Let's pick the week apart and see what my brain thought about each workout (in pink italics below):
Easy Run: 6 miles + 6 30 sec sprints uphill, drills downhill
Felt great. Nothing fuels the legs like the first day of a PLAN! I did run 12 miles the day before so the legs were a bit stiff, but whatever, it's day one, no one alters a plan on day one!
Thankfully, on day 2 one CAN alter a plan. I fully intended to get to the gym and lift weights; unfortunately too much drama daughter stuff which left me teary-eyed. Mirror hogging body builders hate puffy-eyed out-of-shape runners using "their" machines. I didn't even do one single PT exercise *sigh*.
Progression Run: 9 miles, last 4 quasi-moderate
Day 3, alteration again. Plan was to do 10 miles, last 5 "moderate". I was happy with the 9 miles and 4 at "somewhat moderate" pace. All it takes to derail a plan is a daughter who's going through a rough period.
30 minute core strength work w/physical therapist
No way to avoid 30 minutes of an ab-killing workout then being the only sole stuck in a locked room with one very masochistic physical therapist. Ouch.
Easy Run: 6 miles + last mile @ 1/2 MP
Note to self: Just because you feel fantastic, do NOT start an "easy" run hard and then make it harder by implementing it into a progression run into a sub-9 minute mile. Never!
25 minutes weight training
Though I know weight training is the absolute quickest way I am going to get stronger, I absolutely hate it. It doesn't even matter that I'm a certified personal trainer, that is irrelevant.
Progression Run: 8 miles, last 10 min moderate (which turned into a death march)
Today's sucky run was brought to me courtesy of Thursday's easy-run-turned-into-some-sort-of-apparent-PR-attempt run. I knew when I woke up and my legs felt like Jello this wasn't going to go so well, so I decided I may as well start it off with a bang and just death march at the end (I'm pretty good at this tactic, lots of experience), that way it actually turns into a successful run :). My Garmin died about mile 3 (who knew you had to update the software on those things to make the battery last more than 20 minutes?), which was a good thing because I didn't want to know my pace those last three miles. The only positive out of this run, aside from the fact I actually COULD run 8 miles after I logging more miles already this week than I have in a year, was that around mile 4, I saw a woman in front of me running and I zeroed in on her as my target, and I did it - I passed her. Stupid, internal competitive ego I have!
Bike: 8 miles (to and from gym)
Car-less due to daughter locking her keys in her car, late for work, and thus took my car (more drama, yay!). Probably not the best choice to go for a margarita after the gym when one has to ride their bike home.
I'm a pretty firm believer that swimming really helps stretch overly-worked running muscles (I do a lot of laps on the kick board). I had no goal to swim an entire mile, but when I got close, I couldn't leave without doing so. I mean, really....isn't there a rule about that somewhere?
If you call it that. I was at the pre-state XC meet from 7am - 3pm where I was on my feet the entire time and running back and forth from the start line to the finish then standing at great lengths between events bringing the runners through. My legs were so achy by the time I finally left.
14.06 miles "easy"
I got some wild hair after reading KC's blog about how she cranked out 17 miles running circles around her 1/2 mile neighborhood block that this is what I was wanted to do. Thankfully, my block is a mile around (or so I miss-thought, it's actually .97...ugh) so the goal was to do 14 laps. I'm a wee-bit fearful of heading out too far from my house, memories of past attempts to run far when the heel flared up and left me limping 6 miles home fill my head and I just need a few confidence building good runs I think. Anyway, I put some water and Cytomax at the end of my driveway and away I went. Lap 1: the "tiny" hill leading up to my house was torture. Long gone are the days when this hill was barely a blimp on the radar screen, now it's a mountain and I could feel it big time in my glutes and hamstrings. 9:41. WTH, 9:41? How come I can't crank out a 9:41 pace when I'm gagging on a lung on the treadmill at a 10:31 pace? Holy crap, I was stunned. I tried to turn the pace down, but lap 2 was 9:33. This is supposed to be a LSD easy run, I haven't hit the 9's on a run in well over a stupid year - this is not where I need this pace to be and it was becoming apparent that old taking-out-too-fast habits do not die easily. The next few laps were in the higher 9s and then a couple in the low 10's, where I wanted them, but by lap 9, my glutes and hamstrings were killing me from the
Week 1 Totals:
Run: 43.06 miles
Bike: 8 miles
Summary: Overall it was a great first week. My heel held up well and my legs, though fatigued by the end of the week, did their job. I guess what's messing with me most is the pathetically slow pace. But when your foot hurts and you take many months off from running, you get a lot slower. This is a fact. When you spend most of that time swimming and biking, your running doesn't get any faster - no matter how studly you got from many bike falls earlier in the spring. I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not. Running pain-free, doubling-over with side stitches from a 10:30 minute mile -- beats being laid up with excruciating heel pain. I love it!! But if I could run now as fast as I could have two years ago, I'd love it a tiny bit more.
I have no idea how long - or even if - I can get my speed back; I see minuscule improvements but I question sometimes if I lost the best part of my racing season with a two-year hiatus. I'm 48, is this that magical place in running where getting faster diminishes? Though I have some ideas, I'm not exactly sure; but I'm ready to take this little adventure on the road to find out....what good is an adventure if you're already certain of the outcome anyway?
Let's bring on week 2, I. Am. Ready!!
I didn't exactly take any pictures to share, who wants to see a picture of Surburbia USA as I do 9 laps around my block?!? But, I did download a new song to my iPod, and I listened to it at least a dozen times during those 9 laps. Do you play a new song you like repeatedly until you grow sick of it like me? Anyway, enjoy...it's a great song, and I love the video!!
Run strong, my friends!