Mile Markers: Magic Number

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Last week marked 10 weeks since I started running again after my fracture. And at 10 weeks, running is feeling pretty good. I ran 30 miles this week! I built things back slowly, in part due to winter weather interfering with planned workouts some weeks. January and February are a tricky time to build up mileage, that’s certain. 

Just like how an hour long run felt like a milestone post-injury, a 30-mile week feels like a magic number. When I wasn’t training for a marathon or half, my mileage usually hovered in the range of 30-35 miles per week. 30 miles per week feels really good, even in the erratic weather of late February and even without not feeling 100% during parts of the week. 

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Monday: 6 mile trail run

Admittedly, this began as one of those runs where I had to convince myself to get out the door. It snowed just enough overnight to make the roads slick. I wrangled Ollie and walked down to the same park where we ran that trail race in January. Ollie and I roughly followed the race course, plus some extra loops. I thought we’d only be out there for 30 minutes but I felt really good, so I extended our run to 6 miles. 

Any run with a dog involves a few stops, but trail runs are a whole different story. Ollie caught wind of deer tracks at one point. Around mile 5, he began to slow down. I thought he was feeling tired until he darted into the bare shrubs and nearly chomped down on a mole (or chipmunk – something small). 

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Tuesday: 2 x 10 minute tempo run (55 min total)

It was sunny and about 20 degrees, which was just irresistible weather for my first post-injury tempo run! My warm-up was on the slower end as I dodged icy patches. Thankfully, there were only small two icy patches on the 3/4-mile loop where I ran the tempo portion, so I walked through those and was able to run the rest of the way without worrying about slipping. 

I warmed up f0r 20 minutes – the cold always requires a longer warm-up – and then stuffed my jacket in the pocket of my tights. (Side note: the full length Athleta Contender tights have amazing side pockets.) I monitored effort during the tempo intervals with the talk test by saying “pace ok” or “pace feels good” every couple minutes. I was genuinely surprised by my paces for this workout – right at my pre-injury half marathon pace of ~7:15/mile for both intervals.

Cognitively, I understand the ease of maintenance principle – that it is easier to maintain fitness than it was to first build up to that level. The past few weeks have demonstrated that principle in practice to me. 

Wednesday: Rest day

I am still scheduling my runs around the weather, and the forecast of ice made Wednesday a non-run day. My plan was to strength train, but I skipped the workout. I wasn’t feeling 100% either on Wednesday, so when Ryan came home late from work and asked if we could move our strength training workout to the weekend, I was more than glad just to rest. 

Thursday: 40 min run & 17 min Pilates

The difference some sunshine can make! I set out for a 30-35 min run and the fresh air and sun felt so good that I added a few extra minutes. After the run, I did a short Pilates workout and added in some push-ups at the end. 

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Friday: 70 min run 

After a few gray and rainy winters in Seattle, I absolutely love the sunny runs I’m enjoying this winter. For every icy day this February, I get at least two sunny days at blissfully chilly (20-30 degrees) temperatures. I kept my effort under control for most of the run. I felt really good in the last ~10 minutes, so I picked up my effort and clocked in mile 8 at 7:29! I was really happy with that, especially since my effort did not feel out of control. 

Meanwhile, as my mileage builds back, so has my appetite. When I got injured, my appetite adjusted pretty quickly from not running. I didn’t gain any weight. Once I started running again, my appetite returned in full force. Bodies are smart Lately, I’ve been obsessed with making pizza in the cast iron – the way the cast iron distributes heat makes the crust puffy and perfectly cooked.  

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Saturday: 35 min run

A large windstorm struck us over the weekend. Thankfully, the winds Saturday morning were manageable in comparison to what hit Sunday (15 mph winds vs 50 mph gusts). Ollie and I headed out for a quick run before a busy day and maintained a surprisingly fast clip (a few sub-8 min miles!) at a relatively comfortable effort, even despite the wind. This run felt so good!

Mile Markers: Magic Number

Sunday: 30 min strength training

I didn’t feel too great, but I knew I needed to just rally and get in a strength workout. I changed things up from my normal routine and added some eccentric exercises to my strength workout:

Monster band walks
Lateral band walks
Overhead dumbbell marches
Weighted deadbugs
Side planks with knee drives
Eccentric deadlifts
Step ups with eccentric lowering
Glute bridges

[Tweet “Hitting a magic number of miles after a gradual post-injury build-up via @thisrunrecipes #running”]

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8 Responses

  1. I’m glad to hear that running is going so well for you right now. You definitely have proven the value of patience and returning slowly after injury.

    I’m going to head out into the sunshine this morning. It is still windy, but much less than yesterday. We’ll see how it goes.

  2. That pizza looks so good! I never have made it in a cast iron but will soon. Or I should say, Ron will. He’s our pizza guy! Congrats on 30 miles! It’s those little milestones that make you feel like you can take a breath that everything will be ok.

  3. Congrats on getting back up to 30+ miles, it is hard to build up in the winter!

    I really would like a dog to run with even if they are a pain sometimes, their enthusiasm can’t be beat =)

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