Back on Track.

I apologize for the lack of posting. The new job, and other “real life” (whatever that is!) responsibilities overwhelmed me to the point that even basic tasks like blogging and laundry were moved to the back seat. But I am hopeful that with some better self-organization and discipline I will be on to better blogging days and cleaner clothes.

Last we chatted I had completed a 50k and was feeling oh-so-fantastic, so fantastic in fact that I felt one day off of running would be plenty of rest before I resumed my 60mpw average and ramped up my speed work.

Clearly, that was a mistake.

My second mistake was adding cycling to the athletic mix in a manner that was neither gradual nor well-planned. According to Heather-logic I figured that if running a lot was good, and riding was good, then riding and running would REALLY good. And of course I figured t that I was fit enough to handle both in large quantities. So in addition to a daily bike commute to the new job, I started putting in some real rides on the weekend. First there was a  30 mile jaunt. Then a 40 mile ride. And then, oh hell let’s just go for it, my first 50 mile ride. And that went so well I was like, “OK, I bet I could ride to Multnomah Falls” So I did. By myself.  So wiith the help of Tri-Berry Nuun and a Snicker bar I arrived back at my doorstep 78 miles later, proud, starving and and extremely exhausted.

My third mistake was ignoring all the classic warning signs: I started to feel irritable. I experienced heavy legs and swollen feet. I was sleeping poorly. All my runs felt totally awful – the long runs were slow. The fast runs were slow. The hill runs were slow, slow, slow. It was awful. But I kept running because I kept hoping that somehow I’d just run out of it. I figured I’d wake up one day and that run would be the seminal run – you know – the run that just made all the other nasty, slow runs worth it. But of course, that never happened. My training just suffered and my running got worse. And possibly worst of all, my outlook on running took a nose dive.  I felt guilty for being such a “bad” runner. I felt sad about being “slow” and I was worried that I wouldn’t snap out of it.

Then two weeks ago everything fell apart. On Saturday morning I rode 40 miles. Awesome, right? Then I took a nap. Fantastic, yes? Then I decided I needed a 10-mile run. Why not? So off I went. After 2.75 miles things started to feel a little funny.  My legs went wobbly. My mouth flooded with saliva and my head went woozy. I slowed down. Then I stopped. Then I doubled up. Clearly, this run was not going well. The faint feeling eventually subsided and I managed to get in 7 miles before capitulating. It took another 10 days and 70 miles to figure out the obvious: I was over trained.

So, I took the last 7 days off. No running. Not even a mile. I supplemented with bike riding, chocolate and red wine. I can only hope that the time off did the trick and this week will be the start of a new era in my running career. It better be because I have another 50k coming up in less than a month.


About heatherdaniel

I'm a runner, writer, eater and traveler.
This entry was posted in health, running, trail running and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Back on Track.

  1. Ana-Maria says:

    I think it is really hard for determined athletes (and I include myself in that category) to allow themeselves to belive that they are overtraining. You described the process really well. I am glad you are taking the week off, and resting a bit more. I am sure you’ll get back your running groove shortly! Take care of you, Ana-Maria

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