I am going to divide this long, overdue update into three parts: two steps forward, one step back. Like anything else in life, this is how my training is going right now.
Forward 1: Distance
I have, finally, accomplished a goal that has loomed in the distance since my first 4-mile race. I ran a 10k! For some reason, this 6.2 miles seemed virtually impossible. Maybe it was something about closing the loop of the whole park, maybe it was something about having to run the dreaded Harlem Hills (which I can’t find a single good website to link to about), or maybe it was just the next milestone and I never seemed to reach it. After a 5.88 mile Tuesday GTS, which I didn’t know was going to be that long in advance, I realized I was going to be able to complete it. Still, doing the full course the following Saturday that I will do on the day of the triathlon was a huge and emotional moment for me. Even more amazingly, yesterday at GTS we apparently ran 6.88 miles. Now, while I am having trouble verifying that because it includes 2 1/2 loops of of the reservoir which, oddly, MapMyRun doesn’t show the path for, the coaches are fairly accurate and so, give or take a few hundreths of a mile, I’m sure they’re right. Which is insane! INSANE!
Forward 2: Time
In my last time-obsessed post, I wrote that I ran just under 5 miles at a pace just under a 10-minute mile. Since then, I ran my 10k at an average of 9:37/mile and the 5.88 miles at 9:17! Then, during the nearly seven miles last night, we had to time two separate miles and see how fast we could go, while still leaving enough over to get the two or three miles back to the start. My first mile clocked in at about 8:55 and my second around 9. I’m kind of in awe of myself. Granted, I could never ave kept up those paces over the whole distance, but it is still a long way to come from 11 minute miles.
Back 1: Knees
In high school, I saw an orthopedist and then went to physical therapy for something they told me was “women’s knees” and I think is more acurately called condromalacia patella. I kind of had a feeling it would come back. While my knees have been uncomfortable since I seriously started running, it was never anything more than just mildly annoying until last week. Suddenly, my knees started to hurt when I was running and stayed hurting long after. Additionally, I have started to feel tightness in my illiotibial band, a part of my body I didn’t even know existed a few months ago. So, both of these things are troublesome. I probably shouldn’t have pushed myself so hard yesterday, but now that I am enjoying the training and the sense of accomplishment, it is hard to back down. I have a doctor’s appointment next week, and then fully intend to go to PT as I expect they will recommend. I also bought a foam roller today, which apparently helps with tight muscles and is something else I had never heard of. Finally, I need to learn to run better. I don’t have great running form and, despite thinking about it all the time, it doesn’t seem to be getting better, mostly because I don’t know what I’m doing wrong and what I should be doing right. Hopefully, if I figure out a way to get some individual coaching and go to PT, these issues will subside and won’t hold me back much longer.