Monday, February 1, 2010

Long and Rambling Post

I took the opportunity to reacquaint myself with the treadmill at the end of last week. On Thursday, I pounded out 10Km. It felt awful. After tempo running 6km on Tuesday and playing hockey and tempo running 10km on Wednesday, the Thursday 10Km run should have been relatively simple. It was freezing outside so I opted for a treadmill run. I set the incline to a lofty 1% and ran on the speed setting of 6.0 or the equivalent of a 10 minute mile. Certainly not all that fast, and nowhere near tempo pacing. Right from the start, it felt wrong. I gave myself 20 minutes to warm-up. At 30 minutes, I was hurting, nothing had improved . I nearly quit after 40 minutes. I still didn’t feel right. My form was all over the place. My right ankle hurt, my left shin, my back, my neck, you name it, and it hurt. Wah-wah-wah, what a baby I’d become.

The Ipod music wasn’t doing it. Nothing on the video screen but a rerun of “Off the Record” and I’d already seen it. Closed caption reading on a treadmill - boring. GoodLife is doing chocolate milk as a recovery drink promotion. I stared and stared at that table of chocolaty goodness. If I finish, then I reward myself a 500ml bottle at the end.

I earned that reward. It was beyond delicious.

Friday was a rest day, I needed it.

Saturday, my eldest son (middle child) has an 8:30 am indoor soccer game. After much email discussion, I believe the Free Radicals (that weren’t hung-over) took off for an 8km run at 8am. I opted for the warmth of the atrium at the Masonville GoodLife and hammered out 8km on the treadmill with a .5% (that’s right half a percent) incline at 6.5. I felt good and finished the last two and a half minutes at 7.0. My strategy after Thursday’s painful session was to warm-up for 35 minutes on the elliptical. My brilliant strategy worked. I felt so much better. Who knew – warming up might be good for you when you’re old, and cold, and running on an unforgiving treadmill.

Maybe I should elaborate, my body and mind felt better. My feet were not so pleased with my decision to start breaking in my racing flats. I should have known better to than to wear a brand new pair of Zoots (Ultra Race 2.0)without socks (Yes Bob, I’m a fool). The good news is that I did not blister anywhere inside the shoe. The bad news is that the back of my left heel along the achilles (my good achilles) is rubbed raw where the extension to pull on the shoe seems to rub. Other than that, the shoes felt great on the treadmill. I don’t know what my feet don’t like about my Brooks Trance 7 shoes but I can’t seem to get comfortable running in them. I put over 400km on my Brooks Adrenaline 8’s. There are just under 200km on the Trance’s, most of that in the Fall of 2009. *Sigh* Currently, I’m running all my outdoor miles in a pair of Adidas Sequence II’s with ClimaWarm. They have been awesome in the cold; I may have to pick up another pair (without the ClimaWarm) for running in the spring.

Hockey on Saturday night was a mixed blessing with a low turn-out of players. We played the first hour 4-on-4 with one sub on the bench. The last 30 minutes, everybody on the ice, no substitutions. Luckily, I had squirreled away a carton of chocolate milk in the car for after the game.

Sunday morning arrived early. Warmer than Saturday, but still only 15F, I opted for Michelin-man attire, polar fleece top and bottom, hoodie, Gore-Tex running jacket. The route was a 6.5km out and back through the park system for a 13Km LSD run. Normally, the park system pathways are off limits during the winter months. The City does not maintain them. Marc has been running through the park and other than noting the area behind the Children’s’ Museum was a mess that once you got closer to the Terry Fox Parkway and the “roman baths” at the Greenway Pollution Plant things were bare to center bare with a few icy patches. This proved to be the case. Once over the bridge, the footing past the Children’s Museum was wicked. Frozen slush footprints of every size imaginable. Ankle busters, moon craters, nothing flat or level anywhere. I’m not sure even Julianna’s traction enhanced footwear could overcome the rough terrain.

Pacing was normal for a Sunday Run, the dreaded 10 and 1’s were an added necessity, due both to it being a clinic run, and to counteract the cold. I was never happier on the way back in to be heralded by the “Walk!” proclamation.

Coming out of Harris Park, up the hill, I was at death march pace. Playing hockey on Saturday nights is taking its toll on Sunday mornings. At 71 minutes for the 13km, I’m still not so far over the 60 minute mark that I’m carrying fluids with me. I did notice Marc consumed a gel on the second walking break. I picked up some energy bars on Friday when I replenished my multivitamins. After completing our run, I ate one of those while changing out of my wet clothes. Other than being incredibly chewy it didn’t taste all that bad. I washed it down with a litre of water and then went for coffee at Williams with the Marc, Bob, Chris, Rebecca, and Julianna.

Monday is another rest day, and I just found out that I’m back in to work for 6am on Tuesday. It’s going to be a long week. *sigh*


Finola said...

Regarding your difficult 10K treadmill run, was it a lack of warm up (elliptical), or was it just the fact that some days are good running days and some days are bad running days? I can never tell which it is going to be until 10 minutes in, and I really wish I could figure out the factors that make or break my run!

Jeff said...

Hi there Finola,

I think (or over-think) it was a number of factors that made it difficult that day. Everyone has the occasional bad training day, I was lucky enough to have a couple in the same week. Bad rehearsal - great show. Besides venting can be theraputic.

Last week, I was at the end of a two week schedule of getting up at 4:30 am for work. Even on the weekends I'm up by 6am. So proper rest could have been a factor that day.

I didn't warm up, which isn't unusual for me. It is also a bad habit I need to break. I just wanted to get finished as quickly as possible, I had impending parental duties to attend to.

Finding time, or better yet, making time to get marathon training completed is never going to be an easy task. Family support and maintaing a balanced family life are two critical factors that come in to play each and every day you are training.

The office I work in is freezing cold, so cold that a number of us have brought in space heaters. Again, any type of warm-up activity would have helped loosen up my hips which seem to be chronically tight in the cold.

And finally, my shoes. As much as I love Brooks, those Trance 7's are not my shoe.

I'd be concerned if all my training felt that bad. My next treadmill workout went much better. While Sunday's long run wasn't my best, I know from prior experience that I'm lower on energy later in the runs when I've played hockey the night before.

The real test knowing when to push through a bad workout and when to quit before you injure yourself. I give myself about a 50/50 on figuring when those days. luckily, I have my physiotherapist on speed dial.