My second full week on the Pfitzinger & Douglas 18 week 55-70 mile/week training plan (actually the third week of the plan, since I started on the second week), went fairly well, although at first it was a little touch and go. Touch and go between this week there were three Medium Long Runs (MLR), two of which were back-to-back early in the week (Tuesday, Wednesay), and then a 4 mile Tempo run (Friday), and a 15 mile MLR again on Sunday.
Monday's rest day was good, since the end of the previous week had been a 16 mile run with 8 miles at Marathon Race Pace. I ran them around 7:30, which is in the neighborhood of my predicted marathon pace (we'll see), so I was a little fatigued and a touch sore when the first MLR came due. Fortunately, it was only 11 miles. I know, I know... "ONLY" 11 miles... Well, that used to be a long run for me. It's still long, actually, but it's not killer long. I got through that run all right, despite the fatigue and slight soreness, then felt a little better for the second MLR the next day, which was 13 miles.
The 5 mile recovery on Thursday went easy and I felt good afterward, but I was still dreading the tempo run on Friday - and I actually like tempo runs! Anyway, I managed to get through that, hitting my tempo miles at around a 6:50 pace, but had some pain in my right knee related to some ITB issues during the remainder of the run. I have felt the ITBS starting up there for a couple of days, but I've been mostly able to keep at bay for the last week or so by keeping it warm while running and focusing on good running form (which works for me). Following that Saturday's 5 mile recovery was trouble-free, and I felt pretty good on Sunday's MLR, so I kind of went for it.
You see, on Pfitzinger & Douglas plans, MLR's are useful for training on more... interesting terrain. So, I set up a route where I would have the option during mile 7 to either climb 600 ft or so in a mile, or just run some rolling hills for a couple of miles. I chose the big hill, and on the way down from the climb I started having a little bit of pain in at the top inside outer edge of my right knee cap... So, I finished the downhill at a super slow jog, and at the bottom the pain was basically gone, so I just finish the rest of the run as a progressive, that would take me from mid-8 minute pace down to 7:20 pace in the last 6 miles.
It all worked out well, but I'm left this week with some lingering pain when I run, at the top of my right knee cap, toward the inside. I've decided it's where the medial quadriceps attaches to the patella, so I either have a low-grade strain or some irritation at the attachment point. Not sure. In any case, it's more an ache than an outright pain, and if I run easy it's under control, so I've just taken my runs easier this week. It's gradually gotten better as the week progressed, which is good, but if I have to I'll definitely consider taking an extra recovery day after my Long run on Sunday, or making some other adjustments in the schedule to accomodate a little more healing time.
As I write this, I'm at actually at the end of week three, which I'll report on in a separate post, and things are all right for now. Body is adjusting one step at a time to a fairly ambitious training schedule.