Photo: Louisiana Running Company
I’d argue that there are few things better than the feeling of getting back to business. Even though I don’t always love the feeling of being in a routine—it’s the forced schedule part that I don’t like—it does feel great to get back on track with training after two weeks with almost no workouts. The week of the Louisiana Marathon half, I rested up and gave my body time to recover from the stress of the run, but ended up taking more time than I’d planned due to a severe muscle spasm in my upper back that was causing quite a bit of discomfort in addition to a killer tension headache. It was pretty awesome, considering I’d spent the first two days post-race recovering from a migraine. Then I spent the past week with a chest cold. Knowing that running with a cold and exercise-induced asthma might easily get me really sick as it has in the past (bronchitis, anyone?), I rested up and waited for the cold to pass.
The highlight of getting back into training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon has certainly been the Larry Fuselier 10k I ran last weekend with Youth Run NOLA. We were assigned a color group, based on pace, and ran alongside high school and middle school students who are training for the Crescent City Classic. It was the second 10k for many students, and you could tell how running the race increased their confidence levels. While it wasn’t my fastest 10k by any means, it was definitely one of the most fun. If you’re in the New Orleans area, I highly encourage you to get involved with this group, whether it’s with training runs, being a running buddy at races as I did last weekend, or just volunteering at races, which I’ve also done before.
While the Larry Fuselier 10k was a rewarding and gentle entry back into running longer distances, I’m kind of dreading the 8, 10, and 12 mile long runs over the next couple weeks. In addition, my tempo runs are now around 45 seconds faster than in the previous training cycle, and I’m a little intimidated by the numbers. Last night was my first attempt at a tempo run, and I ran 2 miles at 8:52 and 9:16 (ouch), respectively, which puts the average at 9:04 for the two. These runs will need to be at 8:46 each for short tempo, and 9:01 each for medium tempo. Ouch again. I know it’ll take time to get there, and I have to remind myself that the hard work pays off. My tempo pace from only a couple months ago became my half marathon pace, right? I know I can do it.
I’m also returning to spinning this week after a pre-race and subsequent injury/sickness hiatus, so that should be interesting, to say the least. One of my goals this time around is to get in more strength training, too, so I’m off to the gym tonight to get reacquainted with free weights. Just as I’ve laced up my shoes and have enjoyed the exhilaration of pushing myself out on a run, I know I’ll feel the same after my weights session tonight. Nothing feels as good and terrible at the same time as the delayed-onset muscle soreness that is certain to follow.