Any time I did anything but a reasonably short and very slow run, my legs would protest for days. It was like I was starting running again from zero, any run would just take far too much out of the legs. While things did improve, it happened so slowly it seemed almost imperceptible at times.
But, finally, things seem to be gathering pace so to speak. I expected to be stiff and sore on Monday after Sunday's long-ish run but in actual fact I felt perfectly fine. I only did 8 miles but from the way the legs were feeling I certainly could have done more. It was Tuesday, however, that finally felt like a breakthrough. Once again I wasn't sure how the legs would behave because sometimes it takes 2 days for any stiffness to manifest itself but I felt better than on any day since Turin. I wasn't getting carried away and kept the effort to the same easy level as alway but ended up running a little bit faster anyway, almost 20 seconds per mile faster than the day before. The HR was still in the expected zone. Actually, I could already tell it was going to be a good run when I crested the first hill without the HR alarm going off and, if anything, things improved further from there on. I almost felt like a real runner again!
Wednesday wasn't quite so good with the legs being a bit heavy once more but even that day had its plus points by posting the lowest HR for several weeks.
With 3 easy days under the belt I felt encouraged to slightly push the effort once more. I know MC had advised me to stick to easy running but with Cork looming on the very near horizon I wanted to get a feel for 7:20 pace. Shortly after reaching the halfway point of my 10-mile run I started to accelerate. I got into the pace fairly quickly and the legs and lungs were all able to cope. If anything it started to feel easier after a few miles. I was probably working a bit harder than necessary because those faster miles were all against a headwind - not a strong one but noticeable all the same. Under those circumstances doing 7:25 or 7:30 pace would probably have done the trick effort-wise but I needed to see 7:20 on the watch for the head, and you know what? It worked! I feel a lot more confident about Cork now than I did 24 hours ago.
One slight area for concern is my left knee. I started feeling a tiny niggle on its outside a few weeks ago and it kept coming back. It was never bad, no worse than 1 or 2 out of 10, but one day this week, I'm not even sure which one, it felt worse, maybe 4 or 5 out of 10. Still not bad and if it doesn't get any worse then I don't have anything to worry about it. Indeed it went back to 1 or 2 the following day and most of the time I can't even feel it, so I won't be losing any sleep just yet. I know my run of not being injured for about 7 years is going to come to an end at some stage but I don't think this is that point just yet.
- 25 May
- 8 miles, 1:07:27, 8:26 pace, HR 137
- 26 May
- 12 miles, 1:37:46, 8:09 pace, HR 141
- 27 May
- 10 miles, 1:23:30, 8:21 pace, HR 136
- 28 May
- 10 miles, 1:18:38, 7:52 pace, HR 146
- incl. 4.5 miles @ 7:20 (HR 158)