Next week, my plan re-introduces speed work with some 30-second strides. I've been doing strides at the end of some of my runs, but only 4-6 of them for about 10-12 seconds each. Those have helped my legs "wake up" so they will be ready for fast running. The really hard workouts won't begin until September, which is great because running at max effort in the heat is what compromised my immune system. I realize it can still be warm in September but hopefully we get some relief.
Last week I ran 35.5 miles, and this week I ran 47.4 miles. That's a significant increase, but all of my runs this week have felt energized and strong. Thanks to my Boston training cycle, which wasn't that long ago, my body is used to daily running and high volume-- it's not like I am starting from scratch. Two years ago when I came down with a similar illness, I had to take 12 weeks off from running. This time, I was much smarter about not pushing it too soon, so I only had to take 6 weeks off. I'm optimistic that my fitness will come back quickly once I start training at full capacity.
Here is an overview of my running for the last month:
The runs prior to July 23rd included walk breaks, and if you're wondering, I generally define recovery as "slower than easy pace". That 5K training run I did on the 23rd basically told me I was out of the danger zone with the illness and I could begin to ramp up without fear of relapse.
That medium-long run from yesterday went really well. I started slowly (9:20 for the first mile) and eased my way into a rhythm. By the end of the run, I was at a sub-8:00 pace without even trying to be fast. Everything felt great and I had got into such a groove that the progression felt natural. I ended up running 10.6 miles (90 minutes) at a pace of 8:27. It was 73 degrees and very humid, which are challenging conditions for me so I was particularly pleased with how well my body handled it. My legs didn't tire either, which I think shows that the week day runs have helped build my endurance.
Next weekend I plan to run the Leesburg 20K as a training run with my friend Allison. Stay tuned for a post on that. My first "race effort" race will be a 5K on September 23rd, which I'm hoping isn't too warm. Now that I have identified running at max effort in the heat to be the culprit behind my immune system going crazy, I'm extra cautious about racing in the heat. My thinking is that the 5K will be a rust-buster to practice the mindset of competing/pushing to my limits and the Army Ten Miler two weeks later will be the target. My full schedule is posted here.
I'm more motivated than ever to get out there, follow my coach's plan and stay healthy. It won't be long before the fall racing season kicks off!
|Week of August 6th|