Sunday, April 21, 2013
The Flower City Challenge is one week from today. Packet pickup starts tomorrow. That's the big decision time, because I can trade down from the half marathon to the 5K at packet pickup.
That decision has already been made. There is no way I'll be in shape to run a half in one week. There's no way I'll be in shape to do run/walk intervals for a half in one week. And my ability to walk 13.1 miles at a brisk pace is in doubt. So for the second year in a row, I'm going to trade down.
That's the bad news. The good news is, things are improving. It's just that the improvement is so slow I have to look back a ways to see it.
One week ago today, I increased my intervals to run 2, walk 1 and did 12 cycles. They felt good, but my leg stiffened up afterwards and walking was clumsy on Monday. Tuesday I probably could have done intervals again, but I was cautious and just walked. Thursday I did run 2, walk 1 intervals for 30 minutes (18 minutes total run time, compared to 24 last Sunday), and I felt fine on Friday. I could have done more intervals yesterday, but held to plan and just walked.
Today I increased the intervals to run 3, walk 1. Bearing in mind that 24 minutes of running brought me scary close to aggravating the leg injury badly, I decided in advance that I'd do 7 cycles for 28 total minutes, 21 of them running. I set out to do my standard flat 5K from home.
The good news: The last time I set out to do that 5K in intervals, it was coming back from a strained calf in 5K training. I did walk 1, run 4, and finished the 5K in just about exactly 25 minutes. Today I did run 3, walk 1, and didn't quite make it to the 5K mark when I hit 24 mintues to start the last running cycle. So I ran and then walked part of my standard walking cooldown stretch, ending the timer at 28 minutes but continuing into walking cooldown mode. Total distance, 3.54 miles in 28 minutes for an average pace of 7:55 per mile.
I made sure I did a good long walking cooldown, and I didn't cut corners with stretching. Then I did stuff around the house that required me to be standing or walking from room to room for a while. And I waited before writing this blog, to be sure there wouldn't be a repeat of last week's stiff leg. Nope, everything feels good.
The plan from here is to do run 3, walk 1 intervals again on Tuesday, then just walk on Thursday and Saturday. Maybe, just maybe, if I give the leg enough rest I'll be able to run the full 5K. Running all the way, it should only be 21 or 22 minutes, which is about as much running time as I put in today.
Of course, if the leg tells me it's still sore during the race, it will have to go back to intervals. But at least I can do intervals well enough to finish in a reasonable time. Then after next week's race, it's just intervals and solo runs for about a month, or more if my employer doesn't participate in the Chase Corporate Challenge.
I can still dream about doing the half that's concurrent with the Rochester Marathon; but I'm not signing up for that until and unless I get to a solo long run of 13 miles and can run 3 miles two days later with no ill effects. And if that never happens, I'll need to be content with the occasional organized 5K or 10K.
Edited to add: It turns out that my employer is participating in the Chase Corporate Challenge, so my next race after the Flower City Challenge will be the 3.5 mile Corporate Challenge on May 21. By then, I should be able to run all the way. Just have to avoid overdoing things between now and then.