Monday, November 19, 2007

Cover Crop

Something just isn't right. My mileage is way down and I've been virtually crawling on my easy runs yet I am feeling less recovered as the days go on, not more. I am not injured, but my legs just feel generally tight, especially in my hips, butt, and hamstrings. I am still struggling most days to run what should be recovery pace. Somehow I've managed to have a couple of semi-decent workouts. Not blazing fast, mind you, but 6 2:59-3:03 800's seemed pretty easy one day.

Yesterday, my team put on a time trial as prep for club nationals. I have been seriously considering backing out of the whole thing, but then I think it's less than three weeks away now. I can suck it up and make it three weeks. It is an opportunity I likely won't have again, after all. But I'll tell you, this mental state does not play out well when running a time trial. Heh. Basically, I maintained a pace just fast enough not to come in last. In fact, I was hoping my teammate behind me would surge and motivate me to do something out there. Instead, I cruised to finish with an overall pace of 6:50 or so. Normally, that would be a mediocre tempo effort or even goal marathon pace. What's up with me?!

Shall I answer that? I know. I know. As mrp says, running, like corn-growing, goes in cycles. I am the field and my running is the corn crop. After growing a pretty decent crop this past summer, my field is depleted. It's time to plant the cover crop and replenish my soil to grow an even better crop next season. Even though when I was running 90 miles a week I felt pretty good, running 90 miles a week broke me down. I had the excitement of the marathon to distract me for a while. Then after that, I had the excitement of the wedding to distract me for a while. Now, all of a sudden I am beat. Shocking, truly! I have never trained that way before or more generally beaten my body down like that before. The extent of recovery my body and mind are demanding is not something I'm used to and it makes me feel wussy, weak, and kind of depressed.

I feel like I should put an * here and say that this is isolated to running. I am still over the moon about the wedding and my job is actually intellectually stimulating right now. Woohoo! I suppose that's the point of all this and the reason I share. Running is just part of my greater life. It's an important part, but just a part. I can't give 100% to all parts all the time. It's just not possible. And even when other parts of my life are great running might not be all sunshine and rainbows. I am learning to cope with this down-cycle thing and learning to adjust to the idea that I don't have what I'd like to give to this part of my life right now. So, doing the best with what I have to give is just going to have to be good enough for a while.


Quinto Sol said...

Some people call it 'marathon blues.' :-)

E-Speed said...

I'm sure once your body recovers you are going to bounce back even stronger! Looking forward to some easy recovery runs with you soon! Gotta keep those holiday pounds off this bod!

Mindi said...

I am going through a bit of the same thing. It is very weird. I have a race on Thanksgiving that I normally really look forward to and I am very blah about the whole thing. I ran a measly 8 yesterday very slow and my calves and hips were a littl etight today. WTF?

Carry on. Don't miss the nationals. It is a great opportunity and I bet you'll be glad you stuck with it as it edges closer. Just hunker down and kick @ss - I know you will.

Meghan said...

Aw man, Salty, this same thing happened to me last spring.

My mind was willing but my body just wouldn't. I stupidly wouldn't give up and kept trying to push it, and it finally gave out. It was a bad mistake to make. I not only had to do the recovery that my body originally needed, but then I had to recover from the stupid pushing.

You sound much smarter than me, though! I hope a little bit of active rest is just what you need!

Happy Thanksgiving!