Monday, September 17, 2007

The Butt is a Fickle Fickle Thing

Just when I thought I was a broken mess and saw all my weeks of hard training and the marathon I was hoping for flash before my eyes, my butt just needed a gear shift to untie its very tight knot. I had the day off of work on Friday: a personal holiday for a girl who needed one. I headed out to a nice park on the other side of town to get in a CV workout. I was worried about it all week, what with the super ouchy tight butt thing and all. I was worried about it also because it was to be 2 1000 meter reps longer than any previous CV workout and some of those previous and significantly shorter workouts were pretty tough to get through even when nothing in particular was hurty.

Anyway, I arrived at the park with the idea to run the workout on a mile-ish loop of the bridle path using the GPS. However, when I tried to power it up it wouldn't go. Oopsy. Someone (um, that would be me) didn't charge it. So, I decided to just do everything by time and effort instead. Since my CV pace is 3:57 for 1000 meters I did 4:00 reps instead. I started my warm-up and checked out the loop. It seemed nice enough. After that I headed to the main 3+ mile bridle path section for the rest of my 5 mile warm-up. I ended up liking it there better so once my 5 miles was up I started the workout and just did it out and back on the main bridle path. Once I started running hard my butt initially tightened up but then relaxed more and more as the workout went on. I had no problem completing the 8 x 4:00 with 1:00 recovery jogs. I felt great really! It was a refreshing change of pace to be focused on maintaining effort for time rather than focusing on meeting split targets. I probably even ran the workout faster out there. I worked hard to keep the pace up and to push the last 90 seconds or so, just like I'd push the last 1/4 mile on the track. I finished up with strides and a cool down for 14.25 miles and I felt better than I had all week! And this carried through and I had a great 20+ mile wave workout yesterday.

I guess the point of all this is is that a runner's body is a fickle thing. As is a common theme on Tuscaloosarunner's blog, It is so hard to tell where the line between disciplined and smart training ends and overtraining and moronitude begins. I was worried that with the marathon so close now that I am so focused on getting there that I can't make good decisions about backing off when I need to. If anything I am probably lucky that the butt thing turned out to be not that big of a deal. I did work very hard to diligently coddle the muscle with stretching and tennis ball massage. I am still going to see my ART guy tonight to just double check and maybe see if we can hasten the complete loosening up a bit (it's still a bit tight). But, it is funny to me that just when I think my body has abandoned me, it hooks me up in a big way.


Joseph P. Wood said...

Well, moronitude and toughness often bleed together. I read how Shorter spent an entire training cycle icing his hip every day for an hour or so. He kept putting in his 150 mile weeks and ran something like a 2:10 at the end of it. God knows how much pain the man endured to actually toe the starting line, but his performance spoke for itself.

And there's the thing: at the end of the day, logic was a secondary thing. He probably *should've* backed off; he's lucky he didn't wind up w/ some kind of femoral neck SFX.

Per your butt (sorry, couldn't resist), I think it can't hurt to get it stretched out, but it sounds like you're being proactive, even if you're getting into taper-nut mode. Honestly, it's at these points where a good coach is really helpful--an objective eye to cut through a runner's emotional BS. I've have given thought to looking for one, but the $$$ isn't cheap...

Jim said...

Just got caught up with your blog, Salty. First, excellent job in the half. You kicked butt! (Which probably explains why your butt was so achey. Hmmm.) When is your marathon? Looking forward to vicariously running it with you.

GP said...

It is so hard to tell where the disciplined, smart training ends and overtraining and moronitude begins!

I was pretty much in tears Sunday wondering whether my nagging calf was going to bench me for the Akron Half. All that training!

But then it loosened and warmed. And then it nagged again today. Good luck with your butt.