Saturday, January 12, 2013

The 3 R's: Recover, Rebuild, and REFOCUS

All those resolutions/goals I said I wanted for 2013?  Toss 'em. 

The more I've run these last few of weeks, the more I've tried to get my speed back, the more I've tried to hang on to a 7-mile long run, the MORE my ankle has hurt.  It hurt day and night.  It hurt going down steps or simply walking.  It hurt for the first 1.5 miles of any run (previously it only hurt about the first half mile).   Recovery definitely took two steps back.   I wound up having to take a solid 6 days off from running.  I hiked, I strength trained, I spun (spinned?  cycled?), I rested. 

And it felt so much better!  Only 6 days off netted great improvement.    I started back on Wednesday with a slow, gentle 3-mile treadmill run on an incline of 2-3.  It feels best on an incline, rather than a flat.  An incline reduces impact and shortens my stride.   It was an embarrassingly slow pace I won't post here, but it was a comfortable pace that didn't HURT.  That's one step in the RIGHT DIRECTION.    Then a 1.5 mile treadmill run and a .5 walk afterwards on Thursday.  Finally, a two mile run on a track without a watch and an estimated one-mile walk around campus with a friend in gorgeous 70-degree and sunny weather.  (In January!!)  It was so enjoyable to not care how fast we were going, to run pain free, and to spend time with a friend.  Ahhh, I had forgotten about this aspect of training.  Then a couple hours later I spun (spinned? cycled?) 4 miles including a Tabata interval.   Friday was my "long" day.

It is a little sore today after 3 days of activity, so I'm going to rest.    I'm going to rest from running for at least 2-3 days.   On Sunday afternoon, I plan to spin. 

This is the kind of runner I was talking about two or three posts ago.    I'm just rebuilding and trying to get healthy.   I've let all concern of pace and distance go.   And it's so FREEING.  I hiked for an hour  on my favorite trail the other day with a different friend.  It was so nice.  

Running can be about training plans and speedwork and racing and chasing PR's.  But it can also be about running just for fun and good health, even racing just for fun and the experience, spending time with good friends, and enjoying time in the outdoors.   How did I forget that?  

In the past 24 months, I have set new PR's at every distance:  1 mile, 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon.   I think it is time to change the focus.

My NEW/REVISED goals for 2013
This year, I want to have FUN as a runner.   I'm going to slowly rebuild my base and heal my ankle and try not to care how slow I run or compare myself to others.   I'm going to crosstrain with hiking and spinning.  I'm going to strength train and do some interval training (non-running and occasionally running).   I'm going to do some races for fun and the experience.    I think I'm going to be more "experience-focused" rather than "results focused."

That is all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

2013 Goals

This is the first year in a long time that I have more non-running goals/resolutions than running ones.   But since this is a running blog, I won't bore anyone with the non-running ones.

In 2012, I had two goals:  Break 2:05 in a half marathon and break 27 in a 5K.  I didn't do either.  I missed both by just seconds though.  I guess those two will carry over.

I *hope* to do the following in 2013:

1.  Get this ankle healthy.   Right now, it still hurts every day.  I need to train smart over the next month by running limited mileage on soft surfaces when possible.

2.  Crosstrain more.   I love hiking on the trails (a little scared to run on trails right now with that weak ankle) and cycling on a stationary bike.   There is something so fun about putting in some good music and tuning out the world on the stationary bike at the Y.    Some days, I may only do 15-20 minutes of high-intensity intervals on the bike, some days I may ride for 45-60 minutes.   It's also a great time to read.   I hope to Crosstrain 1 - 2 days per week.

3.  HIIT.   I am going to make sure to include some high-intensity-interval training both in running and cycling or cross-training as well as strength training.   It will help that I am teaching a Tuesday morning Cardio Circuit class!   I will plan 1/2 the class as HIIT and the other half as strength work.

4.  Strength train 2 X a week.  I am still waiting for my ankle and wrist to be 100% before seriously pursuing a Crossfit gym.  I am starting Crossfit lite on my own though.   I am sore today and it feels good!  Weirdly, I missed that feeling.   Again, since I'm teaching a class at the Y, this should be easily attained.
5.  Run more quality miles.  I am starting a new part-time job plus my old part-time job at the Y and three kids.  I don't have all day to run anymore.   I am going to try less quantity and more quality.   Honestly, quantity didn't get me to my goals this year.  (Except for the marathon PR.)

6.  Run a marathon for FUN.   I don't want to put in any 20 milers, I want to maybe train up to two or three 16 milers and maybe one 18 and Galloway a marathon.   I've done it once before in 5:09 at the Hatfield-McCoy.   I'm looking at the Flying Pig Marathon in May to keep my streak of flying animal races alive.   There are some other fun summer ones I might consider as well.

7.  Break 2:05 in a half marathon.   Someday, I want to break 2 hours.   But first, break 2:05.  I think the focus race is going to be the Murray Half Marathon in Kentucky on April 13.  Training will start SOON.

8.  Break that darn 27:00 barrier in a 5K.    I think the interval training will get me there.  My PR is 27:00.     I have a long way to go to get back down to the 27-minute range though.  My speed has suffered with the ankle recovery.

9.  Take another shot at the Flying Monkey.  I'd like to beat my 5:03 sprained-ankle time and finish uninjured.    So, my first somewhat serious marathon won't be until November.   (Unless I change my mind.)   I don't mind running marathons.  I just don't like all the LONG, boring runs in training.

10.  Do more local races.   There are several I've always wanted to do, but haven't.  My 2nd part-time job will pay for race fees!