Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Road to Race-ville!

I've got almost four weeks of training behind me now. It's gone better than I expected, and I think better than Coach Jim expected. I believe that the "extreme walking" (as he called it) had a lot to do with retaining some decent fitness; I logged almost 150 miles of walking/hiking during my recovery. (As did Trixie)

As Jeff Galloway says, "never underestimate the power of a good walk." (Walk to Strengthen Muscles Slow down to get stronger and go longer, January 15, 2013.) After this experience, I certainly won't discount the fitness and mental health benefits of walking for anyone.

 Trixie and I are still finding opportunities to hit the trails and walk
in addition to my now-solo running- this was Sunday.

Six-weeks post surgery I started back with short bikes, short swims, and walks with bits of running, and have built back up already to some decent 75/90 minute rides, swimming with my group, and Sunday I even logged a 6+ mile run. The runs still include some short walk breaks that Coach Jim has me use to check in and to stretch, and to be sure the body is OK.

My list of worries leading back into training included: will I be lazy and have low motivation; will my speed be gone; will the hunger and drive be lost; will I forget how to work hard and pursue that good pain after all these months of avoiding the bad pain; and what if I am not really fixed?

  (one of my favorite quotes from her book, Wild)

Those worries have begun to evaporate.

The reality is I've looked forward to my workouts, hunted (and passed) someone on the bike (I was nice and said hello!), touched on my 5k and 10k speeds, charged up hills, and while not *exactly* in the training plan, for brief periods I've reached that state of near-red line, which is back to a full-body experience as opposed to one leg.

It still seems amazing to feel this way again - I feel like me.

Things are not perfect and I wouldn't expect them to be. I have my ab and leg scars (who cares, I still wore a bikini to the pool), some creepy feeling outer thigh skin numbness (noticed every time my hand brushes my outer thigh as I swim), my left leg can fatigue before my right, my stomach is not back to its presurgery tone (and maybe never will be), and my hamstrings and calves have been tight (frequent stretching). But so what. The functionality is there and running is fun again.

With every run and bike I am reminded how much the situation had deteriorated over the course of last year. With those slow progressive types of things it's harder to recognize when you are in the midst of it.

Things are coming back nicely, even in the gym - pull-ups (back up to 6 in a row), pushups, lunges, etc - all the basics are still there. I think this speaks to the value of maintaining some type - any type - of activity. I truly believe there are carry over effects to the body as a whole.

11 days till my first 5K of the year.
32 days till my first triathlon of the year (double race weekend at Colonial Beach!)

My race goals? I just want to enjoy those runs, find some flow, and smile (ideally while passing people, haha).

May 13 to June 8 training summary: 

(Yes, it is driving me nuts that it says 49.99 miles run.
Had I known...I'd have done another .01;
I would have also put in another 100 or 1100 yards of swimming.
And maybe 23.45 more miles of biking.)

It's nice to be logging post-workout comments for Coach Jim like "felt great" and "no problems".