Cold weather, sickness and injury

January has been a hazardous month for my training.

We have had several days of near or below zero temps here in Chicago. That combined with the ice and snow-covered sidewalks have kept me from getting outside much. These days I’m logging most of my miles on the treadmill (aka dreadmill).

I also had a little scare with my right knee. I was walking to work one morning and suddenly felt a sting all down the outside of my right leg. It shot from my foot to my hip, with most of the pain centered around the outside of the knee. I walked it off without thinking much about it, but in the following days I realized something was not normal. I ended up taking six days off to let it heal while I focused on strengthening the neglected supporting muscles in my legs.

The knee has been feeling much better lately. It never hurt to begin with, but I could tell it wasn’t normal. If years of running has taught me one thing, it’s that you must listen to your body when it tells you it hurts to prevent further damage.

Most recently, I came down with a cold. I’m on medication to curb it. Thankfully I think the worst of the symptoms have passed.

I’m glad all of these setbacks have happened in the month of January, and not February, as I look ahead to my first week of training for the Fargo Marathon on the 15th.

My 14-week training plan is focused on building mileage by 8% each week with a combination of weekly long runs, high-intensity speed work and slow recovery runs. My last marathon training plan did not include very much slow recovery mileage. My hope is that these easier runs will leave me feeling refreshed as the miles begin to add up.

Lastly, I wanted to share a photo Fargo Marathon posted on their Facebook page last week. This image of the starting line got me really excited to start training.

Fargo Marathon start line
Fargo Marathon starting line posted by Fargo Marathon on Facebook.