What's this? A post? Better yet, a training post? Yup. You better believe it, suckas!
Just like that—well, slightly fewer dumbbells, but I am slowly getting my act back together. In fact, I could have actually written a post last week, as I did manage to get a "full" week of running. It only totaled 33 miles, but I'll take it just three weeks post-broken ribs. The week was highlighted by a 12-mile run at Bradley Palmer with D. She noted that I was "laboring a bit" near the end, and while I wasn't my usual easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl-self, I was pleased at how good I felt after a three-week stretch in which I took 16 straight days off and only ran a total of 9 miles in three very slow runs.
This week was more "real." Admittedly, I'd like to run one of the races at Pineland Farms at the end of the month, and I need to figure out the exact state of my fitness. You know, while attempting to beat myself back into shape. It's a flawless plan.
Onto the numbers...
5/1, Sunday: 5 - 40:52, Weldon Farm Loop. Nice easy recovery run from my parents' house with D. Well, it was supposed to be easy, but D kept dropping the pace trying to break me after the previous day's 12 on the trails. ;-) I was a bit tight but didn't feel all that bad.
5/2, Monday: 7 - 1:04:40, Brunswick Town Commons. The traditional route through the Commons is 5, so we cruised around some familiar and some unfamiliar singletrack. Unfortunately, most trails dead-ended, so no new loops were devised, but we did get to tromp through some mud. Legs felt fine.
5/3, Tuesday: 5.5 - 44:25, TMR TNR at Twin Brook. WOOT! Schedule worked out nicely for a rare TNR appearance for me, and it seems like each time I show up the group is bigger than the last time. Good stuff. Ran with Ian, Tom, Blaine, Red Meat and Jeff for most of the run, and the latter two certainly didn't take it easy on the pace in general or the guy with broken ribs during the sprint lines. Plus, I always forget about those damn things. "Where are you going!?!?!?" That being said, it was great to catch up with the group, and good to get muddy with them all. Pace was snappy, and my legs handled it nicely. Great run.
5/4, Wednesday: 7.5 - 1:19:04, Black Cap via Kettle Ridge Trail and Red Tail Trail w/ Kevin Tilton. More fortuitous scheduling found me in North Conway in the afternoon, and I made plans to meet Kevin for a run up Black Cap. It was raining steadily when I met Kevin at his office, and we were both a touch disappointed the other wasn't going to bail. One could question the wisdom of meeting up with a guy whose license plate reads "MTN GOAT" to run up a mountain under any circumstances, much less with broken ribs, but I figured he was too nice a guy to leave me dead on the side of the hill. Plus, I told him D knew where we were going and would hunt him down...or at least, I think she would. In any event, this was a really great run. I trailed Kevin the entire way, and we chatted about...what else?...running. The Kettle Ridge Trail was very runnable for the trip up, and we made it to the summit in 46:10, which wasn't too far off Kevin's easy pace. Of course, just as I asked him how we were doing on time, hoping I wasn't dragging him down, the trail pitched upward for the final push to the summit. I stopped chatting at this point, since we were now off my easy pace—in the opposite direction. I could definitely feel my ribs as I sucked wind the final few yards to the summit, and Kevin was nice enough to not laugh at me. Of course, he had promised me a view, and we were standing in a rain cloud. The trip down was just as sweet as the trip up, with the Red Tail Trail being equally runnable. My legs felt pretty good the whole way, even with the 1700' of gain and loss. Hopefully, we can meet up again, as I'd really like to get more mountain running mixed into my training.
5/5, Thursday: Off (planned).
5/6, Friday: 11 - 1:20:26, River + Meadow Cross Roads. 8 miles @ MP (7:08 avg.). Why are my quads sore today? From the finding out where I am category, this run was a bit of a test, and I'm pretty pleased with the result. The first three miles were easy (7:48 avg.) with the final 8 at marathon pace, which I guesstimated would be about 7:20. That's probably close to true marathon pace right now, so this run was more of a half marathon/20-mile pace run. But, the only time the pace felt tough was into the wind, which was strong in a few sections. And, really, it was nice to just open it up a bit. My core was a bit tired by the end, so the affects of the broken ribs were evident. That's not surprising, though. In short, I'll take it.
5/7, Saturday: 4.75 - 42:05, Homeplace. Easy recovery run. Quads still sore because Kevin is jerk and not from the previous day's run at all. Otherwise, pretty comfortable stroll along the trails and saw a ton of birds I couldn't identify.
It's now been a full 5 weeks since the broken ribs, and I'm pretty happy to be putting in this type of training. More importantly, aside from the sore quads from Black Cap and the normal hamstring tightness I get with any mileage ramp up, I feel pretty solid. I can feel my ribs whenever I need to really pull in a big breath, but that's pretty much it. Getting in and out of bed still causes the most discomfort. Plan is to step it up again next week to continue to test things out. Going to be smart, but going to keep pushing.
No firm plans for racing, yet, however, and this timely quote on Anton Krupicka's blog sums up exactly how I feel right now:
"With regards to racing, all bets are off until I am once again healthy and confident in my fitness. I don't line up for an ultramarathon unless I feel I can do the event and the competition justice by delivering a meaningful best effort. So, you won't see me at a starting line unless I'm confident in my ability to do that; if you do see me on a starting line, you can be sure that I feel ready to rip."
I'll let you know when I'm ready to rip.