April has come and gone, and I’m very happy to say I notched a solid 92 miles for the month, putting my total mileage since I began my recovery at 129 miles. With no lingering pains, I think it’s safe to say I’m healed. (Knock on wood.)
I still have a very, very long way to go before I’m back to the level of fitness I had obtained last fall, but at this point, I’m confident that I’ll get there. I’ve started day dreaming during runs about what I want to accomplish with the fall racing season, and it seems less and less out of reach every day.
Still, speed is very difficult for me right now. My plan this month is start to add back in some real workouts, shifting my focus from the single-minded goal of base building. I’ve stuck to 10 percent rule like glue over the past eight weeks since I started running again.
But now that I’m up to 26 miles a week (28.3 miles next week), I think it’s time to add in something beyond easy miles. And two upcoming races – a 10K and a 5 miler, both in June—present the perfect opportunity to add in some targeted training!
To be honest, I haven’t trained for a short race since high school. I’ve run them, plenty of them. I’ve run everything from the mile to a 15K over the past three years, but always in the middle of marathon training. They have never been my focus, and I don’t really know what I’m doing.
I laid out a plan based on a schedule my running team put out for short-distance training last summer, and I’m going to hope for the best. It includes both a hill or tempo workout and an interval workout on the track. Now that I’ll actually be doing workouts, I’ll have something more interesting to share with you on a week to week basis!
My secret, though, is that I want to PR in both. That would involve <44:30 in the 10K and <35:10 in the 5 miler. I think I can do that in both distances this year…but doing it in the next 5-7 weeks is going to be more difficult.
Also, these are hard distances for me. I can run a decent mile, and I can run a decent 10 mile race or longer…but the stuff in the middle confounds me. According to the McMillan running calculator, I should theoretically, at the same fitness level, be able to run a 41:34 10K based on my 1 mile time of 5:46 last September. That’s a 6:41 pace. My 5K PR is a 6:37 pace, only 4 seconds faster…and that was a hard 5K!
Anyway, we’ll see what some targeted training can do for me! But first, I have to overcome a bigger (or at least longer) obstacle: Ragnar Cape Cod.
Next weekend, me and five of my lovely lady running pals will be taking on the Cape as an Ultra team. I requested one of the shorter legs – 28.9 miles – since I am still coming back from an injury. I won’t be running at all next week outside of my three legs to keep my weekly mileage in check. We’ll see how it goes!
Until next time,