I was a little sore after my back-to-back runs over the weekend, so I was thankful for a rest day on Monday. It was too cold this week to exist outdoors, so I went to the gym on Tuesday. This being the first time I’d been on a treadmill in a month, I got to use my Garmin Footpod that I received for Christmas for the first time! This means, my watch recorded everything, and I didn’t have to manually enter my run everywhere when I was done. Yay!
I did 3 miles easy with 4 minute running intervals, 1.5 minute walking intervals. One bonus of using the footpod is you get to see your cadence. That means how many steps you are taking in a minute. The Internet tells me 180 is the number you want to be at, so I was happy to see I was between 170-178 on all my running intervals despite never paying attention to my cadence before.
When that was done, I did nine strides. These are a little tricky to do on a treadmill, but I soon got into the groove. Basically, I would enter my fast speed (7.0 on most of them; I did 7.5 on one), then hit the lap button on my watch, run for 30 seconds, enter my slow speed (2.0), hit the lap button on my watch again, and then relax for 40 seconds. It took about 10 seconds to enter speed and hit the button, so this made my laps roughly 40 seconds on the strides and 50 seconds on the rest periods. The trickiest part was entering the speed and hitting my lap button while running at 7mph. It was, obviously, not a problem at 2mph. Anyway, it was hard to tell how I was doing at the time, but reviewing my data afterward showed that I was right in my pace target! If you recall from my training plan, my strides should be done between 9:45-10:15 min/mi. Here’s what the footpod recorded:
Pretty much right on target! (Except that first one when I was trying to figure out how to time the thing.) I might set up automatic intervals on my watch if I try to do strides on the treadmill again, so that I only have to worry about punching in the numbers.
But guess what? After that run, my freaking left hip started hurting! I guess it was already hurting a little from the weekend, but that sealed it, and I was limping for the next two days. Ugh. Stupid hips! I decided to forgo my hill repeats on Thursday (plus it was like 2 degrees outside). I considered going to the gym to do crosstraining, but I ended up hanging out with friends, despite my admonishment that no one should invite me to anything on a Thursday for the next few months.
Friday was another rest day, so in total I had three rest days for my hip. However, it was still hurting when I went out for my five mile run on Saturday. The first few miles were spent gritting through the pain. Even though I was running slower than I normally do, it felt like I was actually working harder. Around 2.75 miles in, I told myself that I could quit when I had circled back to my car, which would be about 3.5 miles in. However, somewhere around that point, my leg finally loosened up and I was able to get in my two fastest miles of the run! (And with less effort, since some of the intervals, I actually had a lower heart rate than those when I was running slower.) In fact, mile 5 was done in 11:54, while every other mile was over 13 minutes. Which, I know, is not in my “easy run” pace zone, but I was just too happy to be able to run to care.
I was in paaaaain after that though. It radiated from my hip down the front of my thigh, and I could hardly move. I didn’t think there would be any way I would possibly be able to do my long run the next day. I even momentarily convinced myself that I had a stress fracture in my femur (though I felt no real pain when doing the hop test, so then I decided that maybe I didn’t). I stretched and strengthened and used The Stick, then went to bed. The next morning? I was fine. There was a small twinge, but nothing like it had been the entire rest of the week. I had somehow fixed it!
So, my six mile run went rather well. I didn’t feel super strong on it, but that was probably due to the fatigue in my legs from five miles the day before. I did, however, average 30 seconds per mile faster than I had on Saturday, even when running a mile longer and on a much hillier course.
The moral of this story? I need to remember to do my stretches and strengthening exercises every day. Maybe then I can keep the injuries at bay this training cycle.