This 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. :)
Monday: 9 miles easy. There's something very gratifying about more than doubling the previous week's mileage in a single day. To be honest, I was a little hesitant to start out with this this week, given the last couple of unpleasant workouts I've had, but I reasoned I could cut it short at any time if my shins started giving me trouble. Thankfully, not only did they hold, but I felt much more like my regular self instead of like a couch potato with emphysema. I can tell that the right one is not 100% yet (I mean, I was limping on it less than a week ago after a day of walking), but it's still a huge improvement and didn't give me any trouble during the run.
Thursday: 6 miles easy. Unfortunately, after the 9 miles on Monday, my right Achilles tendon revolted something fierce and I was almost back to limping again (though not from shin splints this time, at least). I had a track workout scheduled for Tuesday, but by late that afternoon I had to give up on it & recognize the fact that it was decidedly Not a Good Idea. On Wednesday I still didn't feel quite right & decided again to err on the side of caution (how long has it taken me to learn to do that?). Finally, Thursday I decided to try another shorter, easy run and see how things went, and to cut it short if my leg started talking too much. It wasn't totally pain free, but I did get through the entire scheduled distance without feeling like I needed to stop, so that's something. Funnily, once I got back home and showered, my leg actually felt better than it did before my run. Maybe it just needed a little bit of loosening up.
Friday: 8 miles (1 mile warm up + 3 x 1 mile @ 5K pace + 4 easy). Originally I'd scheduled to do a tempo run today, but since I skipped the track session Tuesday I really wanted to get that in while my legs were feeling good (which was reassuring, btw!). Ordinarily I'd do 4-6 repeats and probably could have, but I've noticed that my worst shin splint days have followed track workouts recently, and while up until now I've been running 400 repeats and not miles, I thought it might be best to back off a little, just to make sure everything is fine. I decided to add in the easy four as a way to at least make up some mileage after skipping Tuesday; it's amazing to me how I can feel perfectly fine after mile repeats, almost as if I haven't run at all, but then by the time I finish any additional "easy" miles, I absolutely feel every single one. Again, I say, bodies are weird.
Saturday: 7 miles (2 miles warm up + 5 miles tempo). Originally, this was supposed to be a four mile tempo run with a one mile warm up, but since I skipped Tuesday, I decided to try to add a mile to each part in order to make this week 30 even, assuming my body felt up to it (and happily, it did!). As I promised myself a couple of weeks back, I didn't try to do my tempo run around the neighborhood and instead sucked it up and drove to the track. This is a bigger sacrifice than it might sound like -- I park on the street, and in my neighborhood, parking gets difficult after ~6 pm on week nights and can be downright miserable after dinner time on a Friday or Saturday. On Friday afternoon, I'd managed to park right in front of the house (score!), but when I got back Saturday around 8:30, it took me nearly half an hour to find a spot (though, happily, it was less than half a block away from home). My tempo pace is not yet quite what I'd like it to be, but I still had a great run (I really love running on the track on Saturday evenings, because it tends to be cool and empty) and I got the entire seven miles in with no problem.
Grand Total: 30 miles
Huzzah! This is the first time I've managed to get to 30 since late August of last year (so 10.5 months, give or take). I'm holding my breathe to see how my legs feel in the next couple of days or so; if I start having any weird pains (or, god forbid, the shin splints rear their ugly head again), I'm completely ready to back off next week and go back to 25 if need be and then try for 30 again the week after. As of right now, though, I'm kind of basking in the glow of having a >= 30-mile , pain-free week. :)