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?
All the hard working you are doing is paying off, and you will only keep improving from it!! I can’t wait to see what you accomplish this fall.
I wonder if this all seems….not normal but JUST LIFE to you. I really do learn a TON from these posts. (((sharing)))
Thank you for sharing ALL of this with us! I just love the honesty and how hard you have to work to keep everything moving in the right direction. It helps to make me feel THAT much better about my training. You are an amazing runner and everything you are doing now and the team you are surrounding yourself with can only lead to more greatness! I can’t wait to watch it unfold.
I have to say that I am truly impressed by the change in your physique over the past few months. Look at the difference in your musculature! It may not have been your perfect race, but you are improving every time, and I think having more fun than ever 😀
I love hearing about all your training! Sorry to hear about your peroneal issues thought, that sucks. Sounds like you’re getting back on track though (no pun intended…). I think you ca be too hard on yourself (“you” as in runners in general) in terms of stats and coming back from a hard race/injury. It’s so easy to think “I should be better” but really it does take time annoyingly. You’ll definitely get to where you want to be and beyond I’m sure!
I really appreciate this post. I admire your honesty and dedication. So great to hear rationale behind decisions to race or not race, to run hard or harder, etc. Learning lots from you.
You’re amazing, Tina!! So glad you had such a strong race back and I hope that leg continues to fell 100%!
This will all be worth it in the end! If it is too easy, it would not be worth it!
I’ll be running the Bix, also!
I always enjoy how open and honest you are Tina. I feel like I learn so much from you sharing your story and how you train. It’s clear you are making a lot of progress and I know you’ll ultimately get to where you want to be!
It sounds like you’ve got a solid plan—and I can’t wait to “see” you at Bix. It’s a hilly one, but always so fun.
You’re an amazing runner, Tina! Thank you for being so open and honest! Your explosive power exercises are really paying off – I’m definitely interested in hearing what exercises you’ve been adding. I would be just as angry as you were about those women taking photos so close to the end – time and place, people, and it’s not during a race.
Oh sweet, I’ll follow you on Instagram! Yippee! You’re amazing, and that’s all I have to say. Oh wait, and you have incredibly muscular legs. They’re fascinating!
Your are most definitely not the only one… or better, I probably should stay away from my Garmin as well to stop comparing and that’s going to be my next step for this training cycle, at least for the time being. I cannot thank you enough for this post! I spent the whole month of June stressing out about the fact that not only I wasn’t improving – I was not even hitting the paces I was hitting before my marathon in April. I know the heat affects your pace, but the fact that the pace I ran my marathon at suddenly felt so hard was beyond me. This post was really eye-opening for me.
Speaking of shoes… I had the same exact experience lately! I’ve been doing even my tempo runs in the Ride because they seem the only ones that agree with me right now. I bought the Fast Twitch and used them for speed work a few times… Honestly, like you, I feel that they are a bit too aggressive and, especially, they are too stiff for me 🙁
And I think you are doing amazing 🙂 I haven’t run a race since May and I don’t really know when my next one is, but I am slightly considering picking summer 5k even though I hate 5k races. But maybe I will do it anyway, just to see how it goes.
You will get there! Don’t be so hard on yourself and stop comparing yourself to what you did before. You’re in a much different place now.
You’re definitely not the only one!! I’ve started wearing mine upside down on my wrist because I look at it too much. Glad to hear I’m not alone either. 🙂
Nice job on the 10K and you are looking great!! It’s just going to get better and better!
I love your check in posts – it’s so fun to follow along on your journey.
I’m glad the cross training helped you safely get your mileage back up – and that you have a great group of guys on your side to help you out with all aspects of training. I know with their help, and your drive, you’ll make the gains you’re so looking forward too.
I’m a total watch stalker and compare-er too! The struggle is real 🙁
Keep working hard! I love all your honesty. It always helps to hear about other runners (especially fab elites like you) and the ups & downs of training. You rock!
I love how committed you are not just to your training but to trying different things, like when you did your gait analysis and working on power work. And I don’t understand selfies in a race. I guess if I was running for fun?
AWESOME job!!!! I absolutely love how open you are with all of your training and nutrition and cross training ect. It is so neat to get a sneak peak into what goes into it all!!!!! You are totally amazing!!!!
I cheered for you from across Richmond Road! You looked good to me! My 10 year old was impressed I knew you. 🙂