|The whole fam damily.|
I saw Dr. Lau last Monday, the first visit in over a month, and he found some good stuff to work on in my glutes and back. My body is holding up fine with the increased mileage, but it is still trying to stabilize itself by tightening up my left side. I have felt this off and on as tightness in my left IT band without any associated pain. It is something I haven't worried much about because it feels like my body adjusting to the increased mileage more than an outright rebellion for the pounding it's taking. I say this because the tightness has come on late in each run since I started back.
For example, when I ran 5 miles for the first time, it came on at about 4-4.5 miles into the run. The next time I ran 5 miles, I didn't feel it. When I ran 7 miles, it came on at 6-6.5 miles and then not again. Yesterday, I ran the Lake Natoma Loop (11.7 miles) and it came on at 9-10 miles. The longest run I had done before then was 9 miles, so this seemed to follow the same pattern. I think I am doing everything right to keep this in check, but I also plan to see Dr. Lau regularly as I continue increasing mileage and intensity over the next few months.
This is the nerve-wracking balancing act that we crazy runners face. When we train hard, our bodies get sore. But, when is the soreness normal and when is it a prelude to an injury? That's what each of us has to divine for ourselves. We'd clearly never train if we backed off every time we became sore. I have my little high-wire shoes and a bright pink tutu on right now and am working hard to stay firmly planted on that wire.
This week I ran 52 miles in 6 days of running. I had one workout of 9 miles with 30 minutes at about 6:52 pace, and that felt easy. My next "workout" was a tempo effort on Friday where I ran 8 miles total with 4 miles at 6:19 pace. It was humbling to run my marathon pace from Chicago for the first time since October and have it feel "comfortably hard". Rather than mourn my lost fitness, I decided to record this as a baseline condition that I can use to compare my progress over the next few weeks--a trick I learned during my brain training extravaganza last year.
Next week, I have a real track workout on Tuesday: 7 x 1000m repeats! I also have a tempo run again on Friday followed by a long run on Saturday. This will also be my first 7-day running week. Bring on the boring!