so we ran about 60 miles in the last 7 days. pretty tough stuff for us. runs of 12,12,3,13,18...
but today is off. :-)
never did this before. pretty gassed now. sure beats being sick though.
very strangely the hardest run of them all was the 3 mile one. did that on thursday, and i spent the entire time out of breath. which you would think would be impossible. but maybe it was all in my head. running for 30 minutes thinking crap crap crap - i have over 30 miles to go in the next two days. but we are trying to get ready for Goofy as you guys all know. so we figure if we can do 30 while already pretty beat down then 40 after a week off should be pretty doable.
we have been running down here in Gulf Shores Alabama. the temps were pretty brutal, it plummeted into the high 50s for one of the runs. makes me shiver just thinking about it. so the first run, the 3 mile one was just out to the road and back. but my legs felt like logs and i was totally out of breath. after all just a few days earlier we did back to back 12 mile runs and it wouldnt be too unusual for me to feel tired. but i feared mightily for the next two days.
the next day we did the 13 mile run. we had our niece drive us into town which is 13.2 miles away. along the route every 3 miles we left some drinkies. i also brought along a cliff bar and a shot block. the shot blocks are pretty easy on my stomach. i think i could eat one of them every mile and get a lot of the calories i need that way. its easy to stuff them in your cheek like they are a wad of chewing tobaco. we also ran with sheila, resa's sister. she used to run marathons and about a year ago when we decided to try ironman canada she said she wanted to get back in shape too. so she is a bit out of shape but remembers what its like to run the long distances. the we let her do the pace making as she is the slowest at the moment. the first mile we ran at 13 mins a mile, the second mile at 12, then 11 then 10 then 9, faster and faster. after that we were pretty much back at 12 minute miles as everyone was pretty dead. i would say resa had by far the best day. sheila only planned on running 10 and she did that. i give myself a 7 on the run. was pretty strong for the first 10 miles but dragged in the last 3.
also i tried something new during the run. for the marathon in the fall we did a lot of long runs. but i was going from a non-runner to a marathon in about 5 months. and it was pretty tough. but my biggest regret was that i didnt try more things out during the long runs. the short runs dont have much to try out be cause you are not really in the hurting zone. what food to eat during one of those gruelling never ending 3 mile runs??? so during the marathon i was thinking i was going to try a lot more experiments during my next set of long runs. if it doesnt work then i dont have to ever think about it again. if it works then better and better.
some of the things we have tried involve recovery. here are the things i have noticed helping me after a long run:
1 - eat protein. a lot of it. and right after the run. either a heavy protein shake, or a bunch of cottage cheese. usually i am eating that while still breathing hard. we run to the car after the trail on a 12 miler and get the door open and the food in our mouths within about 20 seconds of finishing.
2 - chill the legs. either the garden hose, the bathtub filled with water as cold as it can get or a pond or pool in the fall. we stand in the water for about 10-15 minutes while eating. you really notice the chill getting in. but then you go pretty numb.
3 - drink drink drink over the next 20 hours. including in the middle of the night. get up to pee, drink a glass, sleep 2 hours and repeat. this really helps.
4 - advil. what to say? advil.
5 - massage / stretch. do the self massage thing on your legs and the dumb runners stretch while watching tv or a movie or just in bed before you go to sleep. takes about 15 minutes. not too sure on how much this helps. i feel it does, but its not an immediate thing like the others seem to be. seems worth it though.
6 - walk a half mile about 5 hours after the run. read this somewhere. like you have a clog of crap in your muscles and the 10 minute walk will be like blowing your nose. it blows out the junk in your legs. not sure if thats what happens but it sure keeps you from being tight, which is painful for me especially after sleeping. so we try to do this. we do it about 1/2 of the time. worth the effort i feel.
and so, during our 13 mile run i decided to try something new. i dont drink caffeine, at all. i eat the occasional chocolate - about once a month but otherwise none at all. about 15 years ago i nearly died from it. spent about 8 hours in the hospital with docs 3 rows deep around me running about 5 machines and pumping drugs into me. they said i should have died. but... heh. just lucky. so i dont like caffeine obviously. and its abit scary as you would imagine drinking it. just the thought of drinking a coffee or a can of pop gives me pretty creepy scared feelings. soooo.... watching football last weekend there is an add for 5 Hour Energy. its soooo good for you!!! it has only natural things in it. it has apples and all sorts of stuff that is good for you. plus a bunch of caffeine. but its good caffeine and doesnt give you the shakes. ok.
also many years ago i read a study on caffeine and running. if you drink coffee or soda you are pretty much screwed, your body is already used to it and you really have to drink like 10 cups before a race to get much help from it. however, if you don't ever drink caffeine then the occasional jolt of it is huge. they did tests and people who tried running with it when they were not used to it got tons of personal bests. it was staggeringly big improvement. and i filed that away as i dont drink it ever. someday i would try drinking a soda before a race. i did do that and felt really nasty about 10 years ago. shakes and headache and panic and it just sucked. so never again i thought.
but on TV they say its the best, no shakes just fun times. so. i bought one on while in line at the checkout.
when they were putting together the bomb in the 40s the scientists put radioactive material close together to measure how much radiation was given off. they called this tickling the dragons tail. some guys died doing this. you had to get it just right, close but not too close.
so the 13 mile run comes and i am feeling nasty about the 3 mile run the day before. and i think well, might as well try something on a long run. so i pop the top on the little happy bottle of death and take a swig. i drank about 1/10th the bottle. probably a gulp of coke worth of caffeine. which is what most people use to wash down a french fry. not much. but i am right away all paranoid and waiting for my heart to stop.
we do the 13 miles and about mile 10 i am gassed. dragged the last three in and we go through the post race recovery stuff. we also get new running shoes.
next morning and my left knee is sore. which never happens. i have 2 leg braces, alternating use on my right messed up knee. i put one on each leg for the first time ever. also the 90% full bottle of 5 Hour Energy is still sitting there. i grab it and drink down half the motherscratcher.
tickle the dragons tail.
well, today is an out and back for 18 and i am pretty tired already. the new shoes are on their first ever run and the double knee brace and go-go juice is running through me.
had a great run. great.
the stuff i think gave me a boost. it lasted about till mile 16-17 when i finally crashed. resa was about the same way - she was done at mile 16ish also but we pushed to 17 and then had a one mile cool down. about mile 14ish we found some people stuck in the sand and spent 20 minutes straining and pushing their truck back to the road. this for sure caused us the loss of the last mile or two - but it was kinda fun too. we jumped into the swimming pool to chill our legs. and i was pretty darn happy. :-)
so the double knee thing may be permanent, might get a few more of those for the long runs. my knee felt great after the run, both did. was really nice. had a sore spot on my right foot from the new shoes but they are better than the old ones. might be i would have got that sore spot regardless of what shoes i wore. the left foot felt much better in the new shoes so they are keepers. might try the whole bottle the next time i run over 15 miles. heh! thats in like 6 days!
couple of days off and then back at it...