FYI – if I don’t post for a week it’s not usually a good sign and this time was no different. But first, let me recap what’s been happening for the last couple of weeks.
Monday 3/7: 4.1 miles on the trail at 10.03 pace and 493 ft elevation gain. I love this trail and want to run it as much as possible now that the worst of winter is over.
Tuesday 3/8: 3 miles at 9.30 pace with my favorite girl. We’re still working on running by my side and not trying to trip me up.
Wednesday 3/9: 4.8 miles at 8:17 pace. 10 minute warm up, 20 minutes at 7.51 pace, 10 minute cooldown. This was my first tempo run outside in forever and on a part of the actual Salt Lake half marathon course – including a b*tch of a hill – 114 ft gain in less than a quarter of a mile (!). I actually finished this run feeling great, and just a little excited for my race.
Thursday 3/10: Rest. Oh my. I did not wake up feeling good. In fact, my left calf was decidedly unhappy. About a year ago, I had a serious strain of this muscle and was completely out of running for six weeks while I waited for it to heal. So now, it’s a weak link. It wasn’t the sharp pain of a pull (that hurts like a mofo!) but definitely tweaked.
Friday 3/11: 5.55 miles at 8.39 pace. Commute home to practice some downhill running. And no my calf hadn’t healed fully so the last part of this run was not fun. The weather was great and I enjoyed it, but running it was a mistake.
Saturday 3/12: A huge mistake. I woke up on Saturday in even more pain. My calf was not ready to party. I headed to the gym to spend some time on the stationary bike and managed to get 20 miles done but I knew that I needed a break from running (again).
Sunday – Wednesday: Rest. Complete rest. No running. No biking. No gymming. Nada. And it was great! Work was crazy this week and looking back at the last couple of months of training I had to admit that I needed rest. A lot more rest. I had been feeling super tired and run down. Doing too much too soon and my body isn’t ready for that right now. I need to scale it back a little to get my energy levels back up.
I was also thinking about the triggers for these little injuries and they seem to coincide with ramping up speedwork -> starting some interval training, and then some longer speedwork. My race is in a little over four weeks – actually the Saturday before Boston, and my plan is to only do easy runs until then. I haven’t signed up for anything else after this half so there will be no pressure to follow a training plan.
I also realized that there are more important things than this race -> which is no longer even a goal race. I want to hike, trail run, backpack and do fun things outside. This doesn’t mix with running injuries. I think it will be good for me to back off when I need to, so that I can say healthy.
Thursday: 3/17: 3 miles with Sophie at 10.32 pace. Awkward run but feeling so much better.
Friday 3/18: Rest.
Saturday 3/19: 8.75 miles at 8.52 pace. This run felt great. A couple of little aches but this was one of those runs that just feel amazing, where time flies by and you want to keep going forever. To be honest, if this run had gone badly (and I was really worried that this would be the case) I was ready to drop out of the half. But now I’m pretty sure that the race is doable – not a PR race but something to get back into the groove of racing.
Sunday 3/20: 4 mile hike with my best girl.
Monday 3/21: 6 mile at 8.35 pace. Back to the treadmill. The worry of another calf strain is now hanging over me so I decided to hit the ‘mill and not worry about hills – there is literally nowhere flat to run in Salt Lake – and get started on watching the Gilmore Girls. One and a half episodes in and I’m kinda liking it.
The one thing I’ve learned – and I feel like I’m always learning something new about running – is that I need more rest days. No more running consecutive days – at least not for the near future.
Any new running lessons? Or lessons you had to learn the hard way?