As my marathon training progresses, my schedule calls for longer mid-week runs; when I first started training I just needed to do 3 miles on Tues/Weds/Thurs, then a few weeks later that progressed to 3/4/3, then a little longer, and so on. This week my schedule calls for 3/7/4. Normally I like to tackle the longest distance on Tuesday, to get it out of the way, which was my plan for this morning – nice early wake-up call and I’d be off to the Lakefront trail.
But an unwelcome visitor came to see me overnight – my neck pain! I’m thinking I tweaked something during my interval class on Sunday, probably doing one of the core exercises. I thought I felt something on Monday but put it out of my head, but sure enough I woke up in the middle of the night and it hurt. Nothing like when I first injured myself – more of a dull pain than anything acute – but it gave me pause. I decided to sleep in just a bit and get my 3-miles over with instead, and save the 7 miles for tomorrow.
Except that when I got outside – on yet another supremely gorgeous summer morning – I realized I had just enough time to get in my 4 miles, assuming I kept up a good pace. I couldn’t even feel my neck pain – I just started running and latched onto a very manageable but maintainable pace (my first mile was actually my slowest, which never happens! and my 2nd and 4th mile were exactly the same) and just kept going. No walking breaks, just running. And afterwards I felt so awesome – it was the right call, to give my body a bit of a break but still get out there and aim high.
I did some foam rolling tonight after I got home from work so hopefully that’ll keep me limber, and I will take some regular Tylenol before I go to bed, to off-set any early morning neck pain. As long as my neck doesn’t bother me when I’m running, I’ll stick to my schedule – I will, however, lay off the core stuff that follows my strength class on Thursday (we have a 45-minute class with an extra 15 devoted to abs; at that point I’ll just go home). Hopefully staying away from exercises that strain my neck will help give it a break and get me back to my usual self.
That’s all for this evening!