A week of learning

Oh, boy — where do I start?!?

Monday started off great. I literally stared my noon run thinking, “Wow, I’m strong – I’m so excited to start those 100+ mile weeks!”. At about 2.5 miles, I stepped on my foot weird. Not sure why, since I was on pavement and there wasn’t anything I hit that would cause me to land weird, but my I felt my foot splay out for that particular foot strike. Later in the run I’d stop to stretch the muscles in my foot, feeling a lingering tightness, hoping that this would pass as soon as it had happened.

Monday night, though, I couldn’t put much weight on the foot. OH NO. Seriously? Just as I thought I was reaching a stride with my training/mileage… this happens. Something freakish. WHY am I breakable like this? It frustrates me.

Turns out, it was something relatively minor that kept me from my regular training for about 2-3 days (back to normal by Thurs/Fri). I had just strained the tendon sheath in my foot as well as the tendons that control the toes flexing (I probably also tried to use my toes to control the foot-strike when I landed funny). I saw 3 professionals in the span of 2-3 days (Dr. Bahl, Dr. Patterson, and Troy at Gustavus (athletic trainer)). I am so blessed to have immediate help with the little things like this.

A lot of ice, with reduced mileage, got me back to training fairly quickly, but this minor injury reminded me of a lot of things: I NEED to be better about all of the little things: balance muscle strength, flexibility, making sure I’m equally strong on both sides (I noticed a definite weakness on my left side, which is where this was, also, perhaps not coincidentally, also my Achilles injury side), etc. With as high of goals as I have, I HAVE to be better at doing ALL of this. I met with the GAC trainer earlier this week and he suggested doing some “funny walk” drills, but I think I’ll need to do further research into balance-muscle work. Anyone know of any good resources?

My foot is still a little sore, but getting better by the day – enough to allow me to stick to my racing schedule. My first attempt at the 17:18 stadium record at GAC was scheduled for this Saturday.

Oh… what a learning experience that was. I’m not sure what was the cause of such a terrible race, but my legs COMPLETELY came undone. I had no control over them after 2 miles — only the thought to keep them going, one step in front of the other. It was a complete death march. I finished in 17:59, which although respectable, is no where near where I know I can be.

What can I learn? First, I started off too fast. My first 200 was in 39.6, which is too quick. My first mile was in 5:27 or 5:28. That’s not too far in front of the 5:31 I was hoping to average, but it’s not how I race — I typically start off a couple of seconds slower & have a strong second half. This race… I had a strong 4-5 laps and faded REALLY quickly. My last mile ended up being just slower than 6:00 — not kidding when I said it was a death march! I was not even moving the last couple of laps.

The heat may have had something to do with it: 75 degrees at the start (for those of you that run in hotter climates, that may not seem bad, but for me used to training in 50 degrees… not pretty (plus, I don’t race well in heat, at ALL)).

So — what to deduce from such an ugly performance? I really don’t know. The heat was a definite factor… and I know now to start out just a little slower (ALL of my best races have been negative splits) (perhaps I need to start in 5:33 or so?)… but maybe I just wasn’t ready for the hurt of an oxygen-debt 5k? Is there anything I can do in the next two weeks to get myself more ready for something like this??? I really want to reset that stadium record… and you’d think I’d be able to make a closer attempt than the 17:59 I mustered today…

Splits from today (no laughing!):

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