Keeping the focus on January (16M)

I'm trying not to let myself panic or feel rushed right now. Last week is the slowest 5k I've run since high school and it felt absolutely terrible. I am extremely out of shape right now, that's for sure.

BUT. We decided a while back that I would take everything day by day and very slow until January, even if that meant not running. I AM running, so I need to take that as a positive and keep my focus on January. No sense in panicking over a slow 5k when I have done nothing to merit a decent 5k. You can't run 2.5 to 4 miles nice and relaxed every other day and still expect to run a respectable race. That's the whole point of doing workouts and building up mileage!! Keeping things laid back and under control this week - Just like we planned!

Monday, October 27th
4M easy. I ran the first three super slow like I did on Saturday, but since I was on the track and could manage my pace, I decided to run the last mile at tempo pace (~30" slower than 5k pace). First three miles were just under 9:00 pace (~2:00 slower than 5k pace, but that was not intentional), and last mile was 7:30 on the nose. I was extremely surprised by how nice and easy it felt to drop from 9:00 pace to 7:30 pace and I think I will make this a more regular habit. Shins were still a big pain but feet are feeling better.
60' aquajog.

Tuesday, October 28th
Rest day.

Wednesday, October 29th
4M easy. I ran in the neighborhood and didn't wear a garmin, so mile times were based on where I recall the 2M marker to be (I ran to the 2M area, then turned around and ran it backwards). 18:40 thru two miles...Shins were KILLING me on the first mile, then felt better after that. Next mile was around 8:50 and last mile was 7:15... Felt just as nice as Monday's last mile. I have travel legs and travel fatigue from waking up at 4:30 this morning and driving 4 hours back to Dallas!

Thursday, October 30th
3M easy. I ran 25 minutes on the grass track this morning. Jake's girls were with me for the first mile which was about 8:00 pace. After that, I had like 6 minutes solo and then I finished it out with one of his juniors. Was never a "relaxed" run in the sense that I was having trouble holding conversation, but was also not so hard that I needed to stop when we finished. I think I have a hard time getting my legs and breath back under control when I start runs at a higher effort than I should. Shins are still sore (they get better as I run) and I also have a strong, pinpoint pain just below my left knee.
40' aquajog. Stopped 20' earlier than I planned because of my left hip flexor and the spot below my knee.

Friday, October 31st
Rest day.

Saturday, November 1st
Rest day on accident. Started feeling nauseous on Friday afternoon and went to bed feeling that way. Barely slept because I started actually having pains in my stomach, not just feeling queasy. Didn't get better all day - the pain spots just jumped around. At one point I thought I had appendicitis! Definitely couldn't run! It's a good thing my weeks run Monday to Sunday now!

Sunday, November 2nd
5M easy. Ran 45 minutes at WRL which was well over 5 miles, but I wanted to be extra sure I got the full distance in. I had a lot of aches and pains on this run, but I think it was because of the weather (the feels like temp was below 40). Most of the stronger pains were on my left side, and I think 3 of them were all tied to my IT band, so if I can clear that up, it will knock out of lot of the aches. Both shins are still bad, but I see my CES on Tuesday so I am feeling confident it will pass shortly. :) Super excited to have gotten in all my runs this week, including this 5 miler! 


New shoes and a flotation belt! (14M)

Last Saturday is probably the first run I remember in a while where I had NO pain!!! Seriously one of the most joy-filled runs I can remember! I'm definitely looking forward to this week! I was tempted to pick up my low mileage plan from senior year in college this week, but I think that's unnecessary at this point. The goal is to be ready to train in January, not tomorrow. Sticking to my plan for now!!

Monday, October 20th
50' aqua jog with 9 sets of 10", 20", 30", 40", 50" fartlek on a 1' cycle during lunch. Finally got my flotation belt and this workout went great! Felt the old familiar pins and needles in my legs on the drive home!
25' run on the Katy Trail after work. New shoes = Nike Lunar Glide! Jake ran this one with me, which was nice, but other than that it was an all around miserable run, haha! Stomach issues, fatigued from the pool workout, started too fast, uphill on the second half, etc, etc, etc. We didn't have a garmin, but once we made it to the trail we had quarter mile splits. Jake clocked us at 7:38 thru the first mile (too fast for me) and 7:32 for the last mile... Not sure about the in between part. No major pains, just the usual ankle and shin slight aches!

Tuesday, October 21st
Rest day... upset stomach

Wednesday, October 22nd
25' run + 4 strides. No major pains still!! Ran with Jake's girls on the Trinity Corridor in Dallas. 

Thursday, October 23rd
2M warm up + 5k race. Went out way too hard (can't judge pace yet) and shut down after the first mile. 6:24, 7:02, 7:26, kick = 6:56 average pace. Feet hurt like crazy after the race but that's my fault for wearing new shoes. My whole body knotted up during the last mile to the point where I don't think I could physically have gone faster if I had to. Just completely empty. I know I'm anemic because I was on my labs in June and August and I have not taken any supplements, but I never would have expected to feel like that on a 7:26 mile.

Friday, October 24th
Rest day.

Saturday, October 25th
3M easy run. Ran on the track in Columbus. My calves and hamstrings are so tight... not muscle soreness, but like a dehydrated feeling. Kept the entire run creepy crawly slow. 26:40 for 3 miles. Shins are really sore too.
60' aquajog.

Sunday, October 26th
40' aqua jog.


Adding some quality (13M)

Last week went really well despite being out of town! I am only adding 5 minutes this week, but I am trying to make my runs more quality so I think it will be plenty for now!

Monday, October 13th
25 minutes progressive. Ran in our neighborhood on my usual loop. Each mile I cut down and then after I finished the third mile I just jogged it out to finish up the 25 minutes. 8:44, 7:28, 6:46 for the three mile splits. The inside of my right foot hurt really bad again, but only for the first mile or so. After that, the pain fizzled out and I didn't notice it anymore. My ankle and lower shin are a bit stiff and sore now though, so I will be applying oils every 2-3 hours today. Same ol' same ol' with the left hip flexor.
45 minute aqua jog.

Tuesday, October 14th
Super intense CES session working on rectus femoris and TFL. Both have a lot of strong scar tissue.

Wednesday, October 15th
20 minutes progressive. 8:51, 7:45, 6:36 pace for the last 3:23. I worked hard on the last portion, but it really only added up to half a mile so the run as a whole ends up being a normal pace, averaging 7:58. Lots of tenderness in my left rectus femoris insertion at the hip, and some weakness on the outside bottom portion of my left knee. 
30 minute aqua jog. Planned on 45 minutes but that hip flexor/ rectus femoris pain is pretty intense after yesterday's work.

Thursday, October 16th
25 minutes easy + 4 strides. Hip flexor/ rectus femoris insertion was little better today. Energy wise I felt fantastic, but I kept it nice and easy. Ran in lane 8 on the track to avoid temptations to time myself! One thing I want to focus on while my mileage is so low is cadence. I know mine is too slow, and I also know that can contribute to an increase in injury risk.

Friday, October 17th
8M bike ride in the morning + 5M bike ride in the evening.

Saturday, October 18th
30 minute progressive run at the lake. 8:17, 7:31, 7:07, 6:54. I was definitely working myself on that last mile, but my goal was to get in 4 miles so I knew it had to be around 7:00 for that last mile. Snuck in the full 4 and had a few seconds to spare! Nothing hurt on this run. :)

Sunday, October 19th
Rest day.


Balancing structure with patience (90 minutes)

I have returned from injury the wrong way time after time over the past 4 years. I don't think I have trained consistently for more than 6 months before having to rest for injuries again.

In saying that, I realize that 1. I am still young for a female distance runner and 2. I am not going to get any younger. If I do want to work my way back to a competitive level, I can't afford to keep stopping and starting for new injuries... I need to be able to train consistently for multiple years in order to really get where I want to be. In order to do that, I have to do my build-up right; I can't rush my body into training that it's not prepared to handle.

Luckily, like I said, I'm still young for a female distance runner. I have time to go slowly and really listen to my body. The former competitive athlete in me wants to be on a schedule and have a plan. I thrive on structure and would be thrilled if I knew today exactly what I would be running three months from now. At the same time, it's schedules and plans that tempt me to cross lines my body isn't ready to cross.

So... Here is my plan. Set a conservative "schedule" outlining when and what to run during the week, but being flexible enough to swap days and trim runs when I feel I need to. I am going to be honest with myself for the sake of having a good, long training season when I get back into things!

Monday, October 6th
40 minute bike with Jake followed by 20 minutes running. Shin hurt (right was worst) and left groin is still bothering me, but ankle was completely normal so no issues there! My "groin" hurts without weight bearing. If I am sitting on a chair and lift my knee toward my chest I have strong pain in the spot that hurts.

Tuesday, October 7th
Rest day. Bad rib cage pain on the right side - maybe gallbladder?

Wednesday, October 8th
25 minute run + 30 minute aqua jog. Ran on the track in yucky weather for 7 am in October! 75 degrees and 99% humidity! Broke the run into thirds - easy, moderate, hard - and ran 9:20, 7:40, 6:55 then jogged it out to finish the 25 minutes.

Thursday, October 9th
Rest day. Fasting for abdominal ultrasound.

Friday, October 10th
20 minute run + 3 strides + 25 minute aqua jog. Ran in downtown Columbus so no measurements. I felt like I was moving pretty good, but my legs were super heavy and tight so I may have been going slower than it felt. Inside of right foot hurt pretty bad in the middle, but it gradually eased up. Left groin is still hurting; not just when running. Any time I bring my knee up towards my chest I have the same pain.

Saturday, October 11th
25 minute run + 35 minute aqua jog. Ran on the track in Columbus again. Broke up the run into 5' easy, 10' of 1' hard/ 1' easy, 8' steady, 2' easy. Mile splits were 8:20, 7:20, 6:55, then I just jogged around the parking lot to finish out my time. No new aches at. Same pain in left hip flexor.

Sunday, October 12th
50' aqua jog.