Torture Report: Gimme Five & No Trespassing

Don’t let that smile fool you!

(G): Today’s report  is brought to you by the number five. Since I was cleared to run two weeks ago, the maximum number of miles I am allowed to run at one time is five. But, as I may have mentioned previously, that would prove to be difficult for my out of shape body and cardiovascular system.

I started out with three miles, creeped up to 3.5 miles, took a day or two off here and there to make sure my pain level didn’t rise and then began to increase the mileage again. By Saturday, I reached 5 miles. Not quite a mileage marker I ever thought would bring me any particular joy. However, for the first time in weeks, I can say I ran more than 20 miles so I won’t complain.

This feels like a step forward since my previous mileage was exactly zero.

Zero is a buzz word here, too. My new zero drop shoes (meaning the heel and forefoot of the shoe are on the same level) also arrived on Friday so I have been slowly introducing those to the mix as well. This process of gradually introducing a new shoe has proved to add to my training regimen. I have been wearing a backpack to carry my new shoes and then when I have about a mile to go I stop and change to my new Altras. Each week I am going to increase the amount of time I run in the Altras but I need to take it slow. I don’t need any new challenges.

When it comes to the challenge department, I have got it covered. Learning to not heel strike, hit the mid foot, running upright but not too upright, land light but with a foot that’s not too relaxed leaves my brain spinning. Add to that, I am trying to have a quicker cadence so my feet spend less time on the ground and I can barely talk to anyone during a run. So while thinking about all the aforementioned technique pointers I am also listening to a metronome aiming to have my foot hit the ground with every beat. I am currently at 172 bpm.

Heel is hitting but the foot is fairly level. I am calling this frame a success.

I am not a dancer, I didn’t play piano very well, and keeping time or rhythm is not a skill I generally possess so on the first day with the metronome I found that I either tried to breathe in and out with the beat or I simply held my breath. Neither of those approaches was too successful. Over the last few days, I have started to figure that one out but I drift from the rhythm regularly and it takes some concentration to get back on it. Have you ever tried to jump into an already spinning jump rope? It’s like that.

Adding further insult to all of this thinking is that periodically throughout my running John is snapping photos or taking video so that I can inspect my progress when we return home. Reconciling what you think your running looks like and what it actually looks like is tough. I am moving in the right direction. My heel striking is far less aggressive and it’s getting better but it’s not cured. My posture is getting better but it too still needs a lot of work.

As long as most days can include a 5-mile run it will feel like a high five to progress.

(L):  It didn’t happen until Monday, but I did get my 7-mile training run in this week.  I was supposed to meet friends at the trail on Monday morning, but I opted for an extra hour of sleep.  That left me trying to figure out if I wanted to drive to the trail or take a couple loops through my neighborhood to reach my mileage.  I decided to take the pups and the hubby for the first couple miles through the neighborhood when lo and behold I saw that the No Trespassing sign in the new housing development was gone. The hubby was hesitant to go as we haven’t been allowed in the next neighborhood for months.  If you will recall last fall I ventured into this development only to be followed out by a giant front loader.  The next day, a gate and a No Trespassing sign was up.  In my defense, I was not the only one taking advantage of the dirt trails.

So, as I was saying, the sign was gone and the gate was OPEN!  We went for it.  We proceeded to do 2 miles with the pups before heading home for a quick water stop.  Then it was time to go run another 5 miles and since the holy grail was literally at my doorstep you know I went back to the land of no trespassing.

The dirt trails were awesome.  The hills were never ending.  It was like running at the sand dunes. So basically it was effortless.  NOT.

This week I am going to up my game and make sure I get plenty of running in and my goal this week is to run 9 miles for my long training session.  I have just under 4 weeks before the race and 3 long training runs to go.  G feels that my training will pay off this year and that my Slacker Half Marathon is going to go much better than last year. I believe that is a safe bet as I didn’t train last  year.

Shout out to G for all of her hard work getting back into the running game.  And…do we have the same running shirt on?

Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G

 

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