Wednesday, May 11, 2016

What's Next After Prague?

I finished the Boston and Prague Marathons.  Now what?  I had a physical therapy appointment today, and we talked about how I’m doing and where I go from here.

About a month ago, I started some new exercises.  I really struggled with them at first.  By the end of the first week, I realized I couldn’t run and do my exercises on the same day.  Since then, I’ve been alternating between running days and exercise days.

My therapist, Ben, wanted to see how I'm doing, so he had me do a few reps of each of these exercises in his office.  He was pleased with my progress.  I still struggle to maintain my upper body alignment when I do single-leg deadlifts, but it’s much better than that it used to be.  I could see my improvement.

Ben suggested modifications to two of my exercises.  He also gave me a new one.  The latest addition is this reverse lunge.  He said I wouldn’t have been able to do this two weeks ago.

I’m able to run a marathon, and my mechanics are improving, but I’m still pretty slow.  That’s because there just isn’t much power in my stride.  These exercises should help me to get more power.

We also talked about my future training and racing plans.  I mentioned that I was thinking about doing the Med City Marathon over Memorial Day weekend, but I wasn’t signed up yet.  Ben thought that was a good idea.  Today, I signed up for the race.

I’ve only scheduled one race for this summer.  I’ll probably do others, but I’ve been taking a wait-and-see approach.  There are local races I can sign up for without having to commit too far in advance.  After Med City, I’ll start thinking about the next one.

Today, I did my modified exercise routine for the first time.  I think it was a good workout.  I’m sore in the right places.  Tomorrow I’ll go for a short run.

My time in the Prague Marathon was about 15 minutes faster than the Boston Marathon.  More importantly, I’ve felt pretty good since the race.  I didn’t have as much soreness as I did after Boston.

I’d like to run like I used to, but that’s a long way off.  I’m hoping I can eventually qualify for Boston again, but that’s probably still several months away.  It’s hard to quantify my progress, but I’d guess I’m still only 30-40% done with rebuilding strength in my hips, glutes and core muscles.  I need to make more progress in PT before I can ramp up my mileage.  Then I’ll need to do speed work.  Then I’ll need to lose some weight.

The training is something I’ve done many times before.  It’s hard work, but I can do it.  In some sense, though, I still haven’t made it to the starting line.  I can still remember the first time I ran a mile on a track.  I started running fast, but I quickly got out of breath.  Today, I’m the opposite.  I have better cardiovascular fitness, but the power just isn’t there.  Hopefully, it’ll all come back, but this is new territory for me.  I don’t know how long it will take.

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