Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ruminations on the endless comeback + Hollis and Washington

My latest comeback has been going excruciatingly slowly. I am starting to feel pretty good on my runs, but I need to get used to making myself hurt again. One of the tough things about getting back into shape, is that when you're in a race and it hurts, you can just say oh well, I guess I'm not fit yet, I guess you can just give up. Right now I wanna focus on getting used to running 5:20-5:30 pace again.

I did do some 400's just as long strides to get something under 6:00 pace before Hollis and wound up getting carried away and doing more harm than good I think. I got started easy with a 78 feeling good then 76 75 72 67 69. I was hurting for the next few days and really irritated an abdomen strain I've been dealing with. While running a 67 was nice I think it would have been better to just run 75-73 the whole way.

Other than that, for hard efforts I've gotten in a few good mountain runs and a good hard progression run out in Michigan. I didn't wear a watch, but Abbey said the loop was 7.5 and so I just decided to make sure I was going steady the whole way. I ran pretty fast and by 5 miles I was hurting considerably. I kept pouring it on until I was at 5k pace by the last half mile. I was completely spent when I finished up and felt like I'd had my first great run since December. I don't know how I'd feel if I'd had a watch, but I know the effort was there on that run and I felt really good.

I've had a couple races since I last updated, we can pretty much just say I'm not quite fit yet. I'm making progress though. I ran ok at Canterbury back in may but not that happy with my run, and then I ran like an idiot in the next 5k I ran. Tried to lead the first half mile and then gave up and jogged the second mile. From these races Hollis was big improvement even if It's downhill. My chip time was 16:57 which I know is probably 60 seconds fast. At any rate, I haven't broken 18 yet this season, so if I can go out and break 18:00 this weekend I won't necessarily be happy, but I will know I'm getting somewhere.

Mt. Washington was a lot of fun though, I think part of it was trying to stay relaxed and enjoy the race. I wanted to take it easy enough that I could enjoy the race and not really demoralize myself by trying to race and falling apart. I started out easy and then reeled people in until halfway at about 39:50. I started hurting not far after that but managed to run until about 4.5 miles and then I made the mistake of saying ok that's far enough and letting myself walk. I was feeling ok, but started to just get intimidated by the idea of three more miles of climbing in front of me and just gave in and walked for a while. Once I let myself walk though, running became so much harder! Every time I tried to run I knew that there was an easier option, so I would take it and just start walking. Every time the grade changed for the worse I'd decide ok, I can walk again. Looking back on the experience it sorta felt like walking was a drug or something. "Don't even try walking, It feels so good you'll never go back to running!" I just couldn't get over how much harder running felt after letting myself walk some.
I would powerhike/run on and off for the rest of the climb until mile 7 where I decided to run the final stretch to the finish. I got to the Summit by 1:28:59 I think. I am not happy with that time, but I'm very happy with the experience. I enjoyed myself and can't wait to get back for another try. Barring anymore injuries over the next year I think I'll be ready to really race when I try again. I can't wait. I would post some pictures but I'm too cheap to buy the official photography from the race.

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