This has been a weird week. From injured to ok within five days.
After the 21K on Sato, I could only rise from a sitting position in pain. I could only go downstairs and upstairs in pain. Mr. I-have-to-Maximize-Easter was reduced to sitting on his ass and watching TV over Easter as the days passed.
After some analysis and research, I was constrained to admit I had an ITBL injury and had to take painkillers and got down to doing wallbangers, one-legged lateral lunges etc. And this video particularly helped, especially from day three of rest.
I was worried that if I didn't run on Wednesday and Thursday, especially with my busy weekend and now that the rains are here - every evening when it doesn't rain is a blessing. You never know when you will have a runnable evening.
So on Wednesday I went for a slow 7K with strides. I just took it easy and was tentative since I was coming from an injury. It was good the injured muscles are not the ones primarily recruited during running. More like auxillary muscles and connective tissue.
On Thursday my legs were kinda sore and I didn't feel particularly strong. But I wanted to go for a run - knowing that my weekend has already been taken. Someone invited me for lunch and so I didn't take my usual Spartan lunch. This further strengthened my resolve that I had to run yesterday (or add weight). So I decided to go for a 16K time trial, balls out or die. I had food in me. I was well-hydrated and I had the determination. That is all I need.
I left work kinda late. The rain clouds had gathered and it took my garmin more than 12 minutes to lock on the satellites. Good thing is, that allowed me to warm up well.
And throughout, the skies threatened to open and unleash a downpour. But this inspiration below image kept flashing in my mind:
But I didn't want to be rained on so I decided I will just run and if it pours so bad, I will get out of the rain and take shelter. I looked at the clouds directly overhead. They weren't that dark and it was windy so I estimated it would not rain even though there was a lot of darkness and activity skywards. The rain would keep blowing the clouds away and not giving them a chance to gather. That was my little caveman-rainmaker skill in action. It normally works for me. 98% accurate.
My legs weren't ok. My hamstrings and shins were sore from the little speedwork of the previous day, however un-agressive ('docile' doesn't seem to capture my meaning) and little.
So it went okay. At the 9th K mark, I noticed I was slowing down and reminded myself that the time to start concentrating is from the 12th K Mark and from then, I focused. At the 13th K Mark I had my teeth clenched in concentration and effort. And there is also pain at that point onwards to the finish. I bore it and tried my best.
Finally, 16K in 1:16:54. It was windy and it didn't rain on me.
Below is my analysis of these last two major runs:
I note the following:
1. Because of the relatively flat elevation (with small undulations) in the 16K, I was able to maintain a relatively steady speed at a relatively steady heart rate - with max HR (171 bpm) achieved at 15K. And in the case of the 21K, because of the hill at the beginning, by the 4th Km, I have already achieved a max HR of 175bpm.
In other words, I must be able to be fast at lower HR to manage that terrain because to run the first 4K at close to 5 min/Km, I may hit their max HR. So my body must be very good at recovery or else I hit that high HR and get done.
Solution: maintain mileage and structured strides.
2. I fell asleep in Kms 7,8,9, 10 and Kms 18 and 19. Because of the hills they have. All I need to do is concentrate and remember these as problem segments to watch out for. I had the energy because the 13th K has one very soul-destroying hill (it destroyed GK - I think - at least that is where I lost him. But I managed it without slowing down so, concentrate on Kms 7,8,9,10 and Kms 18 and 19. Train for them and maintain regular 16K tempo runs.
3. Because of the terrain, for every 5K done on a flat surface, add 1.30mins for difficulty. At least for the first 10K. I had done 16K in 1:18 the previous week but in the race I was at 16K at 1:22.
4. To do 16K in 1:15, one must do each Km in 4:40 - which yields a 1:14:40. I Need more speed through more structured strides. Time for speedwork training will come after sub 1:40, which is within reach already.
Stay active guys!