This week was one of those microcosms where you have all the highs and lows of an entire season wedged in. I started the week dealing with a back injury and finished it with a PR!
Monday: Afternoon appointment to sports chiropractor for my back. Conclusion: strained lat. Cause: No idea. Treatment: Dry needling and kineseo tape. Cleared to run, so I left his office and drove directly to the park for 10 miles, 79 minutes, AHR 138. Stiff, sore, slow.
Tuesday: 12 miles, 91 minutes, AHR 147. Mile repeats on the treadmill. Wasn’t really crazy about these. 6:25 pace but high HR that should’ve put me more at 6:15 pace. Could’ve been that it was hot in the gym, but instead of stressing about it, I just chalked it up to being one of those crappy days you get sometimes. I also concluded I really really needed to retire my racing flats. Did some Jasyoga after — “How to Kickstart Recovery.”
Wednesday: 6 miles, 48 minutes, AHR 134. Easy on the treadmill trying to squeeze it in before teaching Pilates. Should’ve gone in the morning when I could’ve done 8 but SLEEP. (Side note: I’ve averaged 8:20 of sleep a night the past week!) Good Pilates class after but could definitely still feel my back.
Thursday: Taught Pilates Strength first, did a lot of hip work. 8 miles after on the treadmill, 60 minutes, AHR 147. Light progression run — little easier than a typical Thursday because I was racing Saturday — 3 miles, 7:07, 6:56, 6:40. Felt better than Tuesday! Finally took the tape off my back after the run so I could assess it and get it re-taped Friday if necessary.
Friday: 6 miles, 46 minutes, AHR 149. Much better! Ran to the ATM then went to register for Saturday’s race. The girl did not seem impressed by the registration form I pulled out of my shorts pocket … Then I ran back with my bib tucked in my shorts and Body Glide wedged in my sports bra. Efficiency! Only day of the week I didn’t do any Pilates or Yoga.
Saturday: Snowman Shuffle 4 Miler Race Report, 12 miles total
Started with Jasyoga’s “How to Warm Up” routine, plus some quality time with my lacrosse ball. Got to the race about 50 minutes early and jogged a slow 3 mile warm up. It was in the low 50s which is not usual February weather … and, I must admit, a little warmer than I had hoped for!
The race start was at the top of a hill, and my car was parked at the top of the next hill, so the warmup was basically, down, up, down, up, down, up. Eventually I just ran back and forth on the one flat section. Few strides and general nervous jiggling. Saw several girls who I was pretty sure would clean my clock, but all I could do was run hard and do what I could.
I didn’t have much of a plan or a goal for this race — my Jan. 1 10 miler performance would estimate low 6-minute pace for 4 miles, but considering the hilly-AF course, my flat Tuesday workout, and my 10 days of back drama, I had no idea what to expect. Worst case I figured I could run about the pace I did on Tuesday, so sub-26. Best case, in the 24s.
The race starts with a big downhill but I tried to settle in. I split 6:06 and caught another girl at about 1.5. There was a pretty big pack ahead of me but I couldn’t get up to them and they were pulling away. I got left a bit solo for a mile, chasing a guy ahead of me but not really anyone else around. Fortunately this part was out-and-back so there were people coming the other way (including my coworker!) who were cheering. Split 6:19 for 2. At 2.5, we hit the first of two big hills. Known as Dog Hill in Cherokee Park, it’s basically the hill that never ends. You climb, then turn a corner and climb again. It’s about .6 of a mile of constant uphill. I finally caught the guy ahead of me as we started the hill and I tried to hold steady but clearly my slowest mile, 6:38. There were at least two points where I felt like I was completely maxed and still not moving. Recovered a little on the downhill, about .3 of a mile, before pushing the uphill finish. I was trying to chase down two young boys but just couldn’t. (They were 11 and 15.)
Coming up the top of the hill, my friend and our local Fleet Feet owner Andy was yelling at me to kick and that I could get under 25. I focused on that clock and dumped the last little bit I had into it. JUST eeked it out with an official finish of 25:00.06, a 7 second PR. That got me 4th female and 21st overall — stout racing in the Louisville scene!
My friend Laine met me for my cool down; we trotted an easy 5 miles with a lot of it on trails which was nice because they’re slow and soft.
Sunday: Procrastinated for a long time. My schedule said 4-6, XT, or off, and the non-running options were pretty tempting. (My last non-running day was Nov. 18, apparently.) Here’s how the back-and-forth went in my head:
- My legs feel like I got hit by a truck.
- It’s 60 degrees out IN FEBRUARY.
- But it’s windy.
- But I only need 6 miles to hit 60 for the week.
- But I haven’t taken a day off running in 3 months, and today’s a good day for one.
- Because I haven’t taken a day off running in 3 months, why start now?
- My butt hurts.
- My friend wants to run.
- But not until after lunch.
So I went to the grocery, wrote most of this recap, did some stuff around the house. Mr. Chicory had 14 miles to run, and once I knew he was starting around 12 p.m., I told my friend I’d be there.
I worked out some of the kinks with Jasyoga’s “How to Warm Up,” which I also used before yesterday’s race. I stopped by New Balance Louisville and picked up some new shoes.
We started with my friend’s son in the jog stroller and ran 2 miles to a nearby park, where her husband met us and we handed off baby. She had said she just wanted to run something short and easy, and I was okay with 4-4.5 … but then she said she’d go 5, and I said if I went 5 I was definitely going 6 — who ends their week with 59???? And so then she said she’d do 6.
6 miles, 49 minutes, AHR 135.
Totals: 60 miles, 2:20 Pilates and Yoga, 1 race!