Monday, September 20, 2010

I can still do this...confidence growing

I've had another great week of pre-season workouts. I'm still keeping my volume pretty low so that I don't risk being worn down by next summer when I'll begin racing again. I am mainly focusing on maintaining base fitness with 5 bike rides and 3 swims a week while continuing to lift weights three times each week. My big focus is on getting my achilles tendon healed well enough to begin real training on November 1. The running is going quite well. I am currently running 2 days in a row followed by a day off. I began 4 weeks ago with 10 minutes every other day. I'm now up to 30 minutes five days a week. It has been going very well...well enough that today I was given permission to do my first interval workout. I ran with the Pleasant Valley high school cross country team and we did a 2 mile warm up followed by 4x 1200 meter repeats with about 2 minutes rest between each one. They were done on a grass loop that makes up part of their cross country course. I've been seeing my neighbor and local Rock Valley physical therapist Dan White about once a week and I've let Dan direct my return to running. Dan has been a friend of mine since we were high school cross country and track teammates. His knowledege of running and rehab to injuries is extremely high. I've seen tremendous improvements with the program Dan has me doing to prepare for November 1. I've been doing impact exercises to strengthen the tendon for the impact that comes with running. Dan is a volunteer coach for the PV cross country team so I knew this would be a great place for my first intervals since he could watch my form to make sure I wasn't favoring my injured side. Although it was hot here today (nearly 90 degrees and pretty humid) I had a great time running the workout. My times were 4:12, 4:12, 4:08, and 4:05. It averaged out to about 5:30 pace per mile. It never felt very difficult which was exciting. I didn't care that it was hot out...I was just enjoying the feeling of running again...real running. My tendon felt great through the workout and it was a huge boost of confidence to be able to run those times without too much stress. When I put the workout in context it leaves me knowing that I am still very capable of running fast next summer. It was hot, I am fat (+15 lbs. from my lowest weight of 10'), I hadn't done any hard running yet, my longest run has only been 4 miles, I'm only at 18 miles per week of running, and I have been on an extremely modest training regiment. I feel if things continue to go well I should be able to do this same workout in late November on 1 month of real training and be able to average 3:50-3:53 for each 1200. I felt so great in fact that I'm debating about competing in a pre-season race this weekend in Washington, Iowa. It's a duathlon consisting of a 5k run, 20 mile ride, and 1.5 mile run to finish it up. If Dan gives me permission I'd probably take the first 5k pretty relaxed, then ride as fast as I can, and do the 2nd run a little harder than the first assuming nothing hurts. I would view it as a hard workout to benchmark where my fitness currently is at. I am very anxious to be in a competitive setting. With each passing day I'm realizing this injury was a long setback...that's all...I will return and I will be stronger than ever before. It won't keep me down forever. I can tell the rest and therapy are working. I feel great every day. Ironman St. George on May 7 is constantly on my mind and it's becoming more obvious to me every day that this race is not just a's going to happen and I'll be ready when it does. Thanks for reading. DREAM BIG!

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