Week 12 - Back In The Saddle

Monday, February 1, 2010
Monday proved to be a real test. I had to start putting in the miles again after taking 2 weeks off from running. In addition, some jerk contaminated me with some type of flu/cold over the last weekend. During my lunch break, I put in a fast paced half mile in the gym wearing my VFF's. My legs felt great again. Played things safe and cut the run off early. Did a few more piddly things before leaving. After work I went for a brisk 4 miler through River Front Park. No pain in my shins. The pain didn't begin till about the 2nd mile and it was felt in my lungs. Mucus buildup from my illness was making me feel pretty sluggish and sloppy. I even walked around mile 3 for a minute before finding a comfortable gear to shift into for the last bit.

After the run I stretched my legs and back religiously... Focusing on holding each one for at least 10 seconds. Next came the ice bath. I had forgotten how damn painful this process can be for the first few minutes. Maybe the benefits of ice treatment are more mental toughness than anything. Regardless, I bumped up the machismo while the little guy was surely doing a shrivel job in my shorts. The last 13 minutes were easy as my attention was directed to "Where Men Win Glory". Excellent book btw. Not just about Tillman, includes a good background on events in Afghanistan over the last 30 yr or so.

I put in another 5 miler on Wednesday. This time I finally took Jose's advice and listened to some tunes along the way. I had been avoiding this because my thoughts become more active during runs and music might interfere. To my excitement, I was still able to think about random stuff. The doubts that slowly creep in towards the 2nd half of a run, and the countdown that plays in my head (2 more miles to go... 1.5 miles left..) were dulled to a whisper. The opening to 'Till I Collapse provided me with a much welcome surge of adrenaline. Everything around me became part of my own movie montage: the soundtrack playing in my ears, trains rumbling by next to the levee, 3 juvenile delinquent girls whistling and hooting at me, and even the graffiti along each bridge. Despite being stuffed up and recuperating from whatever ailed me last week, I still finished in 37 minutes. Afterward it was stretching and ice again. The nards seemed to have toughened up and didn't hate me near as much this time.

On Friday, I drove Sabina to work and immediately headed for the coastal trail in Monterey for my longest training run so far. I won't lie. Running in the morning isn't my forte. The weather was clear and rain was forthcoming, so I sucked it up. Every bit of the 8 miles was a struggle. I was coughing up phlegm, my nose was completely clogged, and nothing in my headphones seemed to provide a motivational boost. Also, I forgot to wear my toe socks and came away with a couple blisters. My pace for the run was slow: 8 min 14 sec/mile. In the end, I was pleased to have pushed through and ran 18 miles while recovering from illness this week. With 2 rest days coming before the next run, I should be back in quality form in no time. Next Sunday I run in the "Together With Love" 10k in Pacific Grove. My very ambitious goal is to run less than 7 min/mile.

-Feb 1: 0.5 fast miles on treadmill wearing VFF's, 5 minutes elliptical, 1000 meters rowing. 4 mile run following workday.

-Feb 3: 0.5 mile controlled warm-up on treadmill, dumbbell flies & bench, pullups, upright rows. 5 mile run following workday.

-Feb 5: 7.7 mile run from fisherman's wharf to Asilomar beach and back.


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