Sometimes the workout I intend to do and the one my body CAN do on a given day are two very different things. Today was one of those days. I woke up, thinking it might be a good day to do a little tempo work. I thought I might warm up a mile or two, then hit my marathon goal pace of 8:30 for 3-4 miles then cool down. It seemed reasonable. It wasn’t.
I’m a little more than 2 weeks from my mountain 50k. That will by no stretch of the imagination be a “speedy” run for anyone. The climb alone in that race is about 7,000 feet. I’m going to feel it. It’s going to hurt. It’s going to take maybe 9 hours to complete it. It’s nothing like my road marathons where pace matters so much more. So, why the heck am I even doing speedwork and tempo work two weeks from a race like that? I’m a idiot, basically. That’s my only conclusion this morning.
I knew from the first few steps on my run this morning that things weren’t going to go as planned. My left shin has been giving me some pain the past few days. It was bad enough this morning to mess with my stride a lot. It was more of a hobble. Right leg would do it’s thing fine and fairly smoothly, then left leg would have to come down and I’d feel pain and I’d wince a bit. I don’t think it’s broken or anything like that. I think I pulled something in the mountains over the weekend when I slipped and caught myself going downhill. I also wrenched my lower back at that moment too. It was a sharp pain and for a moment I feared I wouldn’t be able to move another step. But, I was ok to finish the run, though it’s continued to be pretty sore and bother me when I stand, run or sit every since. I think I pulled something in my left shin at the same time.
Today, both the lower back and the left shin were really bugging me. I looked at my watch and saw that I was mastering a lightening fast 12:30ish pace for the first mile. I wonder if the Olympics will call? Yeah, didn’t think so. All of a sudden, that 8:30 pace which should be very doable for me when I’m feeling fine sounded like breaking the world record — impossible. So, I didn’t even try. I almost considered turning around at mile 1 and heading home, fearing that I would make the injuries worse if I plugged on.
Instead, I decided to walk. A lot! It became something of a game to see that I could fairly comfortably speed walk a 12:30 pace in mile 2. Less pounding. It felt better and I figured “at least I’ll get some miles today.” I alternated between slow jogging and walking for mile 3, then ran vvvery slowly for mile 4 and the final .35 home.
I feel a little sorry for myself. I feel a little mad at myself. I know better. I was foolish to increase my weekly mileage so much in the last couple of weeks. I normally preach to others to follow the 10% increase rule obsessively. I didn’t take my own advice. Sometimes I feel peer pressure to push harder, to run further, to run faster – all at once. But, I am just not that strong. Not yet at least. I am who I am. I train slow. Really slow and maybe that’s ok. Maybe that long-term Boston goal really is always going to be out of reach for me. I don’t know. Right now I just know that I need to take a couple days off from the pounding and work on getting recovered for this race on Feb. 5th. That, right now, is the only concern.
Average Heart Rate: 136 Max Heart Rate: 162
Stats: 4.36 miles. 12:43 pace. 55:24 time. Felt: Injured.