Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Training Week That Was: 2/16—22

One full week of "training" is in the books with a total of 14 miles, almost a third of which was logged during my "long" run today (5 miles). Next week's plan calls for a repeat of this week's (the training pattern is two weeks of the same workout during which mileage slowly increases.) The choice of a training plan that does not recommend levels of exertion (easy, hard or VO2 max levels, etc.) was intentional, it is not as though I am training for the Olympics. At this point I am simply trying to build (re-build?) my base so that I can complete the distance (in this case a half-marathon) without exacerbating my recent hamstring injury. I feel confident of my ability to discern just when a good opportunity to challenge my effort presents itself. The thought of targeted finishing time has not even crossed my mind, though the gentleman I am planning to run with has finished a half in a very reasonable 2:39 (albeit a winter half for which he did little training).

The hazy view from the
I have continued to work through the strengthening stretches given me by the physical therapist in addition to stretching more conscientiously prior to running. I still have lingering achiness in the hamstring following runs, but given that I have been able to complete a series of runs at varying distances already, it would appear as though it is (I am) capable of progressing at a reasonable pace. Of course, the greatest challenge thus far is the weather. Due to a) terrible snow/cold and b) my being a wimp about the dangers of running in streets narrowed due to snow removal, my running has been limited to that which can be accomplished on a treadmill. Fortunately, I have a gym membership so at least I can go to a location other than my home to run. Today was the first time I had ever run on a treadmill for more than 4 miles (today was 5) and this past week when I ran 3.5 (twice) those also represented bests. I likely never prefer a treadmill , but I have tried to make the necessity of its use work for me.

I try to use my time on the treadmill to work on my focus and breathing. I have never been one to listen to music when I run and the greatest roadblock as been avoiding the loud banging of others on the treadmills nearby or diverting my attention from the inane infotainment shows (like Good Morning America) that are being watched by others while I am there. This past week's break from school has been extremely helpful as I will need to make my visits to the gym (4:30 a.m. rather then 6:30 a.m.) if I am to stay on track. Once I can hit the pavement, things should become even easier as I will not have to account for time to travel to and from the gym before going to work.

Today, I am very cautiously optimistic, though the threat of injury does hide in the back of my mind. I am considering signing up for a race for the first time in a long time, just to see if I can handle the consistent effort necessary to finish. The challenge inherent in "racing" remains the same—acknowledging the more reasonable personal performance goals that come with being a 45 year-old recreational runner. My acknowledgement of this fact is half the battle and... there you go, I just did it.

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