Set Backs, Change of Plans, and Preparing for Tomorrow

On October 16th, I had planned to run the Grand Rapids Half Marathon. I was excited to make this goal and I spent all summer preparing for a PR. I had a plan, I worked hard, and I really thought that this half marathon was in the bag.

Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned. Around the time of my wedding, my training began to slip a little. Life got real busy, real fast. Planning a wedding and all the festivities that entailed took up way more time and energy than I had originally planned for. When the wedding was over and I began to ante up my training, I began to have horrible knee pain in my left knee. My mileage took a nose-dive. It was too painful to put in the long miles. Then I found out that my mother has lung cancer, and for a couple of days there all I wanted to do was curl up and veg out.  My heart felt (still feels) broken.

I have taken the last week off of running to give my knee a rest. I have also allowed myself to take some downtime. No plans or training guides. No group runs or commitments. Just time to spend by myself and be.

I am not going to lie. It has been nice. I know that not only did my body need that rest, but my mind did too.

I am not sure where to go from here, but I do know that I am craving the routine of running and my body sure wants the stamina that I had this summer back. My last ‘long run’ was 14 miles and that was about a month ago. My mileage pretty much nose-dived after that and even though  I did lots of 3-4 mile runs in the past month, I feel as though I am nowhere near where I was. I want to get back to that place!

After taking this past week off, I was itching to get out of work today and lace up my running shoes. It was a BEAUTIFUL day in southwest Michigan! I also wanted to rock my new running shirt that came in the mail yesterday from Ali over at Ali On The Run. (She is a running rock star who is competing in her very first marathon this weekend! She is raising money for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.  If you have yet to- which I am sure that you have- visit her site, order one of these amazing shirts, and give her some love!)

After taking a whole week off, and not really running much in the last couple of weeks anyways, I decided to take it easy to see how the knee would hold up. I ran two miles and then walked two.

I noticed that my lungs need some work! I was huffing and puffing a few minutes into my run. The good news is though that my knee seems to be doing much better. YAY!

I am feeling confident that I will be back up to some solid long runs in no time. I do not think that I will be ready for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon in time though and I am ok with that (well kinda, I do have moments of frustration). Tomorrow I am going to research a couple of smaller races that I can do to help me get back on track.

Have you ever had a set back that kept you from a planned race or goal? How did you deal? 


Feeling Defeated

My knee is really starting to put some crazy doubts in my head. Here I am 33 days away from running the Grand Rapids Half Marathon, and I am beginning to feel a little defeated. Ok, a lot defeated. Between the wedding and now this knee set-back, I am feeling extremely far behind in my training. Two weeks ago I was on a runner’s high and confident that I would not only run an amazing race, but I would also run it with a personal record. After I finished my 14 mile run, I was beginning to feel as though that I finally had a grasp on this running thing. However, the week of my wedding my mileage took a nose dive. I was just so, so busy. Last week I was ready to hit the pavement again and get back to training, only to discover that my left knee did not want to cooperate. 

After considering your advice on Friday as to if I should go out and run my long run on Saturday, I decided to play it by ear. (Thank you so much for all your tips and words of encouragement! Much needed!)  Friday night I took my husky for a two-mile walk around the neighborhood and then attended Art Hop downtown. Art Hop is held the first Friday of every month and restaurants and shops downtown stay open late and feature local artist work. They also serve yummy wine or beer and offer great specials. I LOVE Art Hop and attend pretty much every month.


After walking around Art Hop for only about an hour my knee was in a lot of pain and I wanted to sit down and drown my sorrows in a cold beer and greasy food. So that is what I did.


At this point I really did not think that I would get up the next morning and attempt to run, but by the time I got home and began to get ready for bed a little seed of guilt crept in. I knew that I would feel very guilty if I at least did not get up and attempt to run. So I made my overnight oats, set out my running gear, and set my alarm. When it went off at 5:30am I got up and tested out the knee. Yep. Still a little achy. I stretched, ate, and strapped on a knee brace before I headed out to meet my run group.

While I had all the intention in the world to attempt 10 miles, my run coach took one look at my brace and ordered me back to bed. She advised I take another day or two off and then attempt an easy 5 miles to see how I feel. Not exactly what I wanted to hear. I feel so far behind already, how am I ever going to get back to where I was if I don’t run? But I knew she was right. If my knee did not heal, I would never even make it to the finish line.

 So I did what any smart runner would do. I drove home,  I thought about what she said and then I downed a small glass of water and attempted to run anyway.

Oh wait, that is not smart? I thought that with glasses like these I was for sure going to make a smart decision.


Let’s just say I made it four miles. Four. Not ten. Four. Ok, smart running coach, I hear ya. I will rest the dang knee. I really, REALLY want to make it to that start line next month.

After lying low for the rest of Saturday and yesterday, my knee is already feeling much better. Before I attempt another long run I am going to purchase some new running shoes. I know that I will need to break them in first, but my current shoes are way past their shelf life and I think that new shoes will help my cause. I plan to try a slow couple of miles this afternoon to see how the old knee holds up.

I know that I am sounding whiny and dramatic, but I am just feeling a little bummed and my running morale has pretty much been shot. I just feel as though I am starting back at square one and 13.1 miles seems so far away.

Has anyone else ever felt defeated in their training? How did you get past your training rut?

Knee Pain

I am having a little issue with my left knee. It has been bothering me for the past week and it is really starting to put a damper on my training. Symptoms include a dull ache, constant popping, and it gets stiff if I sit too long. The pain was really bad after an hour-long hike with my husband (gosh, I love the sound of that!) on Sunday. Being rather new to the whole sport of running, I would love any advice on how to remedy this pain quickly!


The picture above shows exactly where my issue lies. After doing some research and talking to a few fellow runners, I am beginning to think that I have a slight case of ‘runners knee’. Ughhh. Well., ok. I can deal with this. It’s not going to hold me down!

First thing first. Take it easy. I have run twice since my knee has started acting up. A slow and easy 3 mile run, and last night a faster 2 mile run. I have also taken some pain reliever and have been stretching TONS. Today it is feeling much better than it has been and I am hoping that another week of taking it easy and stretching plenty might do the trick. Any other suggestions?

I am also going to rock one of these bad boys:


When I was having issues my last training cycle, this knee band helped a lot.

My question now is that I have a 12 mile run on the schedule for tomorrow. I feel that I am already falling behind on my training, so I really need to get these miles in. But another part of me is wondering that if I attempt 12 miles right now, it might make my knee worse. My half marathon is October 16th. What do you think I should do? Run a slow and steady 12 miles? Cut back on my mileage a bit? I am just not sure.

Have you ever had this issue? What did you do?