Berlin (not) Marathon Training Week 11

I think I’ve probably spent more weeks resting during this period than actually training for Berlin, so (not) marathon training is probably more accurate!

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This seems like a very long time ago now!

It’s 5 weeks to go, and I’m actually feeling quite calm about the whole thing now. I’ve just sort of come to accept the injury and I guess what will be will be, there’s no point getting worked up over it. I’ve done absolutely no exercise again this week, my only activity is a few short walks, some physio exercises and some yoga, fingers crossed that the knee is improving. Mentally it has got easier day by day, and I’ve been coping quite well with it over the last week.

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I’ve only run once (2 miles) in the last 2 weeks, so I’m actually a little scared to even test it out now, my mind can’t decided if I should wait a little longer, or just go for it? I was starting to feel by the middle of the week that I wanted to test it out, but I’ve now been struck down by a hideous virus. Nick had it for about a week before I got it and I thought I had got away with it, but unfortunately I’ve been struck down, meaning I haven’t really been out of bed for the last 3 days! Ironically I think the last time I was this sick was about 3 years ago in Berlin!

Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise, and the extra days of rest are what my knee needs. Hopefully if I start to get over this by mid-week then I can think about lacing up my runners again, I am slightly concerned that Nick has had this for over a week though and isn’t improving, I’m lashing in all my natural remedies so hopefully that will help!

I have 2 weeks off from work, so am spending the full week in Cardiff (hopefully recuperating) and I have an essay and an exam to prepare for next weekend. We are hopefully all set for moving into our new home on the 2nd September. We’ve been homeless for 4 weeks now, which has been hugely stressful, hence why we are probably both sick. Thankfully, we have been able to stay with my brother in Stokey, and have also made 4 trips back and forth to Cardiff to stay with my parents which has been pretty exhausting. Fingers crossed we are reaching the end now as I am itching to get settled into our new home.

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The illness has thrown my appetite off a bit, but I’m still starting every day with a big green smoothie, it is getting a little chilly now so oats may reappear soon! I am still in love with those coconut kefir shots- quite an expensive habit! I am still obsessed with raw sandwiches which have been a lifesaver since moving out. Lately I have been having a massive craving for soups/curries with the autumnal feel of the weather.

I am really hoping I have some running to report on next week, I’m itching to get back to it, and really hoping that 2+ weeks of rest will have been enough to sort this knee out!

Berlin Marathon Training Week 10- Rest is Best

I think I’ve finally reached the acceptance stage of injury. After battling through and running on it for the last few weeks, I realised that it just wasn’t getting any better and isn’t going to go away if I continue running on it (despite not running much!).

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That above is my horrible training period for Berlin, my longest runs have been two half marathons a while back now, two 10 milers, and two painful 8 milers-not exactly marathon distance. My weekly mileage has been incredibly low and there have been several weeks skipped entirely. It’s not ideal, but I’m hoping I may be able to get some more miles in over the next few weeks once this injury clears up.

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After a weights session early last week and an abandoned run at the 2 mile point in my new trainers, I decided to take the rest of the week completely off all activity, no weights, no running, no core work. Just physio exercises, yoga and some walking.

In the first few days the knee was not in good shape, I’ve been travelling back/forth from Cardiff to London a lot lately- 6 times in the last 2 weeks and the coach has really been aggravating my injury, this week it completely messed up my back too, so I’ve been dealing with lower back pain to throw into the injury mix too, I did a really good 30 minute youtube yoga video for lower back pain yesterday though which has made a huge difference.

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This week has been really hard without running, we have so much going on right now with the house move, plus I have exams/assignments coming up too, and with all the stress, I feel like I just wanted to run, and have lost my escape! I had a rough few days, where I just felt generally miserable about not running- lacking the endorphins, but I’m determined to snap out of that this week and enjoy things that I don’t have time to do when I’m running- like walking nick’s dog, spending time with Timmy the cat, seeing family, going out more and catching up on some reading- I have about 15 unread fitness magazines lying around!

Today is the first day where I’ve not noticed any knee pain when walking downstairs so fingers crossed we are headed in the right direction. I’m going to take another few days off completely and maybe try a short jog later in the week to assess. I was going to go back to physio this week, but I just can’t justify 80 odd quid on another session when we have so much else going on right now. I’ll just continue to stretch and do yoga at home, and keep an eye on it and hopefully it’s just something that will be fine with rest.

With 6 weeks until Berlin, I’ve decided not to defer or pull out of the race. I’m going to leave it until the week before to make a decision. Obviously I’m not going to run it if I am in pain, but if I’m pain free I know I will be able to get round despite not doing much training at all. I don’t want that to sound disrespectful to the distance or that I think I can just wing it, I just believe I have enough long distance experience to finish the race as long as I’m able to start it!

Berlin Marathon Training Week 9

Warning, this is just going to feature me moaning about being injured again, sorry! My new knee pain that flared up last week has continued throughout this week. The weirdest thing is that I barely notice it when I’m walking or doing other workouts, but it comes on about 2 miles into a run, and builds until I can run no longer.

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Mon: Rest 3.3 mile Walk + Yoga
Tues: 2.7 mile Walk + TFBR Upper Body Weights + Belly Shred
Weds: 4 mile Run + TFBR Leg Weights
Thurs: TFBR Upper Body Weights + Belly Shred
Fri: 6 mile Run
Sat: 8 mile Run + 2 mile Hobble + Yoga
Sun: 3.3 mile Walk + TFBR Plyo Blaze + Belly Shred

I took a few days off running at the beginning of the week after the horror of last week’s long run. On Weds I went out for a 4 mile run, I could feel the knee start to niggle about 2 miles in, so I called it a day at 4. It was so hot as I had gone out around midday that I had to stop at Whole foods on the way back for a coconut water ice lolly!

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We went to Le Pain on Wednesday evening and had a lovely meal, I had a meal sized salad :D featuring lentils, fennel and chickpeas and finished with the coconut milk chia pudding which was delicious. Although expensive, Le Pain is definitely one of my favourite food spots in London, there is so much great Vegan food on offer, and Nick can get his meat fix too!

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Friday’s run was the best I’ve had in ages (up until about 5 miles). I felt great, my legs felt fresh, and my knee was barely bothering me, until it gradually made an appearance and the last mile was pretty painful. I was so hungry by this last mile that I had to stop at the farmers market and buy some plums, which I demolished on the way home!

I was not overly happy about having to attempt my long run on Saturday (due to the hurricane forecast on Sun) as I’m trying not to run back to back days right now. I think from the outset I knew that it wasn’t going to go well, but I was trying to stay positive. I’d run less than a mile when I could feel the knee pain building, and by the time I’d got to Cardiff parkrun at 3.5 miles things weren’t looking good.

I stopped for a few minutes before parkun by which point my knee had totally seized up, I couldn’t bend it at all. After some stretching it felt much better, so I edgily headed off on a very gentle jog round parkrun. Unfortunately 1.5 miles in, my knee completely gave way (apologies for anyone who witnessed the cursing!) and I had to have a little stop and stretch, this then happened again and to be honest I probably should have stopped at either of those points but I carried on to hobble home about 8 minutes outside my pb. Not ideal.

I jogged back for about a mile post parkrun which was about all my leg could handle, as I then couldn’t bend it and could barely walk, although it had eased up by the time I hobbled home. 8 miles at this point in marathon training is just nowhere near good enough, I wouldn’t mind so much about the distance if I was running it comfortably, but I’m not, I’m in pain, and every step is a battle, which makes me wonder if I should bother trying to run at all before Berlin?!

I’m so aware and conscious of the injury now, and almost waiting for it to flare up, which I don’t think is a very good thing. I just don’t know how I can distract myself to not be aware of it before the pain comes on. I know pain is not a good sign, and I shouldn’t keep pushing through it, but I worry how I’m going to get round Berlin if I don’t get any kind of decent mileage in. Perhaps I would be better to just rest it, and actually be able to get round the race, regardless of running fitness. I’m not sure, I’ll probably regret whatever I decided to do.

Away from running, I started Phase 3 of the Fat Burn Revolution, the workouts have been shorter which is great, although they’ve been seriously tough! Incidentally I don’t feel any pain in my knee when I do these workouts, which I just find bizarre.

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I guess I need to decide whether to rest the legs completely again or carry on trying to run. My mileage is so low right now that it wouldn’t make much difference if I didn’t run at all anyway. I still have a little bit of time, but that is quickly ebbing away, and I don’t want to be still dealing with this a week or so before the race. I just got new trainers, switching from the Asics GT-2000 to the Gel Kayano so we’ll see if that makes any difference once I try them out! Fingers crossed!

Om Yoga Magazine July/August

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The latest Om Yoga magazine is a bumper double issue, with plenty of great features once again. I have a few other magazine subscriptions, but this is quickly becoming my favourite monthly read due to the sheer variety of articles.

Articles that caught my eye this month were the guide to the best online yoga sites on the planet. I love going to yoga classes but they are very expensive, so I tend to do most of my yoga at home, it’s also easier to just fit in a quick 20 minute session too. I really enjoyed the guide to the best places to look online.

There was also a great article on yoga and physiotherapy as the perfect healing combination. Having suffered with injuries for large portions of this year, I have used both yoga and physio for rehab and prevention of injuries and I think the two complement each other really well.

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My favourite article this month was-unsurprisingly-another foodie one! Since we have been sorting/moving out of the house, I have been very reliant on simple easy meals, and that has meant eating a whole lot of raw foods. Unprocessed, unheated, just really simple food as it’s meant to be. I unintentionally ate completely raw for a full week while the move was going on, and it just seemed the perfect thing to do as I didn’t want to be cooking in the ridiculous heat in London. I think my body naturally craves a lot more raw foods in the summer time too.

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I have eaten out a few times over the last week, and been visiting my parents so have eaten more cooked foods, but I definitely want to continue incorporating more raw foods into my diet. I really enjoy experimenting with raw foods, and will continue to base my diet around them, particularly in the summertime.

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The article in Om Yoga focuses on raw foods for well-being. Raw foods have higher nutritional value than their cooked equivalents, as well as lots of phytonutrients, antioxidants and enzymes which aid digestion which are degraded when food is heated to about 40 degrees Celsius. I’ve been eating loads of smoothies, salads, raw soups, nuts/seeds and tonnes of avocado!! Raw Imagination’s amazing raw sandwiches have been a handy treat as well! I really did feel very good when I was eating just raw foods and it’s something I’d like to experiment with a lot more once we get settled in our new place.

Berlin Marathon Training Week 8- Another week, Another Injury!

This marks the halfway point of Berlin training, and I’m hoping the second half will be better than the first. I’ve missed several weeks completely, had several weeks of low mileage, and am struggling through my runs at the minute with niggles, or heavy legs making it tough. This week was another bad one:

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Mon: 6 mile Run + 3.5 mile Walk
Tues: Metabolic Blaster (Upper Body Weights/Hiit intervals) + 3.6 mile Walk
Weds: 4 mile Interval Run + Lower Body Weights/Core
Thurs: Upper Body Weights/Core + 3 mile Walk
Fri: 4 mile Run
Sat: Rest: Hip Opening Yoga + 2.3 mile Walk
Sun: 8 mile Run + 2 mile Hobble

I went to see my physio on Monday, he said there was no major issues, and it’s just a build up of smaller issues from overuse, effectively I need rest which I will be gladly taking after Berlin. He told me to take another week off completely, but after having two OK runs last week I thought I would listen to my body and just run if it felt OK, I couldn’t really face taking another week off totally.

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I had such a busy stressful few days with the move, cleaning the house/garden and moving some stuff to my brothers that I just felt exhausted during Monday’s run, I’d barely had any sleep the few days before and I really felt it during this run.

Wednesday was my last canal run while living in Angel which was sad! I love running the canal, and I will massively miss it when we move. I did an interval run to test out the legs and they didn’t feel too bad, although I’ve lost a massive amount of speed and fitness.

I did manage to get onto the canal for a bit during Friday’s run as Stoke Newington isn’t much further than Angel. Sadly I tweaked my opposite knee during that run and unfortunately the sharp pain on my outer knee got worse and worse during my attempted 13 mile run today. I had to stop after 8 miles as the pain was so sharp and severe that I was unable to run any more. I had a frustrating 2 mile hobble home, and there were plenty of tears along the way.

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I really despair at this, I just can’t understand when I’m barely running why I’m picking up so many injuries. I’m pretty sure my trainers are to blame and I’m looking to change them at the minute. I only got this pair a few months back and I have been running in Asics GT 2170/2000 for the last 5 years but these new GT 2000 v2 are horrible. I’ve noticed the sizing has got increasingly dodgy in Asics lately as well, I am a regular size 5, but have always worn size 6 Asics, these ones are size 6.5 and they are so tight on my feet and uncomfortable its ridiculous.

I’ve spent the day researching if I can defer Berlin entry, I just don’t know if I can put myself physically or mentally through 8 more weeks of this. This year has just been appalling for injuries, and I’m not sure I can take much more of it. This month I’ve only managed to run 55 miles, which I was doing per week earlier in the year. It’s disappointing and frustrating, not just in terms of Berlin but because I adore running and I just can’t enjoy it right now. I’m going to spend the next week or so thinking about it, and if I do decide to do the race, it might have to be a run/walk strategy just to make it round.

I finished Phase 2 of the Fat Burn Revolution. I managed to move my weights up to my brothers tiny flat in Stoke Newington where we are staying for a few weeks, and did manage to get one of my workouts done there. Hopefully I won’t be too restricted in the Phase 3 workouts either. I’m not sure whether I should stop doing the workouts all together until I sort my legs out to be honest, I really enjoy them, but I need to prioritize running.

Onwards to the second half of training, things can’t get much worse right now so hopefully there will be a positive twist somewhere along the way!