When it rains, it pours!
The funny thing is... I NEVER get sick anymore. I can't remember the last time I even had a head cold. Usually Nate will come down with something and "share" it, but it'll hide in the background. 3-4 days later I'll blow my nose and get some gunk out and that will be the end of it. I think when you're training volume is high, you're following a well thought-out and consistent training plan, and you're eating pretty healthy, your body responds well. It knows what it needs to do - and that's staying healthy.
So as I fought off chills and bathroom visits every hour, I sorely missed that former iron-clad, healthy self! The flu is not fun at all.
Needless to say, I took Saturday completely off. I have no idea how many days I've taken off in the last 4 weeks, nor how many miles I ran last week. I'm choosing not to tally either. I'd rather not know!
On Saturday I was still achy, but at least able to keep down a little food. Around mid-day, though, I could tell I was coming down with a head cold. ARRRRGGGHHHH. Both nieces I was visiting were sick.
When it rains, it pours :(.
But - I'm happy to report that after taking Saturday off and running an easy hour on Sunday that something felt different. Instead of feeling like I was never recovering, the legs feeling jerky and weird, I could tell I was on the mend. It is SO cool to be able to tell these subtle things in your legs/body! Plus, the head cold I had felt come on seemed to disappear "into the background". Perhaps still there, but I'm fighting it off and don't feel sick at all. YES, YES, YES!!!!!!
I edited Jerry's original weekly plan, since that had assumed I had been consistently running, putting in long tempo work (can't remember the last T workout I've done), etc. The original plan was for 130 miles this week, but I'm just not there. If I know one thing, this is a journey and you absolutely can't rush fitness. I'm at where I'm at, and I can only be smart going forward and do what I know works best.
That meant a first tempo effort today, and I'm happy to say that it went really well!
Workout: 3x2 miles, first mile at MP, 2nd at T
Goal: 6:10 MP, 5:55 T
Actual: 6:12, 5:58 (legs felt weird last .5 miles - so I'm definitely not 100%). 6:13, 6:04. 6:18, ??.
On the 4th mile (2nd tempo mile), my HR climbed to 200bpm, which is out of my tempo zone. My default now is to just GRIND and to welcome the hurt - but as Pat and Craig (who were nice enough to help me through today's workout) reminded me, I have a lot of miles left in the week and this is just a first tempo workout coming back after being ill just 72 hours earlier. So the 3rd tempo segment I didn't look at the time and instead held my HR at 194-5, which is exactly where it should be. My heart rate is pretty high, but I know my zones: 180bpm is marathon pace, 194bpm is tempo pace. When I was tested at the U of MN last December my max was 203.
I'm super pumped! These were actually faster than a 4x2 mile effort I did 2 weeks ago, and I think today's effort was a little lower. The MP miles felt great - easy, even! YAY!
So, here's to coming back from the dead. The edited plan still calls for 110 miles this week, and I'm excited to be back, but will be careful to monitor things closely this week to make sure I'm not coming back too quickly/pushing too hard too early :)
Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!
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