4 Weeks to go…
Benched = no running for the first half of the week. And when the week started, there was no long run on the schedule at all. This was the result of last Saturday’s long run fail and coach’s plan to get me back to 100% so we can work hard for the last part of training. It felt a little different than the last two weeks because I could run, but just needed to be patient and heal. As things progressed, I was able to build back into a somewhat “normal” schedule for the latter part of the week.
Monday – OFF
Still had to get up at 0’dark-thirty to go back to Peoria for a few days for work. Was still a bit pouty for not being able to run.
Tuesday – 1 hr Cross: 21.65M Ride, 1:12, 17.8 mph
Thanks to late season warm weather, I brought my bike with me to Peoria and got to ride outside instead of being stuck in a gym or on the trainer. Country roads and a strong headwind made for a solid workout. My butt is almost getting used to being in the saddle again and there were moments where I felt an endorphin rush that was close to a runner’s high. I really do enjoy riding so having a reason to get back out on the bike after tri season is a good thing.
Wednesday – 1 hr Cross (bike or swim): 1 hr elliptical
It was too foggy to (safely) ride and since I forgot my goggles and swim cap (remembered my suit…useless), I went to the gym and hopped on the elliptical for an hour. I tried to simulate a speed workout, mostly to beat the boredom, but also because I haven’t done any interval training at all since I got hurt. I did 7×3 min intervals which sort of simulates the 800’s I would have done this week (or last week or the week before…blargh). The time did fly by though!
Thursday – 1 hr Easy: 7M, 8:37 min/mile
Ahhhh…finally a run. After 4 days of rest and cross training, it was finally time to run again! Go figure it was also the day that I had a 6:30 a.m. teleconference. I decided NOT to get up in the 4’s and run in the dark, but to wait until after my call and a few emails instead. I was texting with my good friend and PT, Char, before leaving and she warned me not to run to the point of pain like I did Saturday. I promised her (and myself) that I would really be tuned in to how it felt and stop if I felt the pain sharpening. I took Walter for about 3 miles, with the plan of stopping after that if it was hurting at all. But I felt good and despite a little tightness when I was stopping and starting, the more I ran continuously, the better it seemed to feel. I finished up with an easy hour of running and no lingering soreness.
After missing my appointment Wednesday, because I was in Peoria, I was able to get into the PT at the last minute on Thursday night. As usual, it was the most awful, yet therapeutic kind of torture. Liz said that my strain was most likely a grade 2 or 3 based on how long it is taking to recover. That doesn’t mean much to me, except that she was surprised I didn’t have more bruising after the initial injury.
Friday – 1 hr Easy: 7.25M, 8:37 min/mile
I started slow because my body felt like it needed to warm up. Initially the calf was a bit sore, but in a different way than it has been. It felt more sore on the surface from the treatment from the night before. Once I got warmed up, I felt fantastic and ran completely pain free. No tightness, no 3/10 pain, just running. I finished completely sweaty and deliciously fatigued in a way that only a good run can make you. It was the first time in almost three weeks that I felt like I truly ran free from the stress that this injury has brought on.
Saturday – OFF
We slept in till a glorious 10 a.m., had breakfast then proceeded to spend the ENTIRE rest of the day working on the house and painting the basement. I was exhausted by the end of the day and so happy that I wasn’t doing it on top of long run fatigue.
1 hr Easy + 1 hr Cross 1:30 – 1:45 Run + 40 min bike: 13.25M, 8:19 min/mile + 1:00 bike, 16M
After Friday’s successful run, I emailed coach and asked if I could run a bit longer on Sunday. He came back with a reasonable long run and instructions to “mind the calf”. I was super excited to get out and try to get some decent mileage under my belt for the first time in nearly 3 weeks. The run was a MAJOR success. I started slow because my body seems to really need some time to warm up lately, but I felt great the whole time. I had no calf pain and was able to run the last 5-6 miles sub 8:10 pretty comfortably. Needless to say I was practically falling over myself happy!
I finished running, did some minimal stretching, then changed and hopped on the bike to finish the workout. I felt strong and was really enjoying the ride. Cooler temps left the path fairly empty until I got down further south and people were walking along the path to get to the Bears game. Most people seemed surprisingly aware and made an effort to get out of the way for cyclists. But as I was going under the bridge by Navy Pier, there were two groups of people walking 4-5 across in opposite directions. About 20 yds away, I started yelling “On your left, coming through, heads up…”. The guy in the middle walking in my direction looked RIGHT AT ME and I thought he moved, but as I went through he stepped right in the way and my face went smack into his body. I was knocked off the bike, my sunglasses broke in half and my face immediately hurt. But more than anything I think it just scared the shit out of me because I was shaking and pretty upset. Fortunately, I was going fairly slow <10 mph because it is always a bit congested under there. Everyone stopped and the guy kept apologizing, but all I could say was “CAN YOU NOT SEE??? OR HEAR???” I keep trying to remember exactly what happened, but I honestly don’t really know because it just happened so fast.
I wasn’t hurt at all and the only lingering sign of the crash was a little shiner on my left eye.
Totals: 27.5 miles