What now seems like decades ago, I registered for the Big Daddy of all runDisney races – the Goofy. For reasons that now seem to elude me, it seemed like a good idea – way back in March – to run 13.1 miles on Saturday and 26.2 miles on Sunday. This despite the fact that January’s marathon was hardly a triumph. I stumbled across the finish line in an inglorious sub-6 hour time. At the time I remember thinking that I should probably have a stronger marathon finish before “advancing” to the Goofy. And yet I couldn’t resist the challenge of the Goofy when it came time to register.
In order to better prepare myself for this race (races?), I signed myself up for Jeff Galloway e-coaching. What I liked about Galloway training is his run-walk-run method and the fact that you only run 3 days per week (or 4 days on the Goofy training weekends). This worked well with my schedule. Galloway had me doing long runs every other weekend (so 10 miles one weekend then 4 miles then next and 12 miles after that) until I reached about the 16 mike distance. Then I started going long every 3rd weekend – 18 miles then 6 miles then 6 miles then 21 miles. For the Gooofy he adds a twist: each long run is preceded by a long walk. The weekend that I did 18 miles on Sunday, I walked 7 miles on Saturday. The idea is to get yourself used to running on tired legs since that’s what happens during the Goofy.
There’s a problem in all this. Even at the beginning of the back to back runs, I could feel the strain at the start of Sunday’s run. Almost every weekend of back to back has resulted in a minor injury, most recently my as-yet undiagnosed foot injury. For the first time this training cycle, I abandoned a long run due to injury. Very discouraging! Most of these injuries have been mild. Muscle soreness which lasts a few days. Calf pain that resolved with aggressive foam roller treatment. And now foot pain. That seems to be improving.
I won’t lie. It worries me. And I have a few thoughts about this:
1. It has been said that Galloway’s extreme focus on the long run with minimal mid-week mileage is a fault in his program. Although I have successfully completed a 21 miler (one day after 8.5 mike, thank you very much!), I don’t have the same total miles as people using other training plans. Perhaps I need more total miles and not just long run miles?
2. My weight. Again. Perhaps that 10-15 lbs that I want to lose won’t just make me faster but will spare me from injury. More weight = More strain on the body. While the weight certainly isn’t melting away, I am more focused on the foods I put into my body and my water consumption.
3. My overall conditioning. Maybe before I sign up for another Goofy I need to find a way to incorporate strength training into my training schedule. With my current work and family responsibilities, it’s hard to have any consistency beyond my 3 weekly runs. Obviously life conditions don’t stay the same over time so this may not always be the way it is.
So what now?
Jeff Galloway has a plan for me as I recover my foot. I was able to walk 30 minutes today without hurting my foot. Thursday I will walk 30 minutes again, resisting any temptation to run. This weekend I’m doing 4 easy miles instead of 6. And by then I’m thinking I’ll be back on track. I will ask Jeff Galloway if I should consider skipping the back to back in 3 weeks to avoid further injuries. And then I go for the Goofy!