Thursday, October 4, 2012

My body hates me

I have a nickname for my trainer.


But I say that with affection, because I have no doubt this young'un is going to get me in pretty damn fine shape.

But right now, he's Little Punk and he's making my body angry. I guess it's a good kind of angry, and it will get better. But damn, it's ANGRY.

Friday the 28th was my first training session with Ryan. He knew he had a trainee in pretty good shape to start with so we skipped a lot of the preliminaries and just went right into an awesome training session. I warned him not to do too much damage to my legs since I had 25 total miles to run over the weekend. My legs are actually pretty weak, and too many squats would hurt more than expected. I can run for hours, but strength? Not so much there. I know, I know...I know better!

We went through a circuit of exercises focusing on legs, upper body, core, and quickness. A really awesome circuit and I gotta hand it to Ryan for being very creative and giving me some tough exercises to do. My heart rate was sky high and I was begging for those rest periods to come faster. It honestly made me feel like a sad little out of shape weakling.

Afterwards, Ryan did say he was pretty impressed I made it through the workout as well as I did. It was a tough one intentionally. I think he's going to enjoy kicking my ass.

I felt pretty great all day Friday, but as I went to bed that night I got the first twinge of achiness in my lower body. Uh oh....

Saturday morning I was scheduled to run 7 miles, but because of flooding from the rain at our training venue our group run was cancelled. I decided that I needed to try to shake out some of the soreness that was very quickly settling in and headed to the gym to run a few miles on the treadmill. I intentionally kept it at a very comfortable pace and completed 5 miles in just under 49 minutes. My legs were still pretty stiff, but a little bit better, so I foam rolled for about 15 minutes or so and headed home.

I spent most of the day foam rolling, using the Stick, and resting. I was getting pretty worried about what 18 miles would feel like on sore legs the next day. By the time I went to bed Saturday night, I was VERY worried. But I had no opportunity to reschedule the run. I had to suck it up and hope I loosened up after a few miles.

Sunday morning came....


At this point I realized I shouldn't have any kind of time goal. I just needed to get the 18 miles in. The good news was the temp was reasonable, there was a bit of wind to cool me off, and I would be at Brushy Creek, where I love to run.

As I ticked off each uncomfortable mile, I noticed that I wasn't speeding up like I normally do. It was taking effort to maintain a 9:45-10:00 pace per mile, when I normally would comfortably be cruising at 9:00-9:30 after a few miles. There was absolutely no comfort during this run. Every step hurt. Every single one. My thoughts of running 18 in 2:48? Oh hell no, that was not going to happen. I'd be lucky to break 3 hours.

During mile 7 I wanted to cry. No, really...I just about had the tears flowing. It took every ounce of willpower I had to not call Greg and beg him to come pick me up. But as I crossed the dam I starting feeling a little bit better and relaxed. I cruised for the next few miles trying to block my discomfort and as I got closer to the Y at the end of the trail my mental attitude improved, although it was still painful. I let go off the rest of my expectations and just focused on getting through each mile one at a time.

The good news was that I wasn't feeling WORSE. Usually the fatigue will start to set it after about 2 hours and you can feel a definite difference in your legs. Mine weren't feeling any worse, and actually were probably a bit better at this point, so I held onto that for a few miles.

When I realized at the 15 mile point that I only had 30 minutes left I definitely had an attitude improvement. The sun was coming up, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I was going to get all 18 miles in. They weren't fast miles, there were a few spurts of walking up the inclines, and I may have reveled in the water stops a few moments longer than normal, but all in all, the miles were pretty consistent. When I ran, I ran at a smooth pace. I spent a lot of time focusing on my form, making sure I kept my core strong and didn't further hurt myself by getting sloppy.

Just because they were slower-than-normal miles didn't make them any less important. I completed 18 miles, all on my own and while feeling less than awesome. I can pat myself on my back for that one.

I also showered, ate, and made it to church by 9:45am....with both my kids all by myself. Not too shabby.

I took very good care of myself for the rest of Sunday, rehydrating and refueling, foam rolling, and using my Stick as often as I could. I was hurting pretty bad, but hanging in there. Actually, I think I felt better Sunday night than I did before I even ran.

Monday morning brought with it Personal Training Session #2. Little Punk was actually a bit shocked I was as miserable as I was. He didn't expect that my leg muscles were as weak as they were. But of course he had a plan to get those suckers in shape. I mistakenly assumed there would be no squats on the schedule. WRONG....the majority of the workout was upper body and corework but we did do squats at the end. Surprisingly, they were okay. I was moving pretty well at that point.

The real test came on Tuesday morning, during my Interval workout with Georgetown Triathletes. The workout was going to be a tough one...intervals of 12 min, 10 min, 8 min, 6 min, and 4 min at Threshold pace, which for me would be around 8:20-8:30 pace, inching down to 8:00 pace for the last 2 intervals. The break in between each interval would be only one minute. I knew this would probably be a little ambitious so I decided to try to keep up with Christine, who would most likely run 8:30-9:00 pace. I actually didn't expect to even run the full intervals, but rather cut a minute or two off and increase my rest period.

Surprisingly I felt okay. Slower than normal, but definitely okay. I got through the first interval just fine, then the next interval and was still feeling good. I was right on Christine's heels the whole time and even passed her a couple times. By the time we got to the last interval I was ahead of her and running probably 8:00 pace (my Garmin was broken so I'm not totally sure). My legs felt a bit heavy and tired, but were working well. I didn't feel like it was a big effort to maintain 8:30-8:45 pace.

Wednesday brought with it another personal training session in the morning and then Speed Work at the track Wednesday night. Ryan has me up to 7 min circuits now, which are absolutely killer, but I'm hanging in there. The workout was great. The track work was REALLY great (mile repeats: 7:33, 7:55, and 7:40).

I put the skids on Thursday (today), however. On the schedule was an 8 mile tempo run, which I planned to run at 5:30 in the morning. My goal was a 1.5 mile warm up no faster than 9:45 pace, then a slow progression to sub-9 average pace for 5 miles, then a 1.5 mile cool down at 9:30 pace. I got about 6 houses down and turned my butt back around. That butt was HURTING. Not so much that a mile or two wouldn't have loosened it up, but after the death march of 18 miles on Sunday I just didn't have the heart or desire to suffer through another run. I figured I could hit the gym tonight.

Am I going to go to the gym? I don't think so. My body is saying to rest. I have an 8 mile run on Saturday and a 10k race on Sunday.

Sometimes my body is smarter than my head.

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