Is this recovery or full-on panic?

Long-ish time, no post. What have I been up to? Well, partly, recovery. But my working and social life have been outright insane. But let’s back up

So after the race I took four full days off: no workouts whatsoever, with the exception of my usual Tuesday pilates class (which kicked my ass, as usual). The Friday after the race, I went on my first run: an easy two miler – no music, no Garmin. It felt… harder than it probably should have, but running after for total days off kind of sucks.

Other than that, I’ve been squeezing in runs and workouts when I can. I’ve been doing a lot of sleeping in: between attending and throwing multiple bachelorette parties and bridal showers, and a ton of deadlines at work, I was constantly exhausted. But, of course, the days I forced myself out the door I felt worlds better. A few miles out on the road (or at the gym) make a world of difference for mood. Shocker, I know.

A couple highlights, though, to my downtime thus far (which isn’t over yet. i have about another week and a half to two weeks before training kicks in again):

Last Saturday I had an awesome trail run. I was in Cleveland, throwing a shower for a friend, and hit up the local Metroparks, tackling one of the tougher trails. I brought my Garmin just to track the distance, and did my best to ignore pace. It was even harder than I remembered: last time I ran it with a buddy, and we just sort of looked at each other in agony as we trudged up the RIDICULOUS hills (seriously, NB – some of the are as steep as Negley). This time, alone, I’ll admit it: I walked some. I even had to walk down parts of a couple because they were so steep. But I DID get to try out my new Brooks Cascadia 6, and they did awesome. I had to leap over two creeks, and on the second one there was no way to make it over going back without getting my foot wet, and it was fine. My favorite part of the trail is the very start where it’s single track, right before hitting the bridal path. I need to find more of that, with the low-hanging branches, the creek alongside, and I was just cruising along.

The other high point was this morning. It got miserably hot and humid this week: on Monday and Tuesday it topped 90 degrees, and yesterday, at 6:30 a.m. it was already 75 degrees and humid enough for it to feel like we’d stepped into a pool. But last night, it got cool: today the heat broke, at least for a bit, and it was actually pretty dry. I stepped outside, ready to rock a tempo run (with music and Garmin back in my arsenal) and felt an actual breeze.

It hurt. Bad. I suffered. But you know what? It was worth it. I thought about giving up, about cutting it short (I planned to do a warm up mile, then three miles at tempo pace, then one mile cool down), but by the third mile I was chasing down another running who was about 20-30 seconds per mile faster than me. You’re almost there, I told myself. Just keep pushing.

And each mile was faster than the previous. I hit 8:19 for the first mile, 8:07 for the second and 8 minutes flat for the final tempo mile.

Now I’m really, super motivated to push hard. I’m going to work on getting my mileage back up to where it was and start cross training more intensely. I’m in a wedding this weekend, so after that’s over a lot of stress will be out of my daily life. After that, I can focus on a few things:

1. I really want to work on hills. I’m really weak – mentally – when it comes to overcoming hills, so hill repeats are going to have to become a part of my weekly repetoire, or at least every other week.

2. I want to get back into strength training. I’ve been slacking on it for a good couple months now, both upper and lower body, and I know I feel a lot stronger and faster when I’ve been strength training hard.

3. Speed. I’m going to try to do longer tempo runs, and really rock them. I missed two whole track workouts last training cycle, and I know that hurt me, at least confidence-wise. I know there are things that are out of my control, but I’d like to really push it on the track every time I get out there.

So, what will I be training for next? So glad you asked:

 

I’ll be running the Air Force half-marathon on September 17. I feel like I need at least another half under my belt (maybe more) and WAY more weekly mileage before attempting a full. So for now, I’ll take it one half-marathon at a time. I plan on running some 5ks and 10ks this summer, so stay tuned for those reports, and of course, updates on my training. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I'm a 29-year-old writer and runner. This is my running blog.

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