I'm still in my self-imposed super rest period. Last week was pretty easy, although I did have two quality running workouts for the first time in weeks (instead of the usual one or zero). On Friday morning I went back to tempo. Even though I only did 2x1 mile, it was still awesome to be back, especially since the CAR blog mafia was there in full attendance. However, despite the fact that I love the morning workouts, particularly in the summer, I think I'm going to have to flip back to the Thursday night tempo so Friday can be an easy day (this is what I did in National Half training). On Saturday morning, I woke up with a very upset stomach (which I'm sure had nothing to do with the enormous amount of candy I consumed Friday night while watching Harry Potter), but I still suited up and headed out for my ride. Less than 3 miles out, I turned around and headed back home. I had a late night both Thursday and Friday nights and a grumpy tummy plus being extra tired was not going to make for a good ride. I ended up going back to sleep for several hours and then taking a second nap later that afternoon. If there's going to be a time when I get to blow off a major weekend workout, it's now, but it's also good to learn that my body isn't a fan of the quality workout on Friday. When I'm in half-IM (and likely IM) training, I don't think that I'll be doing 2 tough speed running workouts a week, so it might not be an issue, or maybe after a few weeks my body will adjust, or maybe if it ever cools the eff down I might not want to die all the time, but I was shocked at how tired I was, especially since I did a very shortened version of the Friday workout.
I've got another week of taking it easy before I start easing into Poconos 70.3 training. I'm not using an extremely complicated color-coded plan this time. I did make a giant spreadsheet, but that was more for me to work weekend events (Reston, Philly Half, Dad is visiting, etc.) into my training and to make sure that I was planning my long runs and rides so that I would peak and recover at the correct times. Other than the weekends, I've been living in the swim-bike-run rotation long enough that I'll be able to sit down at the beginning of each week and roughly figure out what I need to do. I am also not building in a certain day as rest every week (ALWAYS REST THURSDAY OR ELSEEEEE), but instead will take rest days as needed throughout the cycle. I think this works better for me because if I have a rest day scheduled, I'm more likely to push through workouts for several days and dig myself deeper in a fatigue hole than to just take the day off that I need immediately and move forward.
And, running. I think I'm finally starting to see some concrete progress. Two weeks ago at PT, he Graston'd my piriformis/glute med/random butt muscles. It hurt like crazy for a few days but made a huge and noticeable difference in that the tightness I have been chronically feeling went away completely for the first time in months. Last Wednesday when I went back, he could put his elbow through all of my butt muscles and almost out the front of my pelvis with no tightness or knots anywhere (this is a first). So then he Graston'd my iliacus and psoas. It was tender to the touch for about 3 days, but it loosened up my hip quite a bit. I think I might need one more round of Graston on these because these are still a bit tight, but it's a ridiculous and significant improvement over what's been going on.
I noticed a few weeks ago that as I was running faster (roughly sub-8:30 pace), my form was going all to hell which was resulting in pain as things started compensating. At tempo on Friday morning, I did 2x1 mile (roughly 7:53, 7:49 - I don't exactly remember and am too lazy to look it up). The first mile I held my form really well and felt fantastic - no pain in my butt or hip at all. The second mile I started to fall apart a bit in the third lap, and felt a tiny bit of tightness afterwards as I cooled down, but I came home, foam rolled, iced and stretched and it felt fine later in the day.
I'm really glad that I've learned how to see the cause and effect relationship between form and pain. It's been a very interesting ride through PT this time. He could clearly see that I needed to figure out how to activate and strengthen my glutes right off the bat, but it's taken a lot of careful attention to form while running to carry that over - and I still don't think I'm there yet. I've been concentrating on keeping my hips directly under me, keeping my shoulders back and my upper body upright (I tend to crunch over at the waist, especially when I'm fatigued, which sends my hips back which turns off my glutes which starts to piss off my psoas which yanks on my piriformis which pulls my SI joint out of alignment. Did you follow that?) Yesterday morning I ran 8 miles, the longest I've run since Kinetic. It was a miserable run - hot, humid, no shade on my route (I know, that was stupid), I ran out of water at mile 3 and then choked on a bug at mile 4 which made me hork up most of the water that had gone in, and I had to stop and walk every mile or so on the way back because I was overheating and my HR was going crazy. But when I got home, I realized that I had been able to hold good form for almost the entire run, and there was no tightness in my butt or hip. It was an awful run, one of the worst I've had in quite a while, but it was also the longest pain-free run I've had in a a long time - a milestone. I used to think that I should just run and let my body figure it out, but now I'm changing my tune (actually, 4 injuries in as many years is changing my tune). Fixing my form is what's going to get me to the starting line of all these huge things I have planned, so I will focus on it every moment of every run until my body has learned how to do things correctly.
How was your weekend? Have you ever had to fix your form, or am I the only one with a ridiculous mess of a body?