Saturday, December 16, 2006

Held Back

Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I felt both relief and embarrassment when I read an email from the coach this morning. He thinks my fast-twitch muscle fibers still aren't recovered enough from the marathon to re-start anaerobic training again for the races this late winter and early spring. Deep down I know he's right, as while I'm starting to run rather than just plod along, it's hard to find a single post during the last week that doesn't have at least some griping about the hip flexors. While sore quads, calf muscles and a messed up piriformis have all faded into the background, the hip flexors are literally a stubborn sore spot. I can't imagine doing speed work on sore legs will do any good, and Arthur Lydiard's books pretty much say the same thing. Thus, I'm back to pretty much another week of general running by feel. I'm planning on some hill running and perhaps a pick up run to evaluate how the recovery is coming along as the week progresses. I'll also be running longer than an hour on most days unless the legs complain enough to curtail things.

So why the embarrassment? For one thing, I find myself tempted to blame my age for the slow recovery this time around. I can't help but think that if I was 25 or 30 instead of 35 that I would be fully recovered by two weeks after a marathon. I think that's a cop-out though, and instead I just need to accept that the body will be ready when it's ready. After constantly preaching to others about patience in training and racing it's time to swallow a bit of my own medicine. Mmmmm, minty.

The run went fairly well today, though the soreness I mentioned above was in evidence for much of the seven miles covered. I did run faster than I have since the marathon and the soreness did not increase, which is probably a good thing. Tomorrow calls for a run with some of the club guys and shop guys, which will be fun. Tomorrow evening I'll see most of the gang at what is a great holiday tradition in Tucson, the Winterhaven Run Through the Lights, where Kiera and I will run through Tucson's most decorated neighborhood with Haiden and Finn in the jog-stroller. Afterwards there's an awards dinner which marks the end of my one year reign as champion of the Grand Prix. As you can see by the link I am now "first loser", to coin a phrase from my bike racing days. Nothing good lasts forever, and there's always next year. Still, it was really nice to not have to pay for any races this year.

Training: 7 miles, 46:46, 6:41 pace


Evan said...

The old rule of an easy day for every mile raced doesn't come from nowhere! You're well within 26 days of the marathon. It seems you recover a little quicker than that old rule of thumb, but even so ... The marathon beats us up more than we admit, and erring on the side of an extra easy week when you have no immediate races is the right thing to do.

Hit the trails and forget about the pace!

Anonymous said...

I thinks it takes at least a month for me to fully recover from a marathon.

It's better to go easy for a while than to risk injury.

Marc said...

Nice post on recovery.

Minty, huh?