Thought for the week: Running in the Northwest is pretty awesome. You get the best of both worlds: hot summer days, but cool evenings and mornings — i.e. perfect running weather. Ask me again how much I love it here when we’re in the thick of the rainy season, but for now we’re soaking up all the sunny goodness.
This week was the close of what I call the “ramping up” phase of training where, after building mileage in the first few weeks, the addition of speed and tempo workouts are delivering a nice dose of reality. But next week starts the “oh, crap” phase where things like 10 mile tempo runs and mile repeats on the track start to creep into the picture.
I think my legs are finally starting to adjust to the increased frequency and mileage, though. Although some days are more of a struggle than others when it comes to early-morning workouts, I don’t have as much of that dead-legged feeling that I was dealing with a few weeks ago.
And if we’re being really honest here, the incentive of being able to pluck fresh, ripe blackberries off all the bushes along our run routes may also factor into my motivation for getting out there.
My love/hate relationship with Tuesday track workouts also continues… It takes a lot of focus to commit to running in a circle for anywhere from six to eight miles total (this week it was six 800’s at a 3:45 pace with 400 recovery in between), but it’s an incredible boost of confidence when you’re able to NAIL the paces.
I’m always a little faster than I’d like out of the gate because it takes some time to settle into a rhythm with the first one, but my next five were in a tight cluster ranging from 3:39-3:42. Of course, the last one or two feel super tough, but by that time you can count on some adrenaline because you know you’re near the end.
Another one of my goals for the week was to get my plantar fasciitis under control with some self-care techniques until I can get some professional help up in Portland. I’ll go into more detail in an upcoming post, but right now I’m icing with a water bottle, taking Advil for inflammation and using a rubber lacrosse ball to try to loosen up my feet.
I also went in for an impromptu massage this week, and the therapist spent 60 minutes entirely on my legs — from my glutes down to my toes. Some spots are slightly out of whack and I’m compensating for weaknesses in other areas, so I’m planning on doing some kind of combo of gait analysis, massage and preventative physical therapy to keep everything in check.
But in the meantime, it’s one foot in front of the other. Many thanks for hanging with me through the first two months of training; it’s been awesome connecting through comments, tweets and posts. Eight weeks down, 10 more to go!