run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Things were going awesome. I was feeling on top of my game. My mileage was inching up higher and higher, I was disciplined and motivated. Everything was perfect. Little did I know there was a storm brewing...

Apparently, while all this awesomeness was going on, my legs and feet were in talks about unionizing. You know how it starts.... the right foot starts to get a little tired and cranky and decides to start yapping about it, so the right leg hears about it and before you know it, the bad vibes have spread to the left side like poison ivy and they're wanting in on the action, too. They're having clandestine talks about what they think they deserve and how to get it. It quietly builds up until they come up with the perfect plan to bring me down. They pick their moment and as a united front... they go on strike.

Just like that. No warning... no attempted talks with me first, they just up and go on strike. When do they choose to do this? Three minutes into my scheduled 17 miler on Sunday. That's right... within 3 minutes of my long run my legs and feet had quit on me. Putting one foot in front of the other became the most exhausting thing I could ever imagine. I felt like I was treading water with cinder blocks attached to my feet. Did I consider quitting? You bet your ass, I did. When I came to the fork in the road, where I could chose to take a shortcut back to my car and only get about 6 miles in, I came VERY close to giving in and crying uncle. But, I was stubborn. I'll be damned if I'll be bullied like this. I was pissed that my legs and feet would do this to me, and instead of giving into their strike by bagging my run, I decided that I'd show them who was boss and continued on to finish my long run, even if I had to crawl the last few miles, I was getting it done. That's right, you wanna play hard ball? Ohhh... I can play some hard ball. Bring it.

It was bad. My legs had never felt so fatigued and despite my best efforts to get the run over with as quickly as possible, I couldn't manage to go any faster than 11 minute miles. I ended up running 17.25 miles in 3:15. Yup. Slow as hell. Just more time on my feet... take that, bitches.

I had hoped that by Monday morning, the strike would be over. I was hoping that I had scared my legs and feet into submission by realizing that they couldn't control me. But... they were standing their ground and I was still standing mine. I put up with the slow run and the achy legs yet again.

But, this morning... I broke. I gave in and decided to hear my legs and feet out. They aired their grievances and I did a little bitching of my own and after 10 miles worth of negotiations, I think we finally reached an agreement.

The terms agreed upon are as follows:

*This week will be a step back week. I will take tomorrow off, as well as my usual Friday rest day and in return my legs will be fresh and ready to school some bitches at my 10 mile race on Saturday.
*I will go back to employing the ice bath after every distance more than 16 miles. I've had 3 runs so far that would qualify for an ice bath under those conditions, but have yet to take an ice bath. My bad.
*I will buy new shoes within a week and will possibly buy two pairs at once to alternate between. My latest pair hit the 500 mile mark last week. Again, my bad.
*My legs and feet have agreed to a 2nd weekly two-a-day on Mondays. In exchange, I have to give up high heels one day a week.
*And lastly... My legs and feet will allow speedwork one morning a week, as long as I lay off the hills in consecutive long runs.

I think I can handle these terms. It behooves me for us all to live and work in harmony and I think we can now. I got 69 miles in last week, so I guess their bitching was warranted. They were overworked and underappreciated and I'm going to try to do better to take care of them from now on. Crisis now averted. For a little while, at least.


Chris said...

It's so important to listen to your body. I woke up this morning feeling more muscle fatigue than I typically do. [I can push through fatigue but have learned to know when it's best I take a rest.] I decided to not do my scheduled workout -- an easy one -- but still a workout.

Take care of those legs and feet! You need them!

Old Man and mid pack runner said...

new shoes, good.

ice bath, great.

excellent post, damn just when everything is going so well, always seems to happen that way, huh?

heres to a minor set back, I want to hear about the bears in the marathon

Melanie said...

I think that sounds like an excellent plan of action! I hate ice baths, but I love how they help... so I've been using them as part of my regular post-long run routine lately.

J said...

Your legs and feet must be screaming for a break after a 69 mile week!! I am sure though that the new shoes will help. My shoes usually break after about 300 miles and then my feet and knees start to hurt while running. not fun.

Grady said...

Listen to your body. You can only train as hard as you can recover. If you get too deep into overtraining, it can set you back several weeks... no joke.

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

Great post - love it. I am thinking your shoes have a lot to do with it. The shoe companies figured out a while ago that they didn't need to make the shoes to last 500 miles, "let's make them break down at 300 and that will create more revenue."
I am lucky to get 300-350 on my shoes.

I am also a BIG believer in the ice bath. Everyone, including my running friends, think I'm crazy, but I sure feel soooo much better when I get out.

Vandy-Montana said...

I need to do the ice baths as well.

I say you buy 4 pair of shoes...then you can rotate as many as I do. But, of course, Grizzly Bears don't care what kind or how many shoes you have.

Oh, and get some that won't ground you, I'd hate for a thunderstorm to get you.

Oh, and fire resistant as it may be likely there will be forest fires due to the stupid mountain pine beetles.

Oh, and they have to be tough so the rattlesnake fangs don't puncture the shoes.

StangLuvr said... I am on vacation and cant get my lazy, hung over ass out of bed to do 4 to 6 miles and YOU are complaining about 60+ miles a week. You are my new hero!!! I will stride to be half of what you are when I return from vacation!!!!