Monday, March 24, 2014

Same Old, Same Old...

This is basically how I've felt all week. Cheers.
In case you ever find yourself feeling insecure about your mileage and comparing your weekly miles to other people's, I'd like to offer you some perspective. I remember running 50 miles a week & how my legs would feel tight and tired and tender in places, how they'd get that skin-stretched-too-tight-about-to-split feeling, how I'd sometimes know I needed to take care of myself with an extra rest or cross-training day and lamenting about how "little" mileage my body seemed to be able to take consistently without feeling like crap.

Well, let me tell you. This week, at a 2014 high water mark of 11.1 running miles, I feel the same way. I woke up in the middle of the night Friday after running three miles with that lovely dull ache that I associate with peak marathon training & 20+ long runs & twice weekly speed work, the type of mild discomfort that would probably make me really sad if I had to be up & around on my feet doing things, but lying there half asleep, bones & muscles bathed in my body's natural pain killers, knowing I had nothing I had to get up for, mainly just felt satisfying. Acclimation and fitness counts for a LOT.

Which is not to say the actual running itself is any harder. I don't have a lot of speed or hours and hours of endurance right now, but the hours (and hours...and hours...) I've put in on the bike & elliptical have at least helped me maintain a baseline level of kinda-sorta-60/40-okay cardiovascular fitness. It's no big challenge to run for 22-23 minutes right now. It probably wouldn't be much of a challenge to run for an hour.

No; the discomfort at this point comes after. An hour after running 2.5-3 miles, my body feels like I've run six; not terrible, but definitely like I've done some real work. Mild tissue damage has occurred. Things have tightened up. I've learned that I can't skip the lacrosse ball, not ever, if I want any chance of running the next day. (Okay, I can skip it maybe one day, but the next morning I really regret it.)

Between that & generally not sleeping well, mileage/cardio time this week was definitely down. I'm not following an actual schedule right now, which means that cut-back weeks aren't planned out & I kind of just have to remind myself that if I've been getting in higher mileage weeks & my body starts feeling crappy, it's probably time for a cut-back. (Also, I just need to do a better job of sleeping more.)

* * *

Grand Total: 47.4 miles

    * 11.1 running
    * 25.8 bike (easy)
    * 7.2 bike (speed)
    * 3.3 elliptical

Monday: a.m. strength work / afternoon 13 bike / p.m. karate

    Sore in the abs / glutes / hamstrings post-race, but if you're going to be sore somewhere, at least you know you've been using the right muscles! I thought I would take it a little easier with the strength stuff if I needed to, but nothing hurt (though push-ups seemed harder than usual).

Tuesday: a.m. 2.6 run / p.m. bike, 4 warm up + 4(5:00 @ 5K effort, 1:00 easy) + 1.8 cool down = 13 speed

    22:00 minutes on the treadmill. (See? 10% rule! I am good at this.) Normally I would have finished up with 23:00 on the elliptical or bike but there was a HORRENDOUS accident on the way to the gym that morning, so I really didn't have the time before I needed to be at work & was half an hour late as it was.

Wednesday: afternoon 2.7 run + 3.3 elliptical / p.m. karate

    Running = still great. Elliptical = still ass. Seriously, I am going to quit any day now.

Thursday: 7 bike

    For all intents & purposes this just ended up being a rest day. There are some nights when karate just shreds every muscle in my body and I think Wednesday of last week was one of those nights. My legs were utterly dead on Thursday morning; normally I do my easy bike rides at 90-95 RPMs, and when I first started it took all my effort (ie, an effort I could not sustain for very long) just to get to to 70. I warmed up a bit & gradually got to ~80-85ish comfortably, but more than half an hour just was not happening. Instead of trying to run or bike that afternoon, I accepted that my body needed some recovery time & spent it attending to some desperately needed rolling & stretching.

Friday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 3 run.

    I'd planned to go to the gym after work & do a 22-24 minute run on the 'mill, then do some spin bike to make it 45 minutes total, but my legs still felt absolutely trashed. Everything felt tender & tight, & my right hip flexor was really bothering me. At that point I'd basically decided that my body was telling me it needed another rest day, so I skipped the gym & went straight home. But it was nice out, so I decided to try a little running & just see how if felt & stop if anything felt off.

    Since giving up on the Hitogamis, I've been running in the Altra Ones on the treadmill. They've felt great in general, but being zero drop & fairly low on cushioning & support, I didn't feel great about running on concrete in them when my legs were already maybe six out of ten at best, so I wore my trusty Kinvaras, which are if nothing else dependable & saw me through a fantastic-feeling 3 miles in 24 minutes.

    The other awesome thing about Friday was meeting up in SF with Sesa, RoseRunner, & Alyssa (whom I haven't seen in WAY way too long) in order to welcome the Faster Bunny (whom we desperately hope will some day revive her blog!!) to the Bay Area. You'll have to take my word for it that this actually happened, as there were no selfies/Instagramming/obsessive group photo-taking to mark the occasion. Don't ever let anyone tell you bloggers can't act like normal people if they need to.

Saturday: Rest.

    I'd kind of been thinking I'd do another 22-23 minutes of running on Saturday as long as nothing felt off, but my legs were still achey from Friday, my right hip flexor still felt super tight in spite of plenty of rolling & stretching, & I kept thinking I felt a little twinge where I'd had the stress fracture. I might have been hallucinating, but since better safe than sorry is the name of the game every day of the week & twice on Sundays right now, I decided not to tempt fate & take a rest day instead.

Sunday: 2.8 easy.

    Just 22 minutes of cruising around the neighborhood, doing my best to focus on form. Which? Super tough. I could write a whole post just on that. I wore my Newton Gravities, which were feeling pretty good, actually, so I may just stick with them for now unless they start to feel weird. (Sometimes they do that.)

Next weekend we'll be in Paso Robles wine tasting/buying. I know I won't be doing any running there, so my main goal for next week is to sleep well & make sure I nail every week day workout.


  1. same old, same old...

  2. Lacrosse isn't really played over here so I'm stuck with a tennis ball for those bits that need extra work. And when you have a ball-obsessed Golden Retriever, it can be a challenge to find one that's not covered with drool or punctured.

  3. You are being so very wise, easing back into it. It'll pay off! And I don't know if you knew this but the Faster Bunny is my new neighbor and I got to meet her at the weekend! That was so cool!