2nd WDW Marathon Complete: Now What? Time for Redemption (Comments Welcome)

mankle30

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Hello to all! Welcome to my training journal! After completing the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday, January 8, 2017, just a few days after my 40th birthday (you can read my race report here), it's time to set my sights on new goals and new challenges.

I'm posting this training journal mostly to keep myself accountable. I'm actually usually pretty good about getting my training runs in but I want to get things on the record, so to speak, and to document my training.

I'm looking at 2017 as having two training cycles.

Cycle 1: Speed!
Cycle 2: Another marathon!

Thanks to the generous help of DopeyBadger (his training journal is awesome, read it here, but I'm sure you have already), I'm using a custom training program leading up to the Sporting Life 10K in Toronto. It's one of my favourite races that's mostly downhill, starts not too far away from where live (maybe a 10-15 minute drive) and boasts thousands of runners. I won't PB this race (see below) but I'm looking to improve my time significantly over my 2016 race.

Cycle 1 Goals:

1) Lose weight! I come into this training cycle at 218 pounds. For a guy who's about 5'8", that's way too much. Having run the WDW marathon at this weight, I realized how brutal it is on my body. That's why I'm not targeting another marathon right away. I want to be able to focus on eating right (following a lot of DopeyBadger's guidelines and principles) and not having to worry about all the long training runs involved in marathon training.

2) Break 1:00:00. Last year in the Sporting Life 10K, I ran about 1:04 and change.

3) Remain injury free. This is going to be tough. I may already be carrying an injury into the training but it's really hard to tell right now. My ankles (particularly the left one) swelled up a ton about a week after the marathon and my doctor basically prescribed rest and Advil to reduce the swelling. Well, the swelling has gone down after a few days of staying off my feet but there was dull, inconsistent weird pain today while walking (in non-ideal shoes, carrying a 10-15 lb load). Tomorrow I do an easy 3 miles (I mean very easy -- a pace of almost 13:30 per mile) and I'll be monitoring the situation very closely as I start running again.

I'll be using DopeyBadger's Jack Daniels 10K program that has been retrofitted to my paces (much much slower). I also may use one or two 5K races in March and/or April to test my readiness to race and there could be a half marathon the week before the 10K (but I'll do it very slowly) just to keep some long run fitness up before I kick over to marathon training following the 10K.

I'll also be breaking in a brand new pair of New Balance 880v6 that I picked up at a huge discount.

Here's a little bit about my running history.

I've always struggled with my weight. At my heaviest, I was about 235 pounds a year after I finished university. I started running (slowly) and did a lot of weight training to get down to about 185 (pretty muscular) pounds. I kept running, even though it didn't really make up a big part of my cardio training and enjoyed my time in Boston from 2001 to 2003 to run along the Charles River.

It was in Boston that the marathon bug first hit me. I lived on the Boston Marathon route my first year there and was incredibly inspired by watching the runners go by. I decided to run the Boston Marathon someday.

That thought stayed with me as I went back to Toronto but didn't really get much running done in the next couple of years. I started up again, getting in the 3-4 km range when another member of my gym challenged me to run the Sporting Life 10K with her about a month after the conversation. Well, I started training and basically ran the race in just under an hour (in 2007 at the age of 30) and I was hooked!

Wanted a bigger challenge, so I signed up for the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon and that year and completed it in under two hours (1:56:43)! Then, the next year, I put the pedal to the metal and ran the 10K again, PRing in 49:55 while running the full Waterfront Marathon in 3:57:13 in 2008.

Some injuries took hold as I looked to continue my training that winter and, through a move overseas in 2011, and other injuries (like a badly sprained ankle, sustained while running that took months to heal) and I got away from my running.

Since 2012, I've steadily put on weight and decided, when I was running in southern Virginia last winter, near my in-laws' place that, to celebrate my 40th birthday, I would return to the marathon and help get in shape.

This May, I ran the Sporting Life 10k once again, this time in 1:04:35 and finished the Waterfront Half Marathon in 2:27:06 in October. I was looking to run the Disney Marathon in 5:15 but a combination of events put a crimp in my training (which, I've learned, was far too little and inappropriate) but I still gutted out a finish in 5:28:42.

My goal is to get to Boston. I've clearly got a long way to go. The first part of that is to get faster and the best way to do that is to get back to my "fighting" weight below 185 pounds.

Comments are always welcome!
 

DopeyBadger

Imagathoner
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Wahoo! Congrats on starting a training journal. Happy to follow along on your journey! It'll be interesting over the next several months since our plans are almost identical (in my eyes they are identical from an effort/duration standpoint). Excited to see what the future holds!
 

mankle30

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Well, day 1 is complete and my knees are probably telling me something (aside from "lose weight"). I may have to find a pair of stability shoes to get through this training cycle, at least until I can shed a significant amount of weight.
 
  • croach

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2002
    Good luck with your new training schedule! Hope your ankle is ok and does t slow you down. At first I thought we were running the same weekend in Toronto but mine is the weekend before. Toronto must be a good running city!
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Good luck with your new training schedule! Hope your ankle is ok and does t slow you down. At first I thought we were running the same weekend in Toronto but mine is the weekend before. Toronto must be a good running city!
    Which race are you running? The Goodlife Toronto Marathon/half (etc)? I'm thinking about running the half marathon, depending on a variety of factors (health being one of them).

    Toronto is a great running city and there are events pretty much every weekend. We have two full marathons a year (one in the spring and one in the fall) and numerous shorter races. There are also several other marathons in close proximity like Mississauga, as well as those that are a couple of hours away by car (Niagara, especially).
     

    croach

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2002
    Yep doing the Goodlife Half. Never been to Toronto so looking forward to it. Sounds like a good place to be a runner. :)
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    I'm actually thinking of doing that race too. Right now, the biggest indicator is going to be health. Not to give things away too much but my foot wasn't all that great during my run today. I'll have tomorrow off but I'll monitor things over the weekend before talking to my doctor again next week.

    Toronto is a great place to be a runner.... when it's not winter!
     
  • croach

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 5, 2002
    Sorry to hear the foot is still bothering you. Maybe I'll see at Toronto if the foot is ok and you do the half.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Well, the foot has gotten to the point where it's much more concerning and I'm pushing pause on the running. I'll be working in the gym for the next 6-8 weeks and i"ll keep updating here. Hopefully it's not a worst-case scenario and I can return to running action a little sooner.
     

    LSUlakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2015
    My goal is to get to Boston.
    Hope to make it myself some day. Best of luck!

    Well, the foot has gotten to the point where it's much more concerning and I'm pushing pause on the running. I'll be working in the gym for the next 6-8 weeks and i"ll keep updating here. Hopefully it's not a worst-case scenario and I can return to running action a little sooner.
    Sorry to hear of the set back. Hopefully you will be back at it sooner than later. What did the Dr. have to say? I read a post earlier where you mentioned needing a new type of shoes, perhaps the correct shoe will help or possibly correct the issue with the foot.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    What did the Dr. have to say? I read a post earlier where you mentioned needing a new type of shoes, perhaps the correct shoe will help or possibly correct the issue with the foot.
    I'm planning to return to the doctor next week. I haven't been back just yet. I don't think it's the shoes are the problem with the foot although didn't experience any pain in my knee after the second run.

    As far as the foot goes, it's been very unpleasant. I've been experiencing pain after doing workouts on the recumbent bike at the gym. I did go swimming but I don't have much stamina yet and the breast stroke was exacerbating my left knee pain. I'm planning to take a few weeks off without any cardio that involves my foot (and restrict any swimming to the front crawl only) while I do some strength training for legs and upper body (I'll avoid squats and just use machines for the legs).

    As anyone with an injury may know, it's very frustrating but I'm going to try to just rest for at least 3-4 weeks (and I'll reconsider that once I see my doctor and/or get results of any tests he might order). I'm still optimistic that if it is a stress fracture, I'll be recovered in time to do some training for the 10k and will at least be able to run it to finish (since I've already paid for it!).
     
  • mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Update: Went to the doctor yesterday and he suspects that it's a stress fracture. Had an x-ray to rule out anything worse and I'll hear from him in a few days. The foot is actually really sore today (thanks to the poking and prodding from the doctor) but he says that eliptical, swimming and rowing are ok. He recommends eliptical work to approximate running. I'm giving my foot at least the weekend off before heading back to the gym.
     

    LSUlakes

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2015
    Update: Went to the doctor yesterday and he suspects that it's a stress fracture. Had an x-ray to rule out anything worse and I'll hear from him in a few days. The foot is actually really sore today (thanks to the poking and prodding from the doctor) but he says that eliptical, swimming and rowing are ok. He recommends eliptical work to approximate running. I'm giving my foot at least the weekend off before heading back to the gym.
    Sorry to hear that. The dorn stress fracture take longer to heal that a full broken bone for some reason. Its still a easier thing to put a timeline on as far as healing than a tissue or tendon problem which can lag on forever. The good news is you have a solid idea of whats wrong, and now you have some time to look back on your training and try to figure out what you did to cause it and how to prevent it from happening again. The elliptical and swimming are excellent forms of exercising and if you stick with them, you wont lose much fitness and when you can run again you will be back to your old self in no time. Best of luck and please keep us updated on your progress.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    It's been a while since I've updated on my progress. Basically, I haven't heard anything about the x-ray to contradict his initial diagnosis, I'm "running" with that. Actually, I'm not running at all. I've even tried swimming but it's seemed like everything I do makes the foot sore the next day, so I've reduced my activity to "absolute slothfulness," at least until March 1.

    The foot has been less sore in the last couple of days, when I've been able to avoid walking around downtown but it's been tough on my weight battle. Very tough. We've also had some beautiful weather here in the past week and every time I see someone out running, I get a little pang in my heart, thinking that it should be me doing the running, not driving by.

    My plan from here on in is to wait another week or so and test the foot out in the pool or on the elliptical in short bursts while trying to get some upper-body and machine-based resistance training done.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Time for another update.

    I've started the long road back to running. My foot is responding well to alternate day machine workouts at the gym, and I've incorporated at 10-minute warmup session on the elliptical machine. My doctor recommended the elliptical specifically as being good for runners so I'll stick to that every other day.

    I've now done two workouts (one on Friday and one Sunday) with little to no soreness the following day (today is actually particularly soreness-free). The workout started with 10 minutes on the elliptical, 3 sets of 10-12 reps on the leg extension machine, hamstring curl machine, pushups, assisted pull ups, shoulder press and rear delt flys.

    I'm continuing with this every-other-day plan as much as possible until the beginning of April. I'll be in Montreal for a couple of days this coming weekend and then in Florida for about 6 days starting March 17 so there will be some breaks in that workout plan. I'm particularly annoyed by the fact that I'll be in Florida and still unable to run.

    I plan to test the foot out in early April by doing walk/run combinations, seeing how it reacts to one minute of running (with four of walking) and progressively doing more and more of the workout running. I am registered for a 10k race in Mid-May so we'll see how far along in the recovery I am before I decide whether to run the race or not. I'm pretty sure that they don't provide deferrals (it's a big race with well over 20,000 runners every year) and so it'll be a decision I make well into April, if not into May. I have to be very sure of the foot's health, primarily because it's a mostly-downhill course that could be tougher on the foot than a flat one.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    Well, it's about time for my depressing monthly (or so) update. The foot hasn't really improved and I've scheduled a bone scan for Thursday. Hopefully by the end of the week or early next week, I'll have a better sense of what's up.

    Unfortunately all of this lack of activity hasn't been good for my weight either and I'm now about 10 pounds above where I was after the marathon. Grrrr. Willpower is so hard!

    So okay. This month, I'm focusing on my diet (I made a huge pot of vegetable soup last night as well as a big Israeli salad) and we're focusing on more healthy recipes and more home cooking.

    The weather is definitely looking up here though, and I'm planning to do more walking, if not running into the coming weeks. In fact, if the bone scan is negative, I'm planning to start running again, slowly and doing walk-run intervals, next week.
     

    DopeyBadger

    Imagathoner
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2015
    Fingers crossed for you! Just think to yourself if you can get your weight back where it was it will make the comeback to running that much easier. You can do it!
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    29 Days to 10K

    The verdict from medical science is in. No stress fracture. The bone scan revealed some bone fragments around my heel but that's never bothered me.

    So, it's back to running. Today was my first real run. I had been doing some treadmill running with run/walk intervals but it was time to do some real running. I put on my post-marathon shoes and tried to go easy, running 1.57 miles in 20 minutes.

    That's the first run on the way to doing the 10K that I'm registered for on May 15. I had paid for it way back in January so I might as well run it. And hey, doing about a quarter of that race on my first day back ain't bad.

    With this 3 month layoff, my plan to run another marathon this year is done, but I'll be shooting for a half in the fall.

    29 days until the 10K. The goal? Get back the fitness I've lost and lose weight. Long term, the goal is to get back down to weight I was at when I ran my first marathon in 2008. Then go kill some marathons.
     

    mankle30

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 5, 2017
    23 Days to 10K

    I've done 4 runs so far since my return. I started with 1.57 miles on Sunday and followed that with 2.61 miles on Monday afternoon. I slowed down a bit (12:58 min per mile pace) but not as much as I wanted to, but I still felt like I accomplished something.

    I took Tuesday off. This week, I won't run more than two days in a row, just to help prevent injuries like shin splints as I return to more frequent running.

    Wednesday was a quick treadmill workout. I didn't have much time that day. I had taken my car in to have the winter tires changed out for all-seasons and the mechanic ended up doing some other work (yay), which meant that I only had about 45 minutes for my workout between picking up the car and teaching a saxophone lesson. After that, I had no time to pick up my DW to go to a free movie being shown at a museum. I decided that I'd do a harder workout coming off the day off so I ran .5 miles as a warmup (at 4.7 mph on the treadmill) and then went to 5.0 mph for 2 miles. 5.0 mph (or 12:00 min/mile was ultimately my goal pace for the Disney marathon in January and I was pretty close to it for about 21 miles of the race. I held the pace for the two miles and then walked for a couple of minutes to cool down before being pressed for time.

    Thursday was another busy day but I managed to do what I had set out to do. 3.03 miles in the brisk weather, getting the run in in between rain showers, averaging 13:30 per mile. Effortwise, the run was probably more than I had set out to do because it was a hilly area of the city and most of the "back" part of the out-and-back route was uphill (also meaning that the first half was mostly downhill).

    Not even one week into the comeback and I'm already halfway to 10K.

    My goal for the weekend:

    Today (Friday) - light workout at the gym - recumbent bike and/or eliptical, plus some resistance training
    saturday - slow run for 3 miles - probably around my house which is much flatter than the route I ran yesterday - 13:30 - 14:00 min per mile
    Sunday - long run - 4 miles - 13:30-14:00 min per mile.

    Overall physical condition: I seem to be back to the weight I was when I got back from Florida (218 pounds on two different scales on the same day) but I don't feel like it... Clothes still aren't fitting well enough. My left knee is feeling a bit wonky again, so that will need monitoring. Foot is actually feeling like it's better than it was in the last three months (telling me that I probably should have gotten the bone scan earlier so I'd have been able to run sooner). Finally, I've got a nagging injury in the left groin. It's manageable but annoying.
     


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