January 20, 2012
Maybe I'm just feeling my forty-odd years, but repairing the calculated damage of running takes me less effort than running itself. Running isn't much more than a specific choreography of destruction and rebuilding. Here's the thing: as I apply more intensity to recovery, running fast becomes almost effortless.
Last week I did more miles in one week than I've ever done, by around 20%. It was the easiest running week I've had in ages. I found myself excited about every run, in a way I haven't felt in at least a year and a half. All my aches vanished. My insides felt sleek and able. I bounced up stairs. My plantar issues subsided significantly. My "comfortable", low-effort pace approached my old race pace. The whole week was buoyant and light.
I capped the week with an 18-miler, 10 miles of it at marathon pace. I went out tentatively, not sure I could keep up with the plan. But three loops around a hilly course and my body kept finding energy for a perfect, steady effort. I probably hit the hills a touch hard, because the last one hit me back. But once I pulled it back together on level ground I felt I could have done a lot more.
Now to consolidate all those miles. This is a week of lower mileage - though still about as high as my previous maximum - and of lower intensity. I've been alternating a general aerobic pace with recovery pace. When I'm not running I try to walk a lot. I've been focused on staying calm. I work to hydrate and eat right.
I confess the plantar issues are back. Nothing worse than before, but they need attention. So I'm icing, stretching, massaging, and wearing shoes everywhere. Recovery is a constant dialogue with injury.
I'll get serious about speed again soon, because I know I've already lost some. We'll see about next week. But for now it's all about rocking the recoveries.