when you’ve got eight significantly more important things to do, and all you want to do is write about running…
Yep. It’s marathon season, and I’m already in the vortex of planning my day around running, etc. At least the training plan provides some stability, eh? And I do have to say that going for months on a “whatever works” plan has made me a little more relaxed about the training. I do still want to follow the plan and meet the paces, but I also no longer think training should be my top priority and if I end up having an off-day or getting injured, I do believe I can just accept it and move on with my life.
That being said, old habits die hard and I’m going to have to have a more solid plan for when I start to feel a potential injury, because I will probably try to run through it. Yesterday before and after the 10k time trial (strangely, not during), my left foot started doing some weird plantar issue stuff, but it’s not something I’ve felt before. I’m hoping it’s just a fluke from switching up my shoe inserts and that my fartlek run tomorrow goes as planned. However, if I feel pain tomorrow during the run, I have to tell myself to hop on the next underground home! I’ll then take off through Wednesday, and see what the foot feels like.
In the meantime, I want to reflect on the last week.
The week started off really well at 6 AM on Monday cranking out 6 x 800s. I had a 12 hour day at the uni planned, so if I didn’t run in the morning, it wasn’t going to happen. Sunday night at 11 PM, I had no idea if I could actually get up in time, but coming off a mostly restful weekend, I was animated to get out the door and felt proud of myself for averaging about 3:10 with 400m recoveries before 8 AM. I liked the feeling, but I don’t know if I like it enough to repeat it unless absolutely necessary.
Tuesday was a similar schedule, but an hour later (so 7 instead of 6), and I did my 8 miles easy. These felt good and may have been too fast, but I told myself it would be fine. I should try harder to go easier when the plan tells me to be slow. This is a goal for the coming week.
Wednesday was a 3 mile tempo run, and while I woke up thinking there was no way in heck I could pull off 3 miles in 23 minutes, my body surprised me. It was also delightfully “warm” (10 degrees Celsius), so I enjoyed running without gloves and a hat again.
Thursday and Friday were uneventful, just following the plan, and Saturday was “race day”.
Really, it was just a time-trial, since I don’t have the time or money to race right now, but I promised myself doing it at the gym on a treadmill was just as good. To compensate for the lack of outdoor factors, I put the treadmill at 1.0 for every alternating mile. Of course I had my drinks and a fan, and didn’t have to worry about the elements, but I don’t think it ended up being as much as an advantage as I was telling myself on the way to the gym. In the end, I think I could have done better outside.
I was so convinced that this was going to be an easy 10k. I even thought I could break 44 minutes and I was so smug with myself about being able to pick my own time to run and not rely on a starting gun and doing things at my own pace…
Turns out, I kind of crashed and burned. I ended up running 6.24 miles in 46:31. 3.24 miles were at 1.0 incline and the other miles were at 0.0 incline. I took 8 or 9 (I forget) walking breaks and just generally, … just ew. If it weren’t for my 10k run New Year’s Eve, I would despair right now.
On top of that, my the bottom of my foot started hurting during the warm-up. The pain went away as the speed increased, but then I had to pause at the first mile of the trial to stretch the foot out. During the rest of the trial, the foot felt fine. I struggled in everything else, but the foot felt fine. Then, during the cool-down, near the last quarter mile, my foot really started to hurt. I stopped and did my stretching and foam rolling. I noticed my calves and fascia were extremely tight, but I’ve had PF before, and this felt different. Oh geez. When I got home, I rolled my foot a few time over the massage ball. I don’t know if that helped or hurt, since the foot continued to feel sore, though decreasingly so, throughout the evening. This morning, I can’t even be sure if my foot ever hurt. I’m just going to take it easy today on walking and stretch the foot out again and bit and see what happens tomorrow. Again, if I feel pain, I am committed now to the plan as above!
Putting the time-trial into perspective, I guess I did fine; I’d had a tough week mentally and physically. Three long days at the Uni, some intense speed sessions, not averaging enough of sleep, and then, yeah, my period coming early should have all been considered before the 10k to expect less results than I got. I also didn’t make the smartest choices about recovery, which is another thing I’m going to work on for this week.
I can take this time-trial as a test not just of my fitness, but my training altogether. Fitness wise I know, based off the intervals Monday and my slowly dropping resting heart rate, that I’m where I want to be. But training-wise, there is so much room for improvement. I need to work on keeping my easy runs easy, fixing my daily schedule to ensure I get at least 7 hours of sleep (8 hours is, of course, the goal), and not drink Friday nights or within 24 hours of a hard workout. [Truth time: being on “whatever works” was kind of nice, because I didn’t have to stress about the alcohol I drink. Now that I’ve seen first hand that I’m struggling with the speed, I think I’m going to have to commit to giving up drinking sooner rather than later. Sigh.]
On top of aaaall of that, I seriously need to start working on pacing. My paces, even on a treadmill (smh), are all over the place. The Runner’s World plan has some steady-state runs in it and I need to use these and my long runs to figure out how to set a pace and keep it. My 10k reminded me of my biggest flaw during my BQ marathon. I’m still doing this weird thing where I start off conservatively, because that’s what everyone warns about, but then I’m so anxious to make up the difference about midway through, and I feel so good, that I just spurt ahead. Not the greatest technique, since I end up burning out before the last mile(s) and starting off slow doesn’t do anything for me in the end anyway. So, yeah. Add this to the things I want to improve on this training cycle.
Well, yep, that’s an update! Hope your training or off-season is going well. :-)
Happy running! -Dorothea