Week 5: Blame It on the Rain

Remember that song by Milli Vanilli? Remember when they were not those two German dudes with the dreads but really two middle aged, large sized dudes from the US? I digress, but I bet that song is stuck in your head, now.

Blame it on the rain

So, Week 5 has come and gone and I just did the first training run of Week 6. We’ve had a lot of rain. Like, a Seattle amount of rain. I’m just going to put this out there – I.Hate.Running.In.The.Rain. A short run in a little drizzle is OK but long runs and rain don’t mix. I know I get wet from sweat but getting wet running in a torrential downpour is no fun. I’ve had to do it twice and bad things happened. Things like chafing in strange places and blisters on my heels from wet socks and ruined headphones and really wet running shoes that took days to dry. It is now my policy that I don’t do it because there are other options, like indoor tracks and treadmills. I guess I am a Bad Ass Mother Runner when it is dry and not cold and not too humid. Hey, I never claimed to be low maintenance (friends are snickering here).

Running - THIS IS SO ME!!! (sadly)
This would be me, in the yellow raincoat if I had to run in the rain!
So, when I woke up on Saturday morning with 11 miles on my agenda for the Week 5 long run and I could hear the rain, I was already devising an alternate plan. Putting the run off until Sunday would not do me any good because it was supposed to rain all weekend. I had to drop Carly off at the Sportsplex where she is in summer camp for her field trip with the other CITs at 6:30 AM. We happen to be members of the Sportsplex and they happen to have a very nice (and dry) workout room with very nice treadmills overlooking the very nice ice skating rink where it is very cold and the people in the workout room can watch the figure skaters practicing their routines.
I opted for the treadmill. I’ve run several long runs on treadmills, and while I would not do it every time, I admit I kind of like it. I got to spend major quality time with Jax Teller on Netflix running on the treadmill while training for the Disney Princess Half Marathon. I binge-watched so much Sons of Anarchy on my iPad, I felt like an honorary nomad! For a Type A person like me, it is sometimes incredibly freeing to put the headphones on, crank the shallow pop music (or watch the extremely not-kid-friendly offerings on Netflix), run mindlessly with no concern for traffic or stoplights or running routes. I do, however, have to remember not to sing out loud at the gym. I sometimes sing on the treadmill at home until one of the children comes and asks me to be quiet but, I pay the mortgage so, I’ll sing in my own home if I want to.

I had a really good, sweaty time on Saturday and this happened:


Oops, I ran 13.3 miles instead of 11. I PR’d the half marathon. By 32 minutes. I was just having so much fun and I had to wait until “What Makes You Beautiful” ended and then, “Holding Out for a Hero” came on and I had to wait until that was over, too. Granted, they were treadmill miles, not road miles, and I am always faster on the treadmill but a 32 minute PR is pretty damn good! It was a rough week at work and I needed this run so much. I needed to leave it all on the treadmill and I did just that. It was amazing.

Sounds great, right? Yes, until I woke up on Sunday and it was holy sore shins, Batman! OMG. I was uncertain if I was going to be able to walk to the coffee pot, which would be a tragedy because I like coffee as much as I like beer and my family does not like me without coffee. I hobbled to the coffee and to the Costco-sized bottle of Alleve (yes, my personal shopper, Heather, bought it for me at Costco), where I promptly took more than the recommended daily dosage (my cousin is a pharmacist and he said the information on the label is more like a suggested serving size). Then, I spent the rest of the day feeling every single step right in the muscle that runs along the side of your shin bone. Of course, being a hypochondriac, I googled it and diagnosed myself with bilateral stress fractures because I always think the worst about illness and injury. I did ice it and then put heat on it. The heat actually helped. Yesterday, I skipped lower body strength training and paid Carly $3 to roll my calves and soleus with The Stick. She used to do it for free but I ask too often, now, and she is no fool, that child, so she has made a small fortune off me since marathon training started. I also foam rolled the heck out of every muscle in my lower body. My calves feel like rocks and not because I am uber muscular but because I can’t figure out how to release them.

Fortunately, I have a standing appointment every two weeks with Smruti (my PT) so I hobbled in to see her today and told her I was sure I had a stress fracture and it was all over. When I showed her where the pain was, she laughed and told me it was all muscle pain. She manipulated the joints in my foot and my ankle, which helped to release my muscles. She Grastoned (is that a word?) the hell out of my soleus. I would say I could not wear a skirt to work tomorrow but everyone I work with is used to seeing my Achilles’ all black and blue so, I am sure no one would bat an eye about my colorful legs, at this point. She diagnosed me with two strained soleus muscles and told me not to run 13 miles on a treadmill ever again, if I could help it. After my appointment, I felt so much better. The tight spots near the bottom of my shin were completely gone. When Smruti goes out on maternity leave the week before my marathon, I am just going to go to the hospital and make her Graston my lower legs!

I ran 6 miles tonight on the dreaded treadmill (thank you, severe thunderstorms and torrential rain, this is getting to a problem) but I was careful not to bounce up too much. Smruti thinks that is what contributed to my problem. This is also going to happen after every run for the rest of the week:

photoTarget brand frozen peas are the best!

A few folks I know who are “serious” runners (meaning people who have run Boston and regularly, run sub-3 hour marathons) suggested I try yoga. There is a great yoga studio here and the owner is also a runner so she offers a great class called Yoga for Runners. I would love to take it but childcare is a major issue. At the end of the day, I am still a Bad Ass MOTHER Runner and a semi-Bad Ass In House Counsel (my co-workers tease me because I am actually nice to opposing counsel – flies, honey, that whole philosophy), with a 40 hour work week. Fitting in another thing and convincing my long suffering, non-runner husband to pick the kids up so I can do yoga is probably not in the cards unless I give up a running day and that is not going to happen. Alas, I will try to do yoga at home. That should be funny and I am sure my children will laugh at me. Maybe, I’ll sing while I do it.

At this point, I’ve decided to blame the strained soleus on the rain. In legal reasoning, there is a theory called “but for causation”, which goes something like, but for X, Y would not have happened. So, but for the rain, my strained soleus would not have happened. It has nothing to do with the fact that I ran 13.3 miles on a treadmill because I don’t like to get wet, or that I over-strode on said treadmill or that I had too much vertical oscillation or that I ran a long run at faster than race pace (completely opposite of what Dimity told me to do) or set a PR for the half on a freaking training run where it was completely unnecessary. It was the rain.




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