Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Slow, slow, quick quick slow

Hmm. Yet another up and down week of running....I really thought I'd moved on past bad runs.
After stacking runs on Tues/Wed last week I was struggling, but after a solid rest I had a lovely little easy run on Friday morning-such a glorious run that I floated through Friday, delighted with how good I felt and how 20 minutes seems so easy now that I'm building up to 40/50 minute runs.
On Saturday we had Melbourne/Hanmer Christmas, and I played with the kiddly winks on the floor, crawling and mucking around...should know better. My dicky knee hates that. I also didn't walk the dog, so come Sunday morning I really had no option but to take him on my long run, which I hate to do because he's just suck a handful on the long run.
It turned out ok though, because my long run lasted all of fifteen minutes. My left (dicky) knee felt all blobby and creaky, my right ankle felt bruised (I'm having some kind of shoe related problem there, possibly i'm lacing too tightly) and I just had nothing.
Logic kicked in. I've been training pretty hard, covering a lot more ground, it's the silly season, and I'm kinda exhausted. Something has to give, go home and take a rest day.
On Sunday I took what was really a pretty short walk. Maybe three kilometres, and by kilometre two my knee was going skreeek, skreek, skreek with each step. The only word in my mind was, SHIT.
So I took two whole rest days. Walked the first morning (pretty damn slow too, my energy levels are nuked), and opted for a lie in the second day. This morning I headed out for a half hour easy.
Overall it didn't go too badly, I stopped to walk a little a few times but I have to not worry about that, and while I had discomfort, I had no actual pain. I managed a very slow four kilometres during the half hour.
My panic now is, what if I could only run those distances because I thought I could? If one bad run has shaken me this badly, what would the result of a DNF (or a DNS?) be? Surely training will always have highs and lows. I was peaking on a high, maybe these lows are the price of those highs? Running is a heart breaking sport, because every time I get where I want to be something goes wrong, so I'm always building back to where I was, but to be fair, the point of reference is constantly getting better, and I'm continuing to run smarter and better. I also probably need to remember that as I'm now running 7:30 ks on my best days, I'm not exactly training for the Olympics.
Hmm. Sunday I have an epic run planned, (it's supposed to be an hour long) and I've been sweating it for weeks. I'm going to be in Bairnsdale, my home town, and there's a beautiful trail there that I've walked many times. I've been dreaming of running this trail since...hmm, probably since about October. Those kinds of running fantasies where you're springing along, ponytail bouncing, gazelle-like through dappled light and shade. And now instead of thinking how gorgeous it might be, how exciting to rediscover forgotten turf, I'm thinking about how i'm going to make an hour. *shakes head* Maybe this run needs a special mantra, a customised vibe. I want it to be about joy-it'll be Boxing day, too, and the weather is supposed to be sublime. Guess I'll just have to find a mid-point between tenacity and joy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Back to backing it

I got experimental this morning, doing my second run in two days. Normally I always have a rest day between runs for recovery, but my plan keeps calling for sessions two days in a row, so it was time to give it a try.
Was a bit nervous about the whole thing, so I took it easy yesterday (30 min easy) so I'd have some left in the tank for today (40 min progression).
It didn't go super super great, a very slow five k, some nice speedy bits during the progression, but I walked the last kilometre becuase I was done like a dog's dinner. Lead legs, and just a general bonk-y feeling (I wonder if I lacked carbs because it was 5am?) but I didn't want to wreck myself my first time running back to back.
Overall I am pleased but oh lordy, i am taking exhaustion to a whole new level today. My legs are heavy and I can't stop yawning, it's even difficult paying attention at work (although that's always a bit hard). I'm not quite ready to call this two-days-in-a-row thing a success, but it definitely wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Slow down, take it easy

Oooh, I left this off in a bit of a dark place, didn't I! I drifted off into that eerie space where you either pick yourself up and go run, or become someone who 'used to'.
Since my last post, a lot of things have changed....I got a payrise (wahoo), and things have been going very well at home (lots of love) but I have to say that the most wonderful thing is that after almost nine months of running, I've finally gone and become a runner!
I had a few very dark weeks of really poor, disappointing efforts, and of having to drag myself out the door, and yeah, just horrid.
I skipped the middle race of the SIS series, and was kind of looking for ways to slack off and duck out of the third, but I'd paid for it, and well....I decided worst case scenario it'd be a nice walk. My preparation was poor-I stayed up late, though admittedly it was a lovely night, and I did at least manage to eat my traditional pre-race meal (pizzaa!).
I didn't have the nerves I usually do, because I wasn't expecting anything. Plus, I was alone, so I think I felt less pressure. I was early enough to do a nice slow warmup, jogging gentle laps around the grassy area near the start, hopping back in the queue at the start line, then hopping out to run a few more laps when I felt jittery.
My wave left and I decided to maybe just jog slowly...after awhile I fell in behind a couple doing a really slow pace (much slower than what I'd usually do-but cannot sustain). They were trim and neat in matching white 2xu hats, so I dubbed them the 2xu twins.
And behind them I stayed. And stayed. Slowly puttering along behind them. At the 3.5 mark the lady stopped to walk but the man kept jogging (yes, they were going that slow) so I passed them, carefully reining in my stride to avoid burning out. I ran up a hill, growling out loud, refusing to be one of the chubby girls walking up. I ran through fed square and over the bridge. I ran down the line and I finished. My throat went all tight and I thought I'd cry because I'd finally actually RUN a race, instead of running half a race.
It was a slow time, but I don't care. Because I ran all the way. And I haven't stopped since.
I realise that a play by play of a newbie's race is probably incredibly dull, but I have gained so much from this race, when I went in expecting nothing. I learned the most important thing I've learnt since I started running-to slow the hell down! I passed a lot of girls doing what I used to do- running along quickly before flagging to a walk, red faced and exhausted.
Since then I've undertaken a REAL training plan, and I can now run for about 40minutes nonstop, covering almost 6 kilometres. Baby steps to many, but my baby steps are getting bigger all the time.