May 6, 2018

Actually Back to Training (Peachtree week -9)

Friends with chickens are the BEST!
I finally hit a 25 mile week for the first time since January.  Even being at home, cooking good meals, and not being too busy with work, it's still been very difficult to safely get the mileage up to a respectable number without injuring myself (which I'm obviously very cautious about given the left leg issues in late '17 and early '18 and right shoulder dislocation in March).  But I finally did it!  And, as always, once you start to get into better shape, being in better shape and working hard felt great.

2 hours to make deviled eggs from scratch
(including homemade aioli)
15 minutes for them to be devoured at a party
Monday and Tuesday I had a visitor in town from New York (one of the string of many who grace our guest room and make us less sad about all the folks who've left the bay area).  She's a faster runner than me, but graciously slowed down and joined me for 2 miles in the mid 11s as her cooldown one day and 3 miles at 11:03 as an easy run for her and an almost medium effort run for me.

Wednesday, I headed out to meet my local running club on the trail.  They've moved things around and the long run is now on Wednesday AM, which is difficult for me, work-wise, driving 20 minutes to do a long run and then driving 20 minutes back afterwards makes the long run *much* longer than doing something on my own.  So, I decided I'd just drive to the closest entrance to the trail they run and jump in when they get there, around mile 2 for them.  My plan was to join the first runner and try to hang on as long as I can, then drop back and hang for at least 1.5 miles, before finally running back to the entrance on the trail solo.  It worked wonderfully.  I did drills and calisthenics 'til the first runner arrived and then I hung on for dear life for a mile in the low-mid 8 minutes/mile.  Yeah, I haven't done that in a while!  I slowed for a recovery mile and then did 10 X 1 min hard/1 min jog for a total workout of 3.27 miles plus 6 targeted calisthenics exercises.

Only about 30 garden beets left to harvest and eat or gift!
They are delicious.
Wednesday PM, Jen was in my neck of the woods for work and I convinced her to come visit instead of sitting in traffic during rush hour.  We headed back out to the trail and did a nice easy chatty 3 miles @ 11:31/mile (much like A, the previous visitor, she also slowed down for me, and I appreciated it).  Another milestone!  I don't think I've done a double workout in any form in years, and *certainly* I haven't done a double day of runs in at least 5 years.

Friday night dinner: camembert risotto and leftover beets and beetgreens.
Thursday afternoon, after a non-stop stressful day of work, I jogged to my new local track and busted out 5X800 with 3 minutes walking recovery (paces: 9:00; 9:12; 9:10; 9:28; 9:18).  I had such mixed feelings about this one.  It was so hard.  And the paces were so slow compared to my historical pacing.  But it felt so good.  It felt fast (because I haven't run fast in so long).  Did I mention it was hard?  Also, the training plan called for 6, but after the 5th interval, I decided I'd pushed myself harder than I had in a long time and I really didn't want to re-injure myself.  Coupled with Wednesday's double, I decided to take it easy.  So I jogged home and logged a total of 4.33 miles.

Good call, too, because my left knee was all twingy that evening while I just walked around the kitchen and cooked.  Clearly, I'd pushed it right to the edge.  I took Friday off completely.

Saturday, I'd hoped to run 9.  My last long run of 7 had been a decent effort in the low 12:00s about 10 days prior and I figured I should be able to do 9 without too much trouble.  Ummm... no.  My left knee was better, but still a little twingy, and, uh, running by effort meant that easy was 13:07/mile average pace.  So, yeah, I modified the plan, did a loop of 3 super slow miles and pushed the long run to Sunday.

And then, today, what do you think happened?  I headed out, feeling pretty good, but a little apprehensive about the knee.  I hit mile 2 at a sub 13/mile pace and started to think seriously about how I was feeling and whether I wanted to be out for that long.  I did a quick mental mileage total and realized I'd be jumping from two weeks of sub 20 to 29+ miles if I executed on my plan.  Also, it was sunny and, per the norm, we've got another guest at the house that I was neglecting.

So, I settled for 3.12 easy @ 12:12, followed by 10 X 30s hard/60s walk; and then a jogging cooldown for a total of 4.81 miles for the day and 25.57 miles for the week.

If I can keep this level of effort up for the full 9 weeks between now and Peachtree, I'll be thrilled.  I don't expect my pacing to improve egregiously, given that it's just going to keep getting hotter.  But, I do hope that if I put in a good late Spring and Summer block, I'll be in decent shape to race a half in the Fall once it cools off, which would be wonderful.


Jen said...

Smart move rethinking your run today to take total weekly mileage into account. Thanks for fitting in a second run on Wednesday for me!

bt said...

Thank *you* for coming out.