After drawing from a variety of sources, I think I've figured out a training plan for the next 16 weeks leading up to the USAF marathon. I think it's one I can even get the PT to agree to. It's lower mileage than a lot of training plans and I'm counting on the cross-training to give me that extra oomph that I'll need. I also think that it will greatly reduce the chances that this marathon will fall to the same fate as the Pig.
It's got a LOT of swimming and biking until the end of July, which is when the Cinci tri is. Then I think I'll be able to handle more time spent running and reduce the cross-training a little, if it feels right. I'm actually going for one long bike, one long swim, and one "long" run a week (long being in quotes because my first "long" run will be a whopping 4 miles) <--maybe more like 5 if it feels good.....plus a shorter swim, a shorter run, and one bike/run brick. And yoga. And strength training. But I'm going to be flexible and able and willing to drop one of the shorter workouts if time/energy fails me. The rule (that I made up) is no dropping the same type of workout two weeks in a row. No speedwork right now, either, although I want to integrate it eventually. I'm not doing that until I'm BETTER better and know that my leg won't hate on me the next day if I push its limits a little.
I really don't know how the elite triathletes do it. How does a person ever have the time and energy to train to be good in THREE sports?? I'm just hoping to moderately improve in all three (and bring my running back up to the level that it was at pre-injury).
Yesterday, I did an easy run in the heat and dragged the husband along. Injured leg still gets tired way more easily than it used to, but no pain. Today I'm totally pain-free. Met up with the cycling coach for a 20 mile ride. I was so happy when he said we could meet on the bike trail, because I figured that meant a nice, flat ride. I was enjoying the heck out of it until he told me to turn off the bike trail. "OK, see that hill? It's about a mile of gradual uphill. We're going to climb it!" Gradual uphills are the WORST, far as I'm concerned, on a bike or on my feet. Let's just get the darn hill over with, why drag it out for a whole mile??? But I conquered the hill and then I got to fly back down it, which is my most favorite part about biking. I feel like I'm as close as I'll ever be to flying when I can go down a hill. I have no (well, very little) fear of flying down a hill. I felt like I could've ridden all day, too. Maybe not up more hills like that, but I think I can bike forever.
I think I may even like biking more than running. I feel completely blasphemous saying that, but....it's easier, it's faster, it's fun to cover more mileage and then look at the map afterwards and think, "WHOA! That's far!"
I think I'll get back to loving my running, though, after the steep recovery curve is over. I'm looking forward to the day that it feels more relaxed and natural again, like cycling is starting to feel!