A new month brings a clean slate as well as the beginning of a new training cycle with 16+ weeks before my next BQ attempt in the Phoenix Marathon on February 27. Although training actually began last month, that was more to get back into the swing of thing after the down time due to the PF I've been dealing with. With less than 19 miles in October I still have a ways to go but I'm 99% pain-free. Another plus is that other than some chafes on my Achilles I made it though the ThrillSeeker Stunt Run unscathed.
With recovery behind me it's time to get serious; well sort of. This coming week I'll be travelling for business with almost no chance of getting in any miles and I'll likely have trouble eating clean. Still, today was going to be the first real test of where I'm at and I passed with flying colors.
The original plan for today was to do the PHX10K Half but because of the injury I was going to pace Christine in the 5K instead. Unfortunately she developed a foot injury of her own so I scrapped that and decided instead to do an easy 5 with an eye on pushing it to 6. Since my longest run on the comeback has only been 4.7 miles, I don't want to risk pushing it too hard too soon but I also need to test my limits.
It was a beautiful morning in the mid 60s with no clouds and no wind. Perfect running weather and the reason all AZ runners suffer through the blazing hot summers.
There has been a bit of a change this time around in the early stages as I want to see if I can push my HR limit a little higher than the MAF 180 formula calls for. After all, we're all different and we need to find out what works best for us. I'm interested in seeing how it works out at a target of 140 bpm with a once a week run at 150.
With that said, after a good warmup I was on the road and got my HR up to speed nicely. I'm not concerned about pace right now; I'm just focusing on HR and form so there is very little stress involved in the process. Just remember my queues and enjoy the run.
For the first time in the 2 weeks I've been back there was very little tightness in my calves and I did not feel fatigued at all. Some of this may had to do with the fact that I wasn't pinging my HR and the highest I got at any point was 142. It wasn't until I hit the 5 mile mark that I even had an inkling of anything going on with the PF and then it was at a minimum. I cannot tell you the amount of relief this gives me.
I wish I could keep this momentum going but with the upcoming trip that will be impossible. The only consolation is that I will be walking for most of the days so that is some help. I'll also try to sneak in some core work if I can.