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Saturday, December 12, 2020

Recovery and moving on

 My surgery recovery actually dragged on a little longer than I'd hoped. I was feeling pretty out of breath and fatigued for several weeks, so I guess I was really in a hole with the anemia bit. But by now I am feeling much improved and ready to move on. 

If I needed proof that I felt better (and I do need proof, because I haven't been able to schedule a post-op because my doctor rudely up and moved clinics all the way to the westbank in Jefferson parish right after doing my surgery), I just have to look at my workouts. 

Workout #1, 12 days post-op on the city park practice track: Six to eight x 1000m at 10k pace with 400m jog. I did seven reps but was completely spent at the end. Splits:

4:00, 3:55, 3:55, 3:50, 3:54, 3:54, 3:57.

Workout #2, 26 days post-op on the slow (and slightly long! It's actually inaccurate!) cinder track at Pontiff: Six x1000m at 10k pace with 400m jog (not sure why we dialed this back in volume). I could easily have done two more. Splits:

3:59, 3:51, 3:51, 3:47, 3:48, 3:46. Note that the variability was due to changing up who was leading each rep, but effort felt on point. This was a tad faster than my true 10k pace, though.

The Pontiff track is a unique one. It's cinder, as I mentioned, which is not a surface that begets speed. It's also usually a really bad surface: the dirt underneath gets damaged when it's muddy, and then dried with huge dents, gaps, and ruts. And it's muddy a lot, because Jefferson Parish cleverly designated this park as emergency storm run-off. So when the parish starts to flood, the pumps dump into Pontiff park! The park has a lot of green space that absorbs the water, plus it is purposefully built a bit like a bowl to retain the pumped water. It's a smart plan, but it means that the track is in horrible shape all the time. 

Additionally, the track is well known to be a smidge long. The coaches in our group have actually wheeled it out to confirm this. There was a time when it was accurate, but during a park freshening up and track re-surfacing, that changed. I think what happened was that a new curb was added and it was built inside lane one. Anyway, it's a little off, and a little rough, but it's also rarely crowded, which makes up for its flaws! And the fact that I could run much better on a worse surface makes me confident that the improvement is real. I am ready to move on to regular training and I think I am finally well enough.