Week 5 of my Colorado Marathon 2011 training (week 6 of the Pfitzinger/Douglas 18 week 55-70 mi/wk plan) was supposed to be a "recovery week" in which mileage and training intensity was reduced from the previous couple of weeks. It started out badly, however, with a cold snap and some slippery conditions on the first run of the which, which I did Monday, because the temperatures were supposed to be coldest on Tuesday. Since it was a recovery week, I was going to do a recovery run on Monday, bag the Tuesday general aerobic miles, move the 10 X 100 m strides scheduled that day to the next recovery run, and just make sure to hit the two medium-long runs for the week, and do recovery runs on the in-between days.
Unfortunately for me, the four miles recovery run on Monday included the onset of some pain in my lower calf and achilles of my left leg. Tuesday was off because of the weather, and I babied the leg. Wednesday, I went out planning for a 7-9 miles recovery run, but stopped at 4 miles with the same ache. I babied it again, and by thursday I felt good again, so I headed out for a 14 mile medium long run. I accomplished the run without any problems with my achilles, which I thought was a good sign, and then I was even able to run a 5 mile recovery effort on Friday. A couple hours after that, the achilles started to hurt again, and before I knew it, I was bagging the second medium long run, which I was moving to Saturday, to try and push my schedule up a day, so my wife and I could do more things together on Sundays.
So, I didn't run the rest of the weekend, and finished the week with just 27 of the 55 miles on the schedule, concerned about a potential chronic tendinitis problem with my achilles.
Not a very good week. Looking back, I think the problem started with the slipper footing on the Monday recovery run, during which I tried out a different types of traction device on my shoes. It was heavier than Yak Trax, and not as stable, and footing was still a bit uncertain. So, I think it's probable that I tweaked my achilles that day, although this could just be cumulative effects. Who know, right?
That leads me into week 6, and I'll review what happens in week 6 in another update post (if anything happens).