Monday, February 18, 2008

Building Up . . . or Wearing Down?

I did 15 slow, cold miles yesterday (though it was finally sunny), with 10 from about 7:30 to 9:00 and 5 from 9:30 to 10:15-ish. The reason for the break-up is that the running club came over for our monthly winter group run, but nobody else wanted to do 15 and I needed to be the gracious host, so I couldn't be the one out for the longest time.

It was so cold yesterday ("How cold was it?!" the audience screams), that my balaclava froze solid as the sweat wicked through from my neck to the outside of the tech fabric. It was tough to get over my head when I was done. The only other hassle was that I experienced a new pain, in my left knee. Nothing seemed to precipitate it, but it started hurting at around mile 7, with it being worst on the uphills. It was a dull pain all around the kneecap, and I can feel vestiges of it today. It's interesting, but after a year-plus as a "serious" runner, I've gotten used to my regular aches and pains. They're almost like an additional piece of gear (iPod-check; Garmin-check; sore hip flexor-check) that comes with me on every run. But getting a new ache is unsettling, since it means a whole new world of possibilities, none of them good.

Kids did have school today, but our 274th ice storm (or something like that) of the season resulted in a 2-hour delay. I came to work, and scooted to the Y at lunchtime. Did 12 minutes elliptical (I find it really helps after those long runs) , followed by an upper body circuit on machines and with dumbbells, followed by 10-15 minutes of core work. Tomorrow calls for 9 miles, with 4 at lactate threshhold, and the bad news is my day is packed, so I have to get up at 4:30 and make myself run fast in the wee morning hours. Since I cannot fathom doing tempo work on icy roads in the dark, I will do it on the TM, and I take solace in knowing that my last one 2 weeks ago was one of my best training runs so far this cycle. We'll see if the knee feels okay, and I will reduce the pace if I have to, but I really hope that I don't. This is one more touch week, with a rest week on the near horizon. To think that I'm looking forward to a week with the following schedule: Mon-XT or rest; Tues-8M (w/8x100 strides); Wed-5M; Th-8M; F-XT or rest; Sat-4M; Sun-12 miles. Total scheduled mileage: 37 miles, 9 less than the week before, and 13 less than the next.

I'm certainly tired, but I'm handling the mileage and intensity pretty well, with no major injuries and without the rest of my life completely crumbling around me. I suppose that if I was not feeling worn down - at least to some degree - that would mean I'm not challenging myself enough with this program. That said, if I could figure out how to get 7 hours of sleep a night, I think that would help immeasurably, but it's just not in the cards right now. Also, I keep telling myself that the weather will break eventually, and just as running in 70-degree temps seemed easy after the Chicago inferno, so too will regular 40+-degree days on clear roads. I also hope that the trails are runable sometime before my next marathon, as I very much miss running in the woods. I may also have to shift my running schedule a bit after DST kicks in, since mornings will be darker for a while, but I may be able to steal an hour here or there after work.

All I know, is that - barring injury - everything should get better as Spring moves in. I can't wait.

Cheers, ESG

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey ESG!

When did you get started on this? I've been waiting for it and you didn't even let me know! :( (just kidding)

I actually saw yours just now, reading Squirrels blog (yes, I'm guilty of reading his.... :)

I will have to come back and read the rest of your post. I'm heading out for my run right now. I think the blog will help you to be encouraged to reflect back and what not.

Next I want to see the book reviews! Have a good one...