Pain in the Canal Training Log
January 3, 2021
So my first official day of training did not start exactly how I wanted! I had planned on waking up early, before my daughter and getting in my first of 2 one hour runs before she even woke up. Unfortunately I did not sleep AT ALL on Saturday night. Since I had written my blog post detailing my planned training for the next 2 weeks, and scheduled its release at 8 am on Sunday I seemed to have some pre-race jitters. Funny considering the actual event wasn’t going to happen for 8 more months. Between that and the random foot or hand to the face by a flalling 5 year old that can somehow take up an entire king size bed, I tossed and turned until about 11:30 when I decided to go to my living room.
I proceeded to try anything I could to fall asleep. I drank some tea, I stretched and meditated, and I even listened to one of my audio books. Finally I fell asleep at about 3:30am only to be woken by a very confused child asking me why I was asleep on the couch. I woke up, walked her back into my bed where she sleeps one night a week as a reward, and tried to fall back asleep. By the time she woke up for the day at 7 I had estimated I had got about 3 hours of sleep total for the night and had not yet ran.
The day was a normal Sunday in football season. Hang with my daughter until noon, get in a quick 40 minute run then eat pizza with my girlfriend as we tune in to watch the Buffalo Bills play. With only a few weeks left in the NFL season, pizza is an excusable dietary binge.
After watching the game I was fully aware that I needed to get another hour and forty minutes in of running on the day and was obviously groggy. I got at it either way and made it about 40 more minutes. During that time the hip pain I had been feeling all week came back and I received a few work-related calls and emails that I needed to respond to so I figured with half of my running down I would be able to get back at it. The hip pain was not bad, but noticeable enough to annoy me. This would be my downfall for the running of my day today!
At the time of writing this, I had only gotten back on the treadmill for another 5 minutes or so and used my massage gun for about 15 minutes. I am determined to finish the amount of time I need tonight, but I may be walking for 35 minutes tonight rather than running. I had always been curious about a start/stop ultra and wondered if I would be able to do it. Today I am learning the difficulties of these types of runs.
For those that were curious about my 2 separate hour long runs each day rather than 2 straight hours, it is so I get use to the idea of forcing myself to get back up and run after already running. When I run the canal, the plan will be roughly a marathon in the morning and a marathon at night with a lunch break for fuel, massage, and change of clothes in between. I will need to pull myself back together after an hour and a half break every day to push off for another 25 miles or more (depending on my exact location). So even though this would rank as pathetic for my typical runs, it is causing me more stress and anxiety than any other training I have done! I WILL get my 2 hours of work in on my feet, even if it is just walking and by the end of this two-week training progression I will be use to the start/stop style of running. After that I will have one or two of these each week to maintain the pain I put my body and mind through over these first two weeks!
January 4, 2021
Well I completed my runs/walk yesterday. I was not too pleased with how I did, but knew that lack of sleep played a large role as well as my diet. Today I woke up refreshed and excited! I decided to do things a little out of order compared to what my original plan was.
My initial plan was to run for an hour before work, do yoga on my lunch break, then finish with another hour run at night. When I woke up though my hip was still slightly bothering me so I decided to start with yoga. This was my first structured yoga program ever! I had done plenty of yoga poses and stretches on my own in the past, but had no idea what I was really in for. This work out KICKED MY ASS! I absolutely have a new respect for anyone that does yoga. I also now see why they like it! As tough as some of it was it was refreshing! I felt so much looser than normal and my hip pain was disapaiting. Parts of my body that are always tight were loosing up and I felt good.
As soon as the workout was over I got on the treadmill and rifled off a quick and easy 30 minute run. I was ready to attack my day. I went through the first part of my work day slowly sipping on my one cup of coffee and was excited for my lunch run. I did this with ease again going nice and slow. This is still aggravating me because I want to push myself, but I am trusting those that have done ultra runs before and trying to take it easy. After finishing my work day, making some calls and finishing up some other work I had it was time for my final run of the day.
This was awful! I was slow and drained almost from the start. My slow 10 minute pace became a slow 12 minute pace and I was genuinely struggling. This was something I had not experienced in a long time. My cardio was fine, I had pushed through 4 hour runs before, but my legs were dying. As I struggled through I realized that for the first time in my running life I had broken the momentum. I had stopped, completely and restarted later. Sure I had done 2 a day runs before, usually quick fast 5k’s, but this was longer both in distance and in time. To top it off I had done yoga too which absolutely loosened me up, but also caused additional strain to my muscles that I had not been use to.
At the 30 minute mark I forced myself off the machine and ate something. My only hope was that taking in some calories I could polish off the last half hour of running. I ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich and 2 bananas and pushed through to finish.
In retrospect, I am glad that I did today’s running the way I did. I will be experiencing this on my canal run in August. The plan is to run roughly 8 miles and then meet up with my support team for refills of water and snacks. Then after finishing off a marathon in the morning I will take a longer lunch break before heading back out to run an equal distance before dinner. There will be a lot of starting and stopping, and if my body is not use to this I will surely cramp up and lose the ability to keep going.
Tomorrow’s plan is a bit simpler than todays. Only an hour of running, 30 minutes of yoga, and 30 minutes of strength training. I may break up the run to do 30 minutes in the morning with yoga and 30 in the afternoon with weights, but I am not sure as of yet. It will all depend on the sleep I get tonight and what my day has in store for me tomorrow. Either way, 2 days down and over 4 hours of training already! That is one way to attack your goals if I do say so myself.
January 5, 2021
Today seemed much easier than the past few days had considering I only had 1 hour of running compared to 2, so the running was much easier. I did break it up into two 30 minute runs due to my schedule so things went smoothly in that regard. I did begin to worry about the future however and how I would make the time to run consistently while maintaining my busy schedule. I am sure I will not be able to run the same amount of time each day so some days will be heavier than others. Hopefully I can put off the really long runs until the weather gets better, but I will have to do whatever is necessary to succeed!
I also realized that yesterday I did 30 minutes of yoga rather than using the massage gun for 30 minutes. I was really excited about yoga and completely spaced on my scripted plan. In order to ensure I follow the plan as closely as possible I skipped yoga today and did the massage gun right after my lift.
My lift was more of a full body home workout with my 35lbs dumbbells. This included curls, deadlifts, floor presses, calf raises, and hammer curls. The lift and massage gun hour left me feeling like I went too light or it was not a solid enough workout. It is difficult on Tuesdays with my daughter home with me, but I need to make sure I make it work. A HIIT workout might do this for me, but I am concerned it will not increase my strength enough. I am not sure about this however because I have never done a consistent HIIT program before, only incorporated these types of workouts in my weight lifting routine. I will try to get around my mental blocks on this and do more HIIT workouts, but I need to get back to the gym to lift heavy again. It has been too long and I genuinely miss it.
Tomorrow will be my recovery day so it will be an easy day which I am wondering how that will work right after what seemed to be an easy day. I am hoping it doesn’t kill my motivation. But we will see what tomorrow brings!
January 8, 2021
So I have not added to this the past few days, but that doesn’t mean I have stopped training. I have failed at a few of my goals however and have been having some struggles that I will describe below.
Wednesday was my rest day. My plan was to walk for 30 minutes, do yoga for 30 and the massage gun for 30. Then the world’s attention to the news, including mine. I was able to walk and use the massage gun, but found myself absorbed with the events that took place. That combined with my lack of sleep Tuesday night resulted in me falling asleep on my couch. I was not happy about this, but realistically I needed a quality rest day either way. One would think that would mean that I would have slept well Wednesday night but unfortunately I still struggled to sleep through the night for some reason.
Thursday was going to be a 30 minute strength workout and 2 one hour long sessions of running. Despite the struggles sleeping I made it to the gym and had a great lift. Feeling really good I finished my workday and easily ran for an hour before a meeting I had starting at 7. I knew this would go until at least 9 so I was planning a late-night run which was not bad. I was feeling great after my rest day, and the hour long run I had just finished left me feeling energized. Then the unthinkable happened and I spent the following 4 and a half hours on this call and the phone dealing with some issues that could not wait. At 11:30 I was exhausted but not all that upset about missing my run and felt like as long as I got a good night sleep I would be able to attack Friday with a FIRE. Planning on at least a 2 hour run starting at 6 I went to bed after drinking some tea.
2am was when I started losing my mind. I woke up, AGAIN. I couldn’t fall asleep despite everything I had done and how I tired I was. So frustrated and spent the next 2 hours attempting to figure out what was wrong. I finally fell asleep sometime after 3:30am. I tried to wake up to my various alarms, but I just could not do it. I slept, as best I could until about 7:15 and got up. By the time I finished getting moving it was already 7:50 and I had zero time to work out. I was literally on the verge of tears!
I say that not because I wanted to work out so bad, or because my goals are not being met as I wanted them to be, but because something is wrong! Something that I have not yet been able to put my finger on as of yet. It is affecting my day to day life, my training, and just about every aspect of my life.
I had several calls this morning with members of my team and a few other fitness junkies/professionals and there were only a few commonalities that came up. The biggest thing is my diet. It is not that I have too much caffeine or sugar, I have very little of this in my diet. It doesn’t seem to be eating too early or late either as many people like to concern themselves about.
My approach to diet to start has been fairly simple to start. I have just wanted to eat more than I normally do (4 or so meals a day with snacks) and have it be primarily naturally/unprocessed foods. I have not been tracking my calories too much this first week or the macros. I wanted to see the effects on my body with the training. When thinking about these things started to click. I simply have not been eating enough, even with the larger than normal amounts of quality foods!
I do not say this lightly! My meals have been things like teriyaki chicken, brown rice and broccoli, or a hefty/hearty bean and veggie soup. Egg souffle’s with mushrooms and spinach and shakes with blueberries, strawberries, spinach, peanut powder and almond milk. That is this week, things change each week, but the portions are a medium to large in size and quality food, but when I have multiple days of burning over 4,000 calories it just hasn’t been enough.
That being said, I am not going to stop my training, but I am sure as hell going to work on my diet and meal prep this week. I am really hoping this helps me to sleep next week, but until then I have to do the best with what I have. According to Strava I only have 22 some miles in this week, but still have today (Friday) and Saturday to put up some numbers. I now that I am suppose to focus more on time (4 hours) but I still inherently think about the miles. There is a walk in there from Wednesday as well that will count towards it all, but not where I wanted to be at this point this week.
Tomorrow I will note my hours, miles, calories, and planned changes to my plan that are spurred by this week. Also important to note, I am supposed to do an hour of yoga or massage gun tonight, but that was initially supposed to be 30. I am uncertain how this will work today since I am going to focus on getting 2 hours of running in. Wish me luck!
January 9, 2021
Well it has been a pattern this week… NO SLEEP! This time I get to at least identify the cause fairly easily. My lovely 5-year-old daughter, who gets to sleep in daddy’s bed every Friday night and watch a movie is the only child on the planet that can take up an entire king size bed. If I move, she finds me and usually punches or kicks when she is trying to cuddle up next to me. It is usually cute but added to my frustrations today.
Because of this, the awkward angles I had to sleep at, and the compounded issues with sleep this week I am exhausted on a level that I am not use to. Coupled with the increased training I just couldn’t handle more today. A 45-minute run was all I could muster and I plan on using the massage gun as soon as I am done writing this post.
These are all lessons though, and have created a baseline for me so all is not lost! I am also learning how much I genuinely hate running on a treadmill, but it is better than nothing for now. So how did my week stack up?
These numbers signify a bit of a failure on my part. I am an hour and 21 minutes short of my running goal and missed my strength training and yoga/massage gun goals substantially, but this is not bad. It gives me a starting point to work from and where I need to go to change a number of things. My baseline has been complete.
On top of that I also know about how far running at a comfortable pace I can go currently. This will hopefully change a bit as I continue to train but will be essential for the logistics of the actual run. Over the 8 plus hours I ran this week I covered 46.7 miles. This is not too bad considering what I am shooting for and how awful I have slept this week. Next week I have to step it up a little.
I will continue to shoot for the plan I laid out last week however, even with my failures. I do this intentionally. I was always told you should shoot high! This way if you fail you also fail high. The idea is if I try to train for the same 10 hours of running I did last week I may fail at 8.5 or 9. If I plan for the 11 hours of training and IF I fail, I will fail closer to 9.5 or 10!
This week will place an importance on sleep and nutrition. I am still currently working on the details of this plan since Sunday is my meal prep day, but once I have figured it out I will gladly share anything I come up with and try out!
Thank you to all who have already signed up for this event and especially those who have donated! I am truly humbled with seeing so many donations coming in at the very beginning of this!
Please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions, or things that you are doing to train yourself here on my blog or on any of my social media accounts @ocrlibrarian315.