Running has really been clicking for me. It seems the month away from running was just what the body called for. I just feel stronger, faster and more efficient than prior to the break. In fact, the running has gone so well since I resumed in March, that I completed my second fastest half-marathon ever on my long run Saturday. The only time I ran faster, I was 23 years old. And I felt very comfortable the entire time and, in a race situation, would have been quite a bit faster. Perhaps 10-15 minutes faster. (An important interjection here. My "faster" is still very, very slow relative to fast people.) After so much time running slow and preparing for ultra-marathons, I'm learning I sort of enjoy running a bit less slow.
I did have just a touch of IT band pain Sunday on my recovery run. It was a small relapse on what has been an otherwise smooth recovery from the pain that stopped me at Skydive Ultra. I'm hoping it's just a matter of a little too much, too quickly; and that a small pull back will put me back on the path to full recovery.
Swimming was also a success this week. I reached the longest single swim I plan to complete as I prepare for Swim Miami at 8,000 yards on Sunday. I'm not fast. I'm not super-efficient. But I can keep things moving along for an extended period of time now. I could have swam another 2,000 yards relatively comfortably. I was also able to test my nutrition plan: Tailwind to drink and a tablespoon of almond butter at ~2 miles and ~4 miles. That seemed to work well. I plan to swim two more 8,000 yard sets before race day.
On top of being able to swim the distance, I also felt really good swimming this week in general. So much so that at one point during the week, I actually posted the following on Facebook:
That comment is a huge deal for me. I have never, ever felt like I belonged in the water before. I still don't swim well, but something's changed just a bit. I can feel the catch (sometimes.) I can feel the pull (occasionally.) I can feel good body positions (from time to time.) Until the past week, these concepts were just words without any real understanding. But this week, I felt them on several occasions. I could play with them a little. I can pull a bit harder or let water flow past my arm instead. I can feel my feet sink or pull them up above the water. Not all the time. Not even most of the time. But sometimes.
As for the bike, I've decided to give up for now. At least until after Swim Miami. Six days of swimming and six days of running just aren't leaving me with time to get on the bike. Plus I wonder if the lack of bike training is at least partially involved in the improved running?
That's it for the week. Next week's training thoughts might be a bit light, also. I expect to have less time for either running or swimming this week. Perhaps I'll change things up and consider it a recovery week.
Whatever you training looks like, keep moving!