I went for my run this afternoon and it was awesome! I drove up to the other end of the trail where I usually run, and did just the flat part out and back. It's a very, very gradual uphill from that end, so that means downhill on the way back if I run from that direction. To be honest, the grade is so slight, you cannot tell at all there is an incline but I always feel that my run back it is a bit tougher than the run out so it was nice to be able to do it the other way around this time.
I warmed up for the first 9 minutes by walking 3, run 1, walk 3, run 2, then walk 3 and run 3 from then on. A few times I ran 3 1/2 because I felt good and forgot to keep an eye on my watch.
Of course, the whole time I only did forefoot running and I really focussed on form and tried to keep loose - had up, feet landing under my body. My lower right calf was kind of tight for the first 10 minutes or so and then it felt completely fine after that.
I was listening to Chris Russell talk about forefoot running in New Balance 800's on his podcast Run Run Live the other day and he mentioned when you're doing the "lean" forward, you should imagine that there's a rope tied around your waist, pulling you forward. That imagery seemed to help me a lot today.
When I got to the last 5 minutes of the run, (last 800-1000m), "I Gotta Feeling" came on my ipod just as I started my last run segment and I felt so happy and so good that I decided to pick up the pace a little and run faster. (Normally I'm running at about 6:30 km ~ 10:30 mile.)
According to my Garmin, I was running at about a 5:00 km pace (8:00 min mile)! That's way faster than I've run before. I think my best previous pace was about 5:15 km. The best thing was, I felt so good, like I could keep on running for another 5 km. It was good thing I came to the end of the trail or I might have been tempted to keep on running. As it was, I didn't stop at the 3 min mark, I kept on going until the end of the song.
When I got home, I was worried that I was going to hurt. I stretched and iced my right calf just to be cautious but as this very moment, I feel totally fine. Even if I jog on the spot, nothing is hurting. It didn't even feel sore when I climbed the stairs at school this evening.
OMG I am SO hoping that this is a turning point. Please please please.....
I'm not going to run again until Sunday, the day of the Pub Run. I have to run 5.1 km on the roads that day. It's mid-day on a weekend so I should feel fairly fresh, assuming I don't go too wild at the dance on Saturday night. LOL...
My big problem is that I can't do a walk/run on Sunday, not in a race where my team mates are counting on me. Although we're not trying to "win" anything, we're just doing it for fun, it will be hard not to go too hard. I definitely cannot run forefoot for the whole race, that would be suicide, so I'll have to run heel strike/walk intervals again. I really, really hope it doesn't set me back. But hey, even if it does, I will just take a few days off and get back at it. Yeah!!
Over and out. :)