Ted and I spent the summer of 2005 training together in the early mornings. I was a full-time grad student spending the summer in Brooklyn with my husband...whose mom happened to be dean of BLS. Although a freak squash accident prevented Ted from getting to the starting line of NYCM that fall, I think we both agree that our summer training regimen got us into pretty good shape.
At that time, I was running 60-75 miles per week and getting to the track every Wednesday night to work out with CPTC (and my Boston club once I was back up there). I was so hard on myself when I felt sluggish or had a bad workout, but I would have appreciated what I had far more had I known that I would develop a bad knee injury shortly after PR-ing at Boston the next spring. We graduated and moved back to D.C. and I tried everything I could to fix my knee--including finally having arthroscopy to clean it up in April 2008.
Things improved, but I never felt like I was back to where I had been. I was spinning more than I was running and I wasn't completely pain-free. I just kept thinking it would take more time. Then I got pregnant and had a baby (and a C section) in early 2011. Despite my best intentions, my ability to run during pregnancy was limited and it was a very long road back that next year. And I never could get back to the days of 8 minute pace being easy pace.
Even though I harbor secret thoughts of getting back some speed in time to become a masters runner, I am slowly but surely accepting the fact that a slower me is the new normal. I did a ten miler, my first race since Boston 2006, this spring--and I ran 8 minute pace. And it didn't feel easy (but it didn't feel that bad, actually). I'm learning to test myself again and trying to introduce some "speed" work when I don't have some niggle or another. A lot of it is on the treadmill, something that I still find unpalatable but would have found inconceivable 5 years ago. But getting in my run inside is better than not getting in my run at all.
I do not enjoy 5Ks (more so now that it takes me about that long to warm up) but I think I'll be doing a low-key race on July 4. I also signed up for the Parks Half-Marathon, and my goal for that is to (to paraphrase a recent interview with Shalane Flanagan) is to "embrace the discomfort."
|Mom loves the treadmill!|