GAME ON! I wasn’t really sure what to expect returning to see Dr. Bradley after my 3 weeks of physical therapy. The therapy has been very educational, I have a much better understanding of what went wrong and how to avoid doing it again, but that marathon is getting awfully close and I have not been running. Dr. Bradley walks into the rooms having done the math saying 4 weeks and 3 days until the race. We chatted a bit before he gave me an enthusiastic “well, you can try”. We talked about training plans, then I left without plans to return if something else went wrong. My plan is to test the knee first thing in the morning.
With good weather I cautiously set out for my most basic and probably favorite run, to tag the lighthouse. It’s a brief and pleasant course from my house, down to the cove and along Fort Ave. and Derby Street to Derby wharf, take a left at the Customs House, out the wharf to the light and back. All in about 3-1/4 miles. It felt great. The only remaining questions are; how durable is my knee? And how much endurance remains in my base? This time last year, I was training beyond 20 miles on my long runs.
The plan calls for lots of rest, no run today, just some stretching.
With only about a month left, I am a bit worried about endurance. My conundrum is that I need to get my mileage up very quickly knowing that increasing one’s mileage too quickly dramatically increases one’s chances of injury, or in my case, re-injury. I think the only thing to do is walk out the door and run as far as I can, then turn around and run home. I need to find out is how much of my base remains and then plan accordingly. The sun is shining and it’s warm enough, let’s go! Not yet, the battery is dead on my stride sensor (the stride sensor talks to my HRM and watch to tell me how far and fast I am running). After three stops, I found a replacement battery at Radio Shack. The guy behind the counter tried to upsell me on wireless services. Finally, about noon, I’m off.
About 14.1 miles later. It was really nice out, but chilly along the route, so I turned away from the coastal route and headed inland for a less picturesque but warmer path. My legs felt pretty durable and reasonably pain-free from the outset. I ran the first handful of miles at a comfortable 9:30 pace but eventually found myself at about 10:30. The route took me out to Swampscott with a foot falls into Lynn before getting back into Salem and the long home stretch along Highland Ave / Essex Street. I could feel the fuel supply running short at about the 10 mile mark and by the time I got close to home, I was definitely running low. On the cardio side of things, my heart rate was pretty high for what used to be a nearly effortless pace. Clearly both cardio fitness and endurance have both degraded, but now I have my answer, I can manage 15 miles and should have no trouble stretching that to 20 by race day. Only 6.2m or 10k gap to close. I am a bit sore but nothing unmanageable. Next weekend is the traditional 3 weeks before the race 20 miler on the race course. Should I do this? Stay tuned.