My return to training is right on pace with an increase of 10% over last week’s start. I’m not putting up blistering numbers by any means, but this is the first time I’ve run 5 days in back-to-back weeks since the first two weeks in August, 2014. That’s a really long stretch, and it’s all thanks to too many races and the resulting Achilles issues. Considering how many days and miles I missed by trying to accomplish too much, it’s safe to say I’ll be much more aware in the weeks, months, and years to come.
As I said, this week’s sessions were nothing to write home about, just an attempt to get accustomed to certain training practices that I once considered no big deal. I started off the week with a rest day that followed last week’s long run of 8.5 miles. Tuesday was an easy run of 4 miles. On Wednesday I did my first tempo run in months. I had no idea what I’d be able to do, but was pleasantly surprised. After a short warm-up I ran 3 miles at an average of 8:03 per mile and then a cool down mile-plus. I’m hoping I still have faster paces in me, as well as more distance at those paces. We’ll see as I continue to experiment.
Thursday was another 4 easy miles. After a rest day on Friday, I opted for a pair of longer runs for the weekend, with 7 on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. While training for the Dopey Challenge I made a habit of back-to-back long runs as Dopey includes a half and full on consecutive days. No, 7 and 6 mile runs aren’t really long, but I needed a good feel for how tired my legs would be after 10 days of running in two weeks. I think with just the running I would have been fine, but my legs did have some fatigue from 11 hours at Universal Studios on Friday. Maybe not the brightest idea, but your birthday only comes around once a year and that’s where I decided to spend it. Still having trouble comprehending the fact that 46 years have passed me by already, but I feel great.
The upcoming week will only include 4 days of running because I have a 10-mile race at the University of Central Florida on March 29th. I’m very much looking forward to this race. I ran the inaugural race last year and put up a time that still baffles me. I was shooting for 1:35 in my first 10-miler and hoping somehow to finish in 1:30 or under. Somehow I finished in 1:23:10 and it was only my second race over 10k. Honestly, since I’m just getting back into the swing of things, that time may stand as my PR for another year. If I feel good race morning, though, I’m going for it!
So the Storm the Campus 10-miler will be my long run for the week, and I’ll have two shorter easy runs as well. I will also be doing another tempo run, which I’m going to try to stretch to 3.5, perhaps 4 miles. I’ve also returned to doing planks, push-ups, and squats to round out the training a little. Soon I’ll be adding in some weight training as well. Things are getting serious because I’ll be transitioning from training for a goal half (Echo Half) to training for a BQ time (Space Coast Marathon) in mid-June. I have a lot of improvements to make and there’s no sense in doing it half-assed.