February has been a cold, cold month. (As I write this, more snow is falling from the sky.) March is around the corner though, which means warmer temps (hopefully) and the start of the spring racing season. I have a few exciting half marathons coming up — two that I’ve been looking forward to since last year, and one that I signed up on a whim earlier this month.
My first spring race isn’t until March 21, which I’m thankful for because I haven’t been running much since completing the Charleston Half and Rock n Roll New Orleans Half in January.
The reason? The inside of my left foot (tibialis posterior, I think) started hurting a bit after New Orleans. According to my extensive research on Google, tibialis posterior pain is a common running injury that often stems from overuse or increasing your mileage too quickly. That sounds about right. I barely trained for those two half marathons last month. I knew I was pushing my body during those races, but it didn’t occur to me that I might have been overdoing it.
Half marathon/marathon training programs often warn runners not to pile on the miles too soon — no more than a 10 percent increase each week. I am now suffering the consequences of committing that mistake.
I was in a little bit of a denial about it at first. A few days after returning home from New Orleans, I ran a 4-miler that ended in pain. I iced and elevated it. I haven’t seen a doctor about it yet, but I did (finally) get my running stride accessed and properly fitted for running shoes. Apparently, I over pronate — my ankles roll in too much when I run — which can lead to ankle injuries. I now have custom insoles and running shoes that provide a little more stability.
Naturally, I took my new shoes out for a test run as soon as I got home. They felt fine, but my left ankle was still in pain. I took a week off running. I tried again the following week — a 6-miler on the treadmill — and felt ok. I did another 6-miler on the treadmill the next day. I did not feel ok after that one. I haven’t gone running since. This was about two weeks ago.
My ankle is feeling a little better now, and I’ll probably start running again and training for my spring races next week. This time, I’ll train properly and increase my mileage a little more gradually. I’m really looking forward to getting back out there.
Here are the half marathons I have coming up:
Savin Rock Half Marathon
West Haven, CT
This race is on Saturday, March 21. It takes place in West Haven, a small city within New Haven County, Conn. The main reason I chose this race is because of its close proximity to Yale (10-15 minutes away). My cousin went to Yale, and I thought it would be fun if I picked a race nearby, so we could road trip it together and spend the weekend hanging around her old stomping grounds. She loved the idea. I think it’ll be fun. I haven’t seen a map of the course yet, but about a third of it is along Long Island Sound, which sounds like it could be cool. After the race, we’ll tour Yale and eat lots of New Haven-style pizza.
The Love Run takes place the weekend after the Savin Rock Half, on Sunday, March 29. This was the race I signed up on impulse. CGI Racing, the hosting company, was offering a registration discount on Valentine’s Day. I’m a sucker; I signed up. I think it’ll be a fun race though, so I’m not regretting it. It’s been years since I’ve been to Philly, and I’m looking forward to re-visiting and seeing how much has changed. The course begins at the Art Museum at Eakins Oval, winding through the streets of Philadelphia, and then ending back at the museum. The elevation map shows a couple of inclines, but overall it looks manageable. And if it turns out to be a painful course, at least the swag is pretty cool (cute shirt, coffee mug, and Phillies baseball game ticket). Also, I found out that my friend, Jen, will be running this race, too. So it’ll be fun to have company again.
Rock n Roll Nashville
Ahhh Nashville! The Rock n Roll Nashville, also known as the Country Music Half, is a bucket list race for me. When I first started this 50 states challenge, there were some races I knew I just had to do. This is one of them. It’s on Saturday, April 25, so I’ll have a little break after Philly. I’ve never been to Nashville (or anywhere in Tennessee), and I’m excited to explore the city, eat a lot southern food, and listen to some great country music (I love country music). The course will be challenging though, and will include plenty of rolling hills. It starts in downtown Nashville, going through the city, some residential areas and passing the campus of Vanderbilt University. I’m pretty sure the route will leave me exhausted, but it’ll be fun, and no doubt, a really awesome weekend.