Have you ever made a bet or commitment that you regretted right away or had a hard time sticking to it? Such was the case mere moments after running last month's Boston Marathon. After running five marathons in 16 months (and realizing I'm not Dean Karnazes) and being told NOT to run Boston, I knew that my body needed rest. My running PT told me if I ignored her advice and still ran Boston, then I should take an entire month off from running.
After running the race with only one battery square, I committed to my family, I would not run for a month. Hide my shoes. Ignore all the spring marathon fever and runners running around my neighborhood. Like the clip below, I sounded uber confident, but started second-guessing the choice within moments...or as soon as the door was shut.
Was it the beer talking (quite possible,) or post marathon delirium? Here's my commitment to a marathon runner not running for a month. Is that like Charlie Sheen giving up booze and women? Both are addictions. You be the judge.
So how have I done? Two weeks and counting and no running. Cold turkey. Lame duck, or call me chicken, but I'm trying to stick to my plan.
Why such a radical layoff?
Three aspects are impacting this strategy; 1) low iron/anemia, 2) cpk enzyme, and 3) PT/running coach guidance. As for the iron, it's rare for men to have low iron, but my athletic blood work prior to Boston turned up a low iron count which I've been taking supplements for and doing my best to insert natural sources. Anemia equals low energy--not exactly something an endurance runner wants. My cpk enzyme (discussed in greater detail in my blog post; "Grounded") issue is best described by my Dr. as, "There are several muscle enzymes denoting muscle damage and CK (CPK) is probably the most representative and used..yours was for sure elevating denoting muscle damage." Trashed muscles mean they can't retain glycogen...again, very bad. Based on the above, my elite runner (and running physical therapist) recalled a similar stretch of marathons. Fundamentally, if you never let your body recover, you're constantly in a state of disrepair. All of this adds up to rest.
So other than gaining weight, what have I been up to? I took the first week off. Since then, I have done some moderate cardio work (non-impact) on the bike and eliptical combined with some core body and upper body strength work. Just as I stick to my marathon training plan, I'm focused on sticking to my recovery plan and meeting with a naturopathic medicine expert in Boulder this week. More to follow on that...
In the meantime, whatever I say, "don't open the door" and please hide my running shoes.