Sunday, March 24: 4.97 miles in 40:24 for an 8:08 pace
Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K, by my official stats. My watch had me at something like 5.3 miles, but I know it was wrong based on the squiggles in the map. I’m sure I ran more than 4.97 miles, though – I’m not that good at tangents!
Monday, March 25: Strength training – legs (AM) + 40 minutes cross training (bike) (PM)
After having such a great race at the Shuffle, it felt like I should’ve had a day off. But the Shuffle wasn’t my goal race, and I have two more weeks of training to get in before my goal race, so back to the gym I went Monday morning. I did squats for the first time in a month, and I definitely felt it the next morning! This was the first workout in awhile that’s made my legs sore (my arms are a different story 😛 )
I did take the day off running, though, and went to the gym for a 40 minute bike instead. I hadn’t been to the gym after work in four weeks, so it felt weird to be there rather than running outside! I appreciated the break, though, and of course was glad to get some reading done.
Tuesday, March 26: Strength training – upper body (AM) + dance (PM)
I had some CTA woes Tuesday morning and got to the gym about 10 minutes later than usual. My Tuesday schedule is pretty tight, so I didn’t have a lot of flexibility and was worried about getting through my full workout. Fortunately, it was pretty straightforward (i.e.: not a lot of equipment changes or one-sided work, which can quickly add up in the time department) and I was super focused, so I got through everything and made it to the office on time. Phew!
We had a sub in dance Tuesday night. The sub is in my teacher’s dance group, but also used to take hip hop with us (and still takes break dance), so I know him fairly well. He taught us a piece he choreographed, which I thought was so cool! It was fun to learn a routine done by someone who was once a student with me.
Wednesday, March 27: 6 miles (with 10x.25 miles w/ .12 mile rest) in 1:03:27 for a 10:34 pace
This was my final interval workout of my half marathon training cycle, and I hoped to make it a good one. Once again, the goal was to do my “400s” (really 402s, since I was measuring in miles rather than meters) in about 2:00. To my great surprise and delight, I did a much better job of getting close to that pace on this workout than when I did 9×400 two weeks ago. My splits were 2:05, 1:57 (!), 2:00, 1:59, 2:01, 2:07, 2:01, 2:01, 2:00, and 1:55 (!!). That averages to 2:00.6 (so, fine, 2:01): a three to four second improvement/400 over my 9×400 workout. As it turns out, the secret to running consistent paces appears to be actually recovering during your recovery interval. Who knew! After my fifth interval (the first 2:01), my heart felt like it was about to beat out of my chest and I was gasping for air, so I thought instead of jogging my .12 mile recovery, I should walk it. I continued walking all of my recovery intervals after that, and I’d say, based on the 2:01/2:01/2:00 that followed, brisk walking seemed to be a much better idea than jogging. (I really pushed myself on the last interval since it’s the last one I’ll do until marathon season, most likely, hence the 1:55.) My shins didn’t appreciate all of the pounding involved in this workout, but I’m hopeful they’ll recover quickly.
I have no idea if the Yasso 800s idea scales down to Yasso 400s for half marathons (I assume not, because I’ve never heard of Yasso 400s), but on the off chance it does, it’s both encouraging and slightly anxiety-inducing that a full “Yasso 400” workout for me averaged a 2:00.6 pace. Running a 2:00:35 half marathon is not what I have in mind with this sub-2:00 goal!
Thursday, March 28: Strength training – legs (AM) + 6 miles in 1:01:11 for a 10:12 pace (PM)
Thursday’s strength training workout was tough. I wouldn’t say it was fun to start my day with a tough workout, but it was a really good reminder that I need to dial down the intensity big time on my strength training workouts next week while I rest and recover for the race on Saturday. My left shin was still a little touchy from Wednesday’s run, but my right shin felt fine.
UGH UGH UGH. Thursday’s run was a disaster. AccuWeather said it was 60 degrees (or so – it was definitely 60 or warmer) with a Real Feel of 61 or 62 when I changed into my running clothes, so I put on shorts and short sleeves. It took barely any time at all to realize I was woefully underdressed for the actual weather. I don’t know why I took AccuWeather as gospel truth when I had just been outside commuting home in my pea coat and knew no matter what any thermometer said, it certainly didn’t actually feel like 60+ degrees outside. The wind, unsurprisingly, only picked up and made everything colder the closer I got to the lake, so I ended up bailing on my planned route and putzing around further inland to get in six miles. However, my eagerness to finish my run made me run WAY too fast (see: 10:12 pace) for what was supposed to be an easy run, and that made me mad at myself, because nine days out from race day is really, really not the time to cheat myself on an easy run. On top of that, my left shin continued to bother me on this run, sending me into a panic over my remaining workouts (particularly the 10 miler I planned for Saturday) and whether or not it would be 100 percent by the race. UGHHHHHHH.
Friday, March 29: Rest
Saturday, March 30: 5.01 miles in 52:08 for a 10:25 pace
This was definitely not the final long run I had in mind for this training cycle. My shin felt a bit better on Friday and didn’t hurt at all when I woke up Saturday morning. I had already accepted that my planned 10 miler might need to be cut short, but since I hadn’t had much pain, I hoped I’d be able to get in all 10 miles. I got about .15 miles into my run before I started feeling some pain, and then spent the next 2.4 miles waffling on whether or not it was bad enough that I should throw in the towel. My plan was to go 2.5 miles out, reevaluate, and either 1) continue if I thought my shin could handle more distance or 2) turn around and go home for a five mile run instead of a 10 mile run. I was having a really hard time deciding whether or not I was in enough pain that it’d be smarter to stop than continue, and I felt like the fact that I was having a hard time deciding was evidence enough that I was not in enough pain to stop running. In my experience, when I am in truly incapacitated by injury or illness, there’s no questioning it. I don’t wonder, “Do I have a stomach bug?” or “Am I congested?” or “Does a part of my body hurt enough to stop running?” When something is genuinely wrong, I know. When I got just about exactly to mile 2.5, though, I took a step where the pain was bad enough that I stopped questioning whether or not I should continue and knew definitively that I should go home, so I turned around and plodded back to my apartment. Of course, my shin didn’t hurt quite as much on the way home as it did on my step at mile 2.5, so I got to spend the next two and a half miles worrying that I had made the wrong decision, beating myself up for making the wrong decision and/or allowing myself to run to the point of potential injury 10 days before my race in the first place, and generally feeling like I had failed myself both in that moment and preemptively at the race.
I haven’t had any shin pain since my run on Saturday, but I also haven’t run since Saturday and don’t plan to run again until the race (despite the strong temptation to do a short run tomorrow just to test it out). I did the hop test on Saturday and Sunday and passed with flying colors. That gives me a small amount of optimism, but if you think I’m not losing my mind convinced that I have a stress fracture, obviously you don’t know me very well 😛 I’ve been working to remind myself that I went through something very similar (same leg and everything) in the days leading up to the Shamrock Shuffle in 2015, and a couple of days off cleared that up nicely. I don’t like skipping my last two runs of training at all, but I’m also working to remind myself that nothing I do this week is going to make the race go any better on Saturday, and if anything, it’ll make it go worse. The hay is in the barn, as they say. I’m not going to reap any benefits from pushing myself to get in two more runs on a touchy shin. Of course, it’s one thing to say that and another thing to believe it, so if you need me this week, I’ll be hyperventilating in a corner.