Sunday, August 9, 2009

Dancing with Pain (and his little brother Fatigue)

Pain is necessary to sustain life. Without it we wouldn't learn a lesson from touching a hot stove - we'd just think it was weird that our skin was smoking and turning black. Without pain we might try to run on a torn ACL (who would do such a thing?). Lots of athletes are "tough guys" when it comes to pain - they say things like "pain purifies" (direct quote from my high school coach). I don't go quite that far - but, I do think that most endurance athletes have a slightly different relationship with pain than the average person.

Actually using the word "pain" is probably a slight overstatement for most workouts or races. I would say I feel "discomfort" from running, but it's not like a burning poker is being shoved in my ocular cavity. As runners we have to respect "pain", and yet at the same time ignore it to a certain degree. Even if we try to push out pain it surfaces in our running form - which leads to over compensation injuries. So, we try to be both sensitive to pain and above pain. It's an odd dance.

Sometimes even more daunting is understanding how to deal with fatigue. On Thursday I was feeling like taking a nap instead of running a tempo workout. On my warmup I was thinking way too much about how tired I felt - the result? I ended up running too hard - in fact I ended up running most of my mile splits faster than what I ran for a 10k today. I should be running tempo splits at about 10 mile to half-marathon pace.

So what do I do about it? I've still got 8 weeks before the Army 10 miler - so, how do I give my self the best chance to perform on October 4th? Right now - I think I'm probably pushing myself a little hard. Not that I don't expect to feel some aches and pains at this point in my training - but, I want to trust my "coach" (Jack Daniels' book). And according to him - I need to dial back the intensity on most of my workouts.

Last Week
Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday afternoon: 10 miles 1200 3:54 1100 3:33 1000 3:12 900 2:52 800 2:33 700 2:10 600 1:52 500 1:30 400 1:10.3 300 50.4 200 32.5 3X100
Wednesday: 11 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday afternoon: 10.5 miles 2mi easy 3mi (5:22.2+5:27.3+5:29.1 = 16:18.6) 3 min rest 2mi (5:19.9+5:19.9=10:39.8) 2 min rest 1mi (5:07.8) 2.5 mi easy
Friday: 9.5 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 11 miles Harris Teeter 10k 33:17 (5:29.8; 5:22.8; 5:33.1; 5:20.6; 5:11.0; 5:09.4; 1:10.2)
Total: 74 miles

This Week
Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday morning: 4 miles
Tuesday afternoon: 10 miles 16X400
Wednesday: 10 miles
Thursday morning: 4 miles
Thursday afternoon: 12 miles 8X1 mi @ T pace 1 min rest
Friday: 8 miles
Saturday: 12 miles 10k dewey beach
Sunday: 20 miles
Total: 90 miles

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