Last weekend, after one 2-mile run, watching the New York City Marathon and the Hood to Coast documentary (more on that this week), I was ready to get running again.
Monday Dave and I met up after work, went to the gym, and attended our favorite class "Simply Strength". The best way to describe this class is 'aerobic weight lifting'. It's one hour continuous, vigorous activity with small weights. I think this is a great class for endurance athletes because you're not going to build bulk, but you're going to gain muscle and get a good workout. Monday was the first time I have done any weight lifting since May or June. Right from the start, this class was kicking my butt. How could I be just one week out from being able to do an ironman to not being able to do 20 squats? What the what?!?! That's the sign of a great class.
Tuesday I woke up and could barely move, but the first track workout of my new training program was on the schedule. Much to my surprise I totally rocked it. You can read about it here.
I took Wednesday off. I needed it. Between the weight lifting and the track workout, I could barely get out of my chair and walk to the bathroom at work. :)
Thursday was supposed to be a tempo workout, but I decided to do my week's "long" run since my running friends would be at Highbanks Metro Park on Saturday to do 6ish miles and that would be my tempo. Hills = tempo, right? The week's long run was 8 miles at 8:27s. Dave also had 8 miles on the schedule so we headed out together right around dusk. I was suited up for the weather and, although we would be on the bike trail, I was still wearing my reflective vest and headlamp. Just three miles into the run I tripped on a pine cone, rolling that damn right ankle, and I went down again. Luckily this time, I pretty much fell on my side and only banged up my knee a little along with a few cuts and a bruise on my left thigh. I continued the run but I couldn't see a thing. It seemed so dark outside. I was struggling to maintain pace but I wanted to see what I was doing and not fall again. With less than three miles left, I saw Dave coming towards me. He had turned back around to run with me. What was amazing was Dave's headlamp was like three times as bright as mine. Next week, I'll be getting a new headlamp. Overall the run wasn't bad. I chose the first and last mile as warmup/cooldown and managed the rest of the miles between 8:11 and 8:41. Another successful run.
Friday we wound up getting together with friends and got to bed really late so Saturday I did not join my friends at the metropark. What that meant, though, was that I was going to have to do the tempo run. The run was 7 miles with 4 of them at 7:50s. I have spent two years running 9:00-10:00s and now I was going to have to pull off 7:50s. That's a big jump. And I freakin' nailed it again. Three for three this week! I hit the first set of two miles at 7:51 and the next two miles at 7:49. That 7 miles I pulled off at 59 minutes. Boom!!!!
I had a lot of doubts going into this week. I just didn't know if I was ready to jump back into pushing myself again. I wanted to continue my pity party. But, I loved this week. The runs this week were a huge victory for me. And here's the crazy part, it wasn't that hard. Sure, I was working, but it was amazing how easily I was breathing, how quickly I was recovering from the intervals, and how natural the pace seemed. It's got me excited again about running. Screw triathlon! I'm a runner!