sunday, 1 hour bike . . .
monday, 1.2 mile run, 90 min. bike . . .
tuesday, 10 miles . . .
wednesday, 13 miles . . .
thursday, 12 miles . . .
friday, 8 miles . . .
saturday, 20 miles . . .
. . . 2 mile warm up
. . . 20 min. @ 5:31 pace
. . . 10 miles easy
. . . 10 min. @ 5:31 pace
. . . half mile easy
. . . 5 min. @ 5:21 pace
. . . 1 mile cool down
. . . on the trainer, episodes of lost on hulu, in my garage. felt like a good workout from a heart rate, effort, sweat perspective. i just haven't biked enough to know how it translates in the running world. there just isn't anything else like running. you can't get that type of fluidity on a bike, too mechanical, too unnatural. but i am thankful for this option to stay in shape while allowing time for my inner thigh to heal. i have been using my tp tools to massage it out. it hurts a ton, so i know that i am hitting it right. a little sore even to walk this morning. i may try a shorter, slower run tomorrow on a soft surface as a sort of trial with zero expectations. if i can only run a mile, i'll come back home and hit up the bike again. if i can run ten miles that would be great. this is the hard part.
. . . this morning was a terribly windy, downpour of a morning. in that respect i should be thankful that i only ran for a little over eight minutes in it. i've further pinpointed the origin of this right leg pain. it is higher than i first anticipated. i finally found it this morning after the workout(s). its just a very tight muscle that is hard to stretch and hard to massage out. i finally found something that worked but involved my oldest daughter balancing on my hand. i need to find a better solution.
during the run, and the reason it was cut so short, i noticed that my gait was drastically askew. i know that running like this for an extended period of time will only cause other injury and muscle strain elsewhere. i thought it best to go back home and hit the garage.
cycling. i'm thankful for it as a cross-training activity. it gets my heart rate up. i sweat a ton. i even had a deep runner's (or rather cyclist's) high afterward. but it just makes me miss running all the more.
tonight i'll work out that leg as best as i can and give it another test run tomorrow.
. . . much thanks to my wife who helped me push on my trouble spot into near tears last night. when i woke up this morning, i could feel a difference in my leg even in my walking. i threw on my tights, jacket, gloves and headed out. it was freezing. i went back inside to grab my hat and i'm glad that i did. oregon threw out all three of it's worst patterns: rain, wind, and cold, the triumvirate of death, and we're supposed to be in spring!! more on this later . . .
first i must talk about my leg. the first half mile was a little clunky, but i consciously kept it slow. somewhere around a 7:40 pace or so. somewhere near the end of this half mile, i got a burning sensation in the sorest part of the leg. it seemed like a healing sort of burning that brought an incredible loosening of the leg. from here on out i just got faster and faster. downhills became easier. my stride continued to lengthen out farther and farther. by the end of the ten miles (actually with less than a tenth of a mile to go) i had averaged a 7:00 pace without any pain.
so now on to this crazy weather . . . five miles into it, i got really cold. my hands were numb despite the two pairs of gloves i was wearing (and the outer layer a really thick polar fleece north face pair). the numbness was spreading down my arms and it seemed to be getting colder and colder. something caught my eye on my left glove as i was looking at my watch. it was white and fluffy, sticking up on the black fleece. i had a thought, dismissed it, and then looked around me and revisited that thought. snow. sure it was more of a slush mixed with rain that had no hope of sticking, but it was snow. crazy. i was tempted to end at 9 miles because i started to experience shoots of pain running from my thumb up to my bicep. i was so cold it was starting to hurt. but my leg felt so great and my pace was speeding up, i had to keep going. push through the pain to the victory.
. . . another break through with my leg. again things were a little sore at first but not as slow as yesterday. things loosened up fairly quickly but i consciously stayed at a slow pace for the first half of the run, just to test things out. in the middle/end, i noticed some tightness in the leg and some on the lower back on my left side (same sort of thing that started all of this, though not as bad). another cold morning, another windy morning, but at least no more rain came my way. i kept speeding up throughout this run and ended up with an average of 6:42. so i'd say that i'm back but at around 85%.
signed up today for the race for the roses half marathon next sunday morning. the plan: 11 miles at marathon pace, 2.1 miles at tempo pace. i don't want to fully race this thing because of how close it is to the marathon in may that i have been training for. but it will give me a good feel for the pace and if i get a 1:15 (which i'm pretty sure i can do as long as this leg continues to heal), i can register as an elite in eugene. i don't know what that means but it would be cool.
. . . another huge step in the healing process. i wasn't expecting much of an improvement from yesterday. in fact the first half mile felt terrible. but then suddenly, i started speeding up, almost without my control. somewhere around the 5 mile mark, i had hit my 6:35 easy pace that i was doing before all of these thigh problems. i would say that i'm 100% back, but i still notice the leg at times and it still is affecting my stride.
. . . the first half of this run brought fear into my heart and pain into my leg. i thought that maybe i had pushed too hard too soon, that i didn't ease into this, that i didn't give enough time to heal. all three of the evil elements were at work, another crazy storm rumbling in bringing cold and a harsh wind pelting unending rain upon my body. but then there came a point as i was running downhill. i focused everything i had on lengthening my stride and allowing the flow of the run to take over. i sped up, the pain went away, and everything was beautiful again (except for the weather).
. . . after talking to a friend of mine, who has run forever and is currently a track coach, i decided to stay off the track for this work out. he seems to believe that all of these problems i've been having during the season is from all the time of put running in those loops. i found a nice stretch of road, fairly flat, in an industrial part of town that sees little traffic.
the warm up i was a little bit tight. i quickly noticed that the wind was here with full force coming from the south. i knew this was going to be a problem with my little work out because i would have a head wind during the uphill sections. how fun.
the first attempt at my tempo pace was a difficult one. i didn't hit my goal of 5:20. i'm not sure if it was my hip, or that wind, or the bit of incline, or what. i did notice that in the downhill section my leg wasn't fully extending. but i finished with the full 20 minutes and actually felt ready to complete my workout afterward despite not hitting my time and the awful weather.
back at my car, i put on my pants which though keeping me warm for these 10 miles also gave me some nice chaffing in the inner thighs. also some thicker gloves, hat, and jacket. i quickly got into my easy pace and just settled right into it. hills, wind, nothing could stop the ease of this pace. however at the end of those 10, as i sat in my car, cold, tired, soaked to the bone, i had to pull deep within to get the motivation to finish my run. i think what finally caused me to open the door was thinking about all the training of done so far and how little there is left. do i really want to give up now? do i really want to cut short a quality work out when physically i am feeling fine?
my plan called for another 20 minutes at tempo before my cool down. but with that harsh wind, i just couldn't do it anymore. i called it good at 10, with another 5 after a short easy pace. i feel good about that. i feel ready for this race next week and the marathon in four weeks. four weeks sounds so close. but i'm better prepared than i ever have been for a race.