The last few weeks have been actually pretty productive for my run training. The neck and back issues have not left me 100% but I feel good enough to train my legs so that keeps me happy for now.
I still have limited range in my neck so riding a bike is not very safe out side of my short commute to work. I would really love to get out there on the open roads again but do not want to risk another accident to set me back as therapy is really not fun (or cheap).
Over the past two weeks I have put in close to 200km on foot and feel that my endurance is back and my speed is getting close to where we left off a few months ago. Also, with the extra running my weight has been come back down to a level that I enjoyed right before the crash. Some of this I imagine is from lost muscle in my upper body and the rest is actual fat reduction from a month of pure pigging out while sitting around doing nothing at all.
With this total layoff right after the accident, and the recent fear of re-injury in my upper back area, I had not worked many muscles above the belt for quite some time. Last week, I decided it was time to get back to the gym and strengthen some of these zones, specifically the core, as we all know how important this is for running. It took a few days to get back into the routine but I am already feeling much better about this region going into a possible race week (more on this below).
The other muscle regions of the upper body may require a lot more time and patience to get back to previous levels, it seems. Although, I was never a very buff person by any stretch of the imagination, I personally still see a reduction in mass in my chest, arms and shoulders. I think this has accounted for a little of the lost weight and may be a welcome new look as the two sports I focus on (cycling and running) do not require super strength from these areas. I am sure if I was swimming, it would be much more important but I think I may just try to keep the smaller me and see how it translates in my results down the road.
Back to my potential race schedule...
When I got back to running, I was using the Chase the Coyote trail race (this Saturday) as my first test event. With some new family commitments, this may be tough to work into the mix as the kids both have skating lessons and my wife and I have been invited to help out on the ice. Given my back ground and training in teaching this sport, it is a very cool opportunity to have ice time with the kids as they get their skates up to speed before their future days of hockey or ringette (if they decide to continue in those paths?).
On Sundays, my daughter has a lengthy, morning tumbling class so I usually choose to keep our son busy around the house as hanging out at the gym for three hours is far too much for his attention span. With these two activities, weekend mornings are crazy busy so I must be very considerate when trying to plan a race to attend. It would be awesome if some events were in the afternoon so I can keep the routine at home but I am not seeing many of those. If I am going to add some extra work to my better half, it is most likely going to be a Sunday morning which is exactly the opposite of my original plan so I need to plan my fall again.
As I am very interested in testing my current race fitness (was preparing to race this Saturday as a lead up to a bigger event in late October or early November), I am looking for something this Sunday? There are several options out there but I am trying to pick one that is close to home, is the least disruptive to family and is not just a flat hammerfest.
I have been scouting all the races on www.mynextrace.com and www.roadraceresults.com but if anyone knows of a run that is posted somewhere else, please send the info my way!