Saturday, December 17, 2011

Finally healthy

Over the past few months I've made some good progress and finally am pretty healthy and am starting to get back in shape again. I've been able to do full mileage and speedwork the last couple of months although I could tell my achilles and calf weren't really 100%. It didn't hurt, but it wasn't completely better yet. This last week I was able to do several runs where it really felt 100% and I didn't notice any discomfort or lingering issues. I've really been working hard on improving my hamstring flexibility and ankle mobility and I think has really contributed to the injury finally clearing up.

I've been able to get up to 55+ miles a week for the past few weeks and I had one week I hit 60 miles. I'm finally getting back in a little better shape and am feeling a little better about my workouts. Earlier this week I did 7 x 800 at 2:40 - 2:42 with a 1/4 mile jog at 7:45 pace between reps and this morning I did 18 miles with the last 6.5 at sub-6:05 pace. I have 4 weeks until the Houston 1/2 marathon and I think I'll be in good enough shape to run a sub 1:18. I'd really like to be under 1:17, but we'll see how everything goes the next few weeks. 6 weeks after the Houston 1/2 marathon is the Woodlands 1/2 marathon I'll be running in and trying to break 1:15.

5 weeks ago I ran a 10k race up in the Woodlands that one of my co-workers was the race director for and I ended up winning the race. I was a little hesitant to run it because my achilles was still giving me some problems and I didn't want to aggravate it, but I decided I would run the race as a tempo run and keep it to around 6:00 pace. When the race started, a couple of guys just took off and I let them go and settled into my pace and was in 5th place. I went through the first mile in 6:05 and the guys leading ran a sub 5:30 first mile. I just kept my pace steady and saw the guys start coming back to me and caught the leaders between mile 3 and 4 and took the lead a little before mile 4 and didn't look back. My time was a somewhat embarrassingly slow winning time of 37:40, but I think the course ended up being a little long. For a lot of the race we had to run on sidewalks or in a specific lane of the road and I imagine when the course was certified, they measured the shortest distance you could run and didn't measure it on the meandering sidewalks. My Garmin said I was running sub 6:00 pace for most of the race, but it didn't really matter too much since I wasn't running for time.

After the race, our family packed up the car and headed to San Antonio where my wife ran her first 1/2 marathon. Olivia and I got to see her in 5 spots on the course and she ran 1:57 and achieved her goal of breaking 2 hrs. It was extra impressive because the weather was pretty nasty that day and got up to over 80 degrees that day.