Today’s run (treadmill): 3.1 miles
I had high hopes for my 2014 running the morning of January 1st. I’d finished out 2013’s racing season with a credible performance in the Hot Chocolate 5K and (unlike recent years) I’d come through the holidays with neither a cold nor the flu. Me and my running buddies met at Eisenhower Park on New Year’s morning to do our first running event of the year, The LIRR Hangover Run. We had fun that day and I felt great afterward. I looked forward to winter running and a return to my old form.
Although my running year got off to a great start, it quickly stalled. The snow rarely stopped and the temperatures rarely rose high enough to melt it off. My choices were to compromise safety and run on narrow icy roads, or stay indoors and use the treadmill. Safety prevailed and, as of today, I’ve only run outdoors four times in the past two months.
This morning I did my first run in a week. It was a treadmill workout done at a very moderate pace. I believe that this was the first full week (since recovering from pneumonia in early 2010) where I didn’t record a single mile of running. What I had wasn’t the flu, but it sapped my strength and I knew that pushing myself would not be healthy.
I made the mistake of chipping down the icebergs at the end of my driveway on Saturday so I’d have some room to put the new snow we’re supposed to get this week. That 40 minute exercise would have normally counted as a bonus cross training session, but yesterday it felt like I’d logged a long hard run.
I had a great night’s sleep and this morning I felt closer to full strength. I exercised caution on the treadmill and dismissed any thoughts about performance. Today’s goal was to start the process of recovering any fitness that I may have lost during my downtime. Even at my easy pace, I felt a burn in my throat that I used to get in my early days of running.
I further reduced my speed after each mile. It seemed like the right move since my goal was simply to get through a moderate aerobic workout, not to maintain a challenging heart rate. I’m clearly still recovering, so I’m not sure of my true level of fitness. What I do know is that I’m nowhere near the level of race readiness that I’d expected on New Year’s morning. I’ll forgo my Monday rest day and, perhaps, take another step forward tomorrow.