Thursday, November 13, 2014

Another Evaluation

The weekend hadn't been particularly tough, but since I still have the Dublin marathon in my legs it didn't need a tough weekend for the legs to feel a bit tired. Accordingly I took it very easy on Monday (as I do virtually every Monday), and felt all the better for it on Tuesday.

Even teh weather was better on Tuesday and it was a clear, crisp morning illuminated by a very bright moon as I set off from home. I felt really good and the legs were itching to run a bit faster but I made sure to keep them in check. It would have been a great run but was unfortunately blighted a mile from home when my hamstring started hurting once more. It wasn't bad but it did remind me of the morning a few weeks ago when the hamstring started hurting a tiny bit and 2 miles later I was in agony. Luckily I was only a mile from home this time and it didn't get any worse, but I was definitely worried. I could also feel it for the rest of the day and started icing it again in the evening.

I have one theory regarding that hamstring, namely that it might not be the actual muscle itself that is affected but the sheath surrounding it, because it feels somewhat similar to the Achilles issue I've had in the past. That could be bad as sheath tissue does take longer to heal, but then again I managed to run through all of my Achilles niggles without too much trouble. It may well be wishful thinking but right now I still believe the odds are in my favour that this will go away eventually as well.

It's been 3 weeks since the last evaluation, but I've run the Dublin marathon in the meantime, so I already knew there would not be a smooth progression showing in the numbers from the last one. Because of the hamstring issues I wasn't sure if I should go ahead but then decided to be bold rather than fearful.

Another unexpected hurdle was thrown by my GPS gadgets. Evaluation is the one workout that requires a GPS device. I don't have the Suunto set up for that, so the old, trusty Garmin it was. Unfortunately, I had to reset it the day before the Dublin marathon which wiped all the data from it, including any custom workouts, and was unpleasantly surprised by an empty selection option this morning. 6 am when you're about to leave for your run is not the time to start up the computer and sync the watch which would have taken 10-15 minutes that I did not have, so it was all done manually. Not a big issue, but I also lacked the HR alarm that normally goes off whenever I run too slow or too fast during the evaluation, so it all was a bit more uneven that usual.

Never mind.
“First get your facts; then you can distort them at your leisure”
Mark Twain
The numbers in brackets are adjusted pace, 3 seconds for every beat off the 161 target.
        Mile 1    6:44   HR 161    (6:44)
        Mile 2    6:50   HR 160    (6:47)
        Mile 3    6:46   HR 162    (6:49)
        Mile 4    6:51   HR 161    (6:51)
        Recovery to HR 130: 38 seconds

The pace drop is remarkably stable, at least when you're looking at the "cleaned" numbers. Overall, those are actually pretty good numbers. I am still dealing with some fatigue from the marathon, but not as much as might be expected. While I have seen better figures with regards to all variable(pace, stability, recovery), that's a nice set of numbers 16 days after a marathon that had been tougher than expected.

However, my main reason for being cheerful is that there was not a beep from the hamstring.

Thursday was only 8 miles at a very easy effort. I'm doing a mini taper before the Double in Sixmilebridge on Sunday.

10 Nov
10 miles, 1:19:16, 7:56 pace, HR 140
11 Nov
10 miles, 1:17:29, 7:45 pace, HR 142
12 Nov
11.8 miles, 1:25:29, 7:15 pace, HR 150
   incl. 4 mile eval: 6:44, 6:47, 6:49, 6:51, 38 sec recovery [cleaned up paces]
13 Nov
8+ miles, 1:02:41, 7:47 pace, HR 140

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