At some point last November I woke up with a sore left hamstring, and to be truthful it still hasn’t healed fully. It is not what I will call painful but I am always aware that it is sore, somedays much more than others. Today being one of those days…
Yesterday was day 51 of the 100 day running challenge, and well because I am slightly stupid I decided to go all out on my run around the block instead of the nice and easy 4km that I had planned for the start of recovery week. I had a done a nice 12km run the day before for run 50 but it was on ice covered trails and I could only manage half stride as I was worried about the icy trails, slipping, falling, rolling an ankle, injury! So the run itself was not very taxing on my legs, it was a great ankle and support muscle run however.
So yesterday I guess I wanted to spread my wings and fly, or in runners speak expand my stride length and see what I was capable of. For run 49 a few days before, I went as fast as I could over a 5km run setting some personal best times along the way. Yesterday, I just destroyed those times by 22 per kilometer over my best km, the difference between the two runs would have been the temperature outside (it was much warmer yesterday), and the run itself just felt more natural. For run 49 I was fighting myself the whole time, and it was a struggle, for run 51 I was fighting my breathing and trying not to have my heart explode in my chest (figure of speech) as it was a maximum effort.
What I didn’t do and certainly should have was warm up properly, as I have a tendency to step out the front door and RUN! I also now have the ability to have a close understanding of my pace when I run, I don’t need my audio cues in my ear to tell me how fast I am going. I pass the same mailbox each run at exactly the 1 km mark, and I can usually predict my time to within 5 seconds… Yesterday I didn’t look at my watch or the pace until I was finished the 3 km sprint, and was truly marvelled at how fast I had gone. I had mentioned to Megan that 14 and half minutes would be an excellent time, but 13:41s was just outstanding! With km’s of 4:32, 4:24, and 4:28 and the real awesome thing is that I can even go faster still.
I started with a pace average of around 5:45 per km when I started and I’ve seen that drop over the last 50 days, and am very excited where it will be in 50 days from now… for the rest of this week it is very small, easy pace recovery runs as I attempt to rest up the forever sore left hamstring. Nothing longer than 5km, nothing faster than 6 minutes per km with some stretching, massage rollers and easy bike rides thrown into the mix. This coming Sunday I will attempt another maximum effort 4km run this time with a proper warmup and we shall compare the results.