Monday, April 23, 2012

The week after rest...4/23/2012

After having some nagging issues with my popliteus in my left leg, I finally forced myself to have some recovery and rest time.  I probably really needed it, because looking back through my logs, I realized that I haven't had a solid rest/recovery period since October/November of last year.  So, as difficult as it was to force myself not to run, I took 7 days off.  That's seven solid days without running at all, except maybe to occasionally to chase the kid. 

As easy as it may seem to NOT do something, I think it was much harder than one might imagine.  When you get into that routine, and that lifestyle of running everyday, or at least 6 days a week, taking a week away from it isn't always easy.  I did cycle a little bit, but really I just wanted to give myself the opportunity to rest up and let my legs recover a bit.  So I spent the week relaxing, drinking beer, eating ice cream, and things like that.  I still managed to get some good (if not painful) nights of stretching and foam rolling in to loosen things up.  While I didn't get any miles in, I still think it was a good training week.

I went back out for my first run today, and it would appear as thought the rest paid off.  Legs felt good, and overall, I felt very fresh.  I ended up only putting in about 4 miles running with a friend, but it was a great, light, conversational run.  We only averaged around an 8 minute mile, but I pushed it at the end to around a 6 minute pace.  Pretty sure I could have pushed that whole run to around a 7 minute pace, but that wasn't really the point of today's run, and I enjoyed it anyway.

I thought quite a bit about how I'm training while I was off last week.  I kind of enjoy my "unstructured" method (which pretty much just means getting out and running whatever I feel like), but having now registered for The North Face Endurance Challenge 10k trail run, I want to get faster.  Basically, I want to PR, which means that I need to finish in sub 47:51, which means I need to do more intensity and speedwork.  I'm thinking about throwing in some tempo work, an interval run, the stair master workout, and then making my long run more a fartlek.  I'm ready to start pushing it, and hopefully (very hopefully) I'll be able to run a sub 45 10k, which would be awesome.  I think that might be too much to try and accomplish in the 6 weeks before this run, especially on a new and unfamiliar course (time will tell), but it's something I definitely want to do before the end of the year. 

So, for now, push it and see what happens.  This whole year of racing is a year of racing firsts, so right now I'm perfectly resigned to enjoying myself and going with the flow.  But I think what really need to do also is quit jerking myself around.  As soon as I can get something solid on where I'm going to be living later this year, it's time to man up, and get a 50k by the end of the year.  All or nothing, right? 

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