Friday, August 26, 2011

Really USRAHM? Thanks Irene, you're a real pal

First of all - update on the knee...I have a diagnosis of "Left Knee Posteriolateral Capsular Strain"- in layman's terms, I have an overuse strain...way to go me, not...this will keep me out of running shoes for the next week (thank goodness I don't have to run the half this Sunday, but that is the next part of this post).  I will be on an RX of some RICE, mixed with a little anti-inflamatory meds, and some lighter cross-training.

Lesson in un-training for sure, but really happy I realized this halfway into my training, rather than 2 weeks from the race.  Granted, October 16th definitely seems like it is right around the corner, but I have a full 7 weeks of quality training to put in to be in tip-top, healthy shape.  Cross-training and rest is quality training, and that is how I am going to look at week #9 of the plan...can't slip into negative mindset this late in the game...THINGS COULD BE WORSE, and I am really thankful/grateful/happy they aren't!

That being said, I just want to share with you my Dr.'s reaction to my marathon training plan, which if you might remember, I establish on a week by week basis, but with input from various other respected marathon plans, as well as intuition on how my body is feeling after the previous week's workouts.  I don't know if I was still on a high from finishing my 18-miler, placing in my AG, or excited for my double-header weddings, but I wasn't sore going into Thursday's 20, and really felt like I was doing good.  My Dr. told me that my plan was all wrong, and that I should be taking a "fall back" week in between all of my long runs, not just the 20-milers like a lot of the plans I looked at listed (this weekend was going to be a fallback weekend anyways).  He said my knees (which have been through a bit of trauma in their short life) couldn't take all of the stress I was putting on them in such a short period, which caused the strain.  He also said I shouldn't need to do anything over 20 in my training (which I have a 22 on the plan coming up), and to "trust him" - I guess I will have to trust him...he is a renowned orthopedic surgeon, he is a pretty good cyclist and he is a marathoner himself...

He also told me that he doesn't want me running more than 5 days a week, to which I replied (big smile on my face because I thought this was good) "That's fine with me, I only run 4 days anyways!" Wrong...he said 5-days would be better, and that they should be broken down as so:
  • 3 days of moderate runs (6-8 miles)
  • 1 long run
  • 1 easy recovery jog (3 miles)
What do you guys think? I am hearing a lot about the "Run Less, Run Faster" book, but my Dr. is telling me to run more...just push the long runs me they are so different, but both have proven successes.

Anyways, onto my race this weekend that, thanks to Hurricane Irene, was cancelled today.  The good part is that I would have been strongly disobeying Dr.'s orders if I ran this (I am not supposed to run until at least next Friday), the bad news bears of this all? The USRAHM, the series running this half marathon (which was supposed to be in Springfield, MA, but due to the tornado damage from back in June, they moved it to Holyoke, MA), doesn't offer refunds if the race is cancelled "Due to an act of God", but they do offer 20% off your next race entry into any one of their series' races or off of next year's Springfield Half....20%?! Really USRAHM? I am surely NOT going to be signing up for any of their races anytime soon.
Their consolation prize, besides 20%, is that you can still pick up your finisher's medal!  WTF?! Why would I want my finisher's medal if I didn't run, therefore did not finish the race?  Also, the race was $60 a person, and since my mom and I were planning on running this, that is $120 down the tubes, plus another $30 because my little sister signed up for the 5k ($30 for a 5k?!) This is NOT in an exotic location, it is NOT a famous race...doesn't that sound a little steep to begin with?

I am really curious on this topic as well, where do you stand? Should you be able to at least gain free entry into next year's race at the same venue? Is 20% generous, or are they jipping us?

All my east are you preparing for the storm?! Were any of your races cancelled?

Where do you stand on the policy of no refunds, in the case of cancellation?

Are you a run less, faster type of runner or a run more, less strenuous type of trainer?


  1. ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! i have been missing wayyyyy too much in your life!!! i am so sorry to hear about your knee!!!! definitely take care of yourself girl. you have put in some GREAT training and still have plenty of time before race day so NO worries. a good knee is much more important at this point. i actually wonder if something similar was going on with my knee last week? it was definitely bugging me. i took the week off just to make sure and am going to run a half tomorrow "for fun" so I am hoping for the best!!

    that race sounds crazzzzzyyyy. if i just lost my money i would be unbelievably angry! give me a refund over a medal for a race i did not run any day.

    regarding training...your doctor's suggestion sounds interesting. i really like running just 4 days per week with 1 cross training day but i am definitely not a medical professional.

    take care of yourself friend!!! thinking of you!

  2. i do think it stinks to not get your money back, but i think that a lot of it has to do with money being spent on things like permits, water station supplies, and other things that have already been purchased. although i do think that it should be more than a 20% refund - i think more like 50% would be fair.

    regarding the knee - i've already told you what i think - it stinks, but it is definitely not the worst thing in the world to be pulling back a bit. and i agree that you should have a few weeks of increasing mileage followed by a kick back week.

    listen to your body, and take as much rest as you need - you have plenty of time for that now. you don't want to get yourself into a situation where it's 3 week from race day and you're still in pain.


  3. Ok firstly, that's funny that your doctor is trying to make your own marathon training plan for you. If you got the info from credible sources to begin with, then I'd go with what you had planned. He seems more old school. Does he not think you should be doing speed work?

    Everyone does something different. So I'd take his advice with a grain of salt.

    Yeah that hurricane is not going to be cool. I'm working tonight until 7am tomorrow and then I'm off the rest of the weekend. I foresee lots of sleep, movies, nestling under the down blanket.

  4. I always read that you should back up a bit every few weeks when training so I think that is in line with what your doc has told you.

    A complete refund is likely out of the question due to moneys that they have had to spend already, but I do think 50% is likely more in line than 20%.

  5. I think the race deal is pretty harsh.They should offer way more than they did--free entry next year, or what Elle said--at LEAST 50%!

    I don't know about the doctor's running advice. I think the RLRF plan is tough, but designed to keep you off your feet more, which should be a good thing. I think if you have a plan already you should just stick to it. But I'm no doctor!

  6. I think the race deal is pretty lame too! I always find myself registering for things at the very last minute... probably for reasons like that. So annoying!

    Good luck sorting out your training plan with all of this new advice!!

  7. I heard they was gonna maybe give a bigger discount. I know one of the homeboys that works for the company.

  8. the plan i'm doing for my fist half had me running 3 days a week (2 xtrain) for the first 8 weeks or so, now i've moved into 4x a week (1 xtrain). i really like it more than the 5 day a week plans i've done before. i want to look forward to running and not get burnt out.

  9. I'm sorry about the knee! Do you ever pool run? It's been my saving grace during periods of injury - you can replicate all of your workouts, even the speed work!

    Also, re: training, I'm with you on the week-to-week plan based on listening to your body. I go in with the initial structure, run 4 days (intervals, easy, tempo, long - I add a 5th easy day in marathon training), lift 2 days, pool run 1-2 days, intermittent bike/swim. How long for each will depend on how I feel, what my coach says, etc. I've found that this formula works for me, but not for everyone, which is only to say that what your doc says may or may not work for you. Step back weeks are definitely good but how often and where they're placed is totally individual too. In other words, find what works for you and stick with it :)

  10. I'm from one of the smaller towns that was severely damaged by the tornadoes and I registered for the 5K race. I've sent an email to Active with my next steps the Springfield's Republican paper and other outlets. Everyone I've spoken to is shocked about the race being cancelled with no refunds or rescheduling. I'm taking whatever steps necessary to right the wrongs and get my money back :/ It was supposed to be my first race in 8 years, I was so excited about it only to have been ripped off.


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