Monday, July 25, 2011

God, I love running!

Just when you think this running stuff is getting too hard, it gives you a weekend like this last one to remind you why you do this stuff.

Lately, I have had nagging arch pain on one foot. Worst in the morning, but lately hurting much of the day. Doesn't really bother me while running though. Classic Plantar Fasciitis. It's kind of bumming me out. But I figure it is probably because my shoes are due to be replaced, with 470 miles on them. I haven't been able to find time lately however, so Friday I decide I'm better off in one of my old pairs. So I pull out an old pair that probably has similar miles on them, just for a change of pace.

Friday's plan was to get in some speedwork, so I planned 4x1 mile with 1/2 mile rest in between. Planned to do 7:30, 7:20, 7:10 and sub 7. Total of 8 miles. The new/old shoes worked out fine, although I had some hot spots afterward. Felt pretty good warming up, and mile 1 came in at 7:14. Controlled speed. I love these workouts. Next one, 7:07. Still feeling in control. Mile 3, 6:56! Feeling the fatigue now, but no problem. Last one, 6:59. Woo-hoo! Tough workout, but plenty left in the tank!

Saturday was a "rest" day, but we spent the day at Universal Studios, which meant a lot of time standing in line, and a lot of sun. By bedtime I was tired, my back hurt, my foot hurt, my legs were tired. I felt old, out of shape and pathetic. The last thing I felt like was cranking out another awesome workout in the morning. Yet my plan was to do a brick: 20+ mile bike and a 6+ mile run. When I got up Sunday I still felt about the same.

And this is why I love running! By the end of Sunday's workout, I was on top of the world and filled with confidence! You can't always listen to your body - it can do so much more than we think it can.

So I got out the bike for the first time in two weeks, and headed out along the beach for my favorite 21 mile course. Once I get past mile 2, it gets less crowded and I am basically going as hard as I can for the next 16 miles. Biking is so different from running. You can basically push really hard the whole way, and not die. Or if you do get tired, you can just ease off a little and still be moving along at a good pace while you recover.
So I felt pretty good, and was pushing hard. I averaged 16.4 mph for the middle 16 miles, with one 3 mile stretch at almost 18 mph. Which is record speed for me. I wasn't thinking about the upcoming run - it was just push, push, push.

Did I mention it was low 60's and overcast?

So I make it home and stop just long enough to change shoes and swig some water. My "T1" was 1:39, and then I was running. My legs felt very heavy, so I was expecting slow times, but somehow I was looking at 8:25 in the first quarter mile. Normally I start out close to 9 and it takes me two miles to be comfortable under 8:30. I guess the bike ride acted like a warmup and my body was ready to go! I guess I kind of felt like I was in race mode, even though I didn't feel like I was pushing that hard. My legs felt heavy the whole run, and yet...

8:25, 8:23, 8:10, 7:35, 7:40, 7:38 !!!

Total 6.4 miles, avg 7:58 per. I never go that fast on a normal run, let alone after a tough bike ride. Weird. Maybe I should bike ride before every run! So I was on an endorphin high for some time. My feeling of mortality from the previous evening was long gone.God, I love running!

Later I devoured a Fatburger, and then bought some new shoes. I tried on some Saucony Rides, which I've had 3 pairs of before, and some Kinvaras to see what all the fuss was about. I've been wanting to try some minimalist shoes, but I couldn't see switching 100%. Too risky. So.......I got both. I plan to break in the Kinvaras slowly and do short races in them.

So, life is good again.

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