Monday, January 19, 2015

Run Less Run Faster: Week Twelve

I'll cut right to the chase - this week I returned to running, and it was glorious.

I won't pretend like there weren't challenges, but I hit all of my planned miles. It was difficult jumping back into longer runs right away, but any time I began to waver mentally, I reminded myself that I was out running, and I was able to keep going.

I'm still a little unsure about my goal for Myrtle Beach. I did my runs based on a 4:45 finish time, and they were very doable. I'm just a little nervous that I'll blow up trying to hold that pace at a much longer distance, though. But I think my fears are mostly unfounded. I have a few more weeks to whip my butt back into shape. I'm sure after more training and a solid taper, plus race day adrenaline, (hopefully) ideal weather, and a pace group, I will be ready to rock a 4:45.

But most importantly of all, I'm really excited for training, in a way I'm normally not this deep into a training cycle. I'm pumped to go out for each run and work toward my goal. Maybe this layoff was a blessing in disguise because it renewed my motivation. The year is young, and I still have a lot of race miles to run, so this boost might be exactly what I needed.

As for how my injury is doing, the original pain is all healed. Even when my chiropractor went pretty deep on Wednesday, there was no pain. I am having a bit of knee pain and some ankle pain, but I'm attributing this to less than ideal running conditions (indoor track and snow outside), plus my change in shoes. None of it feels like it will blow up into something major (knock on wood), just some minor aches while I re-acclimate to running. We had quite a good thaw this weekend, so hopefully I will have lots of clear outdoor running this week.

Monday, January 12
Hip Flexor Heaven
Flow for the Shoulders

A new team member started work, so we went out for a long lunch with him. Evening swim doesn't start until 7:30 PM, and I didn't feel like heading out again in the cold, so I did my two new favorite yoga videos instead. They left me sore but relaxed.

Tuesday, January 13
6 mi easy (11:07 min/mile) & lift

We had a farewell lunch for a former team member (accountants love to eat, let me tell you), so I hit the gym after work to both run and lift. I really wanted my first run back to be outside, but there was a windchill warning, and it was so cold it hurt. The run probably started feeling tough at about mile four, but overall I was happy with pace and how I felt.

Wednesday, January 14
1000 yd swim

This swim started off with 500 yards of kicking (with rest), followed by 500 yards of continuous swimming. Before I would've been nervous about swimming that far, but after doing 800 and 850 yards without stopping last week, I felt confident and strong.

Thursday, January 15
lunch - lift
PM - 1 mi WU, 8 mi tempo (10:53 min/mile), 1 mi CD

There was still plenty of snow on the ground, but it was comfortable out, so I threw on my Yax Trax and hit the road. No one else was out, and it was so peaceful listening to the crunching snow and my breathing. I kept waiting to hit the wall or explode or to want to lay in the snow until I died of hypothermia, but I felt surprisingly good the whole run. I had to dig a little deeper the last three or so miles, but it still wasn't horrific.

Friday, January 16

Good Lord, I forgot how hungry and sleepy running makes me. I basically ate food like it was my job, and then slept for 10 hours. It was wonderful.

Apparently someone wrote books about my life without telling me.
Saturday, January 17
15 mi long (11:06 min/mile)

My goal pace was 11:08 (MP+15), and it felt easy. I really had to hold back and kept dipping down to MP, which I'll take as a good sign. My legs were pretty beat at the end, but it feels like my cardio capacity is still almost intact, which is the harder thing for me to build. Hopefully with a couple more long runs before race day, my pep will come back.

Sunday, January 18
Slow Flow Yoga

I did a great job following my breath in class and felt much calmer and centered when I was done. I'm getting close to having to make some big decisions (sorry, I promise to stop vague blogging ASAP), and this really helped put me in a good frame of mind.

Run Miles: 31 (hell yeah!)
Swim Miles: .6
Lifting Time: 48 mins
Yoga Time: 2 hrs, 14 mins
Total Time: 9:19 (<<that's more like it!)

I don't have any crazy lunches scheduled this week, so I should be back on my normal routine this week. This will also be the last intense week of training before taper begins. (Though the first week of taper is still pretty hard, especially after my layoff.) I expect it will be challenging, but knowing my fun race is so close is really helping me push through this discomfort. Train hard, race easy, right?

I can't wait to earn that sweet medal!
How are running conditions in your neck of the woods?
How do you re-motivate yourself?

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