Last night, speedwork at the track was great, cardiovascular-wise. 4 X 1000 @ 8:10ish and each one was nice and easy on the lungs and heart. I felt like I could have done mile repeats or longer at that pace without any additional trouble, when it comes to blood, oxygen, and energy.
Unfortunately, blood, oxygen, and energy aren't the only things that matter with running.
Turns out, my left hip, my right hamstring, and my left tibialis were all *pissed* at me. Even with the Monday rest day, the weekend's total mileage of 26.6 as the tail end of 3 consecutive 40+ mileage weeks after a lazy year of non-high-volume was a bit much, apparently. I'm good about listening to my body when it's mad, so, I cut off the last interval and called it at 4 instead of 5. I definitely could have finished the 5th one, but it felt like the right thing to do. Perhaps I should have stopped earlier, but I was excited about how easy the pace felt and I hadn't had a fun fast track workout in so long -- I didn't want it to end. I just felt so effortless and I was imaging how Thursday's 10K Turkey Trot was going to be great.
Except, of course, the inflammation and annoying pain in the joints that are not happy with me just kept increasing over the course of the evening. By bedtime, I predicted to E that I probably shouldn't race the 10K Turkey Trot (thank goodness the registration fee goes to support local food banks, so I don't feel like I'm wasting anything), but that maybe I'd run it slowly.
Then, I woke no less than 4 times in the middle of the night with shin pain on my left leg. This was *not* good. A smarter person than me would have taken an anti-inflammatory on one of those wake-ups. I just rubbed my leg and fell back asleep.
Today, I woke and iced immediately. I took a rest day (actually, I tried to go to Bikram, but my local studio is very good about locking out the late people who can't get their shit together and would interrupt class without a locked door to stop them. I took it as a sign and wrote off the rest of the day, workout-wise).
Instead of working out, I won the Chinese foot spa lottery and actually got a masseuse who knew her stuff. She worked magic on my shins and feet and calves.
Come dinner, I was feeling better, wanting to race, but, also suspicious and concerned I could really screw up CIM if I did so. At dinner, my left shin suddenly started to throb again after at least 6 hours of comfort. I looked down to see that my foot was resting on the disk supporting the table. A one-inch incline in my foot position from heel to toe could cause throbbing even though I didn't even realize my foot was in a weird position.
It was time to own it: I'm on the edge of getting shin splints.
So, I iced again after dinner and I'm not running the 10K tomorrow. I know myself. If I start it, I'll finish it, even if I'm in pain and it's stupid to do so. Also, given my cardiovascular ability to run faster than I have in a while (while being heavier than I usually am when I can run this fast), I'm likely to do something really stupid and run too fast and injure myself. So, I'm cutting myself off.
Instead, I'm going to do a hip-opening power-yoga home DVD and I'm going to go watch the Elite races at the Fastest Turkey Trot in the Country for inspiration.
As much as this decision sucks, I'm proud of myself for being honest about what I need to do to give myself the best chance of having a good race at CIM.