Much better this week. Last week's asthma flare calmed down after 3.5 days of prednisone (Friday-Sunday of last week at full dose, and then tapering down with a half dose on Monday). Tuesday's track workout felt great, and Friday's was even better.
Every time my asthma flares, I realize (again) just how much it affects my running. Though this week's workouts were significantly faster than last week's, they also felt far easier and took much less out of me.
My schedule had a 5K for this weekend, but I changed plans mid-week. Because of a looming federal government shutdown, it appeared that the race might be cancelled. (It's a quirk of living in the DC area - many of our races are on National Parks Service property that is closed if the government shuts down).
I had scheduled the race because I had assumed that my team's tempo workout would be cancelled this week, due to the team holiday party the night before. As it turned out, the tempo was not cancelled. So it was an easy choice to skip the might-or-might-not-happen 5K (especially since I hadn't entered it yet). At this point in my training cycle for the Houston Half, I needed a solid tempo far more than a short race.
In other news, Bill Steinkraus passed away this week. This probably means nothing to anyone reading this running blog - he was an equestrian legend, but relatively unknown outside of those circles.
As part of its tribute to Steinkraus, the Chronicle of the Horse republished an article entitled "Bill Steinkraus' Two Dozen Useful Aphorisms" (two dozen because riding is complicated sometimes). These obviously relate to riding, but it seems to me that many apply to running as well. Namely:
- "If the horse can’t learn to accept what you’re doing, it isn’t any good."
Translation to running - if you're not enjoying your training and racing, you're not going to race well.
- "If you`ve given something a fair trial, and it still doesn’t work, try something else—even the opposite."
If you're not seeing the results you want from your training, after training that way consistently for several months, you need to make some changes.
- "What you can’t accomplish in an hour should usually be put off until tomorrow."
If you're running yourself into a hole, you need to stop, rather than continue and compound the damage.
- "Never give up until the rail hits the ground."
Don't give up on a race if you have a bad patch or are running slower than you had planned. Keep fighting to run the best you can that day.
- "In practice, do things as perfectly as you can; in competition, do what you have to do."
If your running gets ugly during a workout, it's likely best to pull the plug. If that happens in the later miles of a goal race, keep going and don't back off.
- "The horse’s engine is in the rear. Thus, you must ride your horse from behind, and not focus on the forehand simply because you can see it."
Run by using your legs, especially your glutes, rather than flailing with your arms and clenching your fists. (human and equine biomechanics are more similar than one would think).
- "Get your tack and equipment just right, and then forget about it and concentrate on the horse."
Give some thought to what you're going to wear to a race, in terms of clothes and shoes. But once you're on the starting line, it's too late to change your mind, so don't waste energy worrying whether you're over or underdressed.
- "You can exaggerate every virtue into a defect."
This one speaks for itself.
- "The harder you work, the luckier you get."
This one as well.
Monday: Yoga and 7.5 "miles" pool-running; foam rolling at night..
Tuesday: 12 miles, including 1600, 800, 1600, 2x800 in 6:06, 2:55, 6:00, 2:52, 2:53. Followed with injury prevention work and 1000 yards of recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.
Wednesday: 8 miles very easy (9:12) to yoga, yoga, and then 3 miles easy (8:45), followed by drills and strides. Foam rolling at night
Thursday: Upper body weights and core plus 9.5 "miles" pool-running. Foam rolling at night.
Friday: 13 miles, including an 8K tempo in 32:28 (6:44/6:31/6:29/6:25/6:19). Followed with injury prevention work and 1000 yards of recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.
Saturday: 10.5 miles very easy (9:22), followed by drills and strides, and then upper body weights and core. Foam rolling in evening.
Sunday: 14.5 miles progressive, split as first 4 miles at 9:12 pace, next 5 at 7:46; last 5.5 at 6:54. Followed with injury prevention work and 1000 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.