Monday, June 22, 2015

Taper tantrum

Thanks to Mike for the bridge photos
Possibly time travel is real because suddenly, Finger Lakes 50K is in 2 weeks and I'm not sure how that happened. I don't feel ready. But maybe I will never feel "ready" for anything. I've been on a year and a half long lucky streak of running, where I've felt good and remained injury free despite increased mileage, so here's hoping that trend continues. Ideally, indefinitely. I haven't been following a formal training plan, which could be a bad thing. We'll find out in a couple of weeks I guess. But I think, in running and in life, I fare better when I have a loose outline and then just go with the flow. For me, success is more a result of consistent effort and adaptability than planning or talent.

On Tuesday night, I had this moment of panic, a taper tantrum, if you will. We had been up late over the weekend, then did a hard strength workout at the gym on Monday and at Tuesday's run my legs felt like they were made of lead (mmmm....Pb). I can embrace the running on tired legs thing. It's great for conditioning the mind to be all, ok I can do this. I'm tired but I'm fine. I can still keep going. But I started to worry that maybe I was overtrained or undertrained or something wasn't quite right. Then, Thursday night, Pete and I ran the Tryon-Lucien Morin loop. I felt a little better, which is to say I felt about as tired as I normally do whenever I go up against my nemesis park. Saturday morning, I was back to feeling 100% during our 20 mile run. Granted, long slow distance is my jam, plus I love the River Chase course (it's on roads and flat trails which are way easier for me), but it was still a relief to feel some lightness in my limbs again.

Photo thanks to Ron
After the run, we went to Medved to pick up my race packet for the Medved 5K for ALS. I love going to Medved because of the awesome people who work there. Mort always asks me what my next off-road adventure is and this time he joked "You know this is a road race, right?" I don't usually run 5Ks or road races anymore, but I will do one or two a year for good causes. Plus it's a way of tricking my body into doing some speed work. When I woke up Sunday morning, I debated going on a slow recovery run or taking a rest day instead, but I decided that I wanted to run the race. I warmed up for 2 miles, then figured I would just aim for a comfortably hard pace throughout the race. My time wasn't great but I don't care about that. I was happy that I felt good and my legs still had some pickup in them after the previous day's long run. I'm not into the data aspect of running at all. I don't care about pace or times. My main goals are to enjoy running and to be able to run until I die (hopefully a non-running related death). So I'm trying to get better at listening to my body and running by feel, a process that would be much easier if my body would just learn to speak in English instead of in unintelligible aches and pains.

This is the part where I should just relax. The hay is in the barn. Or something. I don't know. I'm not a farmer. But hey, there now exists a picture of me running with Spiderman. So there's that.

Lyric of the moment: "With eternal love, the stars above. All there is and ever was. I want it all, I want it all. A blade of grass, a grain of sand. The moonlit sea, to hold your hand. I want it all, I want it all..." ~Metric "The Shade"

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