Thursday, October 06, 2005

Too much of a good thing

The Wednesday night social run- I have no desperate need for it, but since I really have no friends it's fun to go down to The Running Shop after work for a quick 6-8 miles with a nice group of people. The employees are actual runners, and most of them are faster than me. After having to put up with my monthly visits, where I try on 6 different pairs of shoes in an effort to get out of my stability trainers, it's nice to just talk to them runner to runner instead of patron to employee. Still, this time I should have skipped the whole thing.

I wrote with relish about my 22 miler in Tuesday's post, and I knew I had to do my 18 miler (which I hoped to run fairly quickly) just two days later. What should have followed was an easy 10 miles or so, which I did Wednesday morning. Showing up and running 6 more that evening at 7:22 pace was not part of the plan. I really didn't think it would do me any harm, but it did. Following the run, I stayed out to eat a burrito with some of the guys. It was about as long as my forearm and easily twice as thick.

Thursday morning at 4:30 a.m. found me deep in the fog of sleep, the kind where I can hear the alarm on my watch going off, but I don't recognize the sound as something I need to pay attention to. Luckily I was meeting Scott for part of the 18 miles so I couldn't sleep in. He was hurting too, after his 4 mile "tempo" run with The Workout Group turned into a VO2 max workout when the promised 6 minute pace descended into the 5:40's. Too many young fast guys there, this is why I do most of my quality work alone.

We loped along at about 7:20 pace, neither fast nor slow, and when he peeled off at mile 14 I was supposed to start my "quality work", where I hoped to drop down to 6:30 pace or so to finish the run. Not to be on this day, as I still felt every step of the previous evening's 6 miles, which was mostly on concrete and bricks around the university. I simply struggled to finish, well beyond the "pleasantly tired" state Lydiard suggests and that I had hoped to achieve.

Where does a runner draw the line, and how much is too much? Sadly, it's only been an easy distinction for me after the fact. I shouldn't have done the double the day after a 22 miler and the day before an 18 miler, I should have just recovered with my morning run. So I lose a day of "quality", life goes on, lesson learned (I hope).

I'm hoping to do some tempo on tomorrows 16 miler, so I took it easy today and searched out some more hills for the hill phase next week. During the run I thought about what lies ahead, and I admit I'm a bit nervous about the four weeks of hill training. I plan to revisit that section in Lydiard's "Running to the Top", and to go over more of what Nobby has passed along to me. Stay tuned.

Training: 12 miles, 7:26 pace. Ran through some very rich, very hilly neighborhoods. Said hi to the walkers I saw, even their dogs looked wealthy.

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