I had a really good first 6 weeks of training for the Laurel Highlands 70 miler. At the beginning of January, I was coming off a strong base of 25-35 miles per week from the previous few months and was ready to steadily increase my mileage. And after 6 weeks of training, I was well on my way to reaching my overall goals of averaging about 40-45 miles per week and peaking around 65 miles per week. (Keep in mind I am a somewhat of a "low" mileage ultra runner and by no means is this a prescribed plan for others.)
Week 1: 29 miles, Long Run 11.5 miles
Week 2: 36 miles, LR 14.7 miles
Week 3: 40 miles, LR 13.1 miles
Week 4: 33.5 miles, LR 12.3 miles
Week 5: 43 miles, LR 17.1 miles
Week 6: 37 miles (planned 43) , LR 18 miles
After 5 solid weeks of building, I felt pretty great and even edited my training plan to increase my weekly mileage totals for future weeks. My long runs kept getting longer and I felt stronger each day.
Week 6 was fatiguing and I pushed myself hard though I was tired and sore. But I was definitely looking forward to a "down" week during week 7 because I was traveling to Vermont for a snowboarding trip.
After 2 days of intense snowboarding and a 4 day break from running last week (week 7) I ran 5 miles on Thursday and felt a slight twinge on the outside of my left foot, but nothing that stopped me from running. I attributed it to residual soreness leftover from snowboarding and took a rest day on Friday instead of a planned run.
Then this past Saturday during my long run on thick ice topped with 2 inches of fresh powdery snow, I slipped on a patch of ice and turned my left ankle outward. This happens to me all the time on the trails, but I am used to bouncing back quickly without feeling any effects after my run.
I didn't feel any more pain during the run, but when I woke up yesterday I felt a distinct pain radiating up the outside of my left leg, and connected the dots that it was from the ankle turn. It did not feel better throughout the day, so I took another unplanned rest day.
Week 7: 20 miles, LR 15 miles
Needless to say, I'm feeling kinda down today and I'm not sure where to go from here. I am RICE-ing my leg, and I'm definitely going to take it easy again this week because I am thinking 100% about the long game. Ultimately, I am only at week 8 of 24 of training and still have plenty of time to get ready for the big race. I'd rather get there in one piece than push myself into a worse injury.
So, hopefully this pain goes away during the week and I can get in some easy cross training and/or easy runs. But if not, I will reassess and revise my training plan as necessary.