Monday, July 30, 2007

Dead Legs Too Shall Pass

It's amazing what a difference a few days makes in one's running life. After Sunday's race I felt pretty fine. Nothing hurt. Nothing was overly tight. But, on Tuesday I had to go and do my long run after work. It had rained earlier in the day so the air was pretty muggy and the trails at my park were a bit squishy. Since I am a super-genius, I decided to start off my 14 miler with my hilly loop. Um, duh. If you're looking to do a weekday evening long run two days after a race, eat dinner, take care of weeknight business, and go to bed on time running an uber-hilly squishy trail run is probably not very bright. Yes, I figured this out after 7 miles of having to struggle to keep my head above 9:00 pace. Seriously. I got to the top of the hill and back near the roads and I left those squishy hills for the rolling roads. I was chugging along down to 8:40's, 8:30's, 8:20's and I finally made it down to what my pace is supposed to be 8:00's for the last mile. I felt fine, just the effort level for easy pace was about a minute slower per mile than normal. Yikes!

After Tuesday, my easy runs on Wednesday and Thursday were pretty normal. Friday was my track workout and that too was pretty normal. 4 x 1200 and 4 x 200. No sweat--well, actually lots of sweat and dead bugs mashed all over me by the time I was finished! Then yesterday, I had my long run for this week. I was worried because a) Tuesday sucked and b) I got a late start, as usual, and it was Muggy (with a capital M). I went down to CVNP and headed out for my 15 miler. After I warmed up at about 1.5 miles, I was clipping right along running 7:40's to 7:50's for every mile. (Incidentally, around mile 11, and then again at 13, I passed a huge cornfield. Mrp insisted I check out and report back how the corn along the towpath compares to the corn in our garden. Well, I'll have you know that this summer is truly flying by! The towpath corn is ready, the combines are out, and the air guns are shooting to keep the crows away already! But, our corn is days away from picking, too, so take that real farmers!)

Anyway, at the end of my long run I'm supposed to do a 20% push, which is 3 miles for my 15 miler. So at mile 12 I shifted down. For pushes I don't like to go bonkers trying to hit a particular pace. I just comfortably pick it up and see what happens. I try to stay focused and relaxed. Lately, when I do this I've been hitting a 7:05-7:10 pace at the end of my long runs. The first of my three miles this week was 7:15 (which is about 7:00 since this mile is long). The next two were 6:58 and 6:53. It felt easy! Wow. What a difference a few days makes!


GP said...

It's good to hear that things looked up after a rough start for your run.

This is only my first running summer, but the past couple weeks seem to have been some sort of rough patch for everyone I know (i.e., tired legs, exhaustion, race recovery, etc.).

So, suddenly I'm not feeling quite so sorry for myself. My semi-permanent "mile-four" malaise too shall pass. Right?

Keep chugging along... and tell us more about your garden! You're only the second set of people I've known who have privately grown corn. My brown thumb and I are wildly jealous!

Jim said...

Sssssssmokin' good run. (Second one, that is) If you go any faster you'll burn up the roadside so much that all that corn will start to pop!

DaisyDuc said...

Sounds like the running continues nicely.

What was the Sunday race???