Sunday, July 20, 2008

Do as I say, not as I do

I like to think I am pretty good at advising people when it comes to running, biking etc. I am not a qualified coach by any means but I have a good sense of where people are at and what it will take to get them to their next goal. And always, always, I stress the golden rule of not increasing mileage too quickly and to take rest days, even when you are feeling good. In fact, expecially when you are feeling good. Before you start feeling bad. And I'm a big proponent of the 3-runs-a-week program, filling in the other sessions with cross-training - biking, swimming, yoga etc.

So how is it that I am sitting here on a Sunday night after another big week, including 5 runs, on less sleep than is healthy, and zero rest days?

Following some solid mid-week workouts, I biked 50 miles on Friday, ran 22 miles that night, slept 0 hours, attended a wedding Saturday evening, biked 50 miles this morning, and ran 5 this evening. Yes, you heard me, I ran this evening. Nothing other than plain stubborness. I had a goal of 60 miles for this week and having cut Afton a little shorter than planned I decided I was going to make up for it this evening. The title of the post is beginning to make sense isn't it?

I thought I had run 52 so far this week so I headed out this evening planning to run the mile to Lake Calhoun, do 2 laps, and head home. However, by the time I got to the lake I realized I had only run 51 (only!). The few working brain cells knew than my legs did not need to do 9 miles tonight. So I settled for one lap giving me 5 miles for a total of 56. Good enough. Of course, once I had decided to do the shorter length I upped the pace immediately and got a speed workout in instead. I know, this is the point at which you want to take me by the shoulders and shake some sense into me.

Not a good idea right now. I was back at Dr. Pete on Friday morning to review my spine and shoulder X-rays. As expected they revealed some misalignment at the very bottom and top of my spine, more severe at the top. Though severe is too severe a word to use, if you get my meaning. On a 'phase' scale of 0-4 I am around a 1.5. All in all, my body is in good shape considering all the stress I put it under. Still, I need to get it corrected now. So, while I have some reservations about chiropractic therapy, I am going to make full use of my decent health insurance with a 4 week program of 3 visits a week.

I am following one important piece of advice I like to share... treating my feet to an ice-bath as I sit on the sofa. And honestly, apart from my shoulder which is more of a chronic issue and not the result of the recent increase in activity, I feel great. So I guess I should take tomorrow off? Manyana, manyana.

Goal for this week (in addition to the 60+ miles - which will be helped by Voyageur!): get more SLEEP. I like to think I can function ok on 5 hours. And maybe I can, but I can't continue to perform at the level I want to without more shut-eye. Who do I think I am - the President? I was listening to a conversation on NPR recently about how little sleep Bill and others before him claim to have survived on. Don't worry, George gets a solid 8hrs. Which I expect is why the country is in such good shape. Sorry, I know, I'm not a citizen, I can't vote, I shouldn't comment. I'll shut up now.

Ok. Time to start on that goal. But before I go I had to look up the verse from Ecclesiastes that was
swirling around in my head as I circled Calhoun this evening. I am an impatient person. I wasn't always. But as I've gotten older I definitely have less tolerance for time wasting. This can be a good thing and certainly makes me a very productive person in my professional life. But life is not a straight road that gets you from A to B in the shortest possible time. It has a way of routing you down a few side roads, around the odd roundabout, up and down some hills, and every now and then it sends you the wrong way down a one-way street. Sort of like Mapquest on crack.

What started out as a rather crappy weekend on a personal level ended up being a very memorable one. For 3 years now, Afton has been my favourite place in the world to run and this weekend further cemented that. Follow that up with a beautiful wedding ceremony joining two people who believed that real love was worth waiting, and working, for. And end it with an afternoon on the lake with friends, in the glorious sunshine, trying something new... wakeboarding... and failing miserably but having a ton of fun in the process. The result is a weekend that reminded me how it's the people that surround us - in life, on the road or trail, at the table, on the other end of the phone several timezones away - that bring meaning to it all. And every now and then, having to turn around on a one-way street, while slightly embarassing, is not the worst thing in the world. Because everything happens for a reason, everything has it's time...

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
From The Holy Bible (King James Version)
Attributed to King Solomon

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to rend, and a time to sow;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war; and a time of peace.

Funny, no mention of a time to rest :)

end of post


keith said...

beautiful post, helen. sounds like your training is going smashingly well!


SteveQ said...

I can't for the life of me think of how "manyana" sounds with an Irish accent.

There is a time to gather stones (in ones shoes) and to cast away stones (in races, at those who pass).

nwgdc said...

Hi Helen! Thanks for the comment--I was envisioning a LOT of laps around the same loop if I were to train for 26.2 in Ireland.
Being a chiropractor, I am always happy to hear of other runners finding out about it. I'm sure "severe" may be an understatement, but stick out the treatment as often you won't "see" the immediate results some pills can provide with chiropractic, although the long term benefits are far greater!

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