Monday, April 25, 2011

April 17 - April 24

Weekly Totals: Distance: 8.64 mi. Time: 01:19:36 Vertical: 700 ft.

Its been a little over a week since the Sweetwater 50k and my mind is ready to run, but my legs are saturated with fatigue. Even during my loosely focused warm-up I can feel the muscular damage sustained during the race: tight legs when they're stretched past a normal range of motion, no pep in the step, high knees feel like I have sand bags tied to my ankles, and when I jump the term, "White men can't jump." seems to apply ten-fold. It really begins to frustrate me and causes me to roll my eyes and think, Damn, I didn't even race the thing. How long is this going to take?

And this is where experience should dictate the most apropos avenue of approach...

As unbelievably excited as I am to get back out onto the trails and start my mentally refreshing habit of putting one foot in front of the other over any terrain, I don't want to induce a 'too much too soon' injury that will leave me out of higher-mileage running even longer. Having only two real days of soreness after a four week hiatus and then running 32.50 miles leaves me confident that my training is to blame for the success...this is a good thing, of course and something to take note of, training works, and if done properly it works well. But after any race, mostly the longer distances (21k+) for me, there is a huge reduction in training volume, almost a complete break from training, and this can really do some damage to the psyche. Your body definitely needs a time to hit the refresh button, but the denial of training to your mind can create the same chaos that happens when a soldier returns home from a front-line battlefield tour: depression because of a lack of daily adrenaline induced experiences. I'm not correlating that as runners we have the same unfortunately warped reality as someone that has seen and experienced horrific things, but not getting a daily fix can lead to withdrawal and cause rash decisions, like entering a 5k race and running hard one week after a 50k race...an idea I almost went through with except I sat down to think about it first. Taking a break can be harmful if you don't fill the void with like-minded experiences, in my case I've taking up an extra dose of walking, some tougher rock-climbing problems at Adrenaline Climbing, and started running 10 miles a week...next week 12 miles to 15 miles.

Here's the weekly training log:

Sunday: Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park
Time: n/a
Distance: 4.00 mi. (est.)
Vertical: 0 ft.

Walked about 4 miles while strolling leisurely through antique vendors. I walked up some stairs that left me questioning my fitness, and by the end of the day I was exhausted

Monday ~ Adrenaline Climbing
Time: 0:00:00
Distance: 0.00 mi.
Vertical: 0 ft.

My legs don't offer me a lot of use, but my upper body feels intact. Hit up some great new routes. Can't wait to climb more when my legs feel even better.

Tuesday ~ Tuesday Night Run
Time: 0:06:35
Distnace: 0.64 mi.
Vertical: 4 ft.

Almost a laughable entry. I ran out half a mile, and then decided to stand around and watch as people collected Easter eggs. Quite refreshing, but walking back was the best decision made.

Wednesday ~ Adrenaline Climbing
Time: 0:00:00
Distance: 0.00 mi.
Vertical: 0 ft.

Another day off running. I awoke with leg fatigue like I had run a workout. I guess the run last night was too much, too fast. Definitely not what I imagined.

Thursday ~ Collins Hill Park
Time: 0:26:23
Distance: 3.01 mi.
Vertical: 249 ft.

Today, I just need to hit the trail but I gave myself one condition: run slowly...and I did. I needed some time on my feet and getting back out into the trail I basically grew up on as a runner offered the perfect medium. 3 miles here has never felt so rejuvenating. I'll miss the trail more than anything when I settle down in Seattle, WA May 20th. But I'm sure I'll find something else to fall in love with.

Friday ~ Relax
Time: 0:00:00
Distance: 0.00 mi.
Vertical: 0 ft.

I feel much better today than I did Wednesday after Tuesday's run. But I need to chill-out. Maybe I'll race a 5k tomorrow...maybe. Probably shouldn't.

Saturday ~ Buford Dam
Time: 0:46:00
Distance: 5.00 mi.
Vertical: 464 ft.

I woke up and decided that even if I just entered a 5k race for fun I'd fall into the racer's trap of going way too hard way too soon. So I slept in and hit up another one of my favorite trails: Buford Dam. I was introduced to this trail my freshman year of high school and after 12 years of running around this loop...gees that's a long time...it never gets old. The hills are steep and running across the top of the damn after spending about 3.5 miles in the woods is a picturesque cool-down.