Saturday, June 25, 2011

Week In Review: June 19 - 25

Running ShoesThis is my weekly training journal. Including it in the blog gives me a little extra accountability in the mileage department & helps me stick to my schedule. :)

Race Week!! Although SF Pride Run isn't exactly an A race (or a B race, or a C race...), I feel pretty strongly that if I've shelled out the money to run a race, I owe it to myself to try to make sure I have at the very least a respectable race and don't sabotage myself in the week leading up. I didn't cut back drastically this week (and really, my mileage is low enough right now anyway that it hardly matters), but I did take the edge off a few key workouts, just to make sure I'd be reasonably fresh on Saturday.

Sunday: 10 miles (sort of) easy. Sooooo yeah. I was about to be all like, "I haven't run 10 miles all in a row since I was training for Santa Cruz...It was all hot and windy, and I forgot about all the rolling hills in the park, and waaaah waaaah waaaaah...." And then I checked my 2011 training journal. It seems I actually haven't run 10 consecutive miles at ANY point this year; the most I did during my Santa Cruz & KP 5K training cycles was 9. So yeah; it's been a solid 8.5 months since I've run more than 9 miles (specifically, since the Rock N Roll San Jose half marathon on October 3.). Despite the heat and hills and wind, I still averaged 8:13 / mile, with most of those miles sub-8:00.

My 10K-centric training as of late did betray me a little; for the first 6-7 miles, I was running those sub-8:00's with almost no effort at all. Then I hit the uphills around mile 8 and realized I should have done a better job of pacing myself and started out at an *actually* easy pace, rather than "easy" the way I define it in the first six miles of a half marathon. So, in spite some tactical failure, a pretty decent run. I did get the chance to make one lap of the SF Pride Run course in GG Park (one lap = 5K; the 10K will make two laps), and I always feel a little more confident going into a race if I've been on the course ahead of time. Also, my legs feel great - my shin splints seem to be taking the night off, and my hip muscles feel better than they did pre-run. Favorable portents? I'm going with yes. :)

Tuesday: 3 miles (1 mile warm up + 8 x 400 fast). This is one of the workouts where I'd already planned to cut back. Normally I cut speed work in half the week before a race (so I'd planned 6 x 400 instead of 12), but since I'm running so little mileage right now & Pride is just a tune-up race for me anyway, I figured I could handle eight, and it would help keep me focused on Bad Bass at the end of July. Hot and windy again on the track today, but I still managed 1:28 or better on every lap with the exception of the first.

Wednesday: 4 miles easy. By which I mean not at all easy, but certainly very slow. This was definitely one of those days when I felt glued to the couch, and it took all the will I had to get up, get dressed, and go. You know how 99 out of 100 times you don't really feel like running, you feel better once you're out there? Well, this was unfortunately that one where you continue to feel shitty the whole time.

I felt like I hadn't run in a year -- I was gasping and wheezing and giving it everything I had just to keep up a nine minute mile (ten or more on the hills). Then my on again/off again shin splints decided to make an excruciating appearance. Now, I have a pretty ridiculous pain tolerance and a real talent for talking myself through unpleasant tasks, but when I stopped at a light at three miles and there were tears of pain running down my face, I decided that even I was not fool enough to push it another mile. (Unfortunately, that meant I was two miles from home, as I'd planned to run five.) I walked about a mile, mostly up and down hills, and sort of toyed with the idea of trying to jog again, but even walking, every step was sending stabs of pain through my lower legs. Finally, a little less than a mile from home, I did start jogging again (albeit at a glacial pace), and actually felt a little better. Gradually I found myself able to pick up the pace without feeling like I was going to die and ran one more mile; thankfully, the shin splints had dissipated (though they're still sore).

I'm kind of disturbed that the shin splint trouble seems to happen roughly once a week or so (though this was definitely the worst day I've had in many years). If it keeps up, I may go see my sports medicine doc again (the one who cured my hip). That doesn't explain how my cardiovascular fitness suddenly went from being that of a local 5K winner to that of an elderly woman with emphysema, but as Coach Greg McMillen reminds us, "the most successful athletes don't dwell on the bad days; instead, they're eager to move on to the next day's training or upcoming race. Successful runners know that bad days don't last and aren't a true indication of their fitness. Bad days are just a freak occurrence that must be tolerated on the path to your goals." So this is me. Moving on. :)

Saturday: 7.7 miles (1.5 warm up + 6.2 race!). Given how much pain I was in on Wednesday, I was still kind of waffling on whether or going through with the Pride Run was the greatest idea ever. Ultimately, I decided I'd take both Thursday and Friday off and then see how I felt Saturday morning. After an easy 1.5 mile warm up, I could feel that my shins weren't 100% yet, but they seemed much improved for two days' rest, so I decided to go for it with the caveat that I wouldn't try to race through any debilitating pain. In the end I had a great race with only a little soreness in the tib meds, and though it wasn't a PR, my time was good enough for 3rd in my age group and 5th overall. It was a super fun race with a great vibe (stay tuned for a race report), and I'm really glad I ended up doing it because I had a great time!

Grand Total: 24.7 miles

Next week I'll be in Chicago, so it remains to be seen how much running I'll get in. Considering the heat and the fact that I don't know the first thing about Chicago geography, my guess is that any running I do will be on the hotel treadmill. All things considered, it's probably for the best that this trip falls the week after a race; I won't feel so bad about lower / easy mileage. :)

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