The week(s) in running – 12/11 & 12/19

I started my use it or lose it vacation on 12/15.  I had great expectations for this block of December as an opportunity to build to my target 2017 weekly average of 40 miles per week before the year began.  This year has been rough at work, so I really needed this PTO.

Naturally, on Saturday I started feeling symptoms and on Sunday my 4 day bout with influenza knocked me on my ass.  I was mostly bedridden for most of the duration, and I am devastated.

For the week of 12/11, pre-flu:

Monday: Rest; we ran long on 12/10 (14 miles), so I needed this.

Tuesday: I ran a 10 mile Tempo Tuesday, with 4 miles easy warmup followed by 6 miles about 20 seconds slower than M pace.  It’s all about building base right now, so I don’t want to risk injury by adding miles and running hard.

Wednesday: 7.2 miles around the neighborhood at an easy 8:45 pace.

Thursday: 60 minutes on the treadmill at a nominal 8:52.  I had a hard time with this run; I was bored.

Friday: rest.

Saturday: Spent the AM on my feet cleaning up the house and then did 10k on the treadmill.  Intent was 60 minutes, but I had to stop at 6.2 miles because my right calf started to hurt in a bad way.  I was also beginning to feel sick.

Sunday: flu begins; no long run for Evan.  Bedridden with fever.

For the week of 12/19:

Monday: Bedridden with fever and major sinus congestion.

Tuesday: Bedridden with fever and major sinus congestion.

Wednesday: Bedridden with fever and major sinus congestion, though I was beginning to turn the corner.

Thursday:  5 easy miles as a test of recovery at 8:36 average with fastest split of 8:24.  My Strava notes were: throat sore; chest affected. Minor joint pain. Significant weakness in quads. Also, left foot (big toe area) numb until mile 2.5, right foot unaffected.

Friday: This was December 23rd and I had to do the shopping I meant to do earlier in the week but had been too sick to do which meant taking the kids out to buy for their mom, so I just didn’t have time to run.

Saturday: 8 really easy miles, bordering on turtle pace with an average of 9:02.  I rarely run post 9 minute miles these days but  I was having some significant trouble with my right calf, and I had pulled a hip muscle getting into the car on Friday and I just felt generally nervous about the state of my lower body so I took it very easy.  There are a few very short, steep inclines in my routes that are more like climbing stairs than running uphill which tend to engage my calves; I walked those to spare my right leg.

Sunday: 7 total miles with 5 at the slow end of marathon pace and two easy ones at the end.  No calf issues.  Fast split 8:00.  Run felt good for a change.  Hopeful that I’m over the sickness hump.  I ran my 1600th annual mile today, completing my goal for 2016.

Over the past two weeks I have been trying to emphasize cadence by shortening my stride.  I’ve had limited success actually increasing my cadence but I have managed to create a painful tightness in my Achilles tendons on both feet and overuse my calf muscles (which I’m fairly certain should not be engaging).  I’m doing this wrong so I am going to hold off on this work until I actually train with a form expert as I’m doing more harm than good.

Stay tuned for my Year in Running report for 2016.  It’s in the works.

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