The weather is 50s-60s almost everyday, ideal for running. You don’t need to layer on the clothes, and you won’t sweat like crazy. And I’m jealous as hell of all the healthy runners who can enjoy it. For more than a month, I’ve been slowly recovering from this inner calf thing and can’t run like I normally do. I’m a caged animal, (roar). Taking 2-3 days off doesn’t help much; the pain comes back after one run. Taking a month off is a last resort and I’m not at that point yet.
Since December I’ve been training to shave 5 minutes off of my half-marathon time (speed up by 0:30 per mile). Every training session became a speed session and most likely caused my legs to break down. Whatever happened to fun runs, easy long runs, recovery runs, etc? With 3 weeks before the Brooklyn Half marathon, I needed a method to simultaneously recover quickly and keep my legs strong enough to run a half marathon.
No running from Monday-Saturday. Leg elevation and icing while watching TV or on the PC. Push-ups and planks day and night. Stairs, stairs, stairs! No more elevators. Kung-fu workouts on Wednesdays are still my #1 cross-training choice. As much as I wanted to get out and run on Saturday, I fought the urge. My apartment building has 6 floors, so I decided to go up and down the stairs 15 times (75 flights total) and do squats in the elevator while going back to the first floor. This became boring fast.
Sunday came and I cracked. Using my older sneakers, I went outside for a 4 miler. Yes, the distance for my “long weekend run” was incredibly short but recovery is key. I was able to “tune” my speed to minimize the pavement pounding force, which turned out to be an 11 min/mile pace. Good bye speed running but hello quick recovery.
After work on Monday, I was feeling lucky and took a gamble. I went out for another 4 miler. Why? Well, if running shorter distances at a lower pace was working, then why not apply a stress test. The tuning pace was 10:15 min/mile, an improvement. Tuesday and Wednesday were rest days for the legs. Another 4 miler on Thursday evening with a tuning speed of 9:55 min/mile. The final test was a small race; the NYRR Japan Day 4 miler.
OFF TO THE RACES :
NYRR Japan Day 4-Miler @ Central Park
May 12th, 2013. 57 degrees
Results: 8:13 pace, 1400 place, 71% percentile, (C-)
Well, maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Another 4 mile loop in Central Park. This may have been the first time where hundreds of runners would pass me by and I didn’t care. There I was, not racing during a race. The goal was to maintain a 8:15 min/mile pace while keeping the pavement pounding force to a minimum. Wow, I actually pulled it off. No PR, but it was a great victory nonetheless.
After racing at my target half-marathon pace for 4 miles, I decided to run home: Queensborough bridge and a straight 10k route down Queens Blvd. The verdict… much better than a few weeks ago. My confidence has been restored, the Brooklyn half race is still a go! I’ll rest my legs until then.
More like recovery training:
|May 5 Sunday||3.93||11:21||So depressing, like a zombie chasing humans|
|May 6 Monday||4.01||10:13||Improving…|
|May 9 Thursday||4.12||9:54||The pace when I began running, lol.|
|May 12 Sunday||4.00||8:13||Jon is back!|
|May 12 Sunday||5.77||9:26||Still taking it easy, gotta save it for Brooklyn|
Speed Jams (tunes to run that 7 min/mile pace):
Although I came nowhere close to a 7 min/mile pace during my recovery running, I recall Daft Punk and Usher keeping me company while running under the sun:
- One more time – Daft Punk
- Around the world – Daft Punk
- Harder better faster stronger – Daft Punk
- DJ got us fallin in love – Usher
- More – Usher
It looks like I’m finally recovering, and ready for a Half marathon and the 5 month NYC marathon training madness. Thanks again PDXrunningchick and Dominick for your ideas and suggestions. The next time an injury like this occurs, I’ll know how to deal with it. Although conceptually simplistic, running can become quite complicated depending on how involved you get. For someone who gets bored easily, running never gets boring (unless I’m on the treadmill). You could do the same 10K or 13 mile route every week and it will always be a different experience.