"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Anatomy of a bad run

After three good weeks of training, the wheels started to fall off. I'd been waiting for "the other shoe to drop" and knew it was just a matter of time.

Yesterday, I had quarter-mile repeats on my schedule. I didn't feel like doing them. In fact, getting out the door to run anything at all was a problem. The signs were there: stiffness, soreness, apathy.

The previous week had been a major improvement, but mostly from two hard runs done indoors. Tuesday's 10 miles were fine, Thursday's was difficult toward the end. I had planned a similar run outdoors on Saturday, but the weather was bad, so I moved it to Sunday (which wasn't nearly as nice of weather as predicted) and ended up cutting that one short. Two days after that, the sum of the runs was too much to run hard again.

I dropped the number of repeats I planned on doing, then moved the workout to a hill, so I could run slower and get the same benefit.

The hill was slick. A layer of ice, some patches of soft snow. I'd have to be careful on the downhills.

During the warm-up, it didn't feel right. This wasn't going to be a good day, but I didn't want to bail out of it completely by just running slow repeats for 90 minutes.

Last August, I was doing 10 repeats of the hill in 1:54-2:04 each, with 2.5 minutes downhill, heart rate peaking at 183.

First repeat yesterday, I started falling apart half-way up and ran 2:05. Not bad, but my chest felt tight and I worried I'd have my first asthma attack of the year. 2.5 minutes down. Second repeat in 2:13. Next 2:14. Then 2:11, 2:15, 2:16. Heart rate never got above 165, but I couldn't push any harder.

I was done. Started the cool-down and planned to finish with 8.5-9 miles in 90 minutes (still up and down the hill). Recovery miles were 10:30, 11:20, 11:41. Dead on my feet, I quit a mile early.

I went home and spent the day trying to convince myself that it wasn't a bad workout. Given the weather. Given the slippery terrain. Given the hard week before it.

Eventually, I came to accept that it was a bad workout. It happens. I just need to recover a bit and not let it turn into a bad week.


Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

You call this an anatomy of a bad run, yet you never once mention the run's n*ts@ck or penis.

Who taught you anatomy? joyRuN?

Colin said...

Bad workouts do happen, but I'm not so sure this was one. After the first repeat all your times were fairly close. And as you pointed out to me the other day (during my similar "bad workout") surface conditions definitely slow you down. Throw in the extra clothing we have to wear at this time of year, and it's no wonder you ran slower than this past August!

pensive pumpkin said...

thank you so much for this one. i am having a sore/apathetic day when i need to get out there. i needed to read this and stop procrastinating and just GO!

also- don't know if you do these, but i tagged you over at my blog. would love to hear your answers.


Anonymous said...

Time to shut 'er down for the year, Steve. Sorry.

joyRuN said...

No anal talk either when it sounds like this workout sucked ass for you. WTF?

I don't think this was a bad workout at all - cold weather + bronchospasm that you don't have to deal with in August.

The Triathlon Rx said...

I saw "anatomy" and I got all excited... I thought you were going to talk about congenital vertical talus or charcot foot or something.

Sounds like there were a lot of uncontrollable factors at play here. Controllable factors? You still went out and attempted it, which is 100x farther than anyone still sitting on the couch!

Karen said...

I too was expecting something far more disgusting. haha. Hope you have better runs soon!

SteveQ said...

I love when I know who the anonymous commenter is. Good one (and you can't have my bike.)

@Sperly: Somebody's been studying their podiatry!

As for the rest of you ass-clowns, do I really have to do a disgusting post? Has it been too long?

Keith said...

While you're at it, if you do this sort of thing, you can do the anatomy of 11 things. You've been tagged buddy. http://keithsodyssey.blogspot.com/2012/01/2x11-again.html

Don't forget to wash your hands afterward.