Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Coming Back

I've been itching to blog. Apologies to my faithful readers for the hiatus. The problem with having a back injury is that it's not been very comfortable to sit with a laptop for extended periods. While I did blog that one time, it wasn't entirely a comfortable experience. So that's my excuse.

The good news though is that, well, Zahida's back! Yes, I mean it. I'm truly back. I'm respecting my injury though, and easing my way back. I don't want to do too much too soon, knowing how important it is that I get my long run in this weekend, given I missed the the last two long runs (well, I missed one and a half of them :) ). So I want to make sure I set myself up for success for that long run and not tire myself out too quickly from too intense of a week leading up. I look forward to the little victory celebration after clocking a 26K run.

So, what did I mean when I said I was "respecting my injury?" It isn't succumbing to it, no. It's about realizing that pushing to get back too fast can only risk further injury. Missing a couple extra days in a 16-week training plan isn't the end of the world. It's not going to make a significant difference in my overall readiness for the race. Missing the race because I couldn't wait a couple extra days to feel closer to 100% would, however, suck the big one.

This is what I have done (and plan on doing) to get back:
  • Making sure I get good sleep every night, because that's the important time of day for repairing muscles! I'm also resting whenever possible or taking the 'easy road' when I can - i.e., standing still on escalators (rather than walking), taking elevators (instead of stairs), NOT running after buses with my commute to work, etc.
  • I ran last weekend, after giving myself a full 7 days of rest. I likely could have run after 5 days rest, but decided to give myself a full week, since my training plan is divided into weeks anyway
  • I am getting back to running on the same days as I normally do, so I can ease back into the routine, starting on my short&easy run day - Saturday!
  • Sunday's long run was to be a 19K. Given I missed the week before's 26K, the 19K was actually an "easy" week in comparison. There was thus no sense sweating the fact that I was missing the 19K. Instead, I ran a good 10K, so I could still get a substantial workout and do more than half of what I was "supposed to". It was the perfect distance, given I was still pretty sore and muscles were still tight on the weekend.
  • My weekday runs have gone more or less according to plan, but with a minor tweak - distance is all the same, but taking the intensity of the workouts down half a notch. I still ran a tempo run yesterday at a decent click, but today's hill repeats were adjusted to running a particularly hilly 8km route; I still got a strength workout in as a result, won't jeopardize my ability to make next week's progression in hill repeat numbers (ie., each week gets harder), but without being overzealous and getting into trouble
  • I'm going to skip Saturday's easy run for some extra rest, given I'm working that day anyway.
So following all the steps above, I believe that I'm all set for Sunday's 26K that I missed two weeks ago. The week previous to that, I ran 23K, and it was fine. So I'll just have to remind myself that 26K this weekend might be hard, but I can certainly do it, and that I am allowed (even encouraged) to take it as slow as needed. It's all about slowly conditioning my body to do it.

A few unrelated notes:
  • About a week ago, I got a job offer for an amazing opportunity and I've accepted it! My 9-month long career transition period has finally given some fruit (of a more permanent nature anyway!). I couldn't be happier about the news, and it's nice to run to celebrate for a change, rather than run to burn off frustration from things not working out elsewhere (you know, running is cheaper than therapy). The position is one that'll connect me even more into the running and endurance sport community, so I'll definitely be blogging about the work I get involved in there once I get started. Yes! Stay tuned.
  •  I promised a product review on my new shoes, the New Balance 890, and I've not yet written it. That has been intentional, by the way. I've taken them out for a series of shorter runs to start with, but nothing longer than 10K so far. I plan on wearing them for this Sunday's 26K, which will be a good test of how I see them working for me on race day. Then I'll know more for a more informed product review :) 
  • And since I'm staff at the Running Room (yes, now I have 2 jobs that are BOTH related to running), I've been able to cash in on a great deal on the Adidas Adizero Boston 3 shoes. I expect them to arrive in the mail by the end of the week, and I'll test them out right away. I'll likely stash them for future use (maybe for my June race?), but I'll let you know either way how I find them, in case you are curious. I hear they are great marathon shoes for those requiring a neutral shoe like me - lightweight but with decent cushion. Let's see if I agree! I'm quite excited about the flashy colours...


  1. Glad to see you are on the mend and back to running!

    I'm Taslim's friend from elementary school and as I mentioned on your People with Passion's interview I've signed up for my first half marathon this spring.

    It's the Toronto Women's Half at the end of May!

    Can't wait to read about your compression socks review and also more about your training.

    I do have a question, though, do you think you can share what you do to cross-train?

    Thanks Zahida!


  2. Hi Hyedie, thanks for your comments! Glad you've enjoyed my blog so far, and that's awesome that you're running the Toronto Women's Half in May - how's your training going?

    As for cross-training, I am not currently regularly cross-training as I'm focusing on mileage for marathon training. In between races I tend to cross-train more, to give myself a different kind of workout or a "break". My favourite activities for that are swimming and hiking. I do swim once in a while at the moment, but not regularly, and it's more something I do on off-days rather than instead of running, since it's so gentle. I'm perhaps not the best example of someone who cross-trains.....It's hard to find time for more! But I do (and since the injury I really should be more strict about it), incorporate some strength work into my weekly workouts for race training, focussing on upper body and core - it improves running posture. So things like push-ups, planks, some weights, etc.