June 3, 2006
almost lost, almost
For the past couple of years I've said I wanted to train right up to the point of breaking. It sounded very romantic and brave, and I was sure there was some goodness lurking behind it. This week is the closest I've come to that
over-the-side-of-the-cliff area of training; it's neither romantic nor brave, and instead of trusting that it will bring some wonderful improvements, I just wonder if I've dug myself into some hole I can't climb out of.
Over the past several weeks my solo easy-run pace has slipped to where I'm mostly dragging myself along on always-sore feet and legs. I'm tired all the time, and on weekends I'm good for hours-long naps each day. Somehow I can muster a more normal pace when I run with company, but the lead in my legs
never, ever goes away.
I had planned to run 98 miles this week - the 5th week of increased mileage but a mere 6 miles more than last week. But I was feeling so ragged-out by midweek that Mike suggested I ditch Friday's double; I agreed with nary a peep. Still, Thursday night I got into bed and realized that everything hurt even though I wasn't doing anything but laying in bed, and I also realized that I really, really, really didn't want to get up the next morning and run.
But I did, and then I slogged through 13 this morning, and so my week ends with 92 miles, and I don't think it's gotten me anything but skinnier and more tired. And it's only 92 miles that I'm whining and crying about! I
read about the 120+ Duncan Larkin runs (and gains strength from) week after week, and I wonder what the hell I'm doing, if I have wandered somewhere I have no business going. Last fall there was this guy on a newsgroup who suggested that my race times didn't quite reflect my training volume. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe he's right and I have ventured above my station.
Next week will be a cutback, 72 miles. My massage therapist will have returned from her 3-week vacation, yay, and I will haul my knotted lumps of shin and calf to her on Tuesday evening. I hope the week will let me recover
enough to tackle the 4 100+ weeks after that. But more than that, I hope that something good will come of this, and I hope it happens before my body and my patience give out.
Posted by joe positive at June 3, 2006 9:25 PM
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you should not be getting skinnier. You should be getting stronger and psyched. Tougher than tough is your mind and will, but are you eating right and enough? Training volume is only one part of the equation. And state of mind is one important other variable, highly influenced by all degrees of physical pain. And that's true also before the pain translates into damage.
Posted by: corrado giambalvo at June 4, 2006 11:25 AM
Thanks, Corrado. I'm not trying to get skinnier, but some days I'm too tired to have much of an appetite. It's not a huge problem, though. The "psyched and stronger" part is more important, and something I worry about more.
Posted by: joe positive at June 4, 2006 8:29 PM
Worry? joepositive worry? :)
I imagined you are not willfully trying to get skinnier. However, losing appetite due to fatigue is a shame... In theory it should be the opposite. But I have heard my wife on several occasions say the same thing: "too tired to eat." So I am aware of this.
One thing I learned from my children is that we all have different eating patterns. From when they were born: my daughter is good for three/four solid meals a day; my son is more of a snacker type. And as much as we tried to streamline family meals, we have to cater for Edoardo's not great appetite and need to snack in between meals.
I think he actually gets turned off by big, full plates of food (like his mom.) Whereas my daughter and I like to work our way voraciously to the last morsel, and wipe the plate clean with a spongy slice of bread. My wife is humourously grossed out by this and describes Costanza and I as victims of famine. We hold our ground, claiming it is immoral to waste food...
Maybe it is a question of real and visual dosages... Starting with smaller amounts on the plate could decrease perceived fatigue to complete the, let's call it, "eating task." If what's on the plate is nutritious AND tasty, it might warm you up to get more till you are adequately and happily fed... Sort of like running: maybe unwise to start to fast, too hard.
Worth considering that the tiring "eating task" can be a pleasure as well as a pit stop...bsts corrado
Posted by: corrado giambalvo at June 5, 2006 4:39 AM
"Over the past several weeks my solo easy-run pace has slipped to where I'm mostly dragging myself along on always-sore feet and legs. I'm tired all the time, and on weekends I'm good for hours-long naps each day. Somehow I can muster a more normal pace when I run with company, but the lead in my legs
never, ever goes away."
Having experienced just this sort of morbid transition from a Florida "winter/spring" to the unrelenting pall of summer, I hasten to ask that you consider chalking up your subjective ennui primarily to the weather and not to your own shortcomings or any misguided training aims. It won't let up for a while, but as long as you keep it in context it's easier to manage mentally.
Posted by: kemibe at June 8, 2006 5:12 AM
I second kemibe's comment. I've had one--just one--day in the past few weeks where the weather wasn't 88+ degrees and 70%+ humidity. That day I had planned for recovery, maybe 6-7 at gentle pace. I ended up doing 11.5 at moderate pace--for no other reason than the weather wasn't zapping me.
That recovery week is going to do you a world of good, too.
Posted by: stephen at June 15, 2006 12:06 AM