Reality – Saturday – July 31, 2021

How am I feeling today?

It feels like mid-September out there this morning, 51*F, and very low humidity, with a breeze out of the North. Yes, it felt invigorating! I have half-a-brain back and am looking forward to my long run this morning with this kind of weather. I am debating whether to go and do the Cony-Piggery 10K course, where I hurt my Achilles, just to chase away that particular demon, or heading up to Waterville and taking on an excellent course up there.

Today is the last day of the month, it is hard to believe that I have run as much as I have this month, and while I feel a bit tired, nothing is broken, and the Stryd training plan seems to have provided me with enough structure to keep me healthier than usual. 

No, I haven’t followed the Power part of the plan all that well, but I have kept the intent of the workouts by doing hard days harder and easy/recovery days easier than I usually do. Plus, I am getting over having to have a whole activity be – at a certain pace. Instead, I follow the watch’s commands to speed up or slow down, according to the plan, not simply how Harold is feeling at the moment.

So, if I complete a 10K today, I will reach 150 miles for the month, for the first time since October 2019, which I didn’t think would happen this year, with the way that January thru March went.

Next week will be a cut-back week as I taper for a 5K time trial, and then I will begin a 10K training plan for an October local race. I haven’t really trained for a 10K in years, so it will be a different challenge than I am used to, and if I am honest with myself a little intimidated by it when I look at the plan ahead. However, I also feel confident that after experiencing the 5K plan and feeling the same way at the start, I will do fine.

I just have to remember that every workout is not an endpoint but another stepping stone towards the goals that I do have.

Planned Workout Description: 

  • Long Run

Per Stryd: “This 60:00 Long Run is comprised of a short warm up, a 40:00 moderate section, and a short cool down.”

I just have to figure where I want to run today. The weather is about as good as it is going to get in the summer.

Today’s Running Focus

· Don’t be in such a hurry

What I Did Today: 

I went to Augusta and ran the Cony-Piggery 10K course.

Warm-up

  • Split Avg Power     
  • 10:00 217W             

Run/Recover

  • Split Avg Power     
  • 40:00 220W                                               
  • 6:01 222W 

Did the workout go as planned?

Yes.

I didn’t quite make the full 60:00 minutes, but I got done what I wanted to. An evenly paced effort where I didn’t re-injure my Achilles. There is negative energy for me over at Cony, and when it comes to running the back part of Cony Road and finishing in the Cony campus, it seems that my left Achilles bothers at the end every time I run there and it is where I partially tore it back in 2013. It is probably a coincidence, but…I will not race there again. Yes, I am a bit superstitious, and that is okay.

There is a lot of construction going on at Cony still, so I was glad that I chose a Saturday to see what was going on. Going up the first hills, well, I wasn’t warmed up and not really ready to run them, but I made it up without too many issues, just a little slower than I expected. Yeah, I am still having some problems going up hills, and while it is getting a little better as I get back in shape, I know that what used to be a strength has become more of a weakness with each passing year.

Once over them, I felt pretty good on Eastern Ave and up to Piggery Rd. One of these days, I have to actually do a time trial on Piggery, just to see what kind of time I can do, but I just bounced along nicely. Although, it was kind of sad to see the flowers on the side of Cony Road where three pedestrians were killed a while back. I hadn’t been by the site since the accident occurred and didn’t realize where it was in relation to Piggery Road. Sad.

Going back across Eastern Ave, I had to stop and wait for traffic and then thought about picking up the pace to something more challenging when I crested the hill. I started to, and the Achilles began to grumble a little. By the time I got to the Delta Ambulance building, it complained pretty good, and I hadn’t picked up the pace all that much.

Going down the hill back to Cony is usually where I start pushing the pace hard. Today, I kind of went into plodder mode and tried to find a stride that the Achilles wouldn’t grumble as much about. Unfortunately, I never found that stride and just bulled my way through the Cony campus to finish the 10K. 

Injuries/Niggles: The left Achilles acted up again just past the 5.0-mile mark, which is pretty much the same as last week. Not really what I am wanting, but at least I can get in a good 5.0 before it becomes an annoyance. Otherwise, no other issues raised their heads like a whackamole to contend with, which was nice.

Weather: Clear sky, 64°F, Feels like 63°F, Humidity 67%, Wind 5mph from N.

Shoes: Reebok Energy 2 – The shoes did everything I asked of them. 

What did I learn today?

It was a good run, but I was disappointed with how my Achilles felt over the last mile or so. This happened about the same distance last week, so it isn’t really the course. It is simply my Achilles has about a 5.0-mile comfortable zone for now and isn’t quite ready to push too much beyond that yet. 

This means that I am not ready to start 10K race training.

That does suck, but I know that I can finish the 10K race in October. It also means that I am not ready to train to race it the way I wanted to. The Achilles is not prepared for the higher mileage that the Stryd or any other realistic 10K training plan requires. So, while I am a bit disappointed, I also know that if I attempt to do too much before the Achilles is ready, I could set myself up for an even longer time on the Injured List. 

Right now, I am running well, and as long as I don’t push the Achilles too much, I can continue to SLOWLY build up my mileage and add a little speed work into the mix. Unfortunately, this year is turning into another wasted year due to the COVID crap, so I need to focus more on getting ready for next year. 

My focus must be on establishing a good mileage base, doing a little speedwork, working on the mental aspects of running where I am weak, and keep doing the work necessary to achieve my goals. Versus fantasizing about how great I am and neglecting to take enough rubber off the soles of my running shoes to make a difference going forward. 

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