Friday, August 17, 2007

Monday Mad Dog Mojo

After Saturday's effort I took Sunday off, then skipped leg weights on Monday morning with the aim of leaving my legs as fresh as possible for a run that night. I desperately needed to have a good run and I needed to prove to myself that I could still do this.

I still wasn't terribly sure of myself when I met the squad that night. My legs still felt a bit sore from Saturday, and my confidence had taken a hit. However determination got me through. I knew as we ran up Dixon that I was feeling quite strong. My hunch that even a disastrous 90 minute run would up my endurance seemed to prove to be correct.

I took the Dixon Street steps at an easy pace, knowing that I would catch everyone on the Terrace downhill. Indeed, I was starting to catch up before we got to the top of the hill opposite Salamanca Terrace. By the time I got to Bowen Street only Sarah and Karen were ahead of me, although I couldn't see them anywhere.

Rose helped me out by pushing me on, sitting hard on my heels. Molesworth passed by without me even noticing, and at that point I really started to believe that I was running well. Down Tinakori, again with Rose at my heels. We matched each other step for step down Thorndon Quay. She overtook me when I walked the steps up to the stadium concourse, silently cursing the missed opportunity to take a rest break at the Quay lights.

Running along Thorndon Quay I experienced another of those little 'aha' moments. I was meditating on the mental state that is the good run, and thinking about those nights that I had barely even noticed the gorgeous evening around me. suddenly I felt like I was floating above my body, that my self was running in my mind. I had a sense that I had been letting my mind get bogged down in the weight and physicality of my body, and that I had allowed myself to suffer from the more painful aspects of running as a result.

I messed around with this concept for a few minutes, and discovered that I could shift my experiential run from my mind to my body, just by deciding how I wanted to 'feel'. I ended up settling somewhere between the two. Running in my mind was less painful, but also took a lot more mental energy to sustain, for obvious reasons. A part of me felt like apologising to Rose, as I could hear some of the others chatting away behind us. I'm not a talker when I run. I like having the others around me, but I usually need to focus all my energy on what I'm doing.

Onto the waterfront, now with Lisa, Trudi and some of the other speedier runners at my heels. No sign of Sarah or Karen. Still feeling good. We made it to Te Papa just on 40 minutes. I've gotten there faster, but doubling back on the concourse to take the ramp down to the waterfront added some extra distance. I waited for my energy levels to start to dive, but they remained steady. Finally I saw Karen ahead at Fisherman's Table heading down onto the beach. A minute or two later I was also running along the sand.

Rose had run ahead of me at the concourse and met up with Felicity as we neared Fisherman's Table. I overtook them again as we headed back to the gym. Mad dog had well and truly kicked in and I was enjoying still feeling good. I made it back to the gym in 57 minutes, then ran around the block for a total of 60, sprinting the last couple of hundred metres.

So I was thrilled with Monday's run. I followed that up with a Balance on Tuesday, some more squats, box knee-raises and glute work after work, followed by RPM. My legs were feeling sore from Monday night, more sore than I'd expected. However I still felt good. At some point though I've aggravated my sacroiliac again. I can feel the familiar ache in my right hip and pinch in my glute.

With self-preservation in mind I was hoping for a shorter run on Wednesday. I got up and went to the gym before work. I had to force myself to get out of bed, and switched my alarm off at least a couple of times. Once I got there though I did the whole workout, as I always do. when I met the squad that night I was a bit tired, but not too bad, although my legs were definitely feeling it. So I was surprised by how well the evening went.

First, an easy 30 minute run out around the Bays and back. Once again I noted a general underlying strength, and my legs cooperating despite being tired. I sat somewhere near the front until we started heading up Majoribanks Street, then I allowed the younger of the squad to forge ahead.

We stopped at the bottom of Hawker street and then ran for three minutes up the hill, ran back down, then ran up again for two minutes. We were supposed to go as hard as we could up the hill, but with my hip and glute pain I wasn't terribly keen to push it that intensely. All the same, the Monastery arrived before I knew it. I remembered the last time Sarah and I had run this way, and the way that I had wanted to vomit by the time I got to the top. This time I felt that I could have kept going.

I pushed it a little harder the second time, and when I got to the end of the second minute I considered continuing to the top again. However I saw Sarah coming back down the hill and decided to follow. when we got to the bottom and Duck tricked us into thinking we had to run up again for another minute I was ready to go and had my watch set within a few seconds.

I wore off that enthusiasm by racing Karen back down Courtney to Xtreme. I was fully sprinting by the time we got back. It felt fantastic! I wish I felt that way the next day though. Duck put me through a fairly intense and fun workout involving 20kg power bags, lengths of the gym my arms extended upwards, and stepping up and down off a box step. Stepping up and down off the box was particularly scary, as I fought the instinctual feeling that 20kg was about to drop on my head. Some low, low walking lunges, more box step leg raises, some core work, and I was reasonably confident I was going to hurt at some point.

I spent the rest of the day at home and had to eventually email Sarah to get her permission to skip my last homework run. I was gutted to have to do this, because outside the weather was perfect. However with my hip issues, tight Archilles and sore heel (I think my shoes are dying rapidly) I was wary about pushing my body. In the end I settled for a 20 minute walk to the Brooklyn shops, then 20 minutes back again.

Today my glutes are indeed feeling yesterday's session with Duck. My hip's a bit better and my ankle's almost right again. I'm cautiously optimistic about my 90 minute run in the morning. I'm planning to head out from home for a change, running down Happy Valley and around the Southern Coast to Lyall Bay. From there I'll decide whether I want to climb through Newtown and back home again. The idea of Brooklyn Hill or Farnham Street at the end of the run doesn't do much for me, so I may end up walking the last stretch, or finishing up in town and bussing home.

I still need to work out how to help my legs recover better. I seem to just be naturally tight. I may need to follow up on those supplements I was writing about a while back, as much as it pains me to admit it. I wish I was one of those people who can run and run and never feel a thing. I guess we all have to work with what we are given.

1 comment:

Kate said...

I love running round the south coast. Hope it goes well- it's a great day for it.

I often stop part way up my hill, buy a drink from the dairy and cool down the rest of the way. Finishing on a hard uphill all the time just isn't fun!