This week was my down week, I needed to take care of my calf to make sure it does not turn into my 10th stress fracture… Actually I have lost count of how many stress fractures I have had on my right leg. I do know I have had 3 in the past 18 months. So taking care of my pains before they get bad is highly recommended right now. I am super proud of myself for taking this week easy. When it comes to running miles I have a hard time stopping myself. I won’t lie, on Monday morning when the cross country runners went out for their run, it took everything in me to stay behind.
This weeks summary is a little lengthy, I hope I don’t bore you to death…
Monday, August 24
60 minute spin. I use to take spin classes, but on a residence salary that will not happen, so luckily at the local gym they have spin bikes you can use freely. Thank goodness I have taken enough spin classes in my life time that I know how to cover 60 minutes on the bike without getting bored. I usually take a bit longer to warm up,( I think I am getting older) so I pedal in different forms for about 15 minutes. Once I have warmed up, I like to get my legs moving faster, so I do a a few sets of a tempo interval. This typically ranges between 1 to 4 minute intervals at a tempo effort. For example, I did 4 sets of 1 minute tempo/ 30 seconds recovery spin. This type of effort prepares me for hills and sprints that are to come later in the workout. Next is my favorite, a hill climb. Here I increase the resistance every 30 seconds until I can no longer pedal. Once I reach that stage I can move into a standing position on the bike. This allows me to keep going, I can even keep increasing the resistance if I want or I can do some sprints at the top of my imaginary hill. After each hard effort, I take a 1-2 minute spin recovery which is when I decrease the resistance and just let my legs spin freely. When I have about 7 minutes left I usually start my cool down, which is when I just relax and let my heart rate come back to normal. When you add all sorts of mini intervals in a workout, it makes the activity go by so much quicker. You can just focus on 4-5 minute segments with 2 minute recovery segments at a time and before you know it you have gone through 5 sets and your workout is almost over.
Anyways moving on to my week of training, in the afternoon I did a weight circuit. IT was a bit different than my usual circuit. I wanted to change it up a bit and try to hit a few different muscles.
Tuesday, August 25
This was a pretty boring day. I hopped on the elliptical for an hour. I did not do anything crazy intense on it. Just glided along at a consistent pace. Afterwards I went through a mini ab circuit as well as did my rehab exercises.
Wednesday, August 26
am: Well this was an exciting day. First thing in the morning I had to wake up to go to cross country practice. I am in charge of helping the women’s team build a bit more strength. In my opinion the best way to build strength is swimming. You can get so much stronger in more ways than one. Being a distance athlete sometimes it is hard to get your heart rate up high enough on an elliptical, so I say jump in the pool and do a few laps. You can really get your lungs and arms burning! Anyways, I watched the lady’s swim for about half an hour before I headed to the gym to get my Spin on. I once again Spinned for an hour. I did not do as many hills in my workout. I focused more on sprints this day. As long at my right leg stays healthy I am planning on racing in a few weeks and I need to get some speed and turnover in these legs. After I spinned I did a few stretches and rehab exercises.
pm: (lunch time) I was so jealous watching the lady’s swim. I wanted to badly to jump in with them. Therefore I decided to jump in a pool that afternoon. I did a workout that takes roughly 45 minutes and it really makes those lungs burn. I will write a post later this up coming week with some swim workout ideas that I stick to on a regular basis, since this blog is getting a little long already and I am only on Wednesday.
Thursday August 27.
My plans this week were to cross train for about 2-3 days, and get worked on by a massage therapist before I resume running. Check… and Check! I was pretty eager to get running yesterday, but one more day now is better than 2 weeks off later. The massage I had was by Chris Alvarado. He did a really great job. He had some special training with an osteopath, and was able to get my SI joint back in place and work out the knots in my lower calf, specifically the posterior tibialis muscle. Since I felt normal again I went for a 6 mile jaunt. The run felt great. My legs were able to move more freely and I did not feel twisted. There was a slight pulling sensation in my calf, but I know it is just tight from having my body twisted up for the past several weeks. After the run I used the foam roller and ice on the calf to take extra care of the poor leg. My run really did go well. I ran much faster on my usual course, maybe this is because I was rested from running or maybe it was because I had been adjusted. Who knows, I am just happy to run! ( 6 miles in 43:58 for an average pace of 7:19)
Friday August 28.
Workout day! I really wanted to get on the track and do something fast. I want to feel fast again. However, I am not ready to get on the track, especially this week since i had a little hiccup. So, what is something I can do without upsetting my leg too much… In my opinion, it is a fartlek! My coach back in high school called these workouts “Speed Play”. This is a way to make me feel fast without the pressures of being on a track. I did one of my favorite fartleks. This particular fartlek I use to do in college quite a bit. We ran around the one mile loop and you were suppose to get in just over 4 loops in the 30 minutes. The workout…. 30 minutes alternating 1 minute hard and one minute easy. To me this is equivalent to 15x 300 meter repeats. I definitely get to feel faster do this. the total workout including warm up and cool down was 8.5 miles in a time of 1:01:21 for an average pace of 7:13. I did cover 4.5 miles in the 30 minutes during the fartlek, the mile times for those 4 miles were 6:23, 6:26, 6:51, and 6:37. I was pretty happy with the effort. the fast part I was able to stay around 5:20-5:30 pace which is what I wanted. Overall, a great workout for the week!
Saturday August 29
Long run day!! Nothing to exciting here, just 14 easy miles. The Columbia College cross country team headed out to some grasslands. This means softer surfaces, slower runs, and saved legs. Basically when you run on grass it is like running on a pillow. My legs do not ache at all after running of fields of grass. However, I do tend to run quite a bit slower. But that is ok. Not every run needs to be blistering fast. Good news my calf did not bother me at all on this 14 miler. I was nervous Friday night because it definitely knotted itself up. I foam rolled and iced multiple times Friday night as well as after the run on Saturday. Total time was 1:47:42 for a 7:42 pace.
Sunday August 30
Overall miles for the week.. 28.5, I needed a down week and I needed to make sure my calf was healthy to run on. I have to constantly remember what my goals are and how it is not important to rush and just hope that the little nagging sensations will disappear on there own. Looking into the week ahead, I will go by feel. I woulds like to get in mile repeats or a tempo run. As far as mileage, I am not going to set a goal. I see a massage therapist on Monday evening, so that will be a huge indicator of what my week may look like. I will also spin and get in some fast leg turnover work on the bike as well as hop in the pool again. I think the swimming helps my legs feel fresh and revitalized.
PS.. I felt pretty pleased with myself by using my aqua jogging belt to block Samson from trying to come up front with me when we are headed to the dog park… Don’t worry mom, I took this picture in my driveway!