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August 13, 2006

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Technical Difficulties

August 8, 2006

I’m not running right now. The leg did not improve after a zero and a 1.5 mile day, so I have been hitting the bike. Yesterday was 45 minutes of something like a fartlek run. Definitely some high aerobic/low anaerobic work in there. And this morning was 55 minutes at what I would call an easy effort. Not laying back, but not cranking hard either. I also threw in a couple of parking ramp laps, just for fun.

My ass hurts the whole time, and I’m kind of jumpy about traffic, so I can’t wait to get off the bike. That and I’d like to get back to training during the most important six weeks of my race preparation. I figure this will take five to seven days to clear up, and just like with the earlier episode in the pool, I expect to come out the other side stronger, so although I am pissed off about this, I won’t waste too much time thinking about it. I just have to get through the week and move on.

I’m going to become a believer in cross-training in the future. Not a lot of cross-training, but just enough to stay balanced. I’m starting to feel like Dick Beardsley with all of these injuries.

Oh, Puke!

August 3, 2006

Last Saturday, I ran that 5k and followed it up with a nice, easy six mile cooldown. Everything felt great. Then I helped my neighbor move a 36-inch television. He had asked me about helping him move it way back before we went to San Diego at the beginning of June, so at nearly the beginning of August, I thought I would (should) inquire just so I didn’t seem like I was pretending not to remember. I was secretly hoping it had already been taken care of, but it had not.

It can’t be that heavy.

Yes, it can. Just a quick glance around the 36-inchers at Amazon shows me a weight of 225-250 pounds for one of these things. It was every ounce of that. My neighbor is a slight guy, like me, and is in his late 60s, so once my wife and I saw the size of this tv, we were concerned. He insisted on moving it, though, so we did.

The next day, I didn’t feel up to my normal 22 miler, so I just did 14 at an easy pace. My right leg felt odd. No power. I attributed it to the race and the hills. Then on Monday, just a seven miler, still not feeling good overall, and the right leg a little bit sore now and still a sense of no power when landing and pushing off.

Tuesday I did a good stretch and warm up, started off with a very slight limp for about a quarter mile, then everything was pretty good. The sensation of power was there for the most part, and even got to the point where everything felt 100% for the last four miles.

Later on Tuesday, my hamstring and inner thigh started to hurt and tighten up. Stretching briefly made it feel better, but the slight pain and general weakness continued.

Waking up Wednesday morning, it was just as bad as the day before, so I decided to take a day off. No sense pushing a minor injury this late in the game. I went for a walk Wednesday evening, and it was about the same.

This morning the leg was feeling slightly better, so I opted for a bike ride at high RPMs. The ride felt fine, but I wasn’t able to get my heart rate up very well. Pretty much hovering in the 110s.

I’m not too concerned about missing a couple of days right now. It won’t make the log look good, but if I can heal up in time for the quality workouts or at least minimize the impact on the quality workouts, missing a couple of recovery runs is immaterial. All in all, this should be pretty quick to fix. Just a simple hamstring and adductor strain.

One thing that will be key to my next build up is strength training. Whether it’s plyo, weights, hills, or whatever, I obviously have developed a durability problem in my old age. F@$%ing irritating, but it is what it is. Next time around it won’t be a problem.

Solitude

August 1, 2006

Up and out the door a bit earlier today. I wanted to get a longer run in, but I haven’t been feeling up to it since the race on Saturday. I woke up at 3:30, had a small bowl of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch, a swig of Gatorade, and was out the door by 4:00 for my warmup, which I have been doing ever since the calf problems. I usually just walk about a quarter mile, then stretch whatever feels tight. It’s been working, so I don’t mess with it.

At 4:25, I hit the road. I’m almost embarrassed to mention this given everyone else’s weather situation, but it was fifty-two degrees and calm, perfect for a run. I had wanted to get in 18 to 20, but needed to be home by 6:00, so I decided to go for 15, making the somewhat ambitious assumtion that I could pull off six minute miles for an hour and a half.

I was out just thirty minutes earlier than I usually run, but it was absolutely dark and quiet this morning. I was able to hear and analyse every breath for the first hour of the run, and it was, at times, mentally draining. These workouts are tough in a way that transcends the physical, step-after-step discomfort. The mental aspect is one that I was unprepared for, coming from a 10k and under background. The legs seem to be willing to do whatever the mind tells them, but the mind is unrelenting, in a constant subconscious versus conscious battle to do less.

I ran past my house at ten miles in an effort to mess with my own head, and in a further effort to show myself who my daddy is, I did the last five miles over what is usually the beginning 2.5 miles of my longer, faster efforts. The effect was as intended, and I had to work my brain a little to adapt to the fact that I wasn’t stopping, and I wasn’t just getting started either.

A really good run overall. Fifteen miles in 1:29:22 with an average heart rate of 150. Mile-by-mile (with average heart rate) was 6:43(128), 6:12(143), 6:05(144), 6:03(146), 5:57(148), 5:47(152), 5:56(155), 5:55(151), 5:54(153), 5:57(155), 5:53(156), 5:46(157), 5:47(159), 5:38(161), 5:37(159). The heart rate and pace information is very encouraging. I actually started feeling smoother and breathing better with four miles to go, once I hit the 5:40s and near 160. Not sure why this would be, but the last four miles felt much better than any other four miles that I could have picked out of this run.

Now it will be interesting to see what kind of recovery I need before I’m ready for the next one. Hopefully just two days, but I don’t necessarily make that decision. The committee of the whole will be giving me lots of feedback over the next day or two, and we’ll see what the legs, lungs, mitochondria, and brain decide. Cheers.