Spring Training: Week 2

This was the week I realized how much work I have to do. The workouts were hard, which wasn’t a big surprise. What was surprising was how long it took me to recover from them. Coach Kevin had originally scheduled 75 miles for this week and 85 the next. I knew by Tuesday, when I still felt beaten up from Sunday’s hilly run, that this wasn’t going to happen. Or if I did try for that mileage then I’d probably end up paying for it in the form of crappy workouts, exhaustion, injury — or perhaps all of the above. So Kevin dialed down the mileage for this week and next. I’ve got no real race goal, remember? So why rush when I’m on the comeback trail?

I was stuck back on the treadmill for the early part of the week for either weather or work scheduling reasons. I also had to push my tempo run (normally happening on Tuesday) to Wednesday since my legs still felt like they’d been run over by a tank on Tuesday. While that run was okay, its rescheduling definitely had a cascading effect.

On Friday I finally got to run outside for my mile repeats. Good thing, because the cabin fever was turning me into a real bitch. I’d hoped the local track would be clear of snow and ice but, surprisingly, there were still some messy sections and much of it was slippery. It was also crowded with people (damned kids, using their school track!) and, to make the workout extra special, it was very windy. So I spent the session dodging snow, ice and people while watching my heart rate soar on the backstretch every time I hit that 15mph headwind.

I ran some of these too hard, and I ended up bailing .8 miles into the third one when my legs turned to lead. But I’m happy with the workout considering the conditions and the fact that I only had a day’s recovery from Wednesday’s effort. I wasn’t that far off the goal paces either.

Saturday my legs were predictably fatigued. Actually, all of me was fatigued. I haven’t felt that tired since the day after the Sacramento race in December. I still felt tired on Sunday but decided to give the assigned run a go anyway. I felt like crap for the first few miles but got some energy back about four miles in. The last three were hard to do, but not impossible, and I ran them at the proper effort. Good sign.

I didn’t even hit 60 miles, but that’s okay. I care more about quality than quantity right now. I want to get my basic speed at all efforts back. Then I’ll start worrying about mileage again, once I’m confident that I’m getting adequate recovery and not flirting with injury. This week I’ll try for 70. That’s probably the highest mileage I’ll run from now until early February.

My first race, a four miler, is in about three weeks. I have no illusions of a PR. I’d just like to run fast enough so as not to embarrass myself.