*Physical therapist approved my training plan! He said my planned mileage increase is reasonable, and as long as I run every other day, with a two-day break after a long run, I should be fine and continue to heal. Totally fine because of all the cross-training I have planned. I still loooooove me some biking!
*I did a treadmill run the other day and knocked almost a minute off what's been my typical pace recently. The treadmill kind of forced me to step it up a bit, but I had some realizations. Cardio-wise, a 10:00 pace felt really good, pretty much like it used to. My LEGS, however, felt much more tired than they used to at that pace. I could totally make them keep going because I knew I was breathing ok, I imagine my heart rate was fine, and I knew I wasn't really going to die. And THAT must be what's been my problem lately - my running muscles have to get re-used to what it feels like to be used, but I don't think my endurance has gone too far after all. That and just the mental aspect of getting my brain re-used to what it feels like to run. There was a little bit of injury site pain afterward that went away with some TLC. Absolutely nothing to worry about.
*After I realized that I could legitimately stop telling myself that I've lost endurance and become super slow, I did the first long run of my new training plan - a 5-miler. (Told ya I'd have to take this process slowly, but I'm getting there!) I did it at an average sub-10 pace - pretty darn close to where I was pre-injury - and without the treadmill forcing me to speed up. (I've been doing 3 miles at 10:30-10:40 lately!) Even when I thought I had slowed down, I'd look at the Garmin and see 9:30. I saw the number 8 a few times too, and it never felt bad. It felt great! I had even done circuit training class (yay squats and lunges) AND biked 22 miles the day before. My butt and thighs were way sore. I did end up stopping about 2/3 of the way into my run to stretch, and every leg muscle felt as stiff as a board. Despite that, though, it was a great run.
*I think the tri injected me with some confidence and some increased mental fitness. I've been a workout fiend lately, and like I mentioned, my running improved practically overnight. Got my eye on a few more triathlons. Excited about being more balanced athletically and breaking up the routine so much.