One of those Rough Patches

Hey there everyone!

I’m happy to report I survived my second 20-miler, although as I posted on Facebook, I pretty much felt like this afterwards-

Marathon... It seemed like a good ideaThere were a lot of factors that made this run kind of suck to be totally honest. I generally try to keep this blog pretty positive, because who wants to read someone’s complaints about an activity they choose to partake in, but I feel like today deserves a 100% honest post. If only for me to read a few months down the road when the memories have faded and I’m contemplating another marathon.

Remember how I said my heel had been bothering me, but that wearing more supportive sneakers seemed to have solved the issue? Yeah, I don’t think that issue has been solved. My heel was absolutely killing me earlier this week, even with the sneakers on. I hadn’t even run heavy mileage! I think this problem is tied into another issue I’ve been having where the front of my ankle up into the base of my shins (on the same foot) feels extremely stiff and tight  at the beginning of my runs, usually bothering me for at least the first 4 miles before loosening up. On my shorter runs, that really sucks because it barely starts to feel normal before I’m finishing.

I ran into just this issue on Friday,  when I tried to do a quick 5-6 miles after work before Saturday’s long run of 20 miles. Despite being windy, it had been a beautiful, sunny day in the 60’s and I was kind of looking forward to running. At least, up until I actually started running. My ankle felt so stiff and I kept stopping to try to stretch out my calves and roll my ankles to loosen them up, but nothing seemed to help. My splits were slow, and I just started to freak out. If running 6 miles is so hard, how the eff am I going to run 20 the next day, I just kept thinking to myself.  I ended up calling it quits at just about 4.5 miles. I went in and started consulting my running book, “Build Your Running Body” to see if I could find anything that might help. One of the tools the author recommends is a wobble board to prevent plantar fasciitis and shin splints.

Wobble BoardThis seemed to make sense, as it’s definitely the ankle flexion that’s giving me issues. On Saturday, I bit the bullet and ordered the Thera-Band wobble board on Amazon since that was the brand recommended in my book. I don’t know if it’ll work, but at this point, I just feel like I need to try something.

After that run, I just poured myself a glass of wine and watched Netflix and tried not to think about the next day’s 20 miles.

I knew there was rain in the forecast all day Saturday, but I was kind of hoping it wouldn’t rain the whole day. And given that there was snow in the forecast for Sunday, I was kind of out of options. Well, the rain started the second I went out at the door at 8:30 and continued steadily for the whole. 20. miles. Of course, it let up in the afternoon. After I had already finished. 

Pissed Off.Mother Nature, you were really pushin’ it this weekend.

I was soaked and slightly hypothermic by the time I got home and immediately hopped in the shower.

Chafing and Marathon Training.Yep, there was chafing on this run.

So all in all, I’m not feeling quite as cheery and optimistic about marathon training as I was a few weeks ago. 😦 My only hope is that things will feel a little better this week since the mileage is dipping back down (before it increases the following week).

I knew there were going to be challenges in the training cycle and I guess I’m just going through one of those tough periods with it right now. I know it will all be worth it in the end. 🙂

Any tips for getting through the tougher periods of marathon training? Has anyone ever trained with a wobble board before? 

As a sidenote, I can’t say wobble board without singing the Wobble song in my head.

5 thoughts on “One of those Rough Patches

  1. Kim K.

    i have never heard of a wobble board before, but now am curious. let us know how it works. yup, that rain on saturday; UGH. honestly nothing is worse than rain when you have to get out there for a long run. at least i was racing on saturday so it didnt suck as if i was just out for a training run. way to hang in there and get that 20 miler done. let’s see; when i hit the dark/tough times with marathon and ironman training, i think i just surrounded myself with those going through the same thing. it’s so common to hit a lull in training, especially with the weather we are having right now in boston. make a new playlist, hit up a different route, have something super fun to do post-run (me, i like pubcrawling!). and just try to think that these runs all have a purpose and you will thank yourself come race day for getting through each training run. btw, do you run with any running clubs in boston?


    • Thank you SO MUCH for the tips! I think a new playlist is in order, or at least a bunch of new songs. 🙂 Of course, a pub crawl is even better than new music! It’s good to know that other runners experience the same things – maybe it’s just social media, but everyone always seems happy all the time through marathon training! I joined the Somerville Road Runners a few months ago, but I haven’t actually been to any club events in a really long time b/c of work travel and then the marathon kind of took over all my running plans. What about you?


      • Kim K.

        i’m not on FB, twitter, instagram, etc for a few reasons, but it does seem like so many people want to post only the totally awesome part of their lives (relationships/training/etc). the running/triathlon blogs i tend to follow (like yours) are of real athletes who experience the highs and the lows; the actual truth when it comes to training and racing! show me a runner who hits all of their training paces and pacing plans, and ill eat my words! i used to be part of QT2 Triathlon Team, then I joined Boston Triathlon Team, and then i “retired” from triathlon due to lower back pain and simply because i hate swimming, and hired a specific running coach who is out of the Boston Running Company. i’m not part of a team right now, and not sure i would join one. im not sure i would like running with someone. i dont mind running when there’s a huge group and you dont feel like you have to run at anyone’s speed, but i am a lone runner i would say. i also like to run when i feel like running and not have to travel to another town to run 🙂 hope you are resting/recovering this week; given the weather, it’s a perfect time to kick back, have a couple glasses of wine, and get a massage!


  2. charissarunning

    I’ve never even heard of the wobble board but I hope it helps!
    I’ve definitely struggled with some low points in marathon training – from my own experience I know that once you’re running all those miles there are some days where 8 min pace will feel like a freaking breeze…then later that week 9 min pace feels god-awful. Just know that’s completely normal and happens to everyone!! Your body might be craving a recovery week now and if your mind is super stressing, I’d give yourself a few rest days this week to refresh everything.


  3. I think I have had some achiness in the same place you described. What worked for me was flipping my foot over (so the tops of my toes were on the ground) and leaning into it. This seemed to help stretch it out a bit! I tried a wobble board once at the gym and never again because I couldn’t stay on it and looked like a fool!


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