Today was a great day. Yesterday's 15 mile aerobic run was pretty tough. I ran sore, specifically with some lower calf pain, but the knees and feet generally just felt a little weathered. Yesterday's 15 miles brought my week total to 50 still with Sunday to reach my goal of 60. But the soreness gave me some apprehension. Also, I'm reading Dr. Philip Maffetone's seminal piece on health and fitness, so his words regarding balance and stress made me think I ought to maybe take Sunday off. Was I over-training? Was I obsessing about the numbers? Exercise is not supposed to be this stressful or complicated. Perhaps I owed my body and mind a day off. Besides, my wife's parents were in town, so some good food and laughter were in store; that might have been a clincher.
Be that as it may, after yesterday's run I soaked in the ocean. It's pretty chilly right now (south west coast p.o.v.) so I thought that might aid in the mending. Then I stretched a ton and just kicked back all day, watched some NBA playoffs, read and ate some good food.
I started to feel better; and even though I still had some little aches (I'd just completed my first back to back 50 mile weeks) and was being sold a day-off via the Dr.'s words of wisdom, I left the door open. No expectations. Certainly no early wake-up, but I'd see what the next day (today) had to offer.
I felt great today when I awoke. The family had a nice breakfast in Pacific Beach and followed that up with a stroll along the boardwalk and some frolicking in the sand (I even got my feet into the tiny shore break). When we got home, the girls went shopping, the grandparents and my son took a nap and I just sat in front of the TV for about five minutes before I conceded that the day had indeed generously given me what I wanted - to run.
And this is where it gets a little ironic. I had skipped ahead in the book to the chapter on anaerobic training. In short, the Dr. simply says that once one has a good base, anaerobic work can be integrated so long as a balance is still maintained. Geez, I'm just interested in doing some, but nothing to threaten the balance as I ramp-up for May 17th. I've been running aerobically for close to three months now, so despite the notion that I still have a lot of work to do on my aerobic system, I can probably afford a few harder efforts. Last Sunday included some tempo on the trail. A pattern. This will be my schedule for the next few weeks. I might even do an anaerobic work-out mid-week, as well, but Sundays will definitely be a day to throw-down.
8 miles at Rancho Penasquitos Canyon. The run included about 1000ft. climbing, which was done during the harder sections of my work-out.
2 mi. warm-up - avg. HR 140
1.5 mi. hard - HR 173
1.5 mi. recover - HR 151
2 mi. hard - HR 169
1 mi. cool down - HR 151
This was tough considering what I'd done all week and how I felt yesterday! I went from maybe not running today to integrating some anaerobic work! You just never know! I think this kind of work-out at the end of such a week will build xtra strength and endurance. The body is amazing. I read about it all the time, but it's nice to see it for myself. And note that I only did 8 miles. Why not two more to make it 60 for the week? Because I didn't want to. And I feel fine.