As much as I am enjoying my training and racing right now, I do have one little complaint. I’m allowed that, no? Here it is: I can’t seem to get up to speed this year.
It has been really frustrating to me, I’ll admit. And humbling. And confounding. I’ve been back from injury since last November. It would seem that nine months is enough time to get back to where I used to be. But apparently in my case, it’s not.
I’ve had slow race times all season. Almost every speed session this year has left me gasping for air and missing my old marks. I just don’t feel like me. Yes, I’ve dealt
with anemia this year, but given the way I feel in general, I’m guessing I’m on top of that (near future tests will tell). I dealt with a bout of overtraining last spring, but that’s also behind me. Overall, I feel pretty good, just slow.
I can handle all my long runs just fine and all my easy runs seem to be right about “normal.” It really just comes down to any faster paced running I attempt. Not being one to just
maturely accept this situation, I have been talking this over with a couple of wise friends and acquaintances (coach Jeff Gaudette being one) and I’ve learned this: speed is the last element to return when coming back from a long lay off. It doesn’t seem possible that after all this time that’s still the case, but I guess it is.
Now I need a plan of action to rectify the situation. Jeff gave me some suggestions for how to sort of begin speed work anew and I’m going to give it a go. I’d like to think that with CIM still a full three months out, I can save it from the crapper. Only time will tell. I think the biggest thing I’d like is to have a realistic goal of what I can do there so that I can pace it correctly. I’m planning to add a half marathon somewhere to the fall schedule and use that as my guide–now I just need to figure out where/when to do that.
Anyhow, I’m hoping my mystery is solved and that before long, I can start feeling like I’ve got my groove back. Then, I promise, I’ll be 100 percent happy when it comes to running!
Have you ever had a tough time getting your speed back post injury? Did you eventually get where you wanted to be?