It seems the theme of my training so far has been failed attempts at consistency, but this was the week that finally changed! I finally strung two back to back weeks together and finished feeling surprisingly well. To be honest, I don’t know why I still think it’s surprising when I recover quickly. I’ve been running steadily since October and I believe I’ve finally reached the point where I’m not looking at each run as another one testing my injury limits. My previous injuries will always be on my mind, but only because I know they are weak links in my chain that I always need to be mindful of and strengthen.
On Monday, I headed out on sore and tired legs from the prior day’s long run (8ish miles). My calves were on fire, but I always hear how good it is to take a nice recovery run to work out the soreness. Well, I tried it and I just think those people are nuts!
I only covered two miles with some surges in the middle and they absolutely winded me. I don’t know why I thought a 200m sprint was a good idea, but I was running down a perfectly straight, paved path and there were about 15 people waiting for a bus. Of course, I wanted to look like I was fast, but little did they know when I rounded the corner I went from seeing 6:xx on my Garmin to 10:xx.
As per usual, Tuesday was CrossFit Endurance. I’ve gotten away from strengthening my glutes consistently and it showed. The workout was 15 minutes of as many rounds as possible: 7 burpee pull-ups, 10 goblet squats, and a 200m run. After the class, I ended up having a bit of a discussion with the coach about how exactly I can fit all of this into my schedule. I’m struggling with the best approach when I want to run 3-4 days per week, have one solid rest day, but also partake in 1-2 CrossFit/Weights classes per week and should be “exhausting my glutes/core” once per week, too. In all honesty, I think the only approach might be a couple days of before work runs with afternoon weight sessions.
I found Wednesday and Thursday to be perfect rest days. The weather wasn’t great so I didn’t miss out on much. I don’t know about anybody else, but when the weather is beautiful, I struggle with staying inside! I’m drawing a total blank at what I did after work on those days, but I know I was too sore to consider any workouts.
Friday, Mother Nature gave us another hint of Spring. I was on a slight time constraint so heading out for a tempo run was perfect, though I was nervous because my last one was a bit of a humbling bust. Two weeks ago, I had to split up the two miles (which averaged 8:28 pace) with a short recovery walk/jog. This time things were much better. I was able to put together three solid miles averaging 8:34 per mile pace. Afterwards, I met J and his friends for a comedy show (our friend took 3rd!) and of course, refueled with beer and my favorite dinner (I know, so unhealthy) of fried bar food. Seriously, if there weren’t any health concerns, I would live off that.
Despite my after midnight bed time and beer induced sleep, I managed to wake up with enough pep in my step for run group on Saturday. My schedule had 9-10 miles planned and I knew if I wanted to make that, I’d have to run to and from the gym, which is two miles away. I ran with a girl who is close to my goal pace on easy runs, where my fitness was two years ago, but I am so not there yet. It’s one of those struggles where I want to run and chat with her, but I know that I should have taken it about :30 per mile slower than we were cruising at, especially after the tempo run on Friday. After my two mile warm-up (also too fast, 9:29 average), the next 5.5 miles averaged 9:19, ranging from 8:56 to 9:32. Whoops! You better bet that last 2.5 miles home (because I started walking before making it back to the gym due to massive side stitches), was the biggest struggle ever. It did not help that I was dehydrated and felt weak for the last mile. I’ve now lived and learned that giant mistake.
I finished the week with eighteen solid freakin’ miles. I’m a little in awe at myself and I’m not embarrassed to admit it. Two years ago, I was running 2-3 times per week and anywhere from 13 to 27 miles per week without rhyme or reason and no cross training. This is the most solid I’ve trained, even if it feels slower and harder than it did two years ago. When things feel tough, I need to remember that.
This week is a definite cutback week for me. I hope I can run 2-3 times, but Thursday I’ll be leaving for an adventure with Heather and Laura to Hollie’s wedding! I don’t have a mileage goal per say, though it’d be nice to have anywhere from 12-15 miles. The nice thing about traveling with runners is they’re not going to think it’s weird that you have to run during vacation. Plus, Laura already told us she has to run Friday before we leave the hotel and finish our travels to Virginia, which is perfect for getting my butt out of bed for a run, too!