March 1st-6th... The past week of training really had one focus, reintroducing running. Since my spectacularly failed attempt to run 100 miles at Skydive Ultra, I hadn't really run at all. Just a few short test walks and runs in February to see if my knee was going to laugh in my face or was feeling a bit better. February had been a month to rest the running spirit. March is to bring running back, and this was the first week of doing so.
A Ragged Return to Running
I ran five days during this first week of March. Two really, really super silly easy recovery runs of 30 minutes. There's really not much to say about those runs other than I ran 'em when scheduled. Two runs with intensity. One long (and I use that word with a chuckle) run.
The two intensity runs were kind of a new thing for me, speed work. The first run was a 45 minute fartlek run on Tuesday. No structure, just faster and slower as it felt right. I was even able to push myself on a final sprint to that territory where the day's lunch becomes a bit unsettled in the stomach...a highlight of any intense workout! I really had fun with this run! I might hate it this week when I do it at 4:30AM instead of in the afternoon. The second intensity run was 45 minutes of tempo build on Thursday morning. Now, I'm not fast. When I say tempo, this is a lot of people's long run or even recovery pace. But it's fast for me. And it was the third day of running after a month off...my legs weren't super happy. Overall though, the intensity runs were a fun new addition. I may even enjoy them in a few months.
The long run...well, an hour and a half isn't really long, is it? But it's my long run at this point as I rebuild as if from scratch. I did, however, run faster than I was running long runs in the past. As I get closer to Daytona 100, and these runs become much longer, I'll become more specific and slow it down. For now, shorter and faster rules.
There were two additional items of note this week for my running. First, new shoes. My beloved Asics Gel Hyperspeed 6 have been discontinued (a runner's worst nightmare), so I'm on the hunt for new shoes. For now, I'm running in a pair of Nike Zoom Streak LT2's and will be adding a maximalist shoe soon for long stuff. I'm not sold on the Streaks. The biggest issue, the platform seems REALLY narrow and I often felt like I might just tip over to the side. They're light and well-cushioned, but that narrowness is a bit disconcerting. Evidently, I really like a wide sole...this shoe is not that! I'll probably order a pair of Asics Gel Hyperspeed 7's soon to see how the update feels. The shoe hunt is on.
The second item is the status of my left knee, the killer of my Skydive Ultra 100, the occasional bane of my running existence. The knee wasn't perfect this week, but it wasn't bad. I'm quite sure the issue is IT band syndrome and nothing more (nor less) severe. It felt good for my first couple runs. The Thursday intensity run, I actually cut a few minutes short as I passed home due to a touch of discomfort in the knee. And the final half hour of my Saturday long run also included some discomfort. However, nothing that is concerning at this point. My final Sunday recovery run actually seemed to resolve a bunch of the discomfort in the knee. Fingers crossed that I'm on the road to knee nirvana. If I keep my knee happy, I should arrive at Daytona 100 ready to crush a solid middle of the pack finish!
I'm running again, and that's the big take away! Not much mileage (24 miles on the week), but almost exactly the amount of time I had planned. I'm running by time in 2016, not mileage.
And finally, on the running front, I'm officially registered for Daytona 100. This thing is real now!
As was the case in February, swimming remains a big focus in March as I prepare for the 10K swim at Swim Miami. But for this week, I was taking a bit of a swimming rest after more than doubling my biggest swimming month in February.
Swimming didn't go great this past week. Every workout felt flat and slow. Lots of leg cramps. Overall, just not a good week of swimming. I suspect the addition of running and some intense running is the culprit. I'll adjust, eventually.
Overall, about 11,000 yards of swimming. Still a good week for me, but not my new 20,000 per week target.
Oh, and I seem to have a raging and recurring case of swimmer's ear. Ear plugs may be in my future. I wonder how I'll hear the Master's swim coach call out the swim sets and paces?
I didn't touch the bike last week. Not once...well, once to move my bike out of the way in the apartment. I can't figure it out, but biking is just the sport I enjoy the least and by quite a margin. Maybe it's all the equipment. Maybe it's the time necessary. Maybe it's feeling vulnerable to cars out on the road. Probably it's lack of comfort in the saddle, which is a symptom of not enough riding. Oh...how to resolve that. I'm not comfortable, so I don't ride. But I need to ride more to get comfortable.
I was fine not riding this week. With running back in the mix, I was prepared to let other stuff wane for a week. But, it's time to get back to biking, even if it's just short stints on the training.
So that's the week. Not really all that much to report other than the running bit. I'm so happy to be running again. Fast or not, it's really my zen place. Whether the run is at 4AM or late in the evening, it's so easy for me to just relax into the rhythm of the steps and figure out solutions to all the world's problems. Only trouble is, I never remember those solutions at the end of the run!
Whatever you're training looks like, keep moving!