It has been rather an uphill battle to get back into the training for the 500 mini-marathon in Indy.
The trip to Spain was not so much a factor as the return and the weather here. Back in Spain, I was running every other day on the beaches of Rota, and walking a great deal in the towns. The jet lag and a 2 inch thick sheet of ice covering central Indiana left me with little opportunity to capitalize on my Spanish gains.
No matter. I ran the 5k training run last Saturday, despite an eight day run-free period. I learned a lot from the experience.
This was the first 'race' I had ever run in. I allowed myself to be caught up in the excitement of that, and kept a pretty swift pace for the first half mile. At that point, I recognized what I was doing, and backed off considerably. I finished the first mile in 8:25, with my legs becoming very tight already. The second mile was a grind against the increasing tightness, and I reached the two-mile mark at 18:35. The tightness began giving way to cramps in the shins of both legs and the right calf, so at about the 2.25 mile mark I brought it down to a brisk walk. I realized that in the winding down of my run, I was not extending in my stride, and walking felt very different than my overexerted job. I walked to about the 2.75 mile mark, and with the finish line in sight, I resumed the run. My finish time was 32:23, which was a pace of 10:27. Results.
I think that if I really had kept a pace of 10:27, I would not have experienced the cramping and tightening that I had. At the finish, my lungs felt really great, which was a pleasant surprise. This was easily the longest run I have achieved in about 20 years, so there is some satisfaction there.
Finally, the ice has largely melted from the streets, so I can run more regularly. One run per week is not going to cut it. There are only 82 days until the mini, and the next training run- a 10k- is just 20 days away!