It surely has been a while since there’s been a running post up here. Let’s rectify that, shall we?
So after I ran LA (a very comfortable 3:46), I decided it would be wise to rest this weird abdominal strain thing (which I now think was/is an inguinal ligament strain), so I did sorta kinda do some rest, and then it wasn’t getting better, and so then I took some real time off, and after about 7 weeks of not running (hiking and gym were allowed), I decided, Eh, heck with it, and resumed. So I’ve been back and running for about a month now and while the strain is definitely still there, it is pretty slight feeling and hasn’t gotten worse. I’m scheduled to get an MRI one of these days (a hernia was ruled out months ago), so until someone is all STOP RUNNING I’m going to continue. (There’s also this thing with my talus, which feels bruised based on some collapsing my left foot is doing during its pronation cycle, but I don’t know what’s up with that, and beyond ankle/foot/calf strengthening, I don’t know what can be done, so deal with it, girlie.)
Since returning, I’ve been running with a Garmin 210 and it’s been fantastic. I use the heart rate monitor and it’s been a nice gauge of output, as opposed to feel or pace. Now, my easy runs are actually easy, and my hard runs are actually hard, consistently. Not to mention, having elevation information (after uploading the workout to the Garmin website) has been really interesting. Suddenly a 7 mile run isn’t just a 7 mile run. It’s now 3,000 feet in 7 miles, or 1,500 feet in 14 miles. So it does change a lot of the context I have for workouts. Distance isn’t necessarily the best summary.
St. George is the first weekend of October, so last week was technically the first of my 16 week cycle. Prior to that, I was doing lots of base stuff: shorter trail runs, some hill workouts, and little 5 mile jaunts about the neighborhood. I’ve also been experimenting with running two days in a row, something I’ve never done, just to see how the body responds. Usually the back to back thing ends up pairing a hill workout (6-10 uphill sprints with a few miles on either side as a warm up/cool down) with an easy short/medium distance run. So far, pretty good. No major aches or pains or anything. I’m slowly learning that it’s okay to finish a workout not feeling utterly spent, so that’s been contributing to the slightly increased load.
My basic schedule week to week has looked something like this: Saturday longer runs (we alternate weekly between trail and road, usually hitting between 10-14 miles), Monday 4-6 mile recovery, Tuesday or Wednesday hill repeats, Thursday a little tempo work within a 5-7 mile run. I’m still playing with the timing of leg workouts in the gym, since tired legs make for bad runs, but I’m getting the hang of it. Mondays seem like the best days to do leg workouts at the moment, since I’d rather be tired for an easy run than for a speed workout or LSD. Leg day pretty much involves a super set of chalice squats (50 lb weight, 6 reps for 4 sets), weighted walking lunges (30 lbs in each hand, focusing on good form), and lunge jumps to exhaustion, followed by a Myrtle routine and some calf raises.
As for shoes: after running in the New Balance MR-10 for the past year plus, I recently picked up a pair of the Altra Instincts, and find them to be most agreeable, mostly because of the extra cushion they afford in a minimal model. Did 7 miles in them last night and felt really solid throughout. The pitch is basically: a shoe that fits the shape of your foot, with zero drop, and some cushion. Pretty perfect distance shoe. For technical trails, I don’t know if there’s a better shoe than the New Balance MT-110. I want to call the MR-00s my road shoe, but my feet aren’t build for long barefoot runs (though I do love my Soft Stars). Pretty much everything New Balance is doing these days is perfect.
Now that training is happening in full swing, I’ll be updating weekly on that. My goal for St. George is 3:30, which is an 8 minute mile pace. My speed work indicates that I could go faster (41 minute 10k, 3 minute repeats for 800 X 10), but I haven’t quite found the right training plan to get my endurance there just yet. Hoping a plan that includes lots of speed and stability/strength work coupled with a generous amount of recovery time built in will do the trick. Given that my BQ is 3:05, there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m placing my faith in the hills.
Monday: 6 miles
Tuesday: hill repeats, 4 miles
Thursday: 7 miles
Saturday (tomorrow): 13 miles (Rustic Canyon + Inspiration Point)
Total mileage: 30 miles (need to check on the weekly elevation)