Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Training from the Road: Detroit Edition

When I left you about a week ago I was foam rolling like crazy to try to head off an angry foot tendon, and IT band issue that probably developed while I was compensating for my foot hurting. I am very happy to report that this past week has been, while less than perfect, a significant improvement. Much of it was also spent on the road. 

First, the Injury Report. I am continuing to roll my foot on a tennis ball, and roll my IT band on a foam roller. The swelling in my knee is still there, but is not significant. I can crouch down if I have to, and I only grimace a little. This morning in yoga, however, I could not stay in a pose that required me to put the majority of my body weight on my left knee. It was a weird place in the practice to retreat to child's pose, I'll grant you. It seems to me that the judgiest thing about yoga is the clothing, so I think we're good to go! 

Second, my Report from the Road. Last week I was in Detroit for work. It was a fantastic trip, and a much needed step away from the everyday routine to get energized about my work. Plus, I got to do some pretty great sight seeing. 

We went to Cliff Bell's. If you're ever in town, go!

We visited the Detroit Public Library for research purposes. It did not disappoint!
And most importantly for my life as a runner, we stayed at the Ren Cen, downtown. The Ren Cen is infamous in my field for being a disappointing urban project. It was built to create a place for face-to-face communications for the business world, but is in practice confusing to navigate and difficult to access on foot. It contains a stop on the Detroit People Mover, which has among the lowest ridership of any public transportation system in America (it's essentially a tram, going in one direction in a circle around downtown Detroit. For all those people whose origins and destinations are in downtown Detroit.....all 3 of them...).

But for running, the Ren Cen works well for the out-of-town guest, as it connects to the river walk. I remembered the river walk from my turn in the 2009 Detroit Free Press Marathon, but wasn't sure how well kept it was outside of race day. I messaged a friend who happens to be a runner and lives in Detroit, and she suggested trying it. It was great! All along the way there were people out fishing. The river walk was really nicely kept, with game areas, Adirondack chairs, and some small attractions. I ran from the hotel to a small lighthouse, then to the Cobo Center and back, putting in a nice 5 miles.
The view from the room at the Ren Cen
In addition to running, I downloaded a yoga app (Yoga 201, which I would recommend) onto my iPad before I went, and my conference roomie and I did yoga in our hotel room. Seriously one of the best decisions ever. I felt about a hundred times better afterward. I might make this a conference travel requirement.

I got home very late Thursday night, just in time to celebrate my older son's birthday on Friday, and host his part on Saturday. I think I had as much fun as he did, watching him play games with his friends, and listening to them all laugh and have fun. It did mean though, that like the previous 3 weeks, my long run got moved to Sunday.

On Sunday I turned in one of my best executed 16 milers ever. I nailed nutrition before, during, and after the run, and finally (!) remembered to stock my car with extra water and electrolyte tablets to refill my water bottle mid-run (there are fountains on the trail, but only in the second half of the run, and not for a while). My average pace was 9:20 without feeling like I was pushing it at all.

The sweaty glory of a post-run selfie
 Does this happen to anyone else on a long run? This is the crease of my right arm.

Afterward, I foam rolled my IT band and to my great delight found that it rolled out easily. The tennis ball under my left foot found some resistance though, but I'm on it like white on rice.

This week is off to a good start. I've got speed work on the agenda for tomorrow. This has been a rough month or so for speed work, so wish me luck! It's hard to believe that we're just a few weeks out from race day already.

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