Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Week 13: Bruises, Doubts, and Confidence

 Last week I took a ridiculous fall that bruised the heck out of my knee. I was parked on a steep hill and as I was climbing down from my car I slipped and fell and my knee slammed hard into a metal rod. It hurt really bad and started to bruise and swell right away. I was SO mad because I've been so careful in my training to avoid injury and then in one split second I bust my stupid knee.

 Here's a picture of the worst side of the bruising, there was a smaller bruise on the other side too. It hurt like the devil and filled me with doubts. 

The biggest doubt being whether I can really run a sub 4 marathon. Lately I've just been feeling like that was a pretty lofty goal for myself and wondering if my training has been inadequate considering my goal. I've been following Hal Higdon's Novice 2 marathon program, and while I've been spot on and haven't missed a run, it's not that demanding of a schedule. I'm only running 35-38 miles a week and my biggest week will be 40 miles. When Taber trained for Hartford he was doing 40-45 miles a week and sometimes hitting 50. 

Also I've had to do the majority of my runs on the treadmill which is a lot easier than running outside and I worry that will affect my marathon pace as well. I do try to keep it at a 1 incline to add a little resistance but it's still not the same. 

So yeah, the bruised knee + creeping doubts left me feeling a little insecure about my whole sub 4 marathon goal.  The knee thing happened the day before I was supposed to run my 19 miler and I wasn't sure if I should run but I didn't really have a lot of options. Friday was the only day I could do my long run because the rest of our weekend was jam packed, so I iced my knee all day and the next morning I set out for my run. I decided to do a 9 mile loop to start with and if the knee felt okay I would do a 5 mile out and back to get the other 10 miles.

The 9 mile loop was pretty hilly and my knee started throbbing as I climbed up and down those big hills. When I finished the loop I was debating whether or not to keep going but I decided to go on and if it got bad I could just turn around sooner.  The out and back course I picked was much much flatter than the 9 mile loop and once I got going my knee actually felt great. The throbbing faded away and I settled into a good pace. I pushed through the last 5 miles and my legs were pretty tired at the end but I finished 19 miles, the longest I've ever run by myself, and it gave me a huge boost of confidence that I desperately needed! Here are my splits: 

My average pace was a 9:00 min mile exactly. If I can just hold onto that for 7 more miles a sub 4 could actually be in my future! I was pretty dead at the end but maybe on marathon day I'll have some extra adrenaline to fuel me on. That's what I'm hoping for anyway : )

Here's what the rest of my week looked like:

5 miles of interval sprints. Ran the sprints at a 7:03 pace and the recovery laps at a 8:34 pace. Overall avg. pace: 7:47
20 min Pilates

5 mile tempo run: avg pace 8:08

5 mile run at a 1 incline for the first 4 miles then upped it to a 3 for .5 and a 5 to finish with a climb. Avg pace: 8:34

30 day Shred Level 3

19 miles outside: Avg pace: 9:00

This week I only have to do a 12 miler for my long run to taper back a little before my 20 miler next week. I'm looking forward to a little less mileage : )

And I'll leave you with a little Valentines cuteness from the Rigg Kids. Sure love those munchkins ; )


  1. Oh MAN! I would be so upset about that knee. Glad you were still able to run with it. And by the way, I think you're going to nail that sub 4!

  2. What a great long run!! Despite the bruised knee, you sure rocked it! Ithink the sub four is definitely in your reach - you will probably surprise yourself on race day. Good luck!
    (and such cute kiddos!!)

  3. I know how you feel about not being sure if your mileage is adequate. When I was training for that marathon in 2009, Justin worked with a guy who was an amazing marathoner (holds the record for WINNING the Deseret News marathon 9 times). We went to this Spanish club dinner at a Mexican restaurant and Justin got him talking to me about training. He asked how many miles I was putting in a week. I said, "I don't know... 30?" Becca, you should have seen his face. It was like shock he couldn't hide in a bad way. I already knew that he ran at least 10 miles every single day of the week and the guy was in his 50's. So yeah, I was feeling pretty weak. But you already know I didn't put any effort into speed runs, tempo runs, cross training, etc. like you're doing, and I think that's really helping you. Plus, you push your pace on those long runs and that makes a huge difference. You'll be ready on race day. I know crazy things start to happen at the end of marathons, but you've been holding onto that 9 minute pace on every single long run. I don't know how you do it, but you're doing it. :) And just remember that if you can't do it for the full 26 (even though I really think you will), don't feel bad just because you told everyone your goal. No matter what, you're going to massively PR!
    And btw, that is a ridiculously cute picture of your kids. :)

  4. The long run in training is usually run 60-90 sec. Slower per mile than your race pace. If you're running 9 min. Miles during your long runs now that means it is like you are racing every single weekend. I have no doubt in my mind that you will run faster than a 9 min. Mile in the actual race. You will feel amazing after the taper time and rock it on race day. Trust your training. You have worked hard.