January is miserable. We all agree, right? The lousy weather makes it extremely difficult to run outside between the snow, ice, cold, and early darkness. This year I managed 4 runs outside and 18 on the treadmill. The outside runs have been slightly under 10-minute miles. The TM runs have been between 9:00-9:20.
A few weeks ago my right quad started feeling a little twingy. Not terrible, not pain per se, but it wasn't quite right. I kept running through it. Last weekend I managed 20 miles on it (8-8-4). The discomfort subsides in about 3-4 miles, so I've been using menthol gel to get through the early miles.
I took my scheduled day off this week. I took the next day as well and I still don't feel 100%. I can run on it, but the Flying Pig is suddenly feeling a long way off.
Lesson learned: Just because I can do something doesn't mean I should. I was using the TM to force my legs to do speeds they never would have managed outdoors, at least not that consistently. I was inadvertently doing 5-6 speed workouts a week, with only one day off. I'm understanding now why all the training programs emphasize slow, easy runs.
Yesterday I changed 5 miles at race pace to a half hour of extremely slow jogging, including a walked warm-up. My leg felt so-so. It didn't seem any better or worse from having done it.
New plan (and it pains me greatly to write this): Do one run all weekend because I already paid for the race, but take it slow and easy, then nothing until Tuesday or Wednesday, or when it feels better, bike if needed so at least I'm getting a little cardio. I hate taking off training time, but I can't run with this gimpyness until May. Besides, I switched to the Hansons program mid-way through when I used it in the summer. I'll manage.