Sunset in Waveny Park, New Canaan, June 2019

Training Recap #16 as of June 30, 2019

Training recap #16 covers two weeks from June 17 to June 30, 2019. During the previous training session #15, I ran 56 miles on 11 days.

Training Period #16 Goals

Focus on both volume and quality, with 60 miles and improvement in my track workouts the goals for this training period. Secondary goal is to complete 2-3 strength and mobility workouts per week to maintain and build strength. Aerobic workouts are catabolic (destroy muscle) and are reducing my strength gains (strength training is anabolic and builds muscle).

Week 1: From a High to a Low

  • Wanting to build on my 30-mile week during the prior training session #15 was easier said than done. And what started out well, unfortunately didn’t end well.
  • On Tuesday, I ran a hard effort workout comprised of a 2-mile tempo in 15:04 on the Waveny trails (8:01 and 7:03 mile splits). I ran another mile to the high school track, where I executed a set of 6x 200 meter repeats with 200 meter jogs between the reps. I started at 39 seconds and progressed quickly down to 37 seconds (about 5 minute mile-pace). It was raining, the track was slippery, and I was focused and worked hard. I cooled down with a 1/2 mile jog to the car. I was stoked with a quality 5-mile workout to start the week.
  • The next morning when I woke up, I felt pain in my left heel and was unable to take that first step out of bed. Argh. Never having been afflicted with plantar fasciitis in 40+ years of running, and therefore unable to recognize the symptoms, I proceeded to run short and easy on Wednesday through Saturday. Each day, I ran 3 miles in Waveny Park. I postponed my planned 8x 400 meter workout on Friday.
  • I was bummed that once again, it was two steps forward, one step backwards. From a fitness perspective, I felt strong and fast. But my chassis (bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments) was unable to support my aerobic engine (cardiovascular system), and I had to figure out what was ailing me.
  • A runner’s inclination is to run through minor injuries. So on Sunday I ran my longest run since fall 2018. I’ve been struggling mentally with my long runs, and it felt so good – and was such a confidence booster – to complete a 9-mile trail run in 1:12:50 (8:05 mile pace). Although I fell short of the 30 mile goal, I was happy with 26 miles for the week given my injury.

Week 2: Plantar Fasciitis

  • Following my 9-mile long run on Sunday, my left heel pain increased on Monday, and I decided to shut down my running for this week, and focus on rehabilitating my injury. I accepted that plantar fasciitis is a debilitating injury, and requires both rest and addressing the root causes.
  • I’ve posted about my plantar fasciitis, including what happened and why, and what I’m doing about it in a separate post.
  • During the week I completed three intense workout sessions to focus on strength, mobility and flexibility. I added specific exercises to address weaknesses that caused the plantar fasciitis in my left foot. These include foot exercises on stairs and using the ProStretch tool to stretch the hamstrings, rolling the fascia with a baseball to break up scar tissue, towel curls to build the arches, kettleball exercises to strengthen my glutes.

Almost 250 miles in 10 Weeks

  • 26 miles for the 2-week session. Not 60 miles as hoped.
  • And I will repeat here what I’ve often said before, and is true and proven again: Consistent training is the key to achieving one’s running goals (same can be said about the importance of consistency in achieving whatever one’s goals may be).
  • Having said that, I’ve accomplished much since my metatarsal stress reaction and inguinal hernia surgery, both in November 2018. I’ve completed 244 miles over the past 10 weeks on 54 days of running. More than 20 sessions of strength and mobility workouts. But most important, I’ve enjoyed re-integrating running as part of a holistic lifestyle, and travelling on my journey of separation, divorce, and re-discovery. Running – and everything that goes with it – is healing. There is no better drug.

Photo: Sunset in Waveny Park, New Canaan, June 2019. Shot with Google Pixel 3XL.

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