Friday, January 11, 2013

Triumphant Return: In Progress

I am currently working on my triumphant return to road racing, and so far (read: four runs in) it hasn't killed me. I was really, really dreading that first run back, & since I haven't messed with my foot much, I decided to keep it short & easy. I even went Garmin-less because it's been in my duffel bag dying for a month I didn't want to get too preoccupied with my pace. Three miles went by pretty quickly & painlessly, though, so the next day I did four. A little more taxing, but still pretty reasonable after what essentially amounts to a month off & nowhere near as miserable as it could've been.

On Thursday my goal was to try to get to six. It's so, so funny to me how quickly my perceptions about distances change. On November 11, I didn't even blink at the 21 miler on my calendar. Driving home yesterday afternoon, I was legitimately nervous about less than a third of that. Just bizarre.

But I got through the six with no problem, and at a pretty decent pace, even. Weirdly, I've been super sore through the quads, which is not something that really ever happens to me from running, so I'm kind of wondering if in trying to use my arches more and not land on the outside edges of my feet I'm somehow using those muscles more than usual. I haven't yet attempted a speed workout, but I'm hoping I'll feel up to it by next week.

So I'm started. I'm going. Still, I feel like I've been a bit sluggish out of the blocks this year, & there have been a few days when frankly I just really didn't feel much like a run. This state of affairs was just starting to worry me when I got this:

Given that SFM is sort of my home-town race, I've always felt like I should run some part of it, but I've never been able to get past the thought of paying what is rather a steep price tag to run basically the same routes I run all the time. The sub-seeded prices, on the other hand, are more in line with what I consider reasonable, so I sort of promised myself that once I had a qualifying time I would at least apply. I've also since found out that a lot of people I know are also planning to run the 2nd half, meaning there will totally be some post-race beer action happening. So w00t!

Interestingly, this has had the unanticipated effect of motivating me to get up off my butt & start actually, seriously thinking about training again. When you enter a race under normal circumstances, I think there's a bit of a your-race-your-business kind of vibe. But there's something about the thought of being in the first corral and having my fee discounted based on running a fast time that really, really, really makes me feel obligated to work hard & give it a strong effort (and generally not embarrass myself).

At the other end of the spectrum, there's this coming up:

On one hand, I was a little disappointed that there's no 5K & the longest race is the 3200m. On the other hand, I am a little intrigued by the concept of racing a 3200m for the first time in 15 years or so. It would be kind of an experiment, but for $5 I can afford a little experimentation (& it would still serve as a reasonably good fitness gauge, which is half the point). Part of me kinda-sorta remembers that can't-feel-my-skin, fire-in-the-lungs feeling of that last lap, but only vaguely, which I think is probably for the best or I wouldn't even be considering this.

Finally, I've decided to actually do something about the fact that my body spends most of its time a tangled mass of tight muscles & myofascial scar tissue & joined the gym by my office that offers lunchtime yoga & pilates classes. They had a pretty good new year's deal going, and if I don't do something drastic about the situation I'm kind of afraid I'm going to end up staring down the barrel of a marathon with too many soft tissue issues to train as hard as I want to. For all that my good intentions of stretching, rolling, & getting my PT exercises done are, y'know, REALLY good, they haven't accomplished much lately. So hopefully handing over my credit card once a month will motivate me to get over there on a regular basis.

(Also, I hate stretching on my own. I would really, really prefer someone else just told me what to do.)

(Second also, I am REALLY looking forward to attending some yoga / pilates because I anticipate having all sorts of amusing stories to relate.)

What I imagine it will be like:

What it will probably actually be like:

I am not even joking.

Yoga: Love it / hate it?

Pilates: Have you tried it? Did you ever think it was pie-laits? Or an Italian pastry? (I spent most of seventh grade thinking an onomatopoeia was a Mexican desert. True story.)


  1. I used to do Pilates a lot (like, terrible 24 Hour Fitness pilates, but pilates nonetheless) but then all the classes got replaced by Zumba. I still want to do a reformer class sometime, mostly because I'm fascinated by equipment. Right now I sometimes do the pilates OnDemand workouts but I end up yelling at the pretty, toned instructors on my teevee more than I actually do the work.

    Yoga? Love. Once I found a style and a teacher I like, anyway.

  2. I like yoga, especially the classes with a lot of sun salutation cycles so I feel like I'm actually doing something. I don't like the very meditative classes (though I could probably use them). Teachers vary a lot, so find one that you like.

    Pilates can be very hard... especially if your core is as weak as mine! I took it for a while at a Berkeley studio until they took away the cheap mat classes and replaced them with $30/pop reformer classes. Too rich for my blood! But I do think it's a really good workout.

  3. I have vowed to do 6 yoga classes this year but I'm not keen. I know it will be good for me though, I've only ever heard good things. And people who go to yoga are always thin, with great highlights in their hair and immaculate make-up. So those side-effects will be welcome.

    SO impressed you're seeded for the SF's like an official verdict that you are Speedy with a capital S!!!

    1. I went to a few Lululemon run + yoga nights a couple of years ago, and it was awesome post-run. I still pretty much suck at it but if I come out looking like a had a makeover, that would be cool. :)

  4. All comers track meets are super fun and they are always cheap. I haven't ran in one since college, but I want to when I am not training for a marathon. So maybe in 2015 I will be game to sign up to show those college girls who is the boss! :-)

  5. Ummm, I just want to tell you that my confidence in distance running disappears SO QUICKLY too. 20 milers used to be fun. But after not doing them for a few weeks, suddenly 10 seems scary. Right now I'm battling demons with 8 milers. EIGHT MILERS. Yeah. :|

    Whoever says running is physical is a liar. ;)

    Your track meet sounds awesome!! I didn't even know these existed for adults. Fun!

    1. I am really, REALLY glad to know it isn't just me. :P