Monday, April 06, 2009

Down and Out

Training was going well for B*ston. I had averaged 50 mpw for the first 10 weeks of the year. Then I read about the POSE form and decided to try it on my scheduled 18-miler. Damn me for doing it on a long run. By seven miles my right piriformis was in flames. I stopped and stretched; the pain in the @ss was lessened. I continued until the end but could tell my arse was in bad shape, figuratively and literally. Managed to run 50 miles for the 11th week.

I was scheduled to fly to Europe during the 12th week and knew that running would take a back seat. The day I was to fly I decided to do speedwork. Made up the workout as I went along. Decided on 5X1-mile at ~6:45 pace. I ran the first one in 6:29. I knew I was toast. Next one (after a 75-sec standing recovery) is done in 6:32. Still too fast; my heart rate was too high and needed 1:45 to recover. As I was doing the third repeat I knew I would have to cut it short as my form was falling apart. Decided to cut it at 1/2 mile, 3:16. Rested for two minutes and ran another half-mile in 3:12. Obviously my "fast" miles did me in. On the cool down, and just about .6 miles from my house I start getting a really bad stitch. So bad I must have looked like Quasimodo. Miles for the 13th week: 19.5.

On the beginning of the 14th week (Sunday) I happen to find myself in Rome, conveniently I might add as it is marathon day. I decide to bandit a portion of race (I did pay for a walk/run bib :-)) and I jog to the first K marker. There where about 25 locals waiting to do the same I was about to do. Damn bandits!!! The 3:15 pace groups approaches fast on the cobble-stone downhill and I try no to crash into the mass of runners. The first K seemed easy and I felt I would not have trouble holding this pace for 10 miles. Alas, I found myself struggling and dropped the pace a bit little by little. I then eye a guy with a Mexican flag and start talking to him. He was fading fast. His goal was to run 3:40 (and he had been running with the 3:15 group!!) and knew he was in-and-over his head. Then my hip flexor started to flare up and I started hobbling. Quit the course having ran 7:40s for 14Ks... I jogged back to the Colosseum. Then walked to the hotel I was staying to watch the end of the race.

Three days later finds my worn out shoes on the bridges of Venice where I attempt to keep up any fitness I had built up. I don't know if it was dodging locals and tourists but my hip felt a lot worse at the end of the 5-miler (8:20 pace). I knew that rest was not an option. No more running for a while. 16 miles for the week (14th).

It is Wednesday and six days have passed without running. I am back in Lala Land. I want to try an easy five. Not even a half mile into the run and my hip is quite painful. I stop at two miles and stretch. I turn around knowing that it is better not run the extra mile. Four miles at 9ish pace. I am walking lopsided; my body seems to try to balance the tightening of the hip flexor. I am now worried that Sunday's 5K should not be run at all. I am bummed because the Carlsbad 5000 has been one of those races I have been wanting to run for a while.

I rest on Thursday. But I have accu-pressure on the sore piriformis/hip flexor and sore hamstring.

The next day I feel energetic. I want to run an easy eight. I start the run and I notice my stride is fluid. First mile in 8:01. Faster than I have ran a first w/u mile in quite some time. Again, I change the easy run into a workout run, since I am feeling good. I am thinking 3-4 miles at previous MP (~7:25) would be fun. The second w/u mile is clocked at 7:15... wow, I have lost all sense of pacing. I don't stop to stretch but decide to continue the effort. Mile three in 7:04. Damn, this is very close to my long tempo pace. There is a slight headwind too. Mile four has me struggling a bit, 7:16. Back to life, back to reality. I make a hairpin turn. The headwind is now a tailwind. It helps. I run this mile in 6:54. I stop after this mile to get a full recovery and to stretch, paying particular attention to the injured muscles/tendons.

After I few minutes I take off thinking mile six would come in at MP... nope, the first quarter was 1:45 and it felt easy so I just held on, 6:54. Ran the last two at 7:26 and 7:22. Overall pace for the eight miles: 7:15. Not too shabby. It confirms what I have known for a while. I like to run fast (relatively speaking). I will step on the starting line on Sunday. Sub-20 will be my goal. Even when I have had very little speed w/os.

Saturday is a recovery run. Four miles at 8:50 pace. I threw in an extra quarter at 5K effort, 1:41. 6:45 pace??? Damn, sub-20 may be a bit lofty of a goal. I come up with a plan: 6:30, 6:30, 6:20 and hammer the last stretch for a sub-20. But I will be happy with beating last year sole 5K, 20:27. It is so easy to pen a plan; the issue is to execute on race day.

Mileage for the last three weeks before Sunday's race: 19.5, 16, 16. If I fail, I will not be able to blame it on fatigue :-)

Next: Carlsbad 5000 Race Report

1 comment:

Arcane said...

Half way through your post, i was getting the idea that you might want to join me at the back of the first wave in Boston, but I guess you're still going to gun for 3:20 or faster now... :(