Friday, January 26, 2007

The Great White North

Thanks for all the great comments on my marathon experience. I’ll keep this post short.

I’ve been on the road all week. I spent Tuesday / Wednesday in Coon Rapids, Minnesota (north of Minneapolis) and Thursday / Friday in Mississauga, Ontario (west of Toronto). I actually planned this trip around my marathon. Knowing full well that I wouldn’t get in much running the week following the event, I decided to head up to the Great White North in the dead of winter. Of course, with my luck, I got to Toronto on the coldest day of the year so far. Morning temperatures were 3F/-16C and during the day it warmed all the way up to 14F/10C. That’s mighty cold for this boy. That's probably why I look so grim this picture.

On the plus side, I did get to visit with a friend of mine who is taking a 12 month, self-funded, sabbatical. It takes a special kind of person to step out of the corporate world for a full year to figure out what it means to be human. On the negative side, my friends at Air Canada decided to cancel the flight to Phoenix on Friday night, so here I sit in the Renaissance Hotel near the airport, working on my blog.

At least I was able to use the hotel’s treadmill, so I have a little running news.

My recovery game plan was to take progressively longer easy runs after 3 to 4 days rest and try to keep my HR below 75% HRmax. My HRmax is around 174 (I really need to measure it again) so that meant I had to keep it under 130 bpm. That just wasn’t happening. Once I got on the treadmill at an easy 9:45/mi warm up pace, my HR quickly climbed to 135 and kept drifting up. As it drifted up, I slowed down until I had the machine crawling at 10:30/mi and my HR was topping 140 bpm.

After two miles of this, my feet hurt from the awkward gait and I just wasn’t comfortable nor having any fun. Perhaps it was stupid, but I started cranking the speed up until I got the machine whirring at 7:48/mi. My HR responded and topped out at 172 BPM, but at least I was covering the distance at a good clip. I started backing off the speed again after 3.5 miles and finished up the run with an overall average 9:18/mi (average HR=148)

Although this wasn't my best run every, after reading about Mike’s recovery and Thomas’s recovery, this ain’t too bad. I don’t have any remaining soreness and other than the whacked out HR and residual numbness in the pads of the two middle toes on both feet, I’m feeling pretty good. With any luck, I'll get home tomorrow.

Again … thanks for all the support. You guys have been super.

For those of you that just enjoy the picture, I have a few more from the race:

Running up one of the early hills with the ocean behind me. I've really got to do something about those tight shoulders!

Creasting a hill at 16 Miles.

I don't remember where this is


J~Mom said...

That sounds mighty cold, indeed!!! Brrr!! I hope you get home ok!

Glad to hear you are all recovered. I think you should think about becoming a coach for some of us newbies in the valley now that you have the marathon thing down.

Thomas said...

Glad to hear the muscle soreness is gone, but that was to be expected. After all, you were well prepared.

If you're anything like me then the elevated HR will stay with you for a few weeks, and might even get a tad worse before getting better. After that you can start cranking it up again, with the added bonus of starting at a much higher level than last time.

Ewen said...

Now, that's cold! My sister lives in Minneapolis - I don't know how she does it.

No matter how good you might feel, I think it's prudent to keep the runs easy/enjoyable for 3-4 weeks. There is 'damage' to the muscles from the stress of a marathon that takes this long to repair.

Nicole said...

Sounds like a great trip despite the canceled flight.
And what a great experience your friend is going to have.
And as always love the pics - enjoy recovery.

olga said...

Arizona man in -16C...that's rough!
Well, we got lucky with your cancelled flight because we got a post and pictures:) But I hope you had arranged everything else around with no losses.