Monday, June 13, 2011

Anatomy of a comeback

As a runner, I peaked in March of 2008. Just about every race since the summer of 2007 had been great, either my fastest for the distance or that particular course. It was also the period when I won the only race I've ever won. Then I hurt my foot, which took me out of my rhythm, and then I came out flat and weak for the Boston Marathon.

After that, I was able to cruise the rest of 2008 off the fitness I had, but then I went about six weeks without running at the end of 2008 and the start of 2009. At the end of 2009 and again in 2010, I was able to put together enough consistent training to run a sub-40 10k or its equivalent. It was finally this year that I was interested enough in running to try training again, though I started in February with the modest goal of running an 18:56 5k and a 38:52 10k, times that I used to run in my sleep no matter how much or how little sleep I got, no matter how much or how little I trained.

I ran a 19:00 5k yesterday, so I think I did what I wanted to do. I was hoping to have run around 19:30 yesterday and didn't think I was quite in 19:00 5k shape just yet, but I'm not that surprised. What I thought made yesterday's race kind of interesting was that it was my eighth race of the year and while a few of them were decent efforts, none of them were times I'm proud of.

This is my year so far:

February 20 - 10k in 43:30
March 6 - half marathon in 1:42
March 20 - marathon in 4:12
April 9 - 10k in 42:18
May 1 - 5k in 22 minutes
May 10 - 10k in 47 minutes (ran with a coworker's son)
June 4 - 10k in 43 minutes
June 12 - 5k in 19:00

Despite having not run anything near a 19-minute 5k, I figured that I was certainly going to run under 20 minutes. The best race I've had this year was a 42-minute 10k and I figure that, right now, I get a minute faster over 10k with every month of training.

I can obviously train a lot harder. I run just about every day, but I seldom run for more than 30 minutes at a time and generally run between 40-50k a week. Lately that's become 60k per week, but running more than that right now would turn running into the repetitive, boring chore it has been for the last three years.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

This post makes me feel happy.