Yesterday I cross-trained; 30 min elliptical and 15 min on the stationary bike. Should have done less on the elliptical, as it bothered me a bit yesterday. I switched to the bike once I noticed that the elliptical was irritating my piriformis, but by then the damage was done and it was definitely a bit sore the rest of the day.
I spent a bit of time worrying last night about today's walk, not that that did any good. Worrying is generally a total waste of time, but on the bright side I had a nice chat on Facebook with Nyle, fellow Team Leppik racewalker and good friend. We agree regularly that it stinks living half a world away from each other. It would be so lovely to go and have coffee with her and hang out and air our racewalking troubles. Even better...train together! I am missing my training partner Kelly, as she is out with a contused meniscus, and it would be so good to have someone to train with again.
Today is Mother's Day, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer gift than to get out early in the amazing weather (54F, 12C; clear and sunny and calm) and get in a good 15K. Even better, it went well compared with the last two. Two weeks ago it was a death march, last week was a little better, and this week was better still. Not that it was good, because it wasn't - YET. But I felt flashes of my former self returning. I had no discomfort at all in my piriformis for the first 6km, and for the first 3-4km I really felt like I was moving well and my legs felt good. Then they got a bit tired, but at 5K I rallied a bit down the slight hill into Liberty Park and did well until about 8km, when my legs got slowly and steadily more and more tired to the end of the workout.
However, I never got much slower than 6:45/km, even on the slight uphill back home from the park. I felt stronger than I have felt and had to stop less frequently (though I did stop 3-4 times for stretching and leg swings and some squats to activate my glutes). I felt my hips were rotating well and that I was standing upright and my technique was good, until about 13.5km when my body was very tired. My pain levels were 1-2 from 6-15km, and though I am recovering, it is clear that the piriformis strain was a pretty serious one and that it's going to take some more time to fully recover. Perhaps quite a bit more time? But at least I can train a little. It might not be as much as me or my coach want me to train, but something is better than nothing, and it does appear to be improving slowly.
Total time 1:36:20 for 6:25/km with ave HR 148. 5K splits: 30:59, 32:33, 32:47. That first 5K I felt almost normal...now to get my endurance back and get my piriformis at 100%. Eventually it WILL happen and I have to be patient.
Garmin data here.