Feeling minor twinges in my right quad, I started my run along the San Diego Bay on a warm and humid Tuesday morning. I felt off right from the start, but you know what they say: never trust your first mile. My first 2 warm-up miles felt tough. Tougher than they should: my heart rate was high (much higher than normal) and my right leg felt "off". I continued on and sped up to my tempo speed. Yeah, not so good. I ran 3 miles at tempo and decided that was enough. I finished my run with a 2 mile cool-down, but had to keep stopping because my heart rate was high.
After the day's meetings were finished, I hopped on the hotel treadmill to finish my tempo work: 1/2 mile warm-up--2 miles at tempo--1/2 mile cool-down. I don't know if this is right or appropriate, but I wanted to finish my aborted run. I know missing ONE or even not completing ONE run will not affect my training. In my head, I should have known this is my body telling me I need more rest and recovery.
Especially true in light of Wednesday's recovery run: 4 miles along the relatively flat San Diego Bay. It was drizzling a bit, but not warm like the day before. On my recovery runs, I like to keep my heart rate below 143 bpm. This was not happening. Again, my heart rate was higher than expected. I ran the 4 miles at a slow recovery pace, but my average heart rate was 152 bpm. Clearly I needed more rest. Right? Back home, I ran my scheduled 11 mile regular run on Thursday morning. Again, it felt harder than it should.
I took Friday off completely (no cross-training) and decided not to drive out to Los Angeles on Saturday for a Oiselle Volée meet-up (too much driving hurts my legs--it's a 3 hour round trip) and we were going to Orange County (2 hour round trip) for a birthday party later that day.
Weekends get overbooked with different activities and before I know it, Monday happens and I haven't rested properly. I think I was tired from travel, dehydrated, still recovering from the weekend before and the HEAT.
Bad runs happen. Unfortunately, they brought out my self-doubt thoughts that cycle through my mind: Am I good enough? Can I even do this? Why am I doing this? and all of the other discouraging and depressing thoughts that plague my mind. I started to fear doing my planned weekend runs...
....Saturday morning I ran my 18-mile long run. After the first couple miles, my right quad didn't bother me. I kept an eye on my heart rate. It stayed within my normal run range. It was a great run! I was able to get in my run zone and the miles melted away. Up until the last two miles, which were a struggle. Reflecting back on my run, I realized I did not have any water since mile 12 and it was HOT. A simple solution to make my next run better.
In summary: my tough week has reminded me to (1)recover like a champ; (2) dust myself off and learn from my mistakes but don't dwell on them; (3) ask for help; and (4) re-focus on mental toughness training.
Week 8 (10 weeks until CIM)Goal Mileage: 54 miles
Tuesday: Recovery run + speed - 7 miles with 6 x 100m strides
Wednesday: Medium-long run - 12 miles
Thursday: Rest or cross-training
Friday: Lactate threshold run - 10 miles with 6 miles
Sunday: Long run - 20 miles