Sunday, August 05, 2007

Not Fade Away

4-year-old Haiden shoots a self portrait

The last two weeks were of the sort that makes me regret keeping my training log online. I think subconsciously it's my ego that keeps me from updating it. Did I say something about a "marathon mindset" recently? Mine apparently still needs some work. Let's see those numbers-

Mo: 12 moderate
Tu: 10 easy (tired)
We: 10 w/1 mile at 5:57
Th: 10 easy (tired)
Fr: 10 w/7 at 160BPM, 5:36, 5:39, 5:57, 5:57, 6:00, 6:10, 6:11
Sa: 14 Long run trainwreck
Su: 6 easy
Total: 72 in 7 sessions

Put this week after last week's 77 miles, then compare it to the previous five 90-plus mile weeks in a row during June and July. What happened to this guy?

Somewhere I went over the edge a bit. If I had to do it all over again I probably would have taken a few days off from running during my trip (I returned home Thursday night). The coach emphasized keeping the paces easy and generally running by feel, but on the occasions where I woke up tired and actually dreaded running before putting in a full workday I saw skipping or cutting the run short as a cop-out. Plus, the weather was so nice on all but my last day there I didn't want to waste the opportunity of running where the dewpoint and the temperature were under 75 degrees, which hasn't happened here in weeks.

Whatever I was trying to avoid or train through hit me in spades on Saturday when I got up to do my long run. Our son woke while I was drinking coffee, and I delayed my departure to play with him in his room so my wife could get a little more sleep. As I sat and we kicked a soccer ball back and forth I thought about how much I had missed the family while I'd been gone, and here I was getting ready to head out for 2.5 hours for a run before going to work for a full day. The legs were tired, and quite frankly I almost decided right there to skip the run entirely.

By the time I was five miles from home and at the bottom of Gut Check Alley, I knew I had made the wrong decision by heading out the door. The pace was slow but I still felt like I was laboring. Instead of turning around right there I kept heading downhill and ran the loop around my brother's neighborhood, and when I stopped at his house for a drink at 8.5 miles I knew I was going to be in serious trouble. I took the direct route back up the hills home and called it at 14 miles.

I emailed Mystery Coach, and the prescription is a few easy, unstructured days for now. The ego is bruised, but nothing is broken. This morning I felt pretty good, and when Finn again woke early I decided to pump up the tires on the increasingly-neglected single jogging stroller and take him for a solo muffin run. He hasn't had too many runs without his sister alongside in the double-stroller (the muffin run is usually her thing but she was still fast asleep), so this seemed like a treat to him. We grabbed a muffin to go for Haiden and a cookie for him to eat on the way back, then raced home to avoid both a quickly softening tire and the rain that was beginning to fall. Finn smiled all the way, pointed out all the dogs, rabbits and birds, and scanned the sky in vain for airplanes. Both arms raised and poked out of the stroller (cookie in one hand) when I pushed him quickly out ahead of me or took a quick turn, accompanied by a "wheeee" through smiling teeth.

If this is the kind of running I'm reduced to, I can certainly live with it.

Training: Today, 6 miles, 42:17, 7:04 pace, muffin run w/Finn in the stroller
8/4, 14 miles, 1:38:29, 7:00 pace, aborted long run
Miles for the week: 72 in 7 sessions (sigh)


Thomas said...

You don't have to regret putting your log online over the last two weeks because you haven't updated it in 3 weeks.

Your ego might stop you from updating it, but your times are still better than what the 95% rest of us can dream about.

Confession Time: I've studied your logs a lot. I'd feel lost if you took them offline.

And anyway, I predict a major upswing in fortunes soon enough. Cause that always happens.

Mark said...

You're finally coming down to my level, the summertime blues, my second year of this but not as bad as last year.

Reading your post inspires me post myself later today.

Thanks, and you know this lapse will eventually pass.

Ryan Cleary said...

no worries. i missed more than one day the week of the bar exam (4 days in row, actually), then had a bad week because i was exhausted, and now i'm getting crushed by high humidity and high temps while attempting to bump the mileage back up. i envy those high mileage weeks in june and july - you'll be ready come october!