Work: I have a grand total of 2 volunteers for our study so far. Apparently everyone around here likes to throw themselves off their mountain bikes, skis, boards, etc., making it very tough to find folks with never-injured joints to participate in asymptomatic/”normal” studies. I need to find other overly cautious people to recruit…
Training: I actually went back to running group this week! My IT band handled the 9:30 pace fairly well with only mild tightness. I think practicing 9-flat pace during my very sleepy morning runs (because I can’t actually go any faster in my just-woke-up state) has been helpful for figuring out how to hold my form while relaxing the pace. ‘Splainy dude wasn’t there and those of us who were there all enjoyed some post-run yoga and beer. Good times and well worth the form focus required to avoid aggravating things during the more relaxed run.
Speaking of not aggravating things, I did 5 miles yesterday afternoon (1 wu, 2.5 tempo, 1.5 cd) and 3 this morning and my stupid-toe didn’t hurt during any of it! Pretty dang awesome!!! Also, I was smart and stopped at 2.5 miles instead of doing a 3 mile tempo, because I realized mid-tempo that jumping a full mile in workouts between last week and this week was basically idiotic in my delicate injury-recovering state. This decision was much easier to make at mile 2 when I was gasping my way up an incline and wondering if I could survive another 800 meters without passing out – which may be the single case in which altitude-induced oxygen deprivation has actually made me think more clearly!
Even though I’ve been cautious and have kept my faster running limited it has been absolutely amazing to spend at least some time pushing the pace. I don’t exactly savor it during the pain-filled miles, but am cherishing the opportunity to feel that post-workout joyful exhaustion again. And I did actually kind of enjoy the last 0.5 miles of last night’s workout – I cautiously let my legs speed up to sub-7:30 pace on an uphill, which Strava says was about 7 flat effort. I haven’t done much at that pace apart from strides, so 7 flat pace felt like really striding out! And if I give myself some altitude-conversion credit, I was basically working at 6:30 training effort (sea-level) aerobically with the altitude, without putting 6:30 stress on the legs. Pretty nifty!
I will admit that the fact that 7:30 pace is my tempo pace right now is mildly terrifying with regards to those XC races I’m hoping to run next month. However, I apparently dropped 10 seconds per mile from last week’s 2-mile tempo at about the same effort level, so if I keep doing that I may actually finish the race before everyone leaves for the day 😛 Or, if I’m still relatively out of racing shape by September, I can hop in a few road races instead and have other normal/mid-pack people to run against instead of a bunch of scary-fast collegiate whippets who will take off in a cloud of dust and speed and leave me awkwardly staring at a bunch of spandex covered backsides.
(Speaking of comebacks and injury, these two posts [1, 2] by Lauren Fleshman are AMAZING. Number 2 is a good reminder that I should shell out the $ for decent, healthy food instead attempting to subsist on ramen, hominy, peanut butter, and coffee)