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!