Monday, October 15, 2007

Un petit succès

Thank you for all your words of encouragement as I slowly build up my mileage again. I really appreciate your comments. I’m trying hard to stay injury free, cognizant that my next marathon is only 15 weeks away and every week I spend on the disabled list is a week I don’t have to prepare.

That said, I had hoped to break through the 40 mile barrier this week. I started out great with 8.5 miles, 9.7 miles and 6.4 miles back to back for a total of 24.6 miles in 3 days. I added another 4.2 miles on Saturday; bringing the weekly total to 28.8. All I needed to do was run 11.2 miles on Sunday and I’d be home free. Shoot, I could run 11.2 with my eyes closed. I’d run 13.8 over a very rough trail in the heat last weekend. 14 to 16 miles didn’t seem to be out of reach … go go go.

Well … things didn’t turn out so well. I had several family obligations in the morning which precluded getting in a long run before noon. The temperature was in the mid 80s(F) with nary a cloud any where within 200 miles and the sun beating down directly over head (or so it seemed) when I finally hit the trail at noon.

I could easily blame the heat for my poor performance, but that doesn’t jive with what I saw my HR doing. Within 1 mile I knew I was toast. My HR was holding steady at 140 but my quads felt like I’d been running hill sprints for the past hour. By the time I’d completed the second mile my right calf was tightening, not painful exactly, but it really wasn’t happy. For the next few miles I sort of jog / walked and wasn’t feeling all that bad, thinking I could get in 14 or 15 miles over the next 3 hours. But by mile 5 I was shot and it was all I could do to get back to my car. Total mileage 8.00. Total time: something akin to flying from Phoenix to San Francisco.

This is just classic over training syndrome caused by adding too many miles too fast. Yes, I know better. No, I won’t do anything different. This week is a new week, a new opportunity. We’ll see how it goes.this week.

Shout Outs:

While I was wallowing in self-pity, real runners were out doing amazing things:

Addy: Ran the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 miler on Sunday. This was her first 50 mile race. To someone like me who has never run anything further than a marathon, 50 miles seems like an insanely far distance, but Addy plowed through it with grace and power. You’ll enjoy her race report and great pictures.

Robin: Ran the Dupont Forest Trail Marathon in North Carolina and hit her PR for the distance on an off-road event. More amazingly, she ran the Stump Jump 50k in Chattanooga, Tennessee a week early (in hellish conditions) and was only running this marathon as a training run for a 50 miler in 3 weeks. This woman is one hard core trail runner. She’s also a mean tri-athlete. As always, she’s wrote a great race report with plenty of pictures.

Mike: Banged out another marathon in 3:34 on a very hill course. Mike is the fastest guy my age that I know. Every time I doubt my ability to improve, I need only think about Mike’s consistent performance and know it’s possible for us 50+ types to perform well. More great pictures.

Jamie: Ran in the Mt. Desert Island Marathon with Mike. I don’t know how these guys contend with all the hills. Jamie hit a PR on this course, finishing in 3:21. His shoes would be smoking on a flatter course.

Lisa: PR’d her 5K time again in the local Komen 5K. Lisa just gets stronger and stronger every month. She is currently training for her first TRI.

Pat: Ran the same local Komen 5K as Lisa. Didn’t make a PR, but made a great showing.

Kate: Ran the Phedippidations World Wide Half-Marathon solo. Of course, she got to run it in Wellington, New Zealand, so she had plenty of wind and plenty of gorgeous country-side to enjoy.

Jen: Ran an amazingly fast half-marathon in the bay area. She certainly smoked most of her competition and ended up with an Age Group placing to boot.

Dawn: Ran yet another marathon this weekend (this has got to be her 20th for the year). Dawn keeps getting stronger on her quest to break 4 hours.


Just a couple of other things. I didn’t mean for this post to get so flipping long, but I was so impressed with everyone running so well over the weekend, I couldn’t stop myself. Those who are terminally bored by my political / social ramblings, aught better stop here.

Pan handlers vs Office workers. I came upon a pan handler this evening as I was exiting a freeway on my way to a reception. There is nothing particularly unusual about seeing a pan handler on a Phoenix Exit Ramp this time of the year, these folks blossom in Phoenix as soon as the day-time temperatures dip below 90F so they are a dime a dozen; however, this one did something I’ve never seen. He looked down at his watch, noted that it was 6PM, stood up, folded his little cardboard sign under his arm and walked off the job site. It occurred to me that I’d done exactly the same thing 15 minutes earlier. I got my last eMail out, noted that the time was 5:45, turned off my PC, packed it neatly in my brief case and walked off the job site. Perhaps we’re not all that different.

Sedans vs SUVs. Faithful readers will know that I often rant about SUVs. Living in Phoenix and driving a small car puts you in an oppressed minority group. People in this city buy larger and larger SUVs to feel “safe” with the mistaken theory that the bigger the vehicle, the safer the vehicle. The place is crawling with SUVs. SUVs are everywhere. Some times it feels like I am a lone wolf crying in the wilderness, surrounded by lumbering elephants. Therefore, I was amazed, no dumb-struck, when I exited another freeway tonight and found myself surrounded by sedans at the stop light. 4 sedans waiting for the light to change. Not an SUV in sight. Perhaps we are maturing as a community.


Gotta Run said...

SO many things to say...

First - what are you thinking increasing your mileage that fast? Don’t make all of us bloggers come after you for a good beat down!! Focus on your long term goal and remember the sweet lessons from the past. Must I continue?

Second – what an awesome shout out!!! When I am down and out next time I will re-read it and wonder who that girl is…LOL!! Really!!

Third – You are not a lone wolf and I love your use of the word “flipping”. It is one of my favorites. Just a few months ago I said goodbye to my SUV and purchased a 93 Honda Civic. No bells and whistle to this baby and I just LOVE it!! Cost me about $22 to fill her up and she gets about 400 miles to the tank before I have to fill her up again. Sweet!!!!

Keep running strong and be careful in those temps!

Jamie said...

Thanks Phil, I appreciate the kind words. Hope you recover well. Cooler weather down your way as autumn approaches more should definitely help!

angie's pink fuzzy said...

it's a pleasure to read your posts!!!

Lana said...

Overtraining Syndrome, I would say, is the correct diagnosis. But it's so hard not to!! You know what you are doing though, and you recognized the problem. No doubt, you'll build that mileage back up in no time.

Mr. Satan A. Chilles said...

I injured myself doing hillwork 5 weeks away from a marathon (and had to take almost a week off), but came back and finished that @$#^&* race. So if you have 15 weeks left before yours, you'll make it.

One of the reasons I got hurt was my mileage was high (50-60 miles per week, that's high for me), so just be careful out there. I won't give you training advice you've probably heard or read about a thousand times already, just be careful increasing your mileage. I know how it is to think you're not getting enough miles in, just pay real good attention to your running log...

Anonymous said...

SUV comment. Last year I got rid of my gas guzzling Mustang GT and got an '02 Toyota MR2 Spyder. It is small but it really has quite a bit of performance and gets great gas mileage. I just laugh these days as those SUV drivers take out home equity loans to fill their tanks while I just spend less than $20 every two weeks.

Jim said...

Man . . . you can dish the advice but can you take it? If you know it is overtraining then fix it. Does your schedule allow you a fall back week avery four weeks of so? I am no expert and I am no world class runner. Heck, I can barely make it from the cough to the frig and back in under a minute. However, I do know to listen to my body and I think was part of my success last year.

I wish you well and hope you can keep it between the lines for the next 15 weeks.

Obviously, I also need some more of your "priestly" advice on couplehood!

Ewen said...

Geez, your friends are running well mate. In future I might have to ditch your blog and read what they have to say - especially if you keep making newbie mistakes like building up the miles too quickly!

Re the SUVs, they are thankfully in a minority over here (maybe 5% of private cars). Probably something to do with petrol being $1.40 a litre.

Love2Run said...

They're all piling on aren't they? I'd vote for more miles and damn the torpedoes! Thanks for the shout out. You've got to arrange to do a marathon in the northeast sometime.