Right now, the smallest victories seem bigger than anything I’ve accomplished since I’ve started running again post-high school. After being knocked down in February, I didn’t expect to find something good in any workout until I was back to running near a 1:40 half marathon. If I wasn’t running what my best was, then everything else was irrelevant. But I’ve surprised myself. My gains are much more miniscule but so much more concrete.
Last week Thursday I upped my run time from 2:00 sets to 3:00 sets since I completed a handful without any pain. It wasn’t close to the picture perfect workout. It was actually probably the worst workout I’ve had since I started making my “comeback”. My third set of 3:00 had my ankle twinging after just 1:00 and getting worse if I ran beyond 2:00. I cut my losses just a little and finished my final two sets back to 2:00 run and 3:00 walk. There’s no sense in a setback because my pride or ego got in the way. Been there, done that.
I had three running rest days to get myself back. Friday, a bike ride on my old bike with new parts — almost relieved my mountain bike was stolen because a road bike is so much easier. Saturday, a family party with beers, sun, and the last days with a doggy that’s been a family member for so many years. Sunday, my last class at the gym, the [rainy] Taste of Buffalo, a World Cup party, and a day of allergies because kitties are adorable and I must pet them.
I must have done the resting right because today’s run/walk kicked some serious ass… well, as much ass kicking as you can get when you’re not even running 30 minutes straight.
I tried the 3:00/2:00 again but with a concentrated warm-up before. It was similar to what I had done prior to my run Thursday, but I guess with a little more concentration on what I was doing. World’s Greatest Stretch, then the active hamstring stretch, followed by my static hip flexor stretch, and some ankling drills. I walked 400m before starting my 30 minutes with 200m of it backwards. Normally, I’d feel the tiniest twinge of pain in my ankle (sometimes both) but nothing that stayed with me beyond the workout or started with the next run. I always chalked it up to my tissues being exercised more extensively and potentially my form wasn’t as strong as it should be. Some of that must be right because today there was absolutely no pain. No. Pain. Nopain. Nopainnopainnopain!
I ran/walked 3 miles in about 31 minutes, concentrating on form the entire time. Granted, my first three sets were below 8:00/mile average (yep — it still sucks, but I can’t help the pace when I’m on a track) but even as I was getting tired, I focused on my lean, my arms, my deep breathing, and my activated core. When everything else is in line, what my hips on down are doing seems to come easy.
Next time up, I’ll finish my 3:00/2:00 with some plyometric drills like variations of drop squats and some other plyometric drills. I never want to add those when I’m increasing something in my workouts, especially today with the “failure” of last time. If everything goes as planned and I have another fabulous 3:00/2:00 run on Thursday, I will tack on some plyo. If not after Thursday’s run, then on Saturday before we head out to the Adirondack’s Sunday morning!
My goal before I head out to the Adirondacks is to finally get a post up about my pre-hab and post-hab stretches into writing to schedule out that week. Who says just because I’ll be gone that I can’t be useful?