Well…..It has been a while since one of these posts, but I thought it was about time to write a summary of what has been going on. I talked about it a little in my Why You Need to Cross Train post, but I have not really summed up how things are going overall.
Okay, so to go allllll the way back, I raced the London Marathon in April a few years ago. Through some miracle I was not sore in the days after, and we decided to only take 7 days off. Mind you, in those 7 days, I don’t think I walked more than 1/2 mile any day haha. I take my recoveries SERIOUS! No exercise whatsoever!
On the second day back running, the familiar stiffness in my left leg was back. It wasn’t painful, just felt like it needed to be rolled out….which of course I did. We took it very easy for the first few weeks, but my leg stiffness was still there.
We tried all kinds of treatment, but after speaking to Pecan (Jeremy Stoker) and explaining what was going on, we decided it was time to back off; limit the running, and let it calm down. The last thing we wanted was to get to October, when I actually wanted to race.
I explained the next part in my cross training post, so won’t go over that again. As I mentioned, I am now back up to 70-80 miles a week, and I have done a few tempos and a few fartleks. We are purposely choosing fartleks over track workouts so that I cannot see how I am doing. I tend to get wrapped up in comparing myself to previous fitness levels, so this was the best way to go about it.
I did a fartlek on the track towards the end of July, and Graham Cracker (Dr Mike) and Coffee (Drew) both came to watch. Neither of them had seen me workout before, and it was an eye opening experience for all four of us. We have a long way to go before my form is where we want it to be.
I also ran that workout in my Saucony Fast Twitch (for the first time in probably 4-5 months), this was a little too aggressive of a shoe for my peroneal tendinitis, especially as I had been running in my bulkier, heavier Saucony Ride and Triumph every day since London. It was a little angry for a few days after that, especially with lots of box jumps the day before.
Originally, the plan had been to race the Peachtree 10k, but with the way my fitness was looking, and the limited running I had done since London, we decided it was just not worth the drive. We lucked out as there was the Bluegrass 10000 in Lexington (I have no idea why they call it that rather than 10k!), that is one of the big races of the year here. I thought I would be able to fly under the radar……but unfortunately even the $500 cash prize drew some international runners, so it wasn’t as small as I thought it would be!
I knew this would be a great rust buster race, and would give me a starting point to work from. I had no idea where I was at fitness wise, and knew I could have run anywhere from 35:00 to 37:00. As much as I hoped I would run faster, I knew in my heart that I am just not in great shape…..yet.
I ended up landing right in the middle of that range; 35:58, and I finished 3rd behind two African runners.
Steve and I talked after the race, and we concluded that rather than running a 3 mile tempo followed by a 3 mile race like I planned, I just kept it as a hard tempo.
That bothers me.
I hate crossing the finish line knowing I had not given it my all. I noticed 2 women taking a picture of themselves at mile 5, which angered me…….at mile 5 of a 6.2 mile race, you should NOT be paying attention to things like that! My last mile was well under 5:30 pace, which is a step in the right direction, but I definitely let off the gas pedal in the middle of the race when I should have been starting to work down.
However, Steve reminded me that this was originally meant to be my second race back, but instead it was my first, and I was thinking about my leg and how it was going to react. We kept me in the Saucony Ride, rather than wearing flats, and I was not even nervous on the start line. That is definitely something to work on.
Drew and Dr Mike both came to watch me, which was nice, and as I mentioned on Monday, I had so much fun with Sarah (Crouch) before and after the race. This really is a great race to do, and I felt proud of the city of Lexington as they did put on a great event!
So moving forward, what is next?
I know there will be ups and downs, I am sure there will be at least a few more setbacks (which make you stronger!), but for now I am just thankful I can run, and I am getting the faster paced workouts in…..even if they are not where I would like them to be.
My hip extension was looking better in the race, which shows the explosive/power work I have been doing with Drew since visiting UVA is working already. Now I just need Dr Mike to get my damn shoulders to loosen up a bit…..I see lots of pain in my future, but all worthwhile 🙂
If you want to keep more up to date with my training, I update my Instagram 1-2 times a day, so follow me there 🙂[bctt tweet=”Learning a lot from elite runners thanks to @tinamuir. Interesting read!” via=”no”]
Am I the only one who has to stay away from looking at their watch/garmin to stop comparing? Did you race last weekend? How did it go?