As rough as the past few weeks were for me personally, this fabulous week more than made up for it. Reasons for the great week include:
1) I got to (cautiously) begin running again!
2) I got to visit my friend (and coach) Michelle and hold her precious little newborn boy. He’s so tiny and adorable and I swear he weighs less than a fuel belt right now!
3) My husband finally shaved his creepy awful mustache (which he had for several weeks simply because he thought it was hilarious).
4) And best of all, I got word following my mom’s surgery that she is CANCER-FREE!! This news made me immeasurably happy and relieved. And I gotta love how my mom delivered the news: “You can book the tickets now! I’ll be there in April for you to run Boston!” (Before we knew about the cancer, she’d agreed to come out to watch the kids so my husband and I can travel to Boston footloose and kid-free.)
During the past six weeks when I haven’t been able to run at all, much less train for Boston, I’ve struggled mightily to stay in the moment and be grateful for what I can do on any particular day. I’ve also realized that my ultimate running goal–far more important than a near-term Boston time goal– is simply to be able to keep running for as many years as my body will give me. I want to be that 80 year old grandma tearing up the 10k course at whatever pace my wrinkly old legs will move. I realized during this forced lay-off how much I love running just for the sake of running itself. And so even if I have to sit out several races, even if I can’t yet train at the levels I’d like to, I’m okay with that, as long as it supports that ultimate goal–to enjoy running for as long as my body will let me.
This week I mixed a few cautious runs with some more deep water runs and strength training. Here’s how it looked:
Monday- 3.25 miles – Walked 10 minutes, ran 5 minutes at 9:30, walked 5 minutes, ran 5 minutes at 9:30, walked 15 minutes. Then 30 minutes of weights/ strength training.
Tuesday- 50 minute aqua jog – Warm up 10 minutes, 5x 3 minutes p.e. of 8.5, 2 minutes p.e. of 5, then 5x 1 min piston running at 8.5 p.e, 1 minute recovery. Cool down. Had a couple of charlie horses (one on each calf!) doing the piston running. That was a first! Worked pretty hard during this session and feel good about it!
Wednesday- 3 miles – Walked 5, jogged 5, walked 5 min, jogged 5, walked 5 min, jogged 5, walked 3 minutes. Jog/runs were around 9:05 pace. Felt really great the whole time! The only thing bothering me was the lingering muscle cramp from the awful charlie horse I had in the pool run Tuesday. The calf muscle is still super sore/tender and tight. It didn’t bother me much at all during the “run” though. I was so happy to back at it!!
Thursday- 50 minute aqua jog: 10 min warm-up, then 30 minutes of 2 laps hard/ 1 lap easy. Cool down. My calf was still really tight from the charlie horse from two days ago, so I didn’t go too hard on the intervals, kept it controlled and stuck to forward running (no piston running)
Friday- 3 miles – Walked 5 min, ran 5 min at 8:57, walked 5 min, ran 5 min at 8:49, walked 3 minutes, ran 7 minutes at 8:49 (forgot I was running and accidentally didn’t stop at 5!), 2-3 minute walk to cool down. Foot seems to be holding up just fine. And my heart is definitely stronger than my legs at this point! Barely worked up a sweat or increased HR when running. Felt super easy. Finished with 30 minutes of strength training.
Saturday- 45 minute aqua jog: Warm up 10 minutes, then ladder, 1 minute hard, 1 minute recovery, all the way to 5 minutes hard, 5 minute recovery, warm down. There was an “Exercise” going on at the military pool, so half the pool was taken up by simulation training with about 50 people in soaking wet fatigues. So there ARE some things that are even less fun than aqua jogging!
Sunday- 3.4 miles: Watched the final minutes of the NY Marathon as I squeezed in a “run” of my own. Walked 5 minutes, ran 5, walked 3.5 min, ran 5, walked 3 min, ran 5, walked 2.5 min, ran 6.5 min. Foot is a little tender on top–not at all like the stress fracture pain, but still right near the site. I think it is from the pressure of the new calcification/growth pushing against the soft tissue. There isn’t much space in that area of the foot for “remodeling” so I think it’s just adjusting to that extra deposit. I will stay cautious though and not do much running or increase until I’m sure it’s just residual/ normal pain vs. weakening.
Totals: 1:00 hour of weights, 2:25 pool running, and 12.7 ACTUAL miles!