I did one more long run in Austria, 4 time around the little lake and I was running for exactly 2 hours. It wasn't quite as hot any more, still 27C/80F though, and it was very humid so I just took it very, very easy, which was probably good for my hip anyway. On previous days it had been hot but dry and I almost did not feel like I was sweating because it evaporated immediately. Sunday was very different but due to my low pace I was just plodding along not too bothered. It also helped that I had stashed a water bottle along the way - sometimes even I can learn a lesson.
The pace had been painfully slow but what pleased me was that my hip was perfectly fine all the way and did not start hurting afterwards either. It was enough encouragement to try running on consecutive days once more, even though that had been impossible earlier that week.
It's amazing how quickly things had changed in just a few days. On Monday, our last morning before travelling back home, I did run again and since the hip did not bother me at all I kept pushing the distance as I went along, from 3 miles to 4 and then 5, and I might have done more but it was time to head home. It was probably the most encouraging run I had done all week - in fact, for 2 months. I was finally able to run on consecutive days! It felt like a major victory.
Since returning home I have kept to that daily running schedule but I also reduced the miles again, just to be sure. There is no denying that my fitness has suffered significantly - 8:30 seems to be the top end of my easy pace now, a full minute slower than 2 months ago at the same effort level and heart rate - the VDOT table does not make pleasant reading. How quickly I will be able to regain a half-decent level I don't know - I have less time until the Spartathlon than I spent out injured. Ah well. It's a challenge, I guess,
- 16 Aug
- 13.4 miles, 2:00:00, 8:57 pace, HR 139
- 17 Aug
- 5 miles, 46:17, 9:15 pace, HR 137
- 18 Aug
- 8 miles, 1:08:26, 8:33 pace, HR 143
- 19 Aug
- 5 miles, 44:12, 8:50 pace, HR 143