Like with a lot of accomplishments one may make, my running career progresses not steadily, or a fluid climb. New levels of accomplishment usually come in the form of a breakthrough. I’ve had a solid, conservative eight weeks of training under me now following nearly 2 and a half years of injury. This is what it’s all about. Consistency and stacking the weeks upon each other, no hurry, no rush. The back to basics approach is the surrender you have to take when the rules of the game change so much. It’s literally like starting all over again. Your training is no longer governed by your energy level fatigue factors. Connective tissue, tendons and insertion points become the limiting factor on recovery time. And the biggest thing, is there usually is no way to gauge that recovery time. No longer is it okay to just hammer it if the legs are feeling good. If other parts haven’t had a chance to fully recover, the risk of injury is so much higher. It’s tough to hold back because I’ve always been the type to get the most out of my body. I either have to figure out how to achieve additional feedback from my body, or just give it a finite amount of recovery time and just accept the fact that there is no accelerated program when it comes to starting nearly from scratch at my age.
This past week marks 8 weeks since I started running again. I had a major breakthrough this week. Tuesday with the abbreviated 3x1000m workout followed by Wednesday’s long run turned tempo. I sat myself down for the next two days and did cross-training, stretching, myfascial release, etc. Saturday, I was really thinking mile repeats, but it was raining and after the 4 mile warmup, the legs just weren’t there for mile repeats. So, I veered off to the East and turned it into a semi-long run and the legs just started feeling great. I was shirtless in the pouring rain and managed to drop to 6:45 pace for nearly 4 miles. An excellent run. Sunday, I once again felt great and ran a controlled 3x3000m workout on the muddy trails of Dobbs Park. Nothing extremely fast, roughly 6:40 pace on the fastest one, which is still good considering the course. Today, I allowed myself to accept that the legs were going to run 8:30 pace for my recovery run.
But this is how it usually works. Not just steady improvement, but improvement by leaps and bounds. I’ve got 3 weeks to go yet for the Indy Mini. It’s looking more and more that I may be able to break 1:30. Just gotta keep playing it smart and do what I can to keep running at this point. Starting over is the hardest part. The breakthroughs make it so worth it and give you the patience necessary to keep chugging along with consistency as your friend.