Happy Monday! This was definitely a crazy week of training for me (both good and bad) with different workouts thrown in, staying in a different place so running in new areas, an injury, a rapid recovery, and a race! But it always works out and the craziness makes it meaningful!
On Thursday I ran my speedwork on the treadmill and hurt my back a little over halfway through. I tried stretching and icing, but the icing seemed to aggravate it more and I wasn't sure what that meant for my long run. After some research, I decided to try heat instead of ice and that worked like a charm. Additionally, I applied my KT Tape and the heat/tape combo worked wonders. I ultimately skipped my long run on Saturday and pushed it to Sunday, because while I was feeling better by Friday night, I wasn't quite good to go. By Saturday afternoon the pain was gone and all I had was a little tightness. I continued heating and I'm pretty sure what happened was a spasm, rather than an actual muscle strain because of the rapid onset and the way the pain just disappeared once it relaxed.
Other than the injury, I worked in hill training, speed (until I hurt myself), abs/quads, and a race to turn my long run into speed work. It actually worked out to a pretty good week overall.
Since I raced on Sunday after a long run Saturday, I took Monday off to give my body some rest. I did make sure to do an quad workout and an ab cycle. When Tuesday came around, I started off with 1.5 easy miles with the dog I was watching, and then dropped her off to do 3.5 more on my own. The place I was staying was super hilly, which made for some good uphill and downhill training.
On Wednesday I decided to really make use of the hills and use the 1.5 mile loop I found that was half uphill and half down hill to really get in a good workout. My legs were tired from the day before and from the ab and quad cycle that I repeated on Tuesday, but I knew this would be a good way to work hard on tired legs. I did 3 loops and then a little extra to get it to 5 miles total.
Thursday - Speedwork
Ah Thursday, the day I hurt myself. I had a crazy morning so I wasn't able to get my run in until later in the day and it worked out to be about 90 degrees and 100% humidity. I knew my speedwork would be terrible and I was risking dehydration in that heat if I went outside. "Oh, I'll use the treadmill, it'll be perfect! I've done a 14 miler on a treadmill, I can easily do speedwork." As it turns out, speedwork on a treadmill is quite different from regular treadmill running. The plan was to do a 1 mile warmup, and then 10x800s, alternating the 800s between fast (7:00/mile) and slow (8:00/mile). I got through the 1 mile warmup and then 6 of the 800s and at the tail end of the last one, my back started cramping. I ran out the 10th of a mile I had left and stopped, knowing I might hurt myself if I pushed on. I tried to stretch out, but it got progressively worse and I called it a day. By some miracle, I could still do a side plank, so my steak stayed alive on day 153!
Sunday - Hat Trick Race/Long Run Speedwork
I didn't want to do my long run alone and I also didn't want to go out half way and find out the pain came back and be stranded, so I looked for a race. I found a unique race called the Hat Trick race. I was a 5 miler, followed by a 5k, followed by a 2 mile. Perfect! 10 miles and I knew I would do them a little faster than a usual long run, with the option to drop if there was any pain after a race.
I showed up and registered that morning and then ran about 1/2 a mile to see how my back felt. I had no pain or tightness but I still had KT Tape on just in case. The deal was you had to switch out your bib between races and the 5k would start an hour after the 5 miler, and the 2 miler would start 45 minutes after the start of the 5k. The 5 miler had its own course and the 5k and the 2 miler shared a course with the turn for the 2 miler (obviously) being earlier. If you ran all three, you got a hat to celebrate completing the "hat trick" and there were awards for each race.
We started the 5 miler and I felt good. I noted that we ran downhill for about the couple miles and told myself we were going to go back up it, even though I wasn't sure of the course. I was holding about 7:35s and passing runners as I went. My plan was to run the same way I did at the last 5k because I ran a nice negative split there and felt good. At 2.25 miles we turned onto trails. I don't do trails and needless to say, I was not thrilled. It was all uphill on dirt trails for about half a mile. At that point, one female runner passed me as I backed off to 7:50s, not knowing how long we would be on the trails or going uphill. I was so happy when we got on the road, but then the hot sun was bearing down on us as we made our way back. I gladly took water at every stop, and told myself to just hold 8s and push through. The humidity was rough and I was not enjoying myself by mile 4. At 4.25 we had to do a loop through a parking lot to get some additionally distance and for some reason, that made me feel good. I guess because I saw how far ahead of the next closest person I was. When I had the finish in my sights, I heard someone behind me and I dead sprinted for the finish. I wanted that AG award and knew they were big (10yr) ages. It turns out it was a guy, but I was grateful for the push at the end. It worked out to about 7:55/mile average for the 5 miler. I had about 20 minutes to grab some watermelon, water, Nuun, and a gel to get ready for the 5k.
When I got on the line for the 5k, I told myself I would take this one easier (ha!). I set off at about a 7:45/mile, and you could tell that people were tired from the first race because they dropped off quickly. I was hanging with a man in neon compression socks, using him as a pacer. When I hit about 1.3 miles, the lead man passed me on his way back, and the other leaders started coming through. I started to notice that there were no girls. When I was about .1 miles from the turn around I saw a girl on her way back and a second not to far behind her, and then no more. "I'm in third!" I looked behind and saw no girls and I kicked it up. When I rounded the turn, I noticed there was another girl about 2/10s of a mile behind me. I kicked it up to 7:35s and then once I hit a mile to go, 7:30s. I kept looking over my shoulder and for a while, I could see a guy, but no girls. I pushed it to 7:20s and then 7:15s and I saw no one behind me. When I crossed the line, I looked at the race director and mouthed "3rd?" and he said yep! It worked out to be about 7:45/mile for that race. I grabbed more water and Nuun and chatted with the guy in the neon socks until the next race. We were so deep in conversation that we almost forgot to switch our bibs and I managed to stab myself with a pin while frantically changing mine.
Again, I said, "okay, 2 mile cool down". We took off and I settled into a 7:45/mile pace. I let the three girls ahead of me go, deciding not to race. But as we got going, I felt pretty good and I could tell 2 and 3 were struggling. By the time we got to an uphill, I passed them and they dropped back. I figured they'd catch back up but I never saw them again. I had 1F within a tenth of a mile of me, and I kept her in my sights as we hit the turn around. With about 3/4 of a mile to go we were next to each other. We hit the downhill and she went slightly ahead, but then on the uphill, I shot ahead of her and she high fived me as I went by. We were down near 7:20s at this point with about .35 to go. I held the lead for a while but around .15 to go, she went ahead. I pretty much let her go at that point, but went with, keeping her in my sights as we dropped down to 7:05s. We finished close together, with her getting me by a couple seconds. 7:35/mile for that one. I later found out that she was 15, so I'm happy about holding with someone 10 years younger than me!
Ultimately I worked out to be 1st Female 20-29 in the 5 Miler, 3rd Female in the 5k, and 2nd Female in the 2 miler. 10.1 Miles at 7:45/mile and it was a fun way to get my long run in and to do it for speed. Most importantly, no pain!! Oh and I got my hat for completing the hat trick!
Was it a crazy, different week of training? Yep! Was it still a good week, that ended in a way I never saw coming after an injury on Thursday? Definitely! Long mileage coming up next weekend, and I'm ready to tackle it after a confidence boost this week!