There’s a reason chemists, physicists and other hard scientists rely so much on their charts and graphs. Sometimes a chart really does explain something better than is possible with a tick-tack of letters strung together from across the keyboard.
However, being the literary nerd that I am, I do both.
The weeks leading up through the beginning of October have been very consistent in terms of speed sessions, rest days, and long runs. However, since my 5K race and timid approach to cutting out the rest day before my long run, things have gotten kind of funky. Without a real running plan, I have no idea what to do these two weeks before my goal 5k. I can’t decide whether to do a cut-back week (as I normally would after three weeks of building) or another week with the same mileage and types of workouts before heading into a cut-back week right before the 5K… it’s all up in the air and I have no guidance, but a lot of hope riding on this race. I’ve written my goal time on my desk board, in my journals, and here: 21:14, which is a 6:50 mpm pace and totally doable; I’ve just never done it before.
So that’s that. Coupled with some pretty spontaneous personal plans and familial obligations, I’ve had to adjust my training a few times this week. This resulted in two shorter long runs rather than the usual one long run, as well as an active rest day in the middle of the week and some hill work when I don’t have a hill to train on and haven’t touched my incline on a treadmill (beyond going at the usual .5) in forever.
Monday, 11/2- check-in run for the PF and knee symptoms I was feeling after Saturday’s long run. Legs felt good after Sunday’s rest, so I did end up going for almost 6 miles at a pretty good clip: 8:05 mpm. I wasn’t pushing it, so I didn’t feel too guilty about nixing an easy run, but still had no solid verdict on the symptoms.
11/3- That’s where Tuesday’s run came in. I was on campus late again, waiting for my ride, so I left right away after my office hour and ran to the beach (I know, it’s nice to go to a university that is 5K from a warm beach- but I don’t make it there nearly often enough). I headed out and returned on a meandering trail right outside my university. The sun was strong, and my calves and knees had a few issues throughout the beginning miles, but then things settled down and I enjoyed it.
However, when I got back from the run, I found out I wouldn’t have the next afternoon to run, and since I have to be in class at 8 AM, I didn’t feel like an even earlier day than usual on Wednesday, so I added a few miles at the gym (before weights) to give myself some buffer for the next day. Hence, I have 10 miles for Tuesday.
11/4- turns out, I could have run Wednesday afternoon after all, since the plans that were made that cancelled my run were also cancelled, but I kept it an easy day anyway. Leisurely swim in the evening light (it’s experiences like these that remind me that I do like Florida weather… sometimes)
11/5- I didn’t do speed work on Tuesday, but didn’t feel like doing it Thursday either, so I compromised by doing 6 miles of hill intervals. These were fun and seemed to cause less problems with my knees than the usual speed work does. I did a warm-up, .25 at 4 incline, .25 at 5, .25 at 6.5, .25 at 7, .25 at 8, .5 at 8, .5 at 7, .75 at 5.5, .5 at 4 and then something else through the rest of the time (including 7.1 speed at max (15.0) incline) with .25 jog rests at 1.0 incline. All the hills were done at 7.1 or higher (maxing out at 8.3 at 7 incline, which was hard!) The rests were at 6.7 or more, which were only possible since the reduction in incline each time felt like a rest in itself. I didn’t get my heart rate totally high as often as I usually do with speedwork, but it seemed like a solid workout.
11/6- an easy short 2.35 miles with circuit training. I can do a hand walk across parallel bars for 25 meters now, which is exciting. :-) And four pull-ups! I’m happy with how my overall fitness is progressing. This was a reasonable run and felt really good considering I had just done interval training the day before.
11/7- Saturday 9.68 miles with the running group. Ran with a biker, and both of us were so intent on showing the other that we could keep up, that we did the first half in 8 mpm pace. I knew we had started off too fast… and I usually like to head slowly into my long run, speeding up along the way, but I also didn’t want to disappoint my new partner. However, after she checked her Strava halfway through (I haven’t been wearing my watch since it broke last weekend), she slowed down. I stayed with her through mile 8, but after she said she wanted to go 9 versus 10, I sped up to do a little extra so that I could get back to the store (where we all meet) around the same time she did. It was a good run, but so humid that I ended up dehydrated and out of it for nearly the rest of the day. Lame, since it was a shorter long run. Also, because I was at just under 35 miles for the week, and I like to have my mileage pretty consistent when I’m not building it, I got in half a mile picking my car up from the shop (nothing serious, just an oil change!).
11/8- active rest with a nice swim (this time a little more serious with freestyle and goggles).
So, my total for the week was 35.1 miles, and while I still haven’t decided what to do next week, I’m thinking of a medium one with difficult speed-work, and an easier one leading up the race. What do you all think? Hope you had/have a good week with a great weekend, and that the next week starts off smoothly (no more daylight savings jetlag symptoms ;) )