RunLog – June 26, 2021

Planned Workout Description: 

Type: Long Run

Today’s Running Focus

Running controlled.

Why am I doing this run?

I need to start moving the long run out a bit more each week, the number of positive things that a long run brings to the table are too numerous to list, but while 60:00 minutes might not be a super long run, as I return to fitness is a good starting point for me at this time.

What I Actually Did Today: 

I did the planned 60:00 minutes of running. Going out I felt comfortable and while the humidity was higher than I like, I was running well. When I got out to the Middle Road, I picked up the pace a little, but worked hard on maintaining good form (for me) and not getting ahead of myself. I know this course too well and the entire second half is pretty much uphill, so I didn’t want to go out too hard and turn the run into a complete sufferfest.

Going up Blue Ridge Road wasn’t as bad as the last time I ran this course, which gives me a little hope that I am starting to regain some of my fitness. I can only hope. Going down Blue Ridge and then onto Sunset Ridge Road was my fastest mile split. I kept holding myself back. I wanted to go faster, but also knew what that would mean once I got back to Middle Road and that long grade back up to Blake and the hill by the Town Office.

So I relaxed and paced the FEDEX truck as he made his stops on the road. He laughed and shook his head a couple of times as we kept passing each other. I do have to admit having that distraction was nice, since it was starting to look like I had taken a shower, I was sweating so badly.

I can honestly say that I was glad that I didn’t attempt to pick up the pace that I thought about doing once I got back on the Middle Road. That long grade is damned deceptive and by the time I got up to the Town Office, I was feeling it more than I wanted to admit. Then heading up that short hill there hurt more than it should have. Getting back on the dirt road was nice although I could tell the difference between running on the tar and the dirt. At toe-off, it was more of a little spin-out, not a solid toe-off.

Blake Hill was the beginning of the suffering, going up that little hill was hard, and I didn’t fight it too much, I slowed down and made it up the hill. Then did the same thing going up Stevens Hill. Then I stopped at the Upper Gate. 

I had thought about doing enough to get in 7.0 miles which would have been the longest run since the injury, but the way I was feeling, the Achilles was starting to grumble and the way my shirt was hanging off me, I decided to shut it down at the planned 60:00. I am not going to second-guess the training plan too much at this point, since I am still recovering my fitness and don’t want to screw things up too badly yet. Well, actually I don’t want to screw things up at all and am really attempting to follow the philosophy of the Stryd 5K training plan, even though I am not really paying attention to the Power numbers. Although they are getting closer to where I am running. hehehehe

Did that workout go as planned?

Pretty much. I figured that I would not do too much in Zone 1, which is what the plan called for the first half (207) and then I was just a little high for the second half (208) for the Zone 2 work that it called for. Which probably if I was being coached would be outside of the purpose of the run. However, I didn’t feel bad during the first half and was constantly pulling back on what I wanted to do and then had to push a harder to finish the run. Which is basically what the plan wanted me to do.

Injuries/Niggles: At about 4.5 or so, the Left Achilles began to grumble, not enough to worry, but it seems that is pretty much about where it starts to bother. I know that the eccentric and calf work are things that are going to be a part of my running routine for the rest of the time I am a runner. If I don’t do them, the legs are not going to let me run the way that I want and eventually will stop my running – something that I do not want to happen.

Weather: Broken clouds, 67°F, Feels like 68°F, Humidity 88%, Wind 5mph from N 

Shoes: Reebok Floatride Forever Energy 2 – This was my second run in the FFE2s, and they continue to impress the hell out of me. I got them as a Father’s Day present from D2 and they are quickly turning into the shoes that I want on my feet. I had zero issues on the run today and this is a course that other shoes that I have worn on it have had too many problems with how my feet feel after getting back on the dirt road section again. Which is all I want from my shoes, to be able to run without discomfort or pain in my feet from the way the shoes fit.

Although I will admit that the FFE2s do have a bit of a spin-out problem on toe-off on the dirt road and I have to go to the land, lever, lift mode there, which was just as well, since that is where the Achilles did start to bother. Hmmm I wonder if the Achilles bothering more is a function of the gravel road causing me to spin-out a little more on toe-off on the Blake Road portion of downback? It is something I am going look at a little more closely now that I have thought about it.

How am I feeling today? Overall, I felt really good, I didn’t do my prehab Achilles exercises until after the run and seemed to have a little more spring in my stride for longer without doing it first thing. I am a little more excited about my progress, because this is a tough course for me and usually, I struggle quite a bit more coming back up the Middle Road then onto Blake. Today, I didn’t struggle as much until later in the run.

Other Stuff

I finished reading Endure last night and took a couple of things away from reading it. One that suffering is not really optional if I want to run fast (for me), which I knew, but have never accepted that is just a part of my running, not just something other runners have to do. Second, that even with all the greatest tech, training plans or whatever other gadgets or mental gymnastics I attempt, I need to do the following:

If you want to run faster, it’s hard to improve on the training haiku penned by Mayo Clinic physiologist Michael Joyner, the man whose 1991 journal paper foretold the two-hour-marathon chase: 

Run a lot of miles 

Some faster than your race pace 

Rest once in a while

Hutchinson, Alex. Endure (pp. 258-259). Custom House. Kindle Edition.

These are good words to think about as I continue to push the old body to places that I never expected to go ever again and I would add:

  • Most of all keep smiling

Now to figure out what that damn race pace is going to be and what race I am focusing on.

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