Sunday, July 22, 2007

Just us Guys

Thanks to everyone out there for the kind birthday wishes. It ended up being a fairly mellow day, which is what I was hoping for.

The end of this week has found me dragging a little, probably due to the after-effects of the bonk on the long run and getting out of my normal routine with half of the family gone.

Saturday called for a 2 mile evaluation, and I felt pretty tired on the way to the track. The two miles went by in matching 5:26's, and the heart rate was right at 160 afterwards and 120 after a minute. While I was happy with the times for the way I was feeling, I really started to drag on my way home. I ended up cutting the planned 12 miles to 11 and chalked it up to some deeply fatigued muscle fibers.

Today I had the option of either an easy day or another hilly run up Sabino Canyon. Since I'll be missing this run next week with a trip to Reno I decided to give the hills a go, but I would skip the moderate effort up the hills and down if the legs didn't agree. Things actually went fairly well, and I found myself at the top at about 3 seconds per mile slower than my usual average. As I headed down it felt good to stretch the legs out, but again I started feeling tired between 9 and 10 miles. Like yesterday I ended up calling the run at 11 miles.

The fatigue isn't forcing me to slow down so much as it leaves my legs feeling empty, if that makes any sense. I hate to say it, but it's similar to the creeping feeling that comes into the body a mile or two before it feels like the glycogen is gone. When I'm rested and the training is balanced I sometimes think I can tune in to this, and I get some satisfaction from the feeling that the body is starting to burn more fat and lactate rather than primarily stored carbs and glycogen. On good days I actually try to speed up here to make the most of the time between about an hour and 90 minutes of running.

Unfortunately, during the last two days when the switch has flipped I just haven't had much left. I have an easy day planned for tomorrow, and with some good sleep and a return to less of a "bachelor-diet" I hope to be ready for the back to back workouts on Tuesday-Wednesday before I head out of town.

Here's how the week went down:
Mo: 12, Hill run up Sabino Canyon
Tu: 10 easy
We: 13, w/10 at 6:07 pace
Th: 23.5, bonk
Fr: 12 easy
Sa: 11, w/2 miles at 5:26 pace
Su: 11, Hill run up Sabino Canyon
Total: 92.5 miles in 7 sessions

Hmmm, a closer look at the week reveals what might be part of the problem. Real life dictating the running schedule is always a drag, and if I take the 2 mile evaluation run on Sunday before this week started into consideration I'm looking at just 2 easy days over an 8 day period. I should make it clear that this isn't the work of the coach, but rather my own scheduling changes due to Kiera heading out of town. Also, adding the hills back in was my idea as well, though the coach approved if I felt I was up to it. He probably won't give me the choice next time, and I wouldn't blame him. The evaluation runs aren't particularly stressful on their own, but when followed by a day running up the Canyon they start to take a bit of a toll on me.

Like Lydiard says, there are no short-cuts to the top. This is equally applicable to a runner trying to get by on less as it is to a runner trying to squeeze in an extra workout where it just doesn't fit.

Training: Today, 11 miles, 1:13:19, 6:42 pace, hilly run up Sabino Canyon
Yesterday, 11 miles, 1:16:07, 6:55 pace, w/2 miles at 5:26 pace
Miles for the week: 92.5


Mark said...

a belated birthday wish to you Mike

your perseverance is inspiring and motivational as the hot summer days drag on, if only I could find myself slapping extra workouts in right now I would have something to write about

Dusty said...

Well, I think it is safe to say, you haven't been taking short cuts - you are so dedicated. Sometimes when I'm tired, I think - "Mike would already be out the door right now" and I put my shoes on.

Hope you have your spring back in your step soon - you look good on paper, but hopefully you won't feel like you have "empty legs" much longer. Could be the old age - at least that is my excuse and I only have a few months on you.

Ingo said...

Congrats from Tokyo & omedeto, Mike!

And on a different note, you're writing about "deeply fatigued muscle fibers" this time. I don't think I've ever read this sort of thing on your blog - correct me if I am wrong. So far I went through two stages of "deep fatigue" this year and now I am injured. Watch out buddy.