Monday, March 17, 2014

Crossroads Training: Week Ten

After battling a terrible cold complete with fever and cough and taking seven days off, I eased my way back into training this week. Other than a few sniffles (some of which were probably brought on by my allergy shot), I felt like I was over my illness.

I did cut back some on the workouts - taking a whole week off to lay on the couch definitely led to some tightness. I also was able to head outside for some runs for the first time in months, and the change in running surface worked a lot of different stabilizer muscles and brought on some extra soreness. But running in the warm sun (hey, 40 degrees feels steamy after this awful winter!) was worth all the pain.

Funny Cry For Help Ecard: The only thing I exercise is my right to be out of shape.
I admit, I realized it was worse than I thought when a coworker today asked me, "Did you go running? You're walking REALLY funny."
Monday - 5 mi easy
This was my first run outside in more than a month (and my first elective run outside in more than two) (and my first run outside where I could maintain a running motion in more than three). It felt amazing beyond belief to feel the sun and listen to the birds while I ran. My legs felt sluggish, but my pace was actually a bit faster than it had been indoors.

Tuesday - NROLFW Stage Four Workout 1A
This workout was nice and familiar, since Stage Four repeats Stage Two, with some modifications. I could really feel the lack of use in my muscles during this workout, but I just focused on intensity. I was still able to go up in weight on some exercises, which was great proof to myself that I am getting stronger.

Wednesday - 3x1600, 800s jogs (+WU/CD)
The weather turned nasty again on Wednesday, so I opted to head back to the indoor track to focus on hitting my splits, rather than how windburned my face was getting. I was admittedly pretty nervous for how the mile repeats were going to go, considering how I felt the previous two days and the amount of soreness that had built up. I was incredibly achy and tight and just off during my warm-up, but that somehow went away the instant I sped up. I haven't felt that smooth and fluid in a long time. Despite my fears, I came in under my goal for all three repeats. (But before you hurt your hands clapping for me, you should know my goal pace was 8:46 min/mile.)

Thursday - rest
My right IT band and quad were incredibly angry at me for being indecisive about which running surface I wanted to use. All my long runs on the track put my right leg on the banked part, so it's still adjusting to extending as far as my left leg. I recovered by sitting on the couch some more and watching basketball.

Funny Cry for Help Ecard: When I die, I hope I'll be doing nothing, so people could say that at least I died doing what I love.
Friday - 4 mi easy
I had been planning to lift as planned, but I decided to make up my missed run from the day before and take advantage of another nice weather day. My legs felt sluggish, and my IT band absolutely ached, which made me pretty nervous for my long run the next day.

Saturday - 16 mi long
I tried to soothe myself for this long run by reminding myself it is favorite long run distance. It was quite cold when I headed it out, but it warmed up enough later that I was able to remove my hat and gloves, and I even got a little overheated in my heavy jacket. I ran the first three miles with a friend who was visiting (with an obligatory stop at the bizarre Duck Hunters' Memorial), and those miles flew by. 

After we split up, I was so content to listen to the sounds of nature I actually made it to mile ten without putting on my iPod. (Side note: I know some runners get really worked up about no iPods, but I didn't realize how much I used it just to prevent noise fatigue from cars until I got to run somewhere much quieter.)

The last four miles got a little too death-marchy for my comfort level at this stage in the game, but I tried to reassure myself that it was just the time off and the change in running surface. My splits did get generally faster as I went on, so I might just need to go a little slower to feel more comfortable.

Sunday - rest
I truly was planning to swim, but my quads were sharply painful. I honestly didn't think I would be able to generate enough power with my kick to comfortably swim the workout I had scheduled. Plus, Michael was visiting, so I enjoyed a lazy morning instead.

Run: 31 mi, 5:47
Lift: 38:00
Total Time: 6:25

This was a pretty easy week, at least time-wise. I thought I would be able to dive right back into training, but I'm glad I listened to my body and took it a little slower. I have enough time before Crossroads that I doubt a week off will affect anything. (I had to take the week before Sleeping Bear off due to illness, and I still finished relatively okay.)

The big test will be my 20 miler this Saturday. I'll be back visiting the Eager Feet Parents, so I'm excited to have somewhere fresh to get the miles in. (Plus their house will be available for any Code Red pit stops.) I'm also bumping up my total mileage a bit this week because I was starting to get paranoid. I know it won't make any real difference, but a nice mental boost will be nice.
Funny Encouragement Ecard: You should only play sports that begin with the word 'fantasy.'
T-5 days until this becomes relevant to my life!

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