Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Off the Bench

I gritted my teeth and white-knuckled my way to another day off on Saturday. It was annoying, but I did it. Instead of running, I planted flowers and helped mrp put the posts in for our garden-protecting deer fence. This fence is serious. It’s 7 feet tall! Mrp worked himself silly getting that thing in this weekend.

I decided to run by feel on Sunday. My schedule called for 11 miles. Theoretically, I can’t really get into the idea of going 0 0 11 for a three day stretch. I like the concept of easing into things. However, I felt really good. I didn’t push the pace beyond my long run pace. I just trotted along for an hour and half. It was especially good considering is was the day after two off days and the fact that it was 10:30 AM sunny and muggy as all get-out. I was certainly a little stiff. But not too bad. The thought of picking up the pace for the last couple of miles or so was out of the question. It made me wonder how some people take the days completely off of running before a big race. That wouldn’t work for me. My legs would be tree trunks. Of course, I could feel my tibialis posterior (can I call it TP? I hate writing that anatomical hoity-toity stuff). It wasn’t sore. It wasn’t even tight. It was just present.

On Monday, I ran an easy 5.5 in the morning. It was warm out and sunny and just gorgeous. I ran up my street, along the river and then made a turn to run through beautiful richy-mcrichville with the old beautiful farmhouse/mansions and lush deciduous forest. It gets pretty hilly through there. I made one big climb and turned around and headed back home. I came home and blitzed my inside chores. Then I took a futile shopping trip. I have to travel a lot for work these next couple of weeks and I wanted to pick up some easy to travel clothes. I also have to go to a bachelorette party this weekend and I was maybe looking to find something a little more fun that the stuff I normally wear. However, I can’t really get down with what the young people wear these days. Also, I can’t stand paying full price for something I don’t absolutely love and I can’t stand buying something on sale I don’t love just because it’s on sale. Therefore I didn’t buy anything.

After I got home, I helped mrp put the actual fence up around the posts. It gave me a new respect for mrp. I know mrp works hard a lot. But, this was really taxing. The fence itself was so heavy and awkward to handle. He worked like this for three whole days and I just did it for a few hours. He’s awesome. I need to work on my upper body strength! When we finally finished I had to go do my evening run. It’s just about exactly 1.75 miles to the end of my street. So I don’t wear a watch for these runs. I just throw my shoes on and trot to the end of the street, turn around, and trot on home. It’s quite nice, really. I was a bit tired last night on the run, but that makes sense. It also makes sense that mrp and I slept like babies.

This morning I woke up at 5:08 to get ready for my first hard workout post-TP blow-up. I was to do 5 x 1000’s in 4:02 (6:28 pace) with 1 minute rest in between. This should be easy since it’s slower than my expected 10k pace. However, I can’t say that. I went up to the local metropark and started out on the bike path. This path is nice, but it has a lot of turns in spots and some rolling little hills that can make workouts tricky. I decided to run out to a lesser used part along a main road. I figured it would be flatter and less twisty-turny. It was, but only slightly. Oh well. As usual, it took me a while to warm-up. My first warm-up mile was 9:04! This wouldn’t be alarming if I felt like I was running 9:04 pace. It freaks me out on these early morning runs that I feel like I’m running 8:00 pace and I’m really running 9:00+ pace!

Anyway, my legs were already kind of heavy on the warm-up. I started the intervals. Per usual, I felt awkward on the first one, but I eased into it and ended up with a 3:59. The second one was the same. The third one was a little slow in 4:04. During the third one, I was looking straight ahead and because I was now familiar with the route, I could see exactly how far I needed to go. This bothered me and made the 1k feel like it took forever. So, on the fourth one I decided spontaneously to turn down another path. I thought it was an offshoot of the bike path, but it turned out to be a road. Not just any road, but a road to the duck pond. When I figured this out I still had 600 meters to go. So, I just ran around the duck pond. All the adoreable ducklings and their mamas ran out of my way as I came careening around the bends. I felt so silly, but I ran another 3:59. Since, I only had a minute rest I had to start the last 1k by the pond. I didn’t want to disturb the waterfowl any more so I turned to get out of there. However, the only way out included a bunch of twists and turns. With my TP still on the watch list I wasn’t completely confident about making tight turns at high speeds. This caused my last rep to be 4:11! Yikes! I know I ran it mostly on pace, I just had to slow down for the turns, so whatever. I definitely didn’t feel that slow. All in all, it was a pretty good workout all things considered.

I’m still keeping my eye on the TP, but I think me and TP are ready to come off the bench and get back to business!


AddictedToEndorphins said...

Welcome back!:0) Glad to hear your back in the game!

Jim said...

I'm still jealous of how fast you run. Nice, kicking 1,000s.