OK, lets talk running…

This week, I am on my way to Washington State to run a little race.

I signed up for this in the afterglow of success of the Seaside Half Marathon.  Of course I dragged 2 of my running buddies into it as well.  I had a fairly good thought in that this would keep me training and on track through the summer- which is NOT racing season in Florida.  Florida is a Subtropical region, and July is not the time to be doing much out of doors.  Even at 5 am its usually in the 77-85 degree F mark.  So not a bad idea at all.

One small problem.   I needed to train for this race IN THE SUBTROPICAL region.  Wow.  Combine that with my new job and all the insane stress that accompanied it, add in a pinch of just recovering from surgery and not taking good care of that and you have a perfect storm of not good training.

I think I still could have pulled it off except that somewhere a long the way I did not follow a strict regimen with the Physical Therapy exercises, and became slightly injured.  Without these exercises my left leg really does become weakened and then I started to have a great deal of pain when running.  I did a bunch of things to try to fix it- changed shoes, slowed down, changed my diet….and finally talked to my old Physical Therapist.  He helped get me back on track, but I think by that time it was too late to really recover this race.

I’ve decided to run the 4 miler race that is also offered on the same weekend.  Part of me is engaging in fantasy.  I pretend that the cooler weather will perk me up, and I’ll be able to run longer and faster and stronger and run a personal best.  I’ve had enough experience to know that this is fantasy!  YES the cooler weather will be nice…and YES I might be able to run a little better, but…I have not run a long run over 8 miles in 3-4 weeks…So, the reality is that if I attempted to run the 13.1, I would probably start hating it somewhere around mile 8-10 and be so displeased with my time that it would negate any happiness for the whole weekend.  So, I have learned something.  I am amused when people say- oh you’ll run much faster in your race because the crowd will carry you along.  I find this to be true for me in 5K’s.  Any distance after that, I just find that I tend to run a time similar to my pace time for training…maybe 2-3 minutes faster.  And if truth be told, it is embarassing, but I’ve run several long runs faster than I ran my PB half marathon time.  (hangs head in shame).

So where am I at.  Well I am at about month 13 in my surgical recovery.  Full recovery is supposed to occur in about month 24.  I do still have some interesting pains in my groin, and the imbalance between the strength of my right and left is still obvious when I do things like one legged squats.

I can only do them using a chair or a block to sit down on, so far.

In the last week, I got so fed up with the heat that I made a bold attempt to run on the treadmill.  Prior to this, every attempt at using the Treadmill had left me in pretty serious pain a day later.  The way the belt travels it does create a micro-drag on your foot, pulling it slightly backwards- which really caused me a ton of groin pain. These days I seem to be able to tolerate it!  Yipee.  Treadmill is boring, BUT it is in air conditioning.  So I have been supplementing my outdoor running with some indoor running.  This really has expanded my training options.  I can do a little bit of running after work- when it is 95 degrees outside.  I can feel my endurance starting to build again.

So here is the plan.   I run the 4 mile race.

After that I am going to start on a Half Marathon training plan that really has me running fairly short milage for the rest of the summer, but frequent running with a little bit of speed work, and tempo running.  I had hills work in there, but after chatting with Physical Therapist extraordinaire…that was vetoed, so I can do another tempo run.  I do tempos on the TM so I can actually stay at the tempo I choose…very very hard for me to maintain a tempo outside.  At about week ten in the Half Marathon plan, I will transition to a Marathon plan for 16 weeks…

I’ve decided that I’m going to “race” a lot more than last year.  My coach last year was always telling me to only race a little- with the result of me doing a lot of long runs on my own and feeling like I was missing out on a lot of the fun that comes with racing…So I decided every time I had a 12-13 mile training run, I’d try to do a Half marathon.  So I have about 4 halfs on my schedule, a 15K- which I am still in debate about, a few 10K’s and of course a nice tiny Marathon for me in February….  I feel like I am in a fairly good place now to start the training.  My leg pain is under fairly good control.  My job situation seems essentially stable.  I’m adjusted to this 9-5 type schedule.  Soooo…as my Physical Therapist says,  “Time to get working so you can smoke that race for me”   no so sure I want to do it for him….but I do want to do it for me, as well as for him, my surgeon and Mona the ever patient massage therapist.  It was a team effort for this recovery, and now that I do really have it, I can’t squander it!

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3 thoughts on “OK, lets talk running…

  1. Awesome! Sounds like such a good training plan. My schedule will probably turn out to be a lot like yours! About a month from now my training calendar starts up, but it’s just a 1/2 training plan for the first two months or so, and then it evolves into a full plan. Good luck to you! And trust me, the FLA heat/humidity is painful, i know!

  2. now that I think about it, it does seem like a whole lot of your DM entries are long runs on your own with not enough fun races… I like this plan! 🙂 and I too am amused at the idea of running significantly faster than your training paces on race day… for some reason I just haven’t mastered that one yet. I couldn’t figure out whether I was training too fast or not pushing myself hard enough in races or both, so good to know I’m not the only one! good luck in that FL humidity… it is uber hot (similar temps or even hotter!) here in OK but thank goodness it is MUCH less humid or I would be dying!!!

  3. Good luck on your races! and keep up with those exercises. I think, I have to go to a physical therapist for my ankle. It’s so cool that you have running partners. I’m such a slow runner that no one runs with me…

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