Returning from any sort of bone injury requires a careful reloading process. Even though everything feels well physically, I’m gradually increasing the training load for the next few weeks. I have read it can take up to 90 days for a fracture to fully heal, and therefore I am erring on the side of caution.
While 2018 saw some big PRs in the half marathon and 5K, I also endured more training breaks than I would like. I built back up after laparoscopic surgery, I dealt with recurring plantar fasciitis and IT band issues in the summer, and then I broke my third metatarsal. One of my biggest goals for 2019 is continuous, uninterrupted training. The first step to achieving that is gradual reloading right now.
Even with low mileage, last week was a good week of running. I transitioned from run-walk intervals to continuous running and progressed to four days of running. I strength trained, cross-trained, and did Pilates. It was a physically and mentally satisfying start to the new year.
Monday: 32 minutes run/walk
I had a head cold, which factored in with cold rain outside led me to opt for the indoor track. Have I mentioned how grateful I am that our Y has an indoor track? I find it far more enjoyable than the treadmill – self-propulsion and forward movement do wonders for my mind. This run was Ryan’s first experience on the indoor track. Apparently, everyone else in Valparaiso was on the indoor track that day, as it was significantly more crowded than my past runs on it.
My scheduled run was 15 minutes run, 2 minutes walk, and 15 minutes run. I didn’t bother to count laps and just focused on total time running. Even with a sore throat and congestion, this run felt good.
Tuesday: Rest day
Tuesday was the worst day of my head cold. I slept for 10 hours Monday night (yes, I fell asleep on the sofa at 9 PM on New Year’s Eve) and then still napped for an hour during the afternoon. I woke up from that nap feeling much better.
Wednesday: 32 minutes run/walk and 20 minutes Pilates
I felt significantly better so I ran outdoors. While it’s not as cold and snowy as it usually is, at least is it still cold and clear outside. I love the cold of the Midwest. 25 degrees and sunny feels blissful, far better than the 35 or 40 degrees and drizzling rain of Seattle.
This was my final run with walk intervals. I did 20 minutes run, 2 minutes walk, and 10 minutes run, for a total of 3.5 miles. After the run, I completed a 20 minutes Pilatesology workout.
Thursday: 30 minutes arc trainer and 30 minutes strength
I used the Precor Adaptive Motion trainer and it kicked my butt. I don’t know why that machine feels harder than running, but it does. In the middle of the 30 minutes, I did 8 or 9 repeats of 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy. I was breathing hard by the end of this!
I then completed my strength training, including lateral and monster band walks, resistance band deadbugs, banded single leg bridges, bicep curls to shoulder press, reverse flyes, and reverse lunges. Lunges are one of the most challenging exercises after this injury, as they really reveal the instability of my foot and ankle from weeks in the boot.
Friday: 30 minutes run
I ran for 30 minutes continuously, just shy of 3.5 miles, and it was so wonderful. It was still chilly this morning and I relished the 30-degree temperatures and clear blue skies. I also encountered a small herd of about six deer on the path.
Saturday: 35 minute trail run
Trail may be a misnomer for this run, as we didn’t run along a highly defined trail. This off-road run was more cross-country style, as several of the local trail runs are, over grass fields along the perimeter of a local park. It’s the same route as the trail race we plan on doing next weekend.
Regardless of the semantics, Ryan and I enjoyed this run. It felt so fun and freeing to run off the road.
One of my intentions for 2019 is to run off road once per week. It reduces injury risk, introduces a different stimulus, and is just plain fun. Plus, with a few parks with trail options in less than a 10 minute drive (and some within a mile run), there’s no good reason not to.
Sunday: 1 hour hike
Ideally, we would have gone snowshoeing or skiing, but there are currently zero inches of snow on the ground in Northwest Indiana. For comparison, in years past a minimum of one foot of snow would be on the ground by this point of January.
Instead of any snow sports, we enjoyed the sunshine with a hike at the Indiana Dunes State Park. Both dogs loved the sandy terrain and we loved the views of Lake Michigan.
How was your week in running?
Do you have snow or is your winter weather abnormally warm?
How often do you run trails?