Gabe came downstairs Monday morning and asked sleepily "So what are we doing today?" I felt bad having to tell him that it was Monday, and he was going back to school. He still loves school, but he does seem to be getting to the age where he enjoys the breaks and complains a little about having to get back to reality.
Dante was raring to go, though, and when they got home from school Monday afternoon, he wouldn't stop talking. Not that that's anything unusual for him, but his nonstop chatter was even more pronounced than usual.
Carmine, after just two days of having me all to himself again, became completely possessive last night - when Gabe tried to sit next to me on the couch, Carmine (who was sitting on the other end of the couch) jumped up, launched himself over Gabe and onto my lap, yelling "NO! MY MOMMY!" Luckily Gabe just thought the whole thing was hysterical.
Carmine and I are also back to our gym routine, which he's happy about. He runs around the house as we're getting ready, yelling "gym, gym, gym, gym!"
I'm happy about it, too. Only working out a few times last week was a nice little respite for me, and one I think I really needed, but it's been nice to get back to our regularly scheduled programming : )
The week off from running seems to have been just what the doctor ordered, too. (knock on wood) My 18-mile run Sunday went great. I ran 7.5 miles to the beach, met up with some women from the running club, ran 5 miles with them, and then ran the final 5.5 by myself.
Having company for the middle of the run was a great way to break it up. It was a little tough getting those final miles done alone, after having company for that long stretch, but I put my iPod back on and that helped keep me moving. Finished in 2 hours and 35 minutes, for an average 8:40 pace - very pleased!
Good news - the arch pain that I had been experiencing is gone completely. Such a relief.
However, after I ran Sunday - not during the run, only after - I felt some pain on the top of my right foot. It wasn't severe, but it was definitely noticeable, and I was a little concerned. But I was scheduled to go to PT Monday morning anyway, so I just iced it a bit and hoped for the best. And as the day went on, it was gradually feeling better.
My PT visit was just a check-in on my left shin. It hasn't really been bothering me, but I've been popping into PT periodically since I started to ramp up my mileage, to make sure that it doesn't start to give me any trouble. But since that's been feeling completely fine, we worked on the right foot yesterday instead.
It was already feeling loads better, but she did some massage and stretching and some cold laser treatment, and did a few tests, and said it seemed like just some tendon/muscle inflammation, and that it didn't seem like something that should become a big issue.
Happily, she seems to have been right. It feels great now, even after my 8-mile run this morning. Hopefully another catastrophe averted.
These little aches and pains and almost-injuries that have been cropping up are definitely a sign, I think, that I am pushing my body to its limits. And if I wasn't training for a race, I'd back off for a few weeks.
But - fingers crossed - I think if I continue my periodic PT visits, and stay on top of my stretching (and icing, when necessary), I can get through these last few weeks of training without a major mishap.
I also know, though, that I'm not going to try to train through something and risk getting really, really hurt. No race is worth that. I have a lot of fun races planned for this summer, and I want to be able to run them all! So I will continue to train, but I will also continue to listen very carefully to what my body is telling me, and if I surpass the limits I'm currently pushing it to, I will take breaks as needed.
I feel so much less stress about this race than I did about Hartford - it's really refreshing. I want to do well, and I'm working hard to try to meet my goals, but I'm not putting myself under a ton of pressure. I invested so much energy and emotion into my Hartford training - I just don't have it in me to do that this time around.
I'll still push myself, and I'll still get nervous butterflies when I think about race day, but I'm not going to feel terribly disappointed if a training run doesn't go the way I want it to - which is the perfect segue to today's tempo run.
My tempo runs have been the highlight of this training program - the run I looked forward to every week, and the run that's consistently been a huge confidence booster for me.
Today, not so much. I've been doing these 8-mile runs the past few weeks at paces I never imagined possible - 7:24, 7:25, and one week, 7:16! I was feeling invincible, unstoppable....
But today, I fought for every single one of those 8 miles. I felt creaky and sore from the start. As I warmed up, I started to feel better, but I still struggled. And my mile splits showed it - a few were below 7:20, but most were 7:30 or above, and I finished with an average pace of 7:30.
Still a VERY good pace for a tempo run, but far short of the amazing times I've been posting lately.
But I'm completely ok with that. I did what I could, and I gave it my all, and that's what my all was today. And sometimes, you have to just cut yourself a little slack.