Tuesday, December 5, 2023

November blahs

I had high hopes for this training cycle, and I'm afraid I'm already letting myself down a bit. For a few weeks I was having the hardest time figuring out why I was struggling; I always cut down on my mileage in the summer and bounce back, what was going on?

I've come to realize that not running from March to May this year really destroyed my usual foundation. And while I met my November goal of reaching 6 miles on a long run, and that means I'm on track for the half in February, I'm dealing with shin splits and fatigue that just doesn't feel typical.

I'm bummed. I have no doubt I'll be able to run the half, but this year's was so surprisingly excellent, I was looking forward to a similar performance next year. I know there's time for things to turn around, but at this time last year I think I was already at 7 or 8 miles. I just feel so behind.
November was actually really busy and pretty great, goal-wise.
Okay, this is why tracking your workouts is awesome. Because as I was writing that last bit and feeling really mopey, I decided to log in to Garmin Connect and verify my concerns. And guess what? I was totally wrong. This time last year I was running between 5 and 6 miles, and in December I ramped up to 7 and 8. At the end of December we had an ice storm resulting in two weeks off, so I didn't even start running double digits until January!

It does set my mind at ease to know I'm on the same schedule as last year, but I'm concerned that I'm not running with the same stamina and ease as last year. I've been having some aches and pains I'm not used to dealing with.
Running's been tough but the views have been spectacular.

My main concern is my right shin. I've been having shin splints early on in every run. Sometimes they go away, sometimes not. I never have shin splints; even when I had CECS I never had shin pain. Foam rolling and stretching isn't helping, although I could be better about the frequency. 

I'm going to try a different model of shoes, and if that doesn't help, I guess I'll need to seek out an orthopedist up here. I really don't want to have to deal with that again.
I'm going to try my old favorite, the Asics Kayano. I was heartbroken when they narrowed the toe-box but the newer models had widened it again, so I'm hopeful it'll be a perfect fit.

I'm  trying to keep the possibility of the 2024 Loch Ness Marathon in mind, and I'd rather be overly careful now and avoid a serious injury than train through pain and end up too injured to run it. If that means cutting back now to focus on recovery so I can run a full in 2024, so be it.

That's where things stand for now; we'll see how December shakes out.


1 comment:

  1. I've fallen into the trap of "I was doing so much better at this time last year" and then looking at last year's training and saying "uh...nvm".

    Right on with paying attention to the shin splints now instead of ignoring them and having to pay A LOT of attention to them later.