Life Happens: Coming Full Circle

Whew!  I have been so busy since my last blog post.  I went back to work part-time as an English teacher at the end of January.   I teach three classes per week at a local community college.  Last weekend, I adopted a beagle/basset--a "bagle."  I started a training group for the Country Music Half Marathon.  I have fourteen athletes.    I've continued my sprained ankle recovery building up mileage and doing just a little speedwork, a little trail running, and LOTS of runs with friends.  I can't remember the last time I ran alone.  The ankle is making progress.  It is unhappy on cold, rainy days and if I do too much mileage on consecutive days.  

I started teaching a high-intensity-interval class on Tuesdays at 8:30 at the YMCA on January 1.   It is a combination of HIIT, cardio, and strength training.   I took a "before" picture and a picture six weeks later.  I was ASTOUNDED at the difference HIIT made. 

The tough thing is that Tuesday is a running day, so I generally go run four miles after teaching my cardio circuit class, and those area always TOUGH miles.  My legs are often smoked from forty-five minutes of burpees, jump rope, squats, lunges, etc.   At least running after strength training forces your body to go right into fat burning mode.   It is making me run through fatigue and "dead legs" and hopefully building endurance. 

I'm whittling my pace back down to under 10:20 on medium runs and under 10:45 for longer ones.  It's a start.   I ran three 800's last week at about an 8:15 pace and it wasn't awful.  I had a three mile tempo run at about a 9:25 pace the week before that was fairly awful.   I do a little sprinting in my class, but it's only around 50 to 75 meters.   For the past two weeks, I've done speedwork on Thursday, a longish run on Friday, and a long or moderate run on Saturday.

After the 2nd week of that, my ankle, which had been doing fantastically, began to hurt again. Too much, too soon, I guess.  I am taking it very easy this week.  I have my first race of 2013 on Saturday!

I am "getting back on the horse that threw me," so to speak.  The last race I ran was the Flying Monkey Marathon on November 18 in Percy Warner Park in Nashville.  I fell HARD on a downhill and sprained both my ankle and wrist at about mile 10.  I continued 16 more miles in pain and finished the race.  I took a break from running and lost so much speed and endurance.  However, I was horribly burned out, so the timing actually worked out ok.  (If there actually is a "good time" to be injured....)  It has been nice to not focus on running so much. 

On Saturday, I'm running the Race Judicata 10K once again in Percy Warner Park.  The park that broke me is the park where I am staging my comeback.  I don't know how much of a comeback it will actually be!  My goal is to just run the best that I can with what I'm working with right now and to NOT fall and get injured.  I need to experience Percy Warner Park again--not in pain, not rolling on the concrete.   I plan to embrace the hills and the experience of racing again.  I know a three-month hiatus from running races doesn't sound like much, but it really does seem like ages since I ran a race. 

My ankle is bothering me a little, so I plan to take Thursday and Friday off from running.  After the 10K at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, I'm meeting my training group for 7 miles at 1:00 p.m.  It's going to be an interesting day.  I'm a little nervous about how the ankle will hold up. 

Next weekend is a little 5K race to just use as a baseline for 2013.  Then the following week is a 23K trail race just for FUN along beautiful Kentucky Lake.  My longest run has been 10, so 14.2 miles, including 11.6 on a trail, should be interesting.  

Three races in three weeks---THAT is a new record.  I suppose I'm making up for lost time.  I'm excited to be back racing.  It's just what I do.  Not particularly well or anything, but it adds some life to my days.  :-)
This is Buddy, my bagle.  He's actually a pretty good runner!   I've only had him for four days, but he ran a quarter mile with me.  I let him set the pace.   I happened to have on my Garmin, and he can run about a 10:10 pace.  Works for me!  I can't wait to take him on a trail.   


SWMom said…
Your bagle is so cute! We have a 9 year old beagle and she is not a good running partner (she zig zags!) but she is a great family member. I just found your blog and really like it! best wishes in your training. I'm running my first 1/2 in May.
RunnerMom said…
Good luck in your first 1/2!! The beagle isn't such a great running partner. He gets a scent and she either stops or is GONE, dragging me with him.