In spite of being sick for a week with a stomach virus - in fact, probably the sickest I've ever been - I feel like I have all of my strength back. And actually, the unintentional weight loss did me some good. I ended up losing about 10 pounds, and got down to about 170, I've gained about 4 of them back, but have really tried to keep them off. I feel like I run my best and fastest when I'm at about 172, so we'll see if I can manage to keep it here.
I've started adding a little more leg strengthening, and will begin full bi-weekly leg routines this week. I've also changed up my core routine a little by adding in TRX Strap workouts, as well as hanging crunches from my pull up bar. Adding a little, and mixing up the core routine has really seemed to help as well.
The only soreness I've had is in my right knee after running downhill on the stupid treadmill for three straight days this past week. I didn't do all of the workouts at a decline, but a lot of them, in order to prepare for the Phoenix elevation which is mostly downhill. Although I'm blaming the treadmill, most of the soreness was probably simply from hamstring tightness. When I spend adequate time stretching and rolling out my hamstrings and hips, the pain subsides a little. And even though I felt it for most of the week, it didn't bother me at all on Saturday's long run. The only other minor pain I've had is on the innermost hamstring muscle. It's called the semimembranosus muscle, and is one-third of the hamstring trio (I think). I'll write a full report on this later, but something I deal with a lot - and something I think I can remedy with a little strengthening and stretching.
As far as the long runs go, I would say they're going okay, but not great. I'm still struggling with the mileage a little, but I think it's mostly because it's winter. To run my best marathon, I have to be able to click off 20 miles without even thinking about it. I'm not there at that distance yet, but I feel like I'm getting stronger. I've ran an 18, two 20's, and a 22 this week so far. And have two 18's, two 20's, and another 22 before the race left to do. So hopefully by then, I'll have more endurance built up, and on race day, I'll be able to focus on the pace of the race, and not think so much about the distance.
If you read my blog consistently, you know I'm never really satisfied with my performance. (It's a HUGE personality flaw of mine) But all things considered, I think I'm probably about where I need to be for this marathon. I'd really like a Half-Marathon race before race day, but there aren't any close, so I'll just keep grinding away. But right now, I think I'm okay! Hope your training's going well too!
... be great today!