March 10, 2022

Return to Running Recap : Week 41

This has been quite the week as far as running goes. I almost thought that I wasn't going to be able to continue my training! Last Thursday after my run, I was putting clothes away and I knelt down on the floor in my closet for a minute. When I stood up, I didn't hear the usual crackling noises from my knee (it gives me the heebie jeebies every time I hear it); instead, I heard a loud pop. It was followed by terrible pain in my knee all day. I couldn't straighten my leg and when I walked, it felt like something was popping.

I iced it, took ibuprofen, and rested--I skipped Friday's run so that I could rest my knee Friday and Saturday and see if it was better to run on Sunday. When I woke up Saturday, it was still really painful and I looked up some stretches I could do to hopefully help it.

And here is the sure-tell of how old I am--while I was doing the stretches for my knee, I threw out my back! It would have been hilarious if I wasn't in so much pain. It had never happened to me before. "Throwing out" one's back just means the muscles in the lower back have been strained. It sounds so simple, but holy cow, it is SO painful and debilitating. I couldn't bend over at all on Saturday. 

I was absolutely sure that I wasn't going to be able to run at all, and I was really disappointed because I've been working on getting back to running for 41 weeks now. I had no choice but to rest all day Saturday--I couldn't move!--and I hoped the pain would be better on Sunday. The back pain made me forget about my knee, though! 😂

On Sunday, my back was still very stiff and painful, but nothing like it had been on Saturday. As long as I didn't twist at the waist or bend over, it felt okay. My knee felt back to normal, thankfully, so I decided to try to run. I had a great outdoor run last Thursday, but I went back to the treadmill on Sunday just in case I had to stop.

This is already long enough, but I'll post a quick summary of the three runs that I did this week...

Sunday (Long Run - Run 3.5 miles)

My Sunday run is starting to increase to distances I haven't run in a long time. I was a little nervous about this run because of my knee and my back, but I figured I would stop if it started feeling bad. Instead of doing the usual 5.0 mph, I ran three miles at 5.2 mph and then the last half-mile I increased to 5.5 mph. I just wanted to get it done! Thankfully, I had no issues with my back or knee during the run. Bending over to take off my running tights is another story, haha.

Summary: 3.5 miles in 39:45 (average pace of 11:22/mi). Average heart rate: 152 bpm.

Tuesday (Tempo Run)

This tempo run was 10 minutes easy, 10 minutes at tempo pace (slightly hard), and 10 minutes easy. I wasn't sure what speed to run for the tempo portion; last time, I ran at 5.5 mph. That felt like it wouldn't be hard enough to make any progress, so I decided to run at 5.0 for the easy portions and 6.0 for the tempo. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to do 6.0 for 10 minutes, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to try and I could always lower the speed if needed.

I was pretty proud of myself that I actually did it! A mile in 10 minutes. I can't remember the last time I did that. 

Summary: 2.69 miles in 30 minutes (average pace of 11:09/mi). Average heart rate: 154 bpm.

Thursday (Easy Run - Run 2.5 miles)

This was today's run. I was feeling really good this morning. My back still hurts to bend over, but it's much better than it was earlier in the week. I had a busy day today so I wanted to get this done quickly. I haven't been following my (usually strict) rule of keeping my easy runs at a low heart rate. I just don't want to overthink this training--I want to enjoy following a schedule that leads to a race at the end, leaving out thinking about my heart rate. I will get back to heart rate training after the race, but for now, I just want to run without overthinking.

So, I decided to run at 5.5 mph on the treadmill to shave a little time off the total. After a few minutes, though, I slowed it to 5.2 so it would feel more comfortable. I felt strong--really good. For the last quarter mile, I bumped the speed back up to 5.5. 

Summary: 2.5 miles in 28:23 (average pace of 11:21). Average heart rate: 147 bpm.

I'm actually pretty surprised that my heart rate on Thursday was as low as it was, considering Sunday's run was the same average pace and my heart rate was 152. I felt calmer today, which definitely helped.

Overall, it was a rocky start to the week, but the rest went smoothly. It's hard to believe I'm a little over halfway done with the training plan for the race! I haven't done a race in SO long; I'm really looking forward to it. The relay is the perfect race to get back into the game.


  1. Katie, I am so sorry to hear that you hurt your back. However, the way you worded it on the blog about the cause just made me laugh out loud. I really hope you feel better. Also there is a ton of free yoga on the internet. It might help you and complement your running. Check out Yoga with Kassandra. She's awesome and her yin yoga is super helpful for runners and cyclists without being over the top "granola" at all. She offers excellent stretching moves in a super supportive but gentle way. Feel better!

  2. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the chick pea soup recipes a few days ago. I made it last night and ate 3 bowls - it was so good. A big perk was how easy it was to make and simple ingredients. I'm not vegetarian but don't love meat and with the price of meat being so high lately I'll definitely be keeping this soup in our dinner rotation!

  3. OMG! Welcome to my life! So glad your knee is better. You didn't ask, but my go to for "my back went out" are Egoscue e-cises, especially "static back press." Also "gravity drop" Egoscue e-cise is good for everything. They are on youtube. Keep up the great work!

  4. I love reading about your race training and can't wait to see the pictures of the actual race. Can you let us know if Jerry's going to do it? I thought about running outside, but here in NE Iowa, I think we have record lows. This morning it's about 2 degrees and it's supposed to get up to 26 for a high. Lots of people came to town for the annual St Patty's day parade. Hope they brought their long Johns!


Feel free to leave a comment! I had to turn on comment moderation due to a ton of spam comments, but I will approve your comment ASAP.

Featured Posts

Blog Archive