Following the 5K last Sunday, I launched straight back into training, headfirst, mouth open. I got in 3 swims this week, one of which is my highest yardage swim since I pulled my intercostal. I've been really frustrated with my short pool workouts, but now I'm almost to the point where I feel like it's worth it to go to the pool, especially when combined with pool running. I took it easy ("easy" being a relative term here) at the track on Tuesday night in the 2x800, 1x1600, 2x800 workout, but smashed my last 800 for yet another confidence-building session. I attended the extra-credit tempo session with Amy on Thursday morning and ran a totally respectable 2M tempo with heavy and tired legs. Friday dawned gorgeous and explosive with sunshine, so I got back on the bike for a windy and wild ride with Emily that had to include a cupcake refueling stop.
Yes, I have a cupcake problem.The wind was ridiculous coming around the south side, but in our last lap, I had the brilliant idea to draft off a car to avoid the winds that were almost unridable. I'm sure he was thrilled about the cycling parasite in his blind spot.
All this adds up to a pretty stellar week of training, right?
But the key workout for me this week was the long run. This week included my first double-digit run of this training cycle, but even more importantly, my first double-digit run since the run that signaled the beginning of the end, way back in early 2008. This one.
Walking back through my exercise log, I can tell you that it was Sunday, March 1, 2008, exactly 3 weeks out from the Shamrock Half. I can tell you that we put off the run all day, so we started somewhere around 7:30pm. I can tell you that it was snowing like crazy, and we had to make bathroom pit stops in Chipotle not once but twice, once headed into Georgetown, once headed back out. I can tell you that as we chatted and I checked my Garmin, I unabashedly lied to Rudi about how far we had already run, because I wanted to run 10-11 and she was only in for 7-8. I ran 11 miles that night, and I'm sure it took me at least 2 hours, and after I had gotten home and ice bathed and showered and changed and eaten dinner, I can tell you that I stood up from the couch and felt something in my right foot snap. It was a small snap and I shook it off, but 2 days later I had to cut my 4 mile run short to limp home, and 8 days later I was handed an air cast and a death warrant for the Shamrock Half.
Those days are gone, bitches. This may be a small milestone on paper, but it's a huge mental breakthrough and I'm going to celebrate every last second of it.
My schedule had me running 10, but I've been slightly ahead and was saying "10-12" all week. I had planned on taking this run very easy, and when I woke up Saturday morning to bright sunshine and 40+ mph winds, I was really excited to bust this one out. I had a terrible time deciding what to wear, what to carry, and how and when to fuel, and ended up changing my clothes for the tenth time in the parking lot of Fletcher's and making a last-minute decision to carry the small water bottle. We headed out, uphill towards Bethesda and directly into the wind. The first 2 felt awful, which is normal, but after a few I just felt like things settled in and were easy. We weren't chatting all that much, just ticking away. A teammate and I stopped at the 5-mile mark to take a Gu and head back down the trail. She had been having some knee issues, and after a short conversation, she decided to walk for a bit and made me leave her. I plugged in my
I spent the rest of the day being obnoxiously drunk on how amazing I felt. My legs felt tired but fantastically happy. None of my injury locations hurt or ached or twinged at any point during this run. I ran out of water towards the end, but that's fixable. And the thing that I'm continuing not to think about is, I finished my slow and easy 12 at almost the exact time I think might be possible to finish my 13.1 next month. I don't want to talk about it. I know that a training cycle immediately following a major injury - or a series of major injuries - will generally be filled with moments of confidence and moments of relief, and this one was both. Not only can I do this, but I am going to smash the shit out of doing this. I am so overwhelmed and grateful to be running again.
Monday: 60 minutes lifting (L), 28 minutes/1500 yard swim, 1:20/8M pool run
Tuesday: 45 minutes lifting (A), 53 minutes/6.18M track workout
Wednesday: 50 minutes/5M pool run, 27 minutes/1550 yard swim, 60 minutes lifting (L)
Thursday: 41 minutes/4.66M tempo run, 45 minutes lifting (A)
Friday: 2:10, 35M ride
Saturday: 1:52/12M long run
Sunday: 38 minutes/3.75M recovery run, 75 minutes yoga, 40 minutes/2200 yard swim, 55 minutes/5.5M pool run
How was your week of training? What builds confidence in your training cycle? What races are coming up for you guys?