sunday, 10 miles . . .
monday, 18 miles . . .
. . . 2.5 mile warm up
. . . 25 min. @ 5:20 pace
. . . 5 min. easy
. . . 20 min. @ 5:16 pace
. . . 5 min. easy
. . . 10 min. @ 5:21 pace
. . . 5 min. easy
. . . 5 min. @ 5:16 pace
. . . 2 mile cool down
tuesday, 14 miles . . .
. . . 9.5 miles easy
. . . 8 X strides with full recovery
. . . .5 mile easy
wednessday, 13 miles . . .
thursday, 12 miles . . .
friday, 0 miles . . .
saturday, 6 miles . . .
. . . relax, you can do this, what is four seconds?, a meager one second per mile faster per lap at a track, this is nothing, this is minuscule, this is doable, this is easy. these were the words that i tell myself before, during, and after my first run at the new pace of 6:35. but even as i type it, it sounds crazy fast for an easy pace. but this is the beauty of the daniels' method. small steps that create big results. it makes since to me even if it doesn't work for everybody. it give me a sense of confidence which as a runner is one of the more important mind sets.
a bit of a windy morning and extremely warm. too warm for my north face gloves which a kept on and my brooks cap which i left in my mailbox. this pace was an ebb and flow of ease and push. it will be interesting to see how these new paces will work themselves out.
some soreness in the right leg. i finally found the spot that is giving me trouble. it is a small knot hidden behind the achilles. i've been using a broken drumstick to apply pressure to it and it has been doing the trick. decided to wear my compression socks today to prepare for tomorrow's workout.
. . . i couldn't have asked for a better day to do this run. the track was clear of people. very little wind and no rain. just cool enough without freezing. the sun came out directly as i was done. i thought about this work out all day yesterday. not with dread but excitement. the idea that i was going to destroy this track, hit my times, and complete the workout 100%. i kept that attitude going as i prepared for the track this morning, pushing out all negative thoughts about limitations and fear of pain and questions of if i am ready.
the warm up felt great. no clunky starts, no push, just an easy three miles at my new easy pace and it did in fact feel easy.
then the first 25 minutes. for some reason these minutes just cruised on by. at one point i was 3 seconds below my target time and i felt great. i didn't have to use any of my mind tricks or images. i just cruised, feeling the pace, regulating my breathing, relaxing, getting in tune with my body.
the second tempo of 20 minutes, which had to be 4 seconds faster was very similar. it wasn't until the last 8 minutes or so that i really had to focus and when i did i sped up way to fast and had to pull back a bit. i felt great, amazing.
the third tempo was supposed to be 15 minutes. this is when things appeared to fall apart. the pace got to me. things began to hurt and hurt fast. i decided to end it at 10 minutes and skip to the last tempo effort.
i had to push this failure behind me and really gear up for this shorter effort. my tendency is to fail once and let that effect the rest of the workout, week, training cycle, etc. so i determined to stay on my target pace and for the full five minutes. and so i did.
all in all this morning inspired confidence in me. i have had to do this workout (or ones very similar to it) on three separate occasions. this morning i was the most successful and at a faster pace. my body is adapting to this faster rocky. my mind is following suit.
started noticing a little bit of pain on the top of my right foot but it doesn't hurt while running.
. . . oh great victory! just a little sore for the first couple of strides in my inner thigh/upper quad (whatever that is?) but it loosened right up. a little clunky for the first stride (took 25 seconds which is the slowest i've ran it in a long time). the cool down felt more tiring than anything else. other than these three very minor moments, the rest of the run was epic.
i settled quickly into my 6:35 pace (and ran much of it at 6:34/6:33) and nothing could break it. and it felt easy, so incredibly easy. i was just cruising along. even after each stride, there wasn't much difficulty.
a perfect day too. not a cloud in the sky, perfect temperature (at least the way i like it), no wind to speak of, the sun slightly hazy but still big and bright. i was planning on 13 but i just felt too good. i shall conquer this week.
. . . being a runner, putting this much time out there, i know that there are certain experiences that i will encounter. it's just a matter of time. overheating, hypothermia, dog bites, injuries, d.n.f., and the list goes on and on. trials that link the running community together. where we sit back and tell our tragic tales again and again. outdoing each other in pain and torment.
today, i gathered a new story.
last night my two year old got sick. i slept in passed my alarm and was doing my morning routine: eat, bathroom, stretch, run. my wife knocks on the bathroom door. our daughter had thrown up on her bed. i knew my run would have to wait. i comfort, i console, i give a bath, i change her clothes, i get her water, i cuddle with her and watch tv, all while my wife attends to the other three.
it's now the time that i'm usually coming back from my run. i lace up my shoes and head out after eating another slice of toast. i settle easy into my pace and things are great for about three miles. i even decide to hit up one of those classic loops that has been overlooked for several months. it's down a nice trail a half mile from my house, cruises on a country road, and meanders through a park that must have been built by a runner. acres upon acres of cement, cinder, gravel, pastures, forest, sloughs, river. it is in this park that i have to stop in order to hold things in. i need a bathroom and i need one quickly. i look at the time. this is when i usually go, when i'm usually at home. i know that i'm about 1.5 miles away from the nearest outhouse. it is while i am standing there contemplating, that i become unsure about my attempts to hold things in. i start running again, make it to the outhouse, turn around, pull shorts down, and the ugly truth is realized.
i know now what i must do. i slide my shorts off all the way. then my soiled underwear. they are a lost cause. i throw them into the outhouse toilet (as i type this now, i wonder if this was a bad thing to do. is there a law against this? at the time sitting there, this question never occurred.) i run the remaining 8 miles without. which in the end proved quite beneficial as the temperature began to rise and i became overheated.
. . . something (or things) happened today. too many variables, too many combination, too much data to make sense of it all.
a monster headwind that seemed to appear only uphills.
a knot in my upper back on the left side of my spine that made it painful to take deep breaths.
big mileage week with an increase in pace.
sore inner thigh on my right leg that never worked itself out.
all of this combined made for a very miserable, difficult, inglorious run. i never got into a groove, never relaxed.
so after typing this, i will leave this run far far behind me. except in one respect. five miles into the run i knew that it was an epic defeat, failure. i wasn't going to hit my easy pace. my body just couldn't do it. for awhile, i became progressively more depressed as i witnessed my garmin proclaiming my constant slowing down. and then a point of freedom, a breaking away, a shift in attitude. i was going to finish this run and i don't care about the pace. i'm just going to listen to my body and run by effort. after that i only looked at my watch for the mileage, something i ought to do more often.
. . . i looked at the weather last night and saw that this morning called for cold, rainy, windy weather. saturday, warm, sunny, beautiful. so i thought it best to switch friday's long run with saturday's 11 miler. but when i woke up this morning, my back was still very sore. and i decided to run with my mind today instead of my body, which is a huge shift in my training. normally i am i 'if it's on the plan i'm doing it' type of runner. most of the time this sort of motivation and resolve pushes me beyond what my body would be able to do. but then there are those rare times when it does more damage than good. i've ran through many miles that i probably shouldn't have. i wanted to end that cycle, to be more in tune with my body. so i forgo this run for the future good, for tomorrow, to be completely ready for the hard work out. for now i rest.
. . . so obviously i didn't run long again today. what happened? still trying to sort this out. i don't think that i'm injured, i'm still just trying to avoid it. those six miles today were painful and slow. my stride is considerable shorter and downhill is a joke. all this from my inner thigh on my right leg. i think that this pain is what caused the pain in my upper left back. overcompensating and all that stuff. so i figured again that it was best to not go according to the plan. i knew that i could push through it, but at what cost i wasn't sure. i still got in a little over 70 miles with a really good quality run on monday. i figure if i take tomorrow off and get back to the bike, i shouldn't have lost too much. strangely i don't feel depressed. i think i'm making the right choice that will benefit me long term. but it does go against all that i am. to think that this was supposed to be a 100 mile week. maybe my body is just not ready for this. i need patience and time. why do i feel like i don't have either?