So I've kept up my training plan for the Toad. I ran 15km last weekend, and then ran 12.5km on Saturday, and 10km on Sunday, all at race pace. Actually, probably faster than race pace, because honestly I'm not sure I could hold that pace for 25km on trails, and that's not really my plan.
But here's an awesome thing: I can now hold the 5:00/km for 12km. I used to struggle to hold it for 5km. In fact, that seems to be the pace my feet now want to run, and when I'm feeling even peppier, I'll pick it up for about 4:40/km. I was able to run 12km in 59:56 on Saturday, which pleased me to no end. It was a hilly course and I fought a huge headwind for the last half of the run, but I kept my pace consistent throughout -- really pleased with that run. The only thing I can add is that it's hard work to run that hard for an hour. That's all.
But I think it's good for me. It reminds me/teaches me that I can do things that are hard, that I can keep going.
I'm running with a shorter more upright stride, like my physio showed me, and it's true, I can really go faster running that way. But it's also harder, uses different muscles: stomach, glutes, inner thighs. That's the core right there.
If I'm to be honest, I'll admit I've been having some twinges of pain in my hip these last few runs. So I've added my physio exercises back in. I hope it won't get worse. I love running long distances but maybe my body doesn't? I hope these exercises keep the pain to twinge level. At least I know, having had all those tests done last winter, that it's not a stress fracture or anything too serious.
Managed my second run of the weekend in 50:21 for 10km. Not bad. Consistent, again. In fact, for three straight kilometres, I ran exactly 5:00/km. Taking just 20 seconds off of each kilometre takes a huge effort. My new goal (assuming the hip holds) is to make 4:40 my standard pace, and 4:30 my speedier pace. I could start by just holding 4:40 over 5km, and then work my way up -- after all, it's worked for the 5:00 pace.
Why do I like going fast? I wonder, but I'll never know.