a hectic week wrought havoc on the training schedule. entertaining out of town visitors and chaperoning an overnight field trip to Sacramento. we stayed in a fancy old victorian masion youth hostel. between being on my feet all day touring the capitol and a room assignment on the third floor(many trips up and down, my hips and buttocks were sore that night!) it was hardly a day off., less "real" training, bad food choices all conspired against me and yesterdays long run was probably the toughest physical and mental challenge i've faced yet.
i hit the trail just before 9 am....i've been doing this to simulate race day. my plan was to get to Sibley, see how i felt from there and than decide if proceeding further was an option. the morning cooleness was deceiving. i was dressed lightly on top and wore capri length tights. as i worked my way up the first long gradual hill. my feet felt a little weird on the trail...i hadn't been running on trails since last wednedsday and my feet cringed and balked at the rocky uneven terrain. it took me a while to find my footing.
no sooner do you arrive at the top of curran you briefly cross a flat section than continue climbing out of this section of the park up to the road...again another brief flat section than you start up again. i got about halfway and had to stop. i gued and hydrated than continued to walk up the next long steep section.
there is a distinct difference between walking, hiking and shuffling. i did a mixture of the 3. some sections were flat and cool allowing me to pick it up a bit but the truth is i never had any get up and go the entire run...more like relentless forward motion.
being more familiar with this route i expected to get there faster with less stopping to check the map, more walk breaks seemed to make a difference too, plus i added the curran section (i started from the road last time) and in fact it added only 23 minutes to my time.
this run was about sheer will. i didn't feel great and i knew that the previous weeks choices were coming back to haunt me. i had plenty of fluid and just took my time walking when i felt like it. pushing on when i could muster my legs to move a little quicker.
walking early on was a good move.
there's an especially long steep section, i'd say the last mile before you reach sibley (i was sans garmin, forgot it!). last time i walked most of it. but i was able to maintain a decent shuffle all the way to the top. i lingered at the rest area for about 10 minutes before heading back....going further on would not be an option today. a slow shuffle on hills requires alot more exertion...later i read that the shortened stride and faster cadence while hiking and (shuffling) builds leg strength. walking is about running economy. hiking and shuffling is about strengthening.
so far i was into the run 2 hours....i knew i'd need longer to get back. by now things were really warming up, though not as hot as last time i ran here (though based on the low grade fever i have today...i'm thinking that's why i felt so crummy) but warm enough to cause me to slow down significantly even on the down hills. like i said i just didn't feel great. i alternated hiking with shuffling and gued twice on the 2.5 hour trip back to my car.
tingling and numbness
i've mentioned feelings of numbness and tingling in my arms before. i first thought it was due to under hydration, because my rings and skin often felt tight. over the last few months the sensation has grown more pronounced, that crappy massage therapist suggested it might be thoracic outlet syndrome, i'm not even going there...my symptoms are similar but i'm not in constant pain and if i pay attention to posture and bodymechanics i'm hardly bothered by it. during a restbreak on the field trip i got the brilliant idea to do a cartwheel on the grass. OMG the shock reverberated through my arms and i being the pig headed fool that i am did it again just to be sure that the cartwheel was the trigger. again, PAIN. i was literally shocked and the weird sensation/pain did not subside until well into the next day.
other aches and pains
on the way back from sibley yesterday, i was irritable, hot, tired, and had to play mental games to make it back. i kept telling myself no matter how bad i felt now it was better than being at work. seems i've found a way to put unpleasant work scenarios to good use. i'm an occupational therapist and i spend alot of time in the bathroom with people...i'll spare you...i just focused on the fact that i was outdoors, choosing to take on this challenge and decided that while this run was in major suck mode it was better than the best day on the job. the last downhill stretch seemed to take foreverrrrr and everytime i saw hiker coming towards me i kept thinking "they look pretty fresh, this.is.almost.over. almost there, almost there!"
today i have a sore throat, a fever, a backache and the chills. i called off work and will work on wednesday instead. after i got home yesterday i hit the books and determined that the pain on the top of my right metatarsal is NOT a stress fracture. it's not red or swollen and it never seems to hurt when i'm running just when i walk at non training times, like when i woke up this morning, the pain is around a 4-5 just walking around the house...didn't hurt during yesterday's session at all. i think i'm lacing my shoes too tight. hiking hilly terrain is a great way to stregthen the cartilage and legs. i was wise to incorprate walk breaks early on, it's what got my butt through 14 weary miles in one piece.
so i'm officially in marathon training mode. base training is over. and now the focus is on uping my mileage and gradually introducing speedwork. on saturday i pulled off a 8.3 minute mile on the track a mile from my house. i looked over at a dad pushing a jog stoller and said "boy this sucks!" and he just blanked stared me...whatever...apparently it wasn't obvious that i was running fast. LOL
so what did i learn?
other stress factors and change in routine greatly effected my training this week.
it seems smarter to go longer on the roads, faster on the track and flatter trails and keep hills workouts shorter. i still have half the official race route to learn and need to base intensity on how i feel and how long it takes to recover. maybe it was foolish to work so hard yesterday, maybe it was foolish to count on prior training to get me by but then again.......maybe it wasn't. maybe i learned a few things by experience rather than just by reading about it. i tend to roll that way. the verdict is still out.