Total time of 63:00
TLDR: 3 x 5 min hard, 3 min easy
Full Version: About 2 weeks ago beginning the day of my last blog post I started to feel off. My legs started to ache, my stomache hurt, my neck hurt, my back hurt, I felt tired. It was odd. I felt similar to how I felt last fall when I stopped running, and also similar to how I was feeling when I was visiting doctors years ago getting blood work done, only for them to find nothing wrong with me. I still do not know what was up, but I ended up deciding to maintain my running time for a few weeks instead of continuing my schedule of weekly time increases. So, I ran 60 minutes per day for the past two weeks, and only started increasing time again at the beginning of this week bumping up to 63 minutes.
The other odd thing about what I was experiencing is that it occurred at the same time we found out that my wife probably has an autoimmune disease, and part of me felt like I was experiencing sympathy pain. To a degree I felt bad for not feeling good because I felt like Sam needed the attention, not me as she is the one with a genuine diagnosable medical problem. More on Sam... she probably has Ankylosing Spondylitis, although an official diagnosis has not yet been made. She has had recurring bouts of uveitis/iritis (caused by inflammation in the eye), has tested positive for the HLA-B27 gene that is associated with AS, and has elevated levels of C-Reactive Protein (general test for inflammation), in addition to chronic back and hip pain, so I feel like it is just a matter of time before the diagnosis is made official. Now we just need to figure out how to deal with everything so that we can minimize future damage to her eye, spine, etc.
Back to running... Ok, so this week I finally increased mileage again, running 63:45 on Monday and then 63:00 yesterday and today. I haven't run any hard workouts over the last couple weeks, and today I wanted to run a workout but on a more limited level. I decided to shoot for something that would not be super high in intensity, so I decided to run some longer repeats, opting for 5 minutes hard with a 3 minute recovery. My initial gut impression was to run 5 repeats (25 minutes total hard running and 40 minutes total counting recovery), however I felt like that was more in line with what I should do on a normal day, not after skipping all hard workouts for almost 3 weeks. So I decided to run 3 repeats, with the option to run a 4th if I was feeling up for it.
I ran a 20 minute warm up with a bathroom break in the middle before starting the workout. The first rep I felt pretty strong and smooth for most of it, with minimal elevation change. The second rep was uphill for the entirety with a more mild grade for the first 4 minutes, and a very steep grade for the last minute. I felt like I probably could have pushed myself more on this rep. The final rep had a mild-moderate downhill gradient for the entirety of the rep. I still felt like I was running within myself on this rep, so that was a positive. After three reps I was still undecided on whether to run a fourth rep or not as I felt fine except for maybe a little calf tightness which went away on its own after only a minute or two during the run. I ended up deciding not to run any additional reps after the third out of an abundance of caution as I don't want to experience a reoccurance of the fatigue I experienced regularly last fall. I then finished my run, arriving back at the house in 62:38, followed by running the extra 22 seconds in the driveway to end up with 63:00 total.