5K-to-10K Week 5 Day 2

Workout:       5:00 warmup / 10:00 steady / 4x [1:00 fast / 1:00 jog] / 5:00 cool down

Conditions:   73 degrees;  streets around the park

Stats:            “App crash” [Active] // 2.7 miles @ 6:46/mile [Nike+]

Comments:  Today was my recovery week speed work session; it is weird having the run over so quickly! Just about the time I get the kinks worked out and everything stops hurting and starts working right, it’s over!

I have been having pains in my heels, but I don’t understand it…the pain goes away when I run. I believe it’s a result of a bad habit I am trying to un-learn: when I walk, I over-stride; and so I heel-strike…hard. (I am 5′-10″, but I pace off perfect 36″ strides at normal walking speed, that’s not normal, is it?) I think I picked up this tendency as a kid, trying to keep up with my dad when we walked anywhere together (I was expected to stay in step, but not run…not easy when you’re half his height.)  I never really had any complaints, except tired feet at the end of the work day, and wearing the heels clean off my work boots in a few months; I thought this was normal. Then I started running, and while researching shoes, I began learning a little about biomechanical efficiency, posture, gait, pronation, strike patterns; all the geeky stuff about how the rubber hits the road. I started paying attention to how I run, and made conscious adjustments to shorten my stride length, and achieve a more neutral strike; it seems to have paid off, as my pacing has steadily gotten faster, my splits quicker, and my fatigue and pain have lessened…until I go back to work, or take off the runners and put on the old beater cross trainers I wear off duty.

I bought some gel insoles for the boots, and used them today for the first time – heaven! The extra cushioning was a blessing, and they help remind me to take shorter steps and land more naturally; this can only be a good thing. I guess the next step is to but some new kicks for “normal” life, at least until I retire my first runners and buy some new ones! (Goes back to what The Wife said the other day: I got a new hobby to justify a clothing habit – she may be right!)

Next workout is the “short” long run, then back to serious training again.  Today, I found a 10K race one week before the one I am already registered for; it’s a time qualifier for the Houston Marathon: 51:08 in the 10K will bypass the lottery and guarantee a slot to register. But that is two full minutes faster than my best (of two attempts) on that distance. Can I shave 45 seconds per mile off my pace, in three weeks? You know what? I’m gonna try!!!

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