It has truly been a busy month and fall is finally here! Which means…that fall marathons are coming up and that includes my dream come true marathon – NYC!
But the most exciting news is that I am back to running. The NYRR VT has decreased my weekly miles due to my recent injury, but I have been able to run the scheduled miles with no problems! So happy about that. The frustrating thing is that I felt like I was on track to run a sub 4 hour marathon- even NY. I felt so strong and was able to run the hills very easily. Two weeks off from running seemed to really hurt my fitness even though I have been told that I shouldn’t lose that much fitness in that short of time.
My return to running program has me doing regular runs of 3-4 miles along with some easy fartleks, but my long run didn’t change. I still ran a long run of 15 miles in the first week back to running. And that definitely didn’t feel like the other long runs. Of course, I guess it shouldn’t after taking a break. Its just that I ran 16 miles on a pretty hilly course prior to the injury and I felt awesome…all the way up to that last mile when I pulled/strained the calf muscle.
This week was similar. I did add 800 repeats that went really well. Each 800 was around 3:55 or faster and I felt great during that run. But, the 17 mile long run this week-end was painful. From the start I felt a little tired, but was able to maintain a 9:30 pace without too much effort. The program called for 2 mile loops for the entire long run (to accustom to the boredom of a marathon apparently), but I just couldn’t fathom doing that. But, to save time I decided to run the hilly course out where I live. There is a 2.5 mile area that is about the same distance from home and has only one hill so I thought I should try that out and back as my loop runs. The loops were only about 12 miles of my total distance. It was brutal. And to make it worse, the final 2.5 mile run to home was mostly hills. This photo was taken at 17.7 miles…yes I overestimated my distance! I don’t look very strong in this photo, but I got it done. The daunting part is that I could not have ran any further. My legs ached the entire way. No fun!
I began to wonder if the shoes I had started wearing after the injury were causing some of my problems. I was running in the Saucony Zealot before the injury and I loved them. But, I thought because of my injury, I should try a little more supportive and cushiony shoe. So, I tried the Hoka Vanquish. I like them but my knees seem to hurt a little with these shoes. I reasoned that it could be that they need to be broken in a little more. After this long run of 17 + miles, I am thinking of trying my Saucony shoes on this down week. I have done a couple of track work-outs in them since the injury and I was fine. The dilemmas!
And speaking of the upcoming week, I am a little surprised that I have so many off days. Mon, Tue, and Wed are off?? Then I have a couple of 3 and 4 miles runs along with a 13 mile run this week-end. No hard work-outs so I guess it is truly a down week. Trust the plan, that is what I am being told ha ha….so I guess I will do just that!
I shouldn’t complain. I should be happy that I am running. And I am running the NY City Marathon in about a month! So exciting!