Runners often make mistakes even though you know better. As a kid you learn don't stick forks in light sockets and you don't lick outdoor metal in the winter--mistakes you only make once and know not to do it again. As a runner, I know certain things I should do and shouldn't do. It's amazing when I continue to do things I know I shouldn't do...is it some alpha male Darwin award thing? (That's a rhetorical question.)
There are some things in life that shouldn't be overdone--for some reason I have a visual of a Thanksgiving turkey overcooked. Something that you spend a lot of time preparing, but if overdone, it's not worth serving to the dog. Overdone in running can be done in a single run, a single week, a given marathon training plan, or over a year (don't run four marathons in ten months like I did--not smart nor recommended.) I violated two of the three this week. Despite "knowing better" I knowingly or inadvertently mixed in three challenging runs in one week which culminated in today's long run.
If you read my previous blog on hill training (Pay me Now or Pay me Later,) you know that I tackled the "bluffs" in Lone Tree on Tuesday this week. Not exactly Vail Pass, but probably a blue square/black diamond hill. Eight miles on this hill run with a "climb" of 763 feet at a sub eight minute mile with a Zone 2-3 heart rate "put some hair on my chest." Wednesday was a rest/recovery day and I followed Dr.'s orders. Thursday I took a ride up to Boulder to visit my running PT (and guru) Mark Plaatjes.
Apparently motivated by his mere presence along with the aura of Boulder's mystique as one of our country's running mecca's I came out flying in my Thursday afternoon tempo run with the tempo miles of my five mile run hovering seven minute mile pace. It felt great not just because of the pace, but where my heart rate was and how effortless the pace felt. I proclaimed on my DailyMile log that day that the run was almost better than sex.
Friday was a rest day which I again followed the plan, but at this point, I had two tough runs already this week. According to my Vo2Max Dr., two max'ed out HR runs in one week is sufficient. Call it pre-game jitters, or nerves around a new job I was starting on Monday, I did not sleep well at all Friday night after getting to bed at eleven.
For those keeping score at home, going against me was;
I was sick a week ago on antibiotics.
I already pushed my body enough this training week (or was it "weak?")
And bad judgement on today's long run.
Saturday's long run was a 7/6/1. Seven miles at a comfortable pace, six miles at goal pace, and one mile of recovery. Part of my issue is that I'm a "tweener" at this point feeling I can run a 3:15 pace, but my running group has a 3:10 and 3:20 pace group. 3:20 is too "comfortable" for me so I've moved up to the 3:10 group the last three weeks. I knew right away that if I was a cell phone, I was running on one battery square. Fueled by the superior runners, I ran the first seven "warm-up" miles way too fast; 7:30-7:40 pace on the outbound seven miles with a Zone 2 Heart Rate. The return six miles were at a brisk 7:03-7:24 pace with a Zone 3 (<152hr.) WAYYY too fast for my long run, but at least my heart rate wasn't too far "out of whack." Many lessons learned this week...mainly, don't overdo it.
An apparel footnote to my run; CW-X compression tights have a drawstring. SKINS have an elastic waistband. Run a few miles in CW-X tights without tying the waist strings and you get runner's crack. Live and learn.