Yesterday's walk went smoothly, so I started back on my running routine this morning in order to get myself back up to speed. To play it safe, I started out at a slow (~5:45/km) pace and gradually ramped it up a bit to test the waters. After about 3km without any issues, I stepped it back up to a ~5:00/km pace to see how my legs handled it. My heart rate was higher than usual (understandable given a week off), but other than that everything felt fine.
At the 4.5km mark, I stopped for about five minutes and did a few stretches against a lamp post to take full advantage of the warmed up tissues. Once complete, I started running again and continued to pick up the pace through 4:45/km and finally up to 4:30/km for the home stretch. Once I hit the 4 mile point, I switched over to a moderate walk (~8min/km, ~130bpm) and did another mile to carefully manage my cooldown. Once I got home, I did another full suite of stretches (~15 min) to get everything into shape and headed inside.
Note: That blip in the heart rate near the 1km mark is due to poor contact with the HRM strap. I'm used to running at higher intensities, and at this level I don't sweat quite as much as I normally do. Will have to be more careful when wetting the contacts next time out ;)
Either way, I'm pleased by the progress so far and this is certainly a good sign that I'll be able to get back on track. It's obvious that I've lost some degree of fitness with the downtime, however that will return with sustained training. I will have to be careful not to get overconfident and mess things up again, however I also don't want to be overly conservative either. Tomorrow night I'll head out with the Running Room group, as that should help to keep my pace under control and I might be able to get some pointers from the other runners.
As for Achilles this Sunday, I definitely won't be able to do it all out but I might consider heading out anyway and just treating it as a fun run. I'll certainly have to see how the rest of the week goes, but it would be nice to get into the racing mood again even if it isn't possible to push as hard as I'd like ;)
As noted in my last review, I'm hoping to be able to find some time to fit in some swimming this week as that would likely be the best thing for this situation. Unfortunately, it's been a while since I've spent any significant time doing lengths so there will certainly be a bit of a re-learning curve involved ;)