Week 38, 2013: I'm back!

I kick off the week on Tuesday with intervals. Until now I was doing fast runs instead but then I realized that perhaps a fast run, a hill run (which is not fast strictly speaking but is a hell of workout) and a long weekend run is just too much. So I decided to replace the fast run with intervals. Thinking it would be easier. Oh, silly me.

Didn't feel easy at all. In the fast run you just get into the pace zone, grind your teeth and go on. In intervals, as they are shorter, you go even faster, which is tougher. And then you get the rest. Which feels great and gives you an illusion of peace... but then the next interval comes and you have to do it again. And again. And again. Tough stuff.

I did 8 times 600 meters with 1 minute rest. Originally I planned to make them longer (1K) but then decided to start with shorter segments. It's been a while since I did intervals and doing them on a track was quite different. For once: no wind (and the wind on Shoreline is really tough to deal with). Also on the track there was always someone in front that I could try to follow, which works great when it comes to motivation. Now it was just me and the watch. A different game altogether.

Probably I should find a proper track for the intervals, as the changing wind meant that I wasn't sure whether I was slowing down because the wind was worse or because I was getting tired (both). If you really want hard data track is great as you get complete repeatability of the intervals. But hey, I'm not training for 10K trying to knock off some seconds from my PR. I'm just trying to do a little speed work so as not to completely forget what does it mean to run, as opposed to slowly shuffle legs for hours at a time over long distances :). So I think I will just stick to my usual route.

Wednesday and Thursday I did easy runs. Great thing there: I did recover during them. I just now realized that it's been basically 3 months since my infamous start in the San Francisco marathon and the injury. After the injury I spend many weeks recovering and not running at all and then many more trying to go back to my training but not really succeeding. Those of you who are following this blog know that lately I've been complaining a lot about consistently feeling tired. So I was really happy to see that I did three consecutive runs and, on the account of the last two being just easy maintenance runs, I felt fresh on Friday. Great sign. Great feeling.

... and on Friday there was the Google 15: 15K race for Google's 15th birthday. I didn't plan to run but then I had a last minute change of heart; after all how often will I have a chance of running to celebrate Google's birthday? And I really felt great so I decided, hell, why not. I made this decision literally 30 minutes before the race. Gladly I could still register but then I realized I didn't bring my watch, as I wasn't planning to run that day. Running without my watch? I don't think so. So I got into my car, drove home, quickly changed there and "raced" for the race. I was a bit late, but gladly so was the start so in the end it worked out perfectly.

My performance? Well, not great, but that's hardly surprising. I wasn't planning to race, I ran on three consecutive days before and I'm not on top of my form, so I didn't have high expectations about my performance. I finished this 15K slower than I did 10 miles two years ago (almost to the day) in Dam to Dam. But hey, at least I followed the advice from the following banner:

I finished off with a long run on Sunday. I went to a new National Park; 1 hour drive away. When I got there I realized that you have to pay an entry fee and I didn't have any money on me. Yes, call me stupid, I deserve it. It was self-registration and cash only. I decided to try a parking on the outskirts of the park (in fact that was my original destination but I took a wrong turn and ended up in the headquarters). The proverb proved correct: I may be stupid but I make up for it with luck ;). It was free of charge and I was on my way.

Originally I planned to do the Strava challenge and run 20+ miles. However, I started quite late and was afraid it'll get dark before I'm finished. Moreover I felt quite tired -- not very surprising given my 4-day running streak finished with a race -- so I cut it short and did 20K instead.

To be fair it wasn't one of my more inspiring runs, but I'm still very happy with this week. I did 5 runs and 80 kilometers, which means I'm back in the game. Even more importantly, my life energy returned, I didn't feel constantly tired during this week and my recovery felt normal again. Way to go. I finish off this post with a photo of part of the trail I did on Sunday; it so beats road running! :D


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