Weeks ago, after a marathon that had gone a rye, I braved my soul on here and declared my decree to run a sub 19 minute 5k on December 3rd. Whoops, did I speak a bit prematurely? Probably...
I haven't really been going into much detail about my training because...well...it's been rather patchy. With a hip that is as feisty as ever, legs that feel like dead weight most days, countless muscular imbalances I'm dealing with these days, the loss of motivation to be held down to a concrete training plan, and an old shoulder issue that has decided to resurface...I'd say running a sub 19 minute 5k 12 days from now would be nothing short of a miracle.
Post marathon I've been dealing with a lot of goofy issues within my body that have prevented me from making forward progress, I've more so been in a "fighting to maintain" kind of state. I'm okay with this, but I think that it's just time to get a grip on reality about this upcoming 5k.
I've been working on a lot of my underlying issues, however these efforts have not allowed for me to focus on the necessary effort needed for a sub 19 minute 5k. Still doing the 5k, just not expecting too much out of it at this point.
In terms of speed workouts:
- 10x400's @ current 5k pace (6:15 mile). 1:33, 1:35, 1:27, 1:33, 1:30, 1:34, 1:35, 1:32, 1:35, 1:32. Finished these overall under goal pace.
- 12x400's @ current 5k pace (6:15 mile). 1:31, 1:27, 1:30, 1:29, 1:34, 1:34, 1:30, 1:28, 1:30, 1:34, 1:30, 1:33. Finished these overall under goal pace.
- 5x800's @ goal 5k pace (6:05 mile). 3:04, 3:03, 3:01, 2:59, 3:01. For the most part was on pace here and felt rather comfortable.
- 4x1000's @ goal 5k pace (6:05 mile). 3:47, 3:48, 3:50, 3:49. Planned on doing 5 here, but I took the first two excessively aggressive for me and had a difficult time recovering, so I decided to bag the 5th. This workout nearly did me in.
I'm not giving up on the possibility of a sub 19 minute 5k, I'm just being realistic here. Unfortunately I haven't quite put in the work required, so it would be silly of me to blabber on about how I think that I'm going to cruise through that course.
On my running form:
If your eye has ever gazed at any of my race photos closely, you may have noticed that I am an avid heel-striker. Have been all of my life. This year I have spent a lot of time reading and studying up on proper running form and how to gain speed, turns out that heel strikers have a tricky time getting faster without compromising quality. Okay really I always understood the logic of this, but it didn't click in my mind until last spring because I thought that I was the exception to the rule.
Raptor arm+heel strike+squishy abs does not equal speed
For me to continue making the progress I want with my running, several months ago I decided that it's imperative now for me to work on my running mechanics. It's hard to run efficiently when your body flails around like mine does. So with baby steps I'm forging on ahead.
- Stop compensating proper running form for speed. Teach the body how to run naturally, then the speed will soon follow.
- Transitioning from heel striker to midfoot striker. This has been more difficult then I thought it would be, and requires a lot more awareness of my foot then I have been used to for the past 15 years I've been running. But just like any new skill in life, it will take some time.
- Trying for quicker turnover. The point of operation abort heel-strike is to turnover quicker with the foot landing underneath the body and not out in front, which takes longer to swing back around and requires more effort in the long run.
- Remember these beauties that I dropped a pretty penny on several months ago?
I've spent quite a bit of time in these neon kicks in the last 6 weeks
Ideally the goal is that eventually I will not have to consciously be thinking about where my foot is landing during every foot strike and it will become natural for me to land midfoot. But for now, I constantly have to think about it which is mentally exhausting at times.
Strength training progress:
Post marathon it became rather apparent to me that my body has become a slight mess. While I have always incorporated strength training into my routine, I wasn't exerting enough effort and focus on the benefits of functional strength. I've been making progress in this area of fitness lately by keeping my strength workouts rather varied with a lot of jumping, dynamic movements, and low weight high rep workouts.
Running for 15 years has done a number on my body:
- My hips are outrageously tight on an almost constant basis
- The glutes are rather weak from years of neglect
- A pesky right shoulder joint from poor posture has been raising hell lately
Every session is a new challenge for my body, and there are some days that my muscles and joints simply tell me "no". But I've been a compliant slave to this body, knowing that lately it is rather sensitive and has limits.
My journey with yoga :
Remember several weeks ago when I pledged to make it to one yoga class a week? Well...about that...um...I haven't been that consistent with this.
- Went to a few classes where I was extremely frustrated because my body has resistance in nearly every exercise
- At first I thought the problem was the instructors because I attended several unconventional classes, but really it's me and my funky-dunky body
- Had an AH HA moment last week where I realized "duh, I'm tight because I haven't been stretching appropriately post marathon"
I actually didn't attend a class for several weeks after an instructor scolded me for cheating on several poses and told me that at my level I shouldn't be attending classes if I wasn't going to challenge myself. Naturally I became defensive and finished that particular practice forcing the remaining poses which left me feeling like I was ran over by a semi and left for dead in a ditch. But after further consideration I realized that she was right, why coast through the practice? Yoga is just like everything else in life, you will only get as much out as you are willing to put in.
The funky Chicago fall:
Tuesday it was 65 degrees out, perfectly gorgeous fall day.
Thursday it was windy and 35. Wasn't dressed appropriately and nearly froze.
Why Chicago? Why can't you offer some sort of weather consistency?
To sum it all up, running has been very reflective of my life lately. Every day brings a new challenge that tests my character that at times leaves me feeling like I can barely keep my head above water. But I'm not giving up, instead I have pledged to myself to keep treading water making the most of what each day holds. There is no permanency in any situation, and life is what you make of it.