Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Days Off -again

Typical of my running routine, my press for 80+ mile weeks is starting to catch up with me in the form of minor injuries. The kind where the muscle hurts, but only when you run and miraculously heals if one *rests*. This month I was able to put in two 80+ mile weeks, backed off to a 32 mile week then put in 80 during Christmas week. However, during the last three runs, my left quad really started to hurt. Sunday, during the long with Marc, I had to call it quits at 10 miles. I was running like I had a wooden left leg. Further, the right calf started to hurt in an acute manner (localized pain) but I believe it is a symptom of compensating for the other leg. I knew the long run was going to be iffy from the beginning. It wasn't long into the run that the quad started to talk. And instead of being a steady ache, it got progressively worse almost in a linear fashion. Finally, it would send the pain signals in force every once & while causing my gait to wobble and slowing the pace further. Good 'ol Marc, he must have thought he was jogging with an invalid. At one point he said "we can walk you know". Good of him, but I reminded him of my foolish pride and asked him to bear with me. We finish out the loop (we do 4 x 5.2 mile loops for our long runs) and decided to take some time off. Short of having a team of sports medicine professionals on staff I don't know of any quicker way to recovery. Marc made a good point that with high miles, a day off still results in relatively high miles for the week. On the other hand, a day off can mean 20 miles short of the schedule. So Monday I rested and Tuesday as well since the leg was feeling quite ready.

So this morning, I have just returned from a 10k jog in 55:38. Roads are snowy, temp around 30F with a slight westerly breeze. Beautiful weather considering. It started to snow but just a few flakes. I decided that the 10k mark would be the end since my right calf started to get tight during the last mile. I so want to keep the miles high that I need to be cautious to what degree I allow these "pains" to continue. So here I am next to my woodstove, leg on ice,sipping a cup of tea. Happily blogging.

I hope all had a good Christmas. I got some great running gear - a jacket to keep me dry, a shirt to keep me warm. I have to start thinking about some new shoes as I have 600 miles on my trainers now. Oh, and for my birthday (which was yesterday) I got a watch that records laps/splits. With all the technology out there, I guess I've been running in the dark ages! Which is fitting since I haven't seen the sun on a run in weeks.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Good Soak

The snow held off but the rain came in torrents with high wind. Marc & I hobbled off into the wind and driving rain for our nightly "supplemental mileage". Marc's main mileage is attained through daily morning runs of 1 hour. My main mileage is attained through every other day morning runs of 2 hours. Three times per week, we run the "supplementals" or "junk miles" to get in the social aspect of running and to continue the build up of those oxygen-carrying blood vessels. We both run our long runs of 20 miles+ over the weekend (usually Sunday mornings). These respective plans are harder to keep than they sound. With me, a nagging pain will keep me from a run to prevent an injury. However, just one day off reduces my weekly mileage by 20 miles. I used to get frustrated by this but I have learned to take the "light" weeks with the "strong". Marc & I were discussing (over the roaring wind) rest days. Marc takes a flexible attitude toward rest days and counts a reduced "recovery run" as an adequate rest session if he is feeling good. I, on the other hand, strictly adhere to the Monday & Friday off. Interesting how we runners naturally adapt our strategies to our needs based on our current knowledge and historical experiences. I know I get nagging pains if I don't take scheduled days off and I also find I have trouble with consistency if I leave too much flexibility in my schedule. I also find that if I need to take a "running" day off due to an injury and that day abuts a rest day, the additional days off really serve me well. Marc keeps a good eye on his log. When the log indicates progressing exhaustion from slower times and less enthusiam, he takes a break. I do intend to reduce my off days to one per week as the mileage nears 100 per week. (I'd have to leave the house at 3am on my "on" days if I didn't.) However, I will try to keep the mileage down on this day to a minimum to give it every essence of a day off. On Wednesdays I run a single session in the afternoon afterwork. Thus, I forego the morning run and I am able to sleep for an additional 2 1/2 hours. This is key as on Tuesdays and Thursdays, my schedule calls for a 4:30am start time which requires a 4am rise. This wouldn't be so bad if I could get to bed earlier the nights before I but just don't. For example, I am sitting here blogging instead of sleeping. Oh well.

In spite of the rain we ran within 5 seconds per mile of yesterday's pace completing the 4.8 mile course in 41:25. At the end, I immediately went back inside the bank (where I work) and changed into dry clothes. No way was I going to drive 30 minutes home in my wet condition. Tomorrow's run will be 2 hours in the AM and the 40 minute session in the PM. I think the weather should be fairly agreeable but I can't recall any particulars just now. Temp's should be near or just below freezing.

Well the lights just went out here and I am operating on battery power so it looks like I will end up publishing this post in the morning as I just realized that DSL needs power due to the modem. Something I didn't know. Dial-up access did not have this limitation. Oops, lights are back. Better post while I can!