Monday, April 7, 2014

3.5 Miles, Baby (& then 4+)

On Thursday I set a new 2014 PDR of 3.5 miles, and nothing hurt. Better yet, this really was one of the best, most satisfying runs I've had yet post-sfx. My form felt good & my stride felt smooth & comfortable, and since I did it outside in SF, I didn't want to stab myself in the face every 90 seconds, which is basically how treadmill running goes for me.

(Yep, I'm back to hating it. T-mill & I went through a briefly honeymoon period when I was first allowed to run again because I was just so happy to be running at all. Once the shine was off the apple, though, I remembered why we broke up the first time & went back to mostly dreading runs on the 'mill like a normal person.)

Unfortunately, this run also reminded me how much I hate running downhill. Yes, uphill does require more effort (HI, it's RUNNING), but I find that that it's pretty easy to keep good form & stay biomechanically comfortable. Running downhill, though? Not so much. The best way I can describe it is to say that when I'm running downhill, it's tough to keep everything "in alignment" and PARTICULARLY tough to run so that I'm absorbing force properly with each step. (I can tell when I'm not, because that's when my shin splints & the area where I had the stress fracture tend to get whiny.) I think form is also harder for me going downhill because I've been working so much on the forward lean, which is just a lot more difficult logistically because physics.

On a related note, Buzzfeed wrote something funny! I know, I know. But hear me out:

This is basically how I feel about training runs. You should give the rest a read; I honestly can't remember the last time I actually laughed at something on Buzzfeed.

Lastly, I'd like to take this opportunity to show you what the Road to Freakin' Recovery looks like:

I'll just leave it at that, I think.

* * *

Grand Total: 54.2 miles

    * 14.2 running
    * 40 bike (easy)

Monday: a.m. strength work / afternoon 3.2 run + 5.3 bike / p.m. karate

    God, I'll be glad when I finally work up to running for 40-50 minutes straight & won't feel the need to do make-up minutes on the bike. I am going throw my head back cackling as I drive past the gym on my way to running ALL TEH TRAILZ. (Or, like...Sawyer Creek or something. Basically anything that's not a treadmill.)

Tuesday: a.m. 3 run / p.m. 13 bike

    Somewhere between running, biking, & karate Monday night, I managed to tweak both my right hamstring and quad. Nothing serious, but both muscles were feeling sore & achey enough Tuesday morning that I almost skipped my run. Instead I spent ~10 minutes rolling some tight spots & figured I'd give running a shot, but if anything hurt I'd stop. Both muscles hurt before and after, but not during, and they weren't any worse after, so hey. Winning.

    Normally on Tuesday afternoons I do my "speed work" on the spin bike, but given the precarious state of that right leg, I decided to play it by ear. A little over 12 miles in I started getting some of that yellow-flag-type pain so called it good at 13 fairly easy miles.

Wednesday: a.m. strength work / afternoon 11.7 bike / p.m. karate

    I kind of played with the idea of doing some speed work on the bike on Wednesday afternoon, but my quads & hamstrings were still feeling weirdly trashed, & I wanted to be sure I'd be able to run at least reasonably well on Saturday. So instead I just did 45 easy minutes with three 5:00 pickups at maybe LT effort. Post-karate my legs still felt pretty trashed.

Thursday: 3.5 run

    Although I was *really* just running Saturday's 5K for fun, I didn't see any point at all in running it with totally trashed legs (might as well stay home & do an easy 3 or so), so I decided to treat Thursday mostly as a rest day & try to give everything a chance to heal up. Honestly, this probably would've been a smart idea anyway; it's been a long time since I've had this kind of soreness in my quads, which is weird since I've been working so hard on using the hamstrings/glutes & leaving the quads alone. Rest days. They're. Y'know. A thing.

Friday: 6 bike

    OMG. Apparently I went 48 weekday hours without going to the gym, which, I am somewhat saddened to report, was the strangest feeling ever. I was all like, "I wonder if people will still remember me there!" Which, no, they didn't, because I am a staunchly asocial gym goer, and no one ever knew I was even there to begin with.

    There were a few reasons for my mini-vacay from the Den of Chatty Women & Cleaning Fluid Smells. One was that I was starting to get those worn-down, yellow-flag signals from my muscles, particularly in my quads & hamstrings, the kind that goes *just* one step beyond the healthy, satisfying, I-can-tell-I-worked-hard-this-week feeling. This was more the remember-you-actually-get-stronger-on-rest-days feeling, so I figured I should respect it by letting my various tissues catch up to the damage I've been inflicting on them before, y'know, inflicting more.

    The second reason was the 5K on Saturday (see above). The third reason was that my Thursday night got reeeeaaaalllly long thanks to a work project, so I was up til nearly 2:00 in the morning, and ain't nobody getting up early to do a strength workout after that nonsense (I hope). But I figured a few easy miles on the bike after work couldn't hurt & might help me loosen up a bit after my run Thursday.

Saturday: Race Day! (1.1 mile warm up + 3.2 race = 4.3 LIKE WHOAH.)

    The short story: Slightly long course, but a good run for me. Race report soon!

Sunday: Travel to New Orleans & have approximately 18572839 snafus on the way. I will tell you more about this next week, but seriously. It was a god damned miracle that come Monday morning I was where I was supposed to be in grown-up clothes having gotten some nonzero amount of sleep.

Being on travel this week, I'm going to try my best to get some running/spinning/strength work in, but everything is harder when you're traveling, so we'll see how exactly that works out.

Later, Space Cowboys/girls.


  1. I can barely remember what my life was like before this run.

  2. You must be feeling better if your honeymoon period with the treadmill is over. Treadmills will never beat running outdoors.

  3. I take offense in your comment about normal people hating the treadmil. :)
    Hope your 5K went well.

  4. I totally agree with running downhill. Sure it's fast and requires less cardiovascular work, but man does it aggravate all of the biomechanical issues. Running downhill at Oakland was just as painful as running up, and my hip was pretty sore the rest of the race.