Sunday, September 28, 2014

Season interrupted?

Note to self: If you ever want to race the red light, don't.

I keep track of all my runs in too many places - Garmin, which automatically outputs to Strava. I keep a DailyMile log and for my coach, everything is in the cloud. At the same time, I'm rarely writing here about my training but about races and pieces about running in general.

But then after I got injured this week, I realized what the best archive for me has been over the past nine years -- this place. I searched this blog for "calf" the other day as I was trying to wrap my head around how I would salvage my season. On Monday, which I usually use for recovery running, I ended up being overzealous, ending a 10K run with a few "too fast" kilometres -- call it end-of-workday energy. And as I raced to beat a changing light - ill advised for safety reasons - my calf told me, as I was running 3:45 pace, that it was indeed a bad idea.

Top of Primrose Hill in London where I ran during a work trip this week.

I felt a sensation, not unlike a pop, on my upper left calf. And stopped the run right away. Long story short, I pulled it, have a minor strain that wouldn't be so major unless I was three weeks away from the goal race. I'm now faced with three weeks to maintain fitness, heal my calf and think about whether in 21 days I'll be ready go tackle 42.2K with a substantial race plan in mind. I know I can complete the distance, fitnesswise, just not sure the legs will follow a faster plan. I'm running pain free but accelerating and holding fast paces is not happening at least for now.

So, I'm planning, scheming, thinking of races that are farther down the calendar. There are good candidates. Meanwhile, I'm going to focus on getting better, not rushing back to speed and arrive at Scotia with a plan -- either go for it, or treat it as a pacer run, with my eye forward.

This summer, however, has been a great training season, my second with a running team. Some stats:

Monthly mileage

June: 338K
July: 415K
August: 480K
September: 357K

I've done a few big races, including two 5Ks (a 19:18 PB and 19:49) in June before my fitness was ramping up; a 30K race with a new PB and a 10K race.

The interval, tempos and fartlek speeds are getting so fast. Intervals started at 3:55s and made their way down to 3:35s to 3:40s. Tempos started at 4:15 but went closer to 4:10s or faster. Marathon pace is feeling closer to 4:20 kilometres.

That's before the calf, though I've been fighting other niggles -- the IT band issue is there but not to serious so I've been great about getting my hip and IT band stretched. The glutes have been tight but rolling has helped.

Oh yeah, and also this:

Yes, I'm running Boston in 2015.

So while I enter the uncertain phase of this season, I have to also remember the progress I've made. A year ago today, I was on the comeback trail. A year ago, I was aiming at a 3:20 marathon in Chicago when I believed I was 3:15 fitness -- my knee issues put a big question mark in the final months and I have to remember that. A year later, I've already bagged a 3:08 marathon and I'm thinking of even faster.

So the path's been great -- happy to be where I am today and more importantly, in light of the calf pull, I'm reminded most that I'm happy to be running at all.


Anonymous said...

Kenny, get well soon! Congrats on being accepted for Boston too!

Unknown said...

Oh man. I am really sorry to hear this Kenny. I hope that you will heal well enough to run. Bittersweet I know but congrats on getting into Boston.

pyrad said...

Oh no! After such an intense season and massive improvements, what a bummer to get injured like this so close to your race.

But, you know what you're doing. Best of luck in recovery.

Running with Rhyno said...

Yikes :( Get well soon! And "yay" for Boston!