Monday, October 10, 2011

The Question I'm Afraid to Ask

Up and out of bed at 3:45am, I don't actually get out the door until 5:30. That's par these days. It just seems to take that coffee longer and longer to begin to achieve the desired affect.

In order to run fast, you've got to start fast, according to Michigan runner Terry Elsey. Although this concept can be taken too far, and it's always good to finish strong, Terry nevertheless has a point. The days I start really slow, I quite often manage to simply stay slow. Today I start relatively fast. The PF has generally gotten better, although it's still not 100%. As I've tried to pick things back up again, I seem to have acquired some other new aches and pains, including a very tight right hamstring (the PF is in my left foot).

Tired of feeling weak and slow, I've been losing weight (finally working with Debbie following, loosely, the Weight Watchers plan). I've also been minding my strength and other training. Using the new hang bar is a good thing. My mileage is back up to 70 per week, and I've been picking up the pace. Just a bit.

It's been obvious to me that I need to work on this intensity stuff, and so I have. I did one interval session on the mill early last week, and then a long run on Friday. Saturday I tried some gentle speedwork, and that's when I noticed the tight ham for the first time.

Today I fail my attempt at a tempo run (during miles 2-4). My definition of tempo has always been and is still three consecutive miles under seven minutes without a stop. My time for these miles is 22:07, but I'm not too discouraged. I'm still in the midst of my comeback, I tell myself. It will take time to come all the way back.

I forge on, moving slower and slower as I go. Even so, it feels like I'm running fast. I finish the 11-mile route in 1:33. That's also about par these days, but it should've been faster considering the tempo attempt.

As I'm approaching the house, I see Rita coming my way. I decide to turn and run back out with her a while - I wanted to get a couple more miles in anyway. Rita is telling me about her daughter's wedding and her own injury problems. I'm listening intently, when my foot catches something and I yell out, "Yeow!". It's that darn tight hamstring, and now it's suddenly a full-blown pull.

I hobble back home, which luckily isn't too far.

Now I fear that I had better call it quits for the year. I'd been considering three races: Inland Trail Marathon, the Fall Classic Half, and the Buckeye Woods 50K. They're generally all in jeopardy now, especially the first two.

The question I'm afraid to ask? Okay, here goes: "What more can go wrong?"

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