After spending a good portion of the summer rehabing (which isn’t a word per the red line under it, but I think it should be) from my hamstring injury I feel I am fully recovered and back into my normal training routine. I have added lower body strength focused workouts to my routine as I’ve learned running doesn’t actually work all the muscles I thought it did, primarily my glutes. I am trying to be consistent with upper body strength and core workouts as well. To be a truly fit and fast runner it really takes having an entirely strong body. The challenge of course is fitting in all those other workouts in addition to running.
In wanting to get some of my pre-injury speed back and prepare for Glow in the Grove in October, Jason and I decided to do a speed workout yesterday morning. We had ran 6 miles on the rail trail Fri. morning before heading to Hershey for the RV show, and it seemed like good timing for it. I decided on 400s, so we headed to the track.
Our new Garmin watches showed off one of their better features in enabling us to pre-program the workout. We ran a mile (which Jason finished before me thus starting and ending the workout before me) and the watch beeped to begin the recovery. It counted down until beeping again to start the first 400. Upon completion we hit the lap button and it registered the time and began the recovery countdown. We ran 4 total 400s and then another mile cooldown. It was really nice having to not touch the watch other than hitting the lap button vs having to reset a watch each time. I’m sure this is a commonly used feature for most runners, but as someone who tends to avoid fancier technology (I ran Friday’s run using my 2nd generation Ipod) I was quite impressed.
My splits for the 400s were 1:38, 1:36, 1:35 and 1:35. I wasn’t running for a specific time, but was trying to run as all-out as I could while maintaining consistency. I felt as if the times were proof that I lost a lot of speed until I was reviewing my workout log for the year and discovered I had actually completed the same workout back in February. I had ran the mile warmup about a minute faster and the cooldown about the same, but my 400 splits were 1:30, 1:34, 1:33 and 1:33. I hadn’t been nearly as slow as I thought. Granted the weather was likely chillier in February and slowed me down, but Sunday was a bit humid so it’s possible the conditions had roughly the same effect on my body.
I’m now more excited to see what time I can run at Glow in the Grove. Last year the course ended up being short due to heavy rains washing out a portion of the trail, so I’m expecting to complete a full 5k again this year. I beat Jason by roughly a quarter mile last year, but I don’t expect to this year. He has been training more consistently and is looking strong despite being setback from training a few days due to back spasms from the Sasquatch trail race. My dad is also joining us for the first time, so I’m sure he’ll beat me as well, but we’ll all have fun regardless.
I have also signed dad, Jason and I up for the York Winter Series. This will be Jason’s first year running it and my third. The races are a bit more spaced out this year having 3 weeks in between some as opposed to 2 which should allow for more training. Just like Sasquatch fell right after our Ocean City vacation, the first race, the Dover 10 miler, will fall a few days after we return from New Orleans. I plan to amp up with some longer runs after Glow in the Grove in preparation for it.
I was on the fence about wanting to complete a half marathon this fall and slightly bummed when I found a really neat sounding one called the “End of the Road” half marathon and realized it’s on a day that Jason is on call for work. Apparently there is an abandoned portion of the turnpike and it was used to film the movie “The Road” (which I have seen and read the book), and that is where the half marathon is ran. It is one I will keep in mind for next year though as I’ve since decided that despite feeling back to normal, I’m not ready to push heavy distance training too much just yet, and that training for the winter series will be sufficient for now.
Do you program speed or interval workouts into your watch? Does racing after a vacation throw you off physically or mentally? Do you have any bucket list half marathons?