Berlin Marathon Training: Week 11

Depending on how things go from here, Week 11 will either be one of the best running weeks of my life or the week that derailed all my Berlin plans. Because I’m not being overdramatic about this Achilles thing at all, obviously.

What’s driving me nuts is how strong I felt this whole week (except for that) and how quickly I’ve recovered from Saturday’s 20-miler (again, except for that). I want to holler from the rooftops about a triumphant week of training, but until I’m solidly and comfortably back on the road, I can’t feel that excited.

As for the Achilles: I remember the day after my first half, when I hurt my left Achilles, trying to walk uphill to a restaurant and wanting to cry. Stepping off a curb and wanting to cry. Not being able to rise up on my toes without leaning hard on the door frame. That’s not what’s happening this time, so I don’t think whatever’s happening is the six-week-recovery version of this injury. I also remember after Bay to Breakers a couple of years ago, when both of my Achilles tendons were sore, going to the gym and biking for 10 minutes and feeling perfect the next day. That’s also not what’s happening, so it’s not the one-day-recovery version either.

I’m planning to wait until at least Thursday to try running, replacing at least one weekday run if not both with the Arc Trainer. (My pool-running pool is closed for renovations, so I was already planning on hitting the Arc Trainer; time to see what’s new on Hulu Plus!) In the meantime, it’s lots of ice and legs up the wall and trying to foam roll — is that what to do here? the actual place that hurts is pretty far up, near where my Achilles meets my calf muscle — and squeezy socks.

I’m still hopeful I can do my cutback long run this weekend in Madison, where there’s a lake just begging me to run around it. But that’s all to be sorted out during week 12. Here’s week 11:

Monday: 1220 yards of swimming, including the longest 100 of my recent swimming life, because for some reason I decided to try breaststroke. The only more miserable laps I can recall came back when I was taking Fitness Swim at UCSF and had to do 100 yards of kick-only breaststroke. I just never moved. Even though I could use my arms for this, it wasn’t much better.

Tuesday: 6.25-mile run through Golden Gate Park, during which my stomach was not pleased…again. I suppose I’d rather have an unpleasant digestive experience on these short runs than on my long runs, which have been perfect in that regard, but it’s still frustrating. Yoga at night.

Wednesday: 50 minutes of aquajogging. My pool-running friend was there but we were stuck on lanes on the opposite sides of the pool, so I followed her pacing out of the corner of my eye and listened to podcasts.

Thursday: 7-mile evening run with Christina, which we’d been trying to plan for months. We ran a 3-ish mile trail through Golden Gate Park to the ocean and back, then finished up with a couple of loops of Stow Lake. A great run and a great chat. I wore my trail Adrenalines for the first time, figuring they were close enough to my regular Adrenalines to not need much breaking in, but I now wonder if that contributed to the Achilles freakout.

Friday: Rest, though I did do a quick round of PT exercises in the morning after neglecting them for most of the week.

Saturday: The great 20-mile run that I probably shouldn’t have run at all.

Sunday: Swim clinic! I signed up for this workshop through my tri club a while back, hoping to learn some tips to make my freestyle more efficient. I’ll write more about this, mostly because I want to remember all the drills we tried, but I also loved catching up with training friends I hadn’t seen since Wildflower. It reminded me I might be a group workout person after all. ~1200 yards over the course of the hour, with lots of instruction in between.

Week 11 by the Numbers

  • 33 miles run
  • 20 miles that might be regrettable
  • 2 swims, no bikes, one “five mile” aquajog
  • 1 compliment from an Olympian on my flamingo swimsuit, BOOM
  • 1 travel foam roller purchased (post-security investigation of The Stick at O’Hare in July)
  • 4 hours spent not in compression socks/sleeves between Saturday morning and Sunday night
  • 1 social run missed by leaving home 15 minutes late
  • 9 pounds of ice in my ice bath
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8 thoughts on “Berlin Marathon Training: Week 11

  1. Be careful with the Achilles. I completely ruptured mine 2 years ago and took a full 8 months to get to running again. I was not doing any where near enough stretching and range of motion exercised preceding my injury but I am now.

  2. Cris says:

    For the achilles, foam-rolling/massage of the calves is a very good thing. I also do eccentric calf dips regularly as a preventative.

    BTW, I love the arc-trainer for cross training/run replacement. I would be a bit careful, in that when I’ve had previous achilles issues, the arc-trainer has aggravated.

    • kimretta says:

      Good to know — I didn’t have access to an arc trainer the last time I had achilles issues, and this is in a slightly different spot anyway, so I have no idea how it’s going to feel. I’m going to give it a shot but am prepared to switch to something else or just hop in the pool if it doesn’t work out.

  3. katie says:

    I’m going to vote for best running week EVER. Good luck (today? I’m so far behind) on the test run.

  4. Jen says:

    Hi there! I found your blog while searching for long runs in the Bay Area. 🙂

    Re: Achilles — I’ve been having ankle issues too. One really good stretch that I’ve come across is to start off doing a calf stretch on a curb or step (one leg at a time), then do a calf raise and come back down. The other thing I’ve found is to use a smaller roller for my lower calf and ankle, like this one
    Or just use a golf ball or tennis ball. I find the big roller to be, well, too big.

    Good luck!

    • kimretta says:

      Hi! Thank you for coming by! (I just clicked to your blog and we get the same CSA box!)

      That little foam roller looks awesome. I agree with you on the big one for my calves — it’s so big, and the balance is never quite right, and I have really short arms so I can’t quite push myself up the whole way.

      • Jen says:

        Yeah, it’s a real upper body workout, and sometimes I feel like I’m working my abs too.

        That’s cool about the CSA box. I love Eatwell.

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