding English lady telling me how long I had to go and which exercise was coming up next. I did a 5-minute cardio warmup, then 5 minutes each for core, upper body, and lower body. After that 20 minutes I was pretty dead! I’m definitely going to keep using Sworkit for my circuit workouts!
Sunday (scheduled): rest day/recovery run originally; long run after not running Saturday
Sunday (actual): trail run
Another reason I hadn’t wanted to go for a long run on Saturday is because Drew and I had talked about going out for a trail run Sunday morning, and I didn’t want to be totally dead for it. (My stomach muscles were pretty useless thanks to my Sworkit workout, but at least my legs didn’t feel like lead!)
We got up relatively early and made our way to the Middlesex Fells, where we had gone hiking together once early in our relationship. I had researched the trails on Saturday and was hoping to tackle part of the Reservoir Trail, which I had read was one of the easier trails for running. [Since writing this post, I’ve learned it’s actually one of the hardest. Maybe it’s a good thing we didn’t make it!] We’ve only gone trail running twice now, so I didn’t want to start us off with something too hard! Somehow we ended up on the Skyline Trail, which is apparently one of the most difficult, and got a little turned around in the woods so never made it to the Reservoir Trail. Oh well.
We only actually ran for maybe a mile – while covering a total distance closer to 3 – before my left foot landed on a loose rock that decided to squirt out from under me. I rolled my ankle a tiny bit and didn’t want to give myself an injury, so we walked/hiked our way back to the car. Drew’s shins were really bothering him at that point, too. I think next time we’ll bring a better map and make sure we get to an easy trail!
It was a gorgeous place to run, despite the toughness of the trails and the plethora of flies that all wanted to hang out on my eyeballs. I can’t wait to go back and try out the other trails!
Have you ever gone trail running or done a trail race?
Do you use any apps for workouts that you’d recommend?