CIM Week Eight–Stepback Setback

So this recap will hopefully explain this week’s crazy, and also be a good preface for the race report. It wasn’t (completely) mindfuck Sarah playing games, but I didn’t want to be the runner that calls wolf Race Week Injury if I wasn’t sure what exactly was wrong.

So, on we go to the worst, most frustrating, cry-in-the-shower week of CIM training yet!

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CIM Training – Week #8

Su – Rest / light bodyweight strength training, 20min walk. Soreness in right lower leg * See fucking appendix *

M – 3 easy (5-6 scheduled) – Hoped a shakeout run would loosen up the sore leg. Not so much. Cut it short in the hopes of not blowing something up over junk miles. *

T – 2mi Track (6 scheduled) – Ran two sets of 200run/200jog/400run with K and bagged it. *

W – maybe 1 mi (who cares what was scheduled at this point) – “test” run at 9000ft elevation. If collapsing O2 depleted lungs wasn’t enough to distract from the pain, it’s time to do something serious about it. Officially shut down. The world is ending.

photo 4


Last week was peak week – 45mi which for most may not seem like a lot, but my body gets pretty pissed about big-volume running. To cap it off, of those 45, 35 were “hard” miles. Tuesday’s 7miles of 800 repeats off the track (my my gait does NOT agree w the 4mm on regular pavement) and Thursday’s hard hill run had two really steep, mile long declines that I ran hard down. Saturday’s 21 miler was fine until about 18 when I felt some “pulling” on my shin, but chalked it up to normal ‘YOU’VE BEEN RUNNING FOR 3 HOURS’ pain. Immediately after stopping the muscle on outside of my shin (tibialis anterior) seized, but again, normal LR stuff, right? Driving to SR’s was when I realized something was probably wrong. Switching from gas pedal to brake was EXCRUCIATING.

End story (per at home Dr Brian) : tibialis anterior overuse injury, slight strain. RICE like a motherfucker.


photo 5

Th – Rest. Lots of ice, compression, e-stim therapy, Tiger Tailing (calf, not directly on injured area)

F – More rest. 30min “yoga for runners”. Mmmm downward dog…

Sa – 3mi Test Run. I was mentally prepared to put myself on the shelf if needed. No matter how badly I wanted to race Long Beach, I had to remember that CIM is 50x more important. Pushing through a borderline injury now and completely setting myself back the next 8 weeks would be way stupid.

Luckily, despite holding my breath the whole time waiting for the pain ball to drop, I felt alright. Awkward, fat, and uncoordinated, but (mostly) pain-free. Would it hold out for 13.1 the next day, though?

= 9 miles. Lowest marathon weekly mileage in history.

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And so there’s your back story. It was a bad bad place in my head this week – not knowing what exactly was wrong, what it meant for LB, what it could mean for CIM, if it was pain to run through or that would snowball into something worse, and how to get back to 100% ASAP. Adding a physical component to my mental instability is terrifying.

Anyone that’s gone through an injury knows the feeling – all the unknowns, “what ifs”, and “now whats”. Life (and running) would be SO MUCH EASIER if we could plug ourselves into one of those diagnostics computers like they do with cars to see what’s wrong. And of course then there’d be an easy, spelled-out plan for fixing it. Preferably that you could just buy off the shelf and pay someone to do for you.

It was unfortunate to deal with this right when my training was peaking – I was feeling strong, fast, and was finally gaining some ground in my mental game. I had the confident excitement that gets you ready to tackle big goals instead of shying away from them, and was ready to put it all on the line at Long Beach.

(tiny violin, do I hear you?)

BUT, I have to remember that things definitely could have been worse. Not that there’s an ideal time to have a setback, but I’m grateful it happened now instead of closer to Ragnar or CIM. And that it is/was relatively minimal.

I’m on the mend and will be back in no time, ready to finish the second half of the cycle strong.

LB recap coming soon. Spoiler : I met my A and B goals of not DNS or DNF’ing.

Sarah OUaL


19 thoughts on “CIM Week Eight–Stepback Setback

  1. I have a crappy tibialis anterior on my left side. It came out of nowhere and I also had trouble making it a mile after some higher mileage weeks. Luckily it responds well to treatment, which you are hinting you found out at your race today, so I am sure your marathon training will be fine.


  2. Ugh, sorry to hear about your leg. You are smart and stronger than you think though. Make some smart (but tough!) decisions now, and hopefully you’ll be on the path to pain-free miles soon :)


  3. Ugh, injuries are so tough and frustrating! I’m glad that you are feeling stronger now. I definitely freak out if I can’t do my runs as planned and have an impromptu low-mileage week. But you have proved that usually this is all in our head and it isn’t actually the end of the world like we sometimes think! Hope you had a great race yesterday!


  4. Feeling a little psycho when your body isn’t cooperating is totally understandable. I’m just coming off a 7 wk break due to a stress fracture that put me out of the NY marathon. I was suicidal/homicidal and I’m amazed I’m still married. Every time I see someone running, I get a little teary. So your emotions are completely valid and you are not alone. Where the hell is a legit support group when you really need one?


  5. yes, plugging my body into some machine to tell me what exactly is wrong and how to fix it would be perfect! i hear ya on the pain and injury and coming back. I am TERRIFIED of hurting myself more and putting further behind in my running plans. keeping the faith and trusting the PT. seems like you have the right plan. and, i know you ran a pretty bad ass race :)


  6. So sorry that you are dealing with this, but sounds like you are on the mend, yay! Having dealt with injuries on and off for years, I know how you are feeling. Hang in there, sound like you are being smart about recovering from this.


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  8. I am slowly trying to get out from a backlog of blog reading so I am really behind.

    Anyway, so, for me the anterior tibialis what is causing me my shin headaches/problems. It’s something I only started feeling this summer. KT tape seems to work alright (I do the y-strip application). Rolling the tibialis muscle with the stick seems to help. But I am constantly icing the crap out it. And I still hold to my belief that the low heel-drop shoes are a contributing factor to it. Tight/overworked calf (ahem, low heel drop shoes), causing the tibialis anterior to go into overdrive to compensate.


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