Sunday, August 19, 2012

Week's weak start, strong finish

On Tuesday I was exhausted. I had been going to bed by 9 pm, and getting up at 6:30 am (super late for me). But I was having energy issues just walking up the stairs to my office. And these energy issues had been going on for a while (see pvs blog). I slumped down into my office chair and dialed the doctor. I had a physical scheduled for September, but I moved it up to ASAP. So on Thursday I had my blood taken and then I peed in a cup, so that lab work could be completed in time for my appointment next Wednesday.

Against the advice of my friend, Marisa, I did small runs and rides the rest of the week. I felt bad during and after each one. I was (and still am) worried about thyroid, anemia, etc...

Then on Friday, things changed a bit for the better. I did a three miler in the a.m. I didn't do it fast, but it felt automatic. That is, I felt as though I could go more and more.

Saturday arrived and I decided to hit the trail at the river. Intellectually, it seemed to be pushing things, but physically I felt fine. I knocked out the loop with no problem. I took it easy the rest of the day.

Today I awoke and hit the trails again. I was doing a pace faster than I have done in months. I passed a group of three runners who had started ten minutes ahead of me. I then passed a guy who was running at the pace I normally do when I'm doing the trails. I ended doing the full loop in about 8 and low change per mile - faster than I normally train.

When I completed the run, I felt so good that I pulled my bike from the back f my Element, put on a helmet, clips, and shorts, and took off to do another circuit on the velo.

I'm keeping my doctor's appointment for the week. I want to know what was/is wrong. But I do feel as though I've emerged from a dark place with a bit more strength.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Coleen's Sweaty Ass Run

I haven't been feeling it lately. Whatever it is,it has departed. Very likely, the added daily biking routine, added without any extra supplementation has knocked some breathing, recovery, energy, etc out of my legs. I've been examining it for the past week or so. Yesterday, prior to heading out for Coleen's, I even had a conversation with a neighbor about how I just didn't feel up to the long run yesterday. I had risen at 7 (and hour and a half later than normal), had gone back to bed at 9 a.m, awakened at 11 a.m., had gone back to bed at 2 p.m., awakened at 3:30 p.m., and had finally gotten out the door to drive to the run around 4:45p p.m.

It was too bad that I felt that way. I had been planning to do 30 miles at the run for months. But from the get go, every lap felt tiring. I was exhausted and spent. I felt like I normally do after running a lap at the river, yet I had just begun. My stomach was upset. I felt nauseous for much of the evening.

After 15 miles, I thought about another lap to make 18, or another to make 21. But I felt as though I would possibly be doing damage if I did either. So, reluctantly, I bailed. I didn't mention to friends at the run about the distance I had planned to do. In some ways the run was disappointing. In other ways, however, it was rewarding. I got to run a couple of laps with Jay 'Blazing Hawk,' who was training for the Hawk 100 mile race. I also got to run for a bit with my friend, Indi, and also my new friend Rikki. It is always great to see the irrepressible Coleen as well.

The biggest reward I got out of the run, however, was simply knocking out 15 miles. I have never run that type of distance when I felt so bad at the outset. At the start of each lap, I just steeled myself to try to go forward and simply did it. As night fell and the temperatures dropped dramatically, I had a couple of 1/2 mile stretches where autopilot turned on and I just floated along in the dark. But I was feeling foot pain, knee pain, and stomach aches by then, and it became increasingly hard to push it all away.

On the drive home, I passed a sign on K-10 that informed me Lawrence was 12 miles away. As I drove that 12 miles, I thought about just how long that distance is. I had run farther than that in the course of the evening. I needed to chill-out, get some rest, and live to crank out 30 another day.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Beautiful run this a.m. It is nice and cool. Last night I actually slept with the windows open.

Over the weekend I had two very difficult runs on the River Trails. Both days I bailed and only did right at 7.5 miles. I just seemed to lack energy/enthusiasm and had a little difficulty breathing. On Sunday's run I stopped about midway. I didn't walk or anything. I just stopped, stood still, and listened and looked at the nature around me. In my mind, I spoke to myself and said this is why I run. I just needed to remind myself that it is OK to feel shitty some days. Don't over think the run. Just do the run at a pace that works at that moment. And, as soon as I had internalized the message, the run got much better. It was still hard, and I didn't find the flow or auto pilot that I normally try to find. But I was somewhat back on track.

This week is short runs Tues-Thurs, followed by Coleen's on Sat. I'm throwing in a lot of biking each day as well. It doesn't seem to affect the runs.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

29 - 3 = what I got

I followed my buddy, Eric, on a mountain bike ride on the river trails the other day. People who know me know that I used to be obsessed with biking. I biked around France, biked across Kansas more than a few times. Did North Dakota. I also used to take long rides every weekend. Then one day I stopped. I remember coming home one day after a road ride with some buddies. We had had a pretty close call with a jerk-off driving a pickup pulling a huge, rusty old trailer. When I got home, I decided that it just wasn't worth it anymore. Road cycling was just too dangerous.

So for the past few years, I only take my road bike out on paved trails and backstreets. I mainly ride an older mountain bike around town (sometimes a folding bike I own as well). But I steer clear of main arteries and 2-lane highways.

I love to run the river trails. And, sometimes when I'm done with the run, I'll pull out my Cannondale MB 400 and ride the reverse of what I just ran. On my weekly day off of running, I also have a tendency to hit the trails par velo.

My old Cannondale has 26" rims. The other day when Eric joined me, his new 2-wheeled whip had 29" rims. I am going to sound a bit like a rapper, but where rims are concerned, bigger is better. Every time Eric barely accelerated, I immediately fell behind and could not catch up. And he wasn't even trying to lose me. He kept stopping and waiting for me - which was slightly humiliating.

Well, Eric (who some of you know as Banjo Hawk) headed to Scottsdale for the rest of the week and left his new Specialized bike with me. I took it out yesterday afternoon (I ran in the a.m.) and knocked over a minute a mile off of my best time. And that included stopping twice: once to watch a flock of wild turkeys, and once to talk to the tame deer that I always see out there.

I may have to drop some green on a new 2-wheeled trail machine. I own 4 bikes at the moment (down from 5). I want to encourage sustainability. But I needs me some 29s. What a world one problem!?!

So, here's the plan: If I do get a new ride, I will donate one of my other bikes to someone who really needs one. Last week I gave a super nice camera to a high school class that needed one. I hadn't been using it enough, and thought why not? I felt better for having done it, and have not missed the camera at all. Actually, maybe I'll just donate a bike whether or not I go blow cash on a new one. Well, I'm going to end this blog right here - no more speculation, no more blathering.