January 7, 2018

First Week of 2018

Happy New Year!

Toasting to the TV, New York Ball Drop on NYE with friends.
Starting with the first day of 2018, I had 5 full weeks until the Kaiser Half Marathon.  My left leg rehab had been going reasonably well, so the story I told myself was that if I could do a 20+ mile week including an 8 mile run this week without an increase in pain or decrease in mobility, then I could continue to train for the next few weeks with a goal of completing the half.

Monday, the first of the year, I took the day off.  I'd run on the last day of 2017, and then we'd been up partying pretty late, plus, when I woke, there were snow flurries.  It was going to be a very cold day, so instead of running, E and I enjoyed the first meal of the year at Waffle House, and I did some rolling and stretching and lots of football watching while working on a puzzle.

Tuesday, I did side lunges, glute bridges, and 5 miles in the hills @ 12:39/mile followed by 3 sets of strides with walking recovery in the mid 8 min/mile pace range.  I rolled and stretched afterwards.

Wednesday, my track group back home was doing the Cooper Test, so I figured I would join in, remotely.  My father-in-law drove me to the active oval in Piedmont Park, and he and I jogged for half a mile or so to warm up.  I stopped to do some drills and dynamic stretching while he kept running.

The active oval is a nice wide 0.5 mile gravel loop around four sporting fields with two bisecting paths through the oval. 
The perfect place for a self-run cooper test.
I set my running music list to shuffle and off I went, chasing his 0.25 mile lead and shrinking it down but never quite catching him.  12 minutes later, I'd run 1.26 miles at a 9:34/mile pace, but best of all, my leg had held up.  It was a 5% improvement from the last time I'd run the test, and after a few down weeks due to my leg, so I was pleased, if a bit bummed that I hadn't done better. I do like how broad the performance categories are for the Cooper test.  For my age, my fitness is simply "Good" and will continue to be so, even if I increase my performance by 5% for several more iterations.

And, in the course of writing this, I realized I have a New Year's Goal -- to achieve "Very Good" on the Cooper Test this year.  In order to do that, I'll need to be able to run 8:23/mile for 12 minutes.  Wish me luck!

Thursday was a rest/travel day.  Friday, I had 3 mile intervals on my schedule but work was a bit crazy, so I settled on walking my downtown errands for 1.18 miles, and then a single 2 mile strength interval at 10:24/mile, followed by 0.18 walking cooldown.  Again, my leg held up, and I rolled and stretched afterwards.

Saturday, I had the 8 miler on the calendar.  I headed out late in the morning, but it was clear by mile 2 that it was not to be.  I stopped at a water fountain for 3 miles @ 12:00/mile, lapped up the water while trying to figure out how to deal with the situation.   I decided I'd go for 8 the next day, and tacked on a solid 15 sets of 30 second strides to get home (mainly 8 min/mile pace, with a couple high 7s and low 9s, 1 minute walking recovery intervals between for an additional 1.5 miles).  Of course, I spent some quality time rolling my left leg and hip while watching TV that night.

Today, Sunday, was make-or-break-it day.  I knew that if I couldn't at least get an 8 miler done this week there would be no way I could do 13.1 miles in 4 weeks.  I headed out after 9 AM in the overcast weather for my second attempt.  It wasn't pretty, but I slogged it out, and aided by my audiobook, I finished 8 miles @ 12:55/mile.

So, there it is.  One week into 2018 and I'm still targeting a February half marathon after a 24.22 mile week, and I have a 2018 fitness goal.

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