BACK ON THE BELT
This morning my alarm went off at 5:55am (remember my love of the number “5”) as I set it for that time each and every day I work out.
As my I wiped the sleep from my eyes and my body started to roll out of bed, my brain decided to have a frank conversation with me.
Brain: What are we doing?
Me: We’re going running.
Brain: Yeah, we just did that on Sunday. We ran a marathon. Remember? 26.2 friggin’ miles in a friggin’ sauna. You beat the ever lovin’ shit out of us.
Me: I know. But now that you’re healed it’s time to train.
Brain: Didn’t you hear me? We just did that. What the hell are we training for anyway?
Me: We’ve got another race in three weeks. A half marathon.
Brain: What the $%&#? Nobody told me. How long do you plan to keep this up?
Me: Only about the next 40-50 years or so. Then maybe we can stop.
Brain: You’re an asshole.
Me: Noted. Let’s go run.
Well in spite of the protests from my brain and the call of that “oh, so comfy” bed, I decided that my 3-day hiatus from running was done and it was time to “get back in the saddle” (or “on the belt;” I was running on the treadmill today after all).
Now mind you, no way I’m 100% recovered from Sunday’s LA Marathon. According to my running coach (and many experts) you need 1 day for approximately each mile run in a long race or training run before you’re fully recovered. And my still mildly aching muscles can attest to that fact… it hasn’t been 26.2 days since Sunday.
I’ve run with sore muscles many times before and they will heal. It’s time to work out the kinks and take this car for a few laps around the track. Besides, I’ve spent the last few days playing “race footage” in my head and it’s time to prep for the next game coach!
That 5-hour marathon barrier isn’t going to break itself and the OC Marathon is less than two months away. I want another crack at that bitch.
In addition, I just PR’d at my last half marathon in Surf City and I want to see if I can get that time down even lower when I run the Hollywood Half in April. My lower back started bugging me near the end of the LA Marathon, so obviously we need to keep strengthening our core. And how do we find a way to improve our endurance? How do we get faster? How do we get stronger? How do we get better, dammit!”
Did I mention I’m a little competitive with myself?
Anyway, there was no way I was going to answer all of these questions on my first run back, but every race begins with the first step and today was that first step…and a few more for good measure. I figure I’d start with my standard 5-mile maintenance run and let my body decide what pace to choose.
Take it really easy?
Let’s open this baby up?
Let’s find out.
It felt good to walk through the doors at LA Fitness in Van Nuys. I put my gear in a locker, did a quick stretch and ambled over to my favorite treadmill… second row, third machine from the left (it’s got a view of the front window and there’s a clock directly ahead of me). Headphones on, music jamming (replaying my LA Marathon mix) and we were off.
And it was a good run. Five miles at a nice solid pace, increasing my speed with each mile. My legs felt a little sluggish early on, but they quickly warmed up and by the final mile I was back in stride with a big smile on my face. It felt really really good.
On Sunday morning I’ll hit Griffith Park for an 11-mile run at a casual pace. It’ll be my first long solo run since before the 2014 T2 training program began in October. I’ll miss running with my friends, but I know “Team Roadkill” will be alongside me in spirit.
Of course I can just imagine my brain on Sunday morning, when the alarm goes off a 5:55am.
Brain: It’s early.
Me: I know.
Brain: So no talking you out of this?
Me: None whatsoever.
Brain: Okay then. Bring it on!