Saturday, July 07, 2007

Rained out!!

Speaking of deferring, I'm deferring my long run to tomorrow as Cullen park was a wash this morning. I met the Striders at around 6:30 at Patterson and we set out. Of course the pod was out of sight real soon as I did my thing. I hit a couple of puddles early on and my shoes were soaked. It only got worse. At the first water fountain, I quit trying to tip-toe and just ran through the ankle deep water. Reminded me a lot of Space City last year. :) While I was getting a drink, I saw the pod emerge from the trees. "That was a quick 10 miles," I thought. They said the creek a little further down the trail was impassible and the command decision was to regroup tomorrow morning at Terry Hershey.

It really turned out well for me since my ankle was hurting yesterday and I missed my planned 5 miler. So, I ended up with 3.3 today and will still get in my 8-miler tomorrow. The ankle felt great and I did a good 1.5 of the 3.3 at MP effort. Just a little pickup of pace heading back to the barn.

Total distance - 3.3 miles
Venue - Cullen Park
Mile 1 - 14:54 (with a mosquito swarming potty break)
Mile 2 - 14:30
Mile 3 - 13:43
.3 - 3:56 (13:02 pace)
Average pace - 14:16

There was a cozy contingent of Striders that made it out. Steeeve, K, Jim, Andrew, and super new Strider, Katie. I was a little worried when the breakfast destination was announced as Southern Maid Donuts. Fortunately, my friends looked out for me and made sure I didn't wonder too far off. And, fortunately, there was fruit!!! Whoopee. I had a banana and a plain bagel so no harm done.

The question has come up of whether a runner (take me for instance) is slacking or taking the easy way out or somehow coasting by training 4 days per week instead of 5. Well, I guess I have one question. If 5 is better, why not 6 days a week? Why not just train every day? Guess that's two questions. Training IMHO is all about gaining fitness, obviously. At a macro-level, it's about getting faster, running further and for me, getting thinner. And a physiological level, it's about stressing your energy systems, sometimes aerobic, sometimes anaerobic, and then adapting to that stress by increasing mitochondria, capillary density, stroke volume, and enzyme efficiency. The same applies to the musculoskeletal system. You stress your bones, ligaments, tendons, an muscles and they adapt by growing back stronger than they were pre-exercise. These adaptations DO NOT take place when you are training. They take place when you recover and when you rest. From the perspective of gaining fitness, the actual run is only the stressor. Gains in fitness are made when you rest after the stress. And, if the stress is too great and you turn right around and introduce more stress before you have recovered, you end up just stressing and stressing and running yourself down and you don't optimize you fitness gains.

Bottom line...I currently weigh ~300 lbs. The amount of stress I put on my body when I run is exponentially greater than what a young, trim 115 lb woman puts on her body. There's training hard and then there's training hard and smart. 4 days or 5 days? It's not an issue of taking the easy way out or not wanting to nail NY. It's a matter of being smart and thoughtful in my training and training hard AND smart.

By the way, this post was by no means intended to shut anybody up. Quite the opposite. Please, please. All of your comments are welcome and this is a beneficial discussion, especially for this noob who is still in kindergarten when it comes to this running thing.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, the water and bugs at Cullen this morning were nasty. BTW, I've had several emails from folks who got turned around on Hwy 6 by the accident, far more than got through.

Your observations on run vs. rest are spot on. Each of us walks the tight rope - train, but do not overtrain. No one-size-fits-all rules other than you have to be squarely in tune with your own body and be willing to make adjustments along the way.


barbara said...

Hey Vic! Who says you have to do just one or the other? Most weeks I train 4. With the weather the past few weeks (not to mention my ankle), I've run when I could. This week that meant I actually ran 6 days.

Did that get me anything extra? No. They were all short miles. Just getting back into the groove.

And if your ankle is hurting and you run 4 when you should've run 3 anyway, isn't that actually worse? Do what's best for you in terms of fitness - not only from the big picture perspective...but every week - every day.

J~Mom said...

I agree that we need the rest. We HAVE to have the rest!

Pony and Petey said...

Really cool perspective! I ran TWO days this week!! Something's going on with my body where it's needing lots of rest and sleep and I don't have normal energy for even doing simple housework, much less running on top of it.

But...I still feel terribly guilty = ( Your post has helped me to feel better. My body demanded extra rest and it got it! Maybe I'll run better this week because of it!

L*I*S*A said...

I completely agree on the rest part. I think many people overdo it, and then they pay the price with injuries. It's a fine line between training and overtraining. Seems like you have found the sweet spot.