Last week was supposed to be a post-cutback week, meaning my legs were supposed to be peppy from lesser mileage and intensity, and ready for a full week of training. Unfortunately, my training summary for last week revealed that nah, even though my total mileage was less, training still went hard. My body was handling it pretty well and able to take it on and actually thrive…until it couldn’t. That day was Wednesday.
The week started ominously. Usually, my week starts out with an upper body/core workout to give my legs a rest, and so after running 10 and 4 miles on the weekend, I was looking forward to a breather. Instead, I got a special treat: a combination track and hill workout. What the what.
The mindset of running track has been a difficult one to wrap my head around. As a long distance runner, I tend to go out conservatively (because I’ve suffered the consequences of not!), and leave some in the tank. Not being used to sprinting, it’s been an experiment in figuring out what that reserve amount feels like. I tend to go out slowly, which I guess is not good in track because it’s over so quickly that you never have the time to catch up (so I’m told). Instead, Trainer wanted me to just go for it at the start. Totally weird…and totally scary. Like if you’ve ever gone out too fast and blown your wad in a marathon, you know what it’s like to be completely spent at mile 18 and have the realization that you have eight more miles to go hit you. It’s an utterly horrific feeling. So I have a built-in “pump-the-brakes” switch. However, as suggested, I tried to go for it at the get-go, and yeah, I was spent early, but it also wasn’t awful. I lived. I mean, luckily the farthest you have to crawl back to safety is like 400 meters –much easier than the daunting task of knowing your car is eight miles away. After this beast of a workout, I got in some recovery miles that night.
This was followed up by another heavy lifting leg day combined with short speed drills indoor, and I could tell I was nearing overload. One symptom was not wanting to cook a healthy dinner and instead opting for scavenging the house for SUGAR. I ate the remains of a Sees candy box from the holidays, half a donut, a donut hole, and then in dire need for something savory, commenced to dip crackers into butter. Oh, and I also bit into a stale piece of marzipan. I then proceeded to get into it with someone on Facebook. Geez. Usually, I can refrain from not engaging in online stuff, but no, not that night.
Since I didn’t work out that night (perhaps I should have), I decided to go ahead and run my five miles the next morning. Ugh. What was supposed to be a base pace run (10:30ish) turned into a recovery run (10:50ish). Probably what it should have been anyway. Fatigue combined with a sugar and shitty behavior hangover left me kind of down for the rest of the day. I was not looking forward to the next day’s training session and texted Trainer. He must have sensed the tears in my text because he thankfully gave me an easy day of core and upper body. I felt a lot better after that and got off a short base pace run.
Finally. A rest day.
I usually get a combo of massage and cupping done on Thursday nights to flush out stuff before my long run, but it didn’t work out this week, so I wasn’t sure how my legs would respond on Saturday. The plan was to do 13 miles total: 2 at recovery pace; 9 at MP (9:20-9:30); 2 at recovery pace. My MP miles were more in the 9:00 min. mile pace and — this will be a high-quality complaint here — but I think that’s one gear faster than I want to be at. Running nine minute miles wasn’t exhausting like a tempo run, but it certainly wasn’t relaxing. I am just having a hard time finding that sweet spot.
My legs felt good the next day except for this nagging tight left hamstring. My masseuse deals with a lot of athletes, and she says it’s normal because I’m training hard. But it’s not normal for me. I have tended to back off and take a break in the past because of fear that I’ll get injured, but I’m pushing forward. I am stretching, rolling, taking baths, and getting regular treatment, so I’m going to see how far I can push this 48-year old body. It was a surprise to see my legs bounce back this weekend, and so the experiment continues.
I’m planning on two more weeks of going hard before hitting taper for Surf City. Crossing fingers, holding breath, and winging this thing. This feels just a little bit nuts.
Hope everyone has a great running week!
Total mileage: 30 miles
Long Run: 13 miles
Hill Intervals: 2×6 at 80-90-100%; 2×4 1/2 legs only and 1/2 with arms