Friday, January 29, 2010

The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

Blog Illustration
What it has been like all January.

Last Saturday's run was another big jump for me mileage wise. Jon Gunderson and I had planned on 25 miles but we ended up with 32 and this was all trail, all wet and muddy goodness after the recent rains. At our original turnaround point for the 25 we made the decision to keep on going for 30+. It took awhile and Jon had to wait for me many times since it was my first run this year over 20 miles let alone 30. The next day I felt as strong as a horse and got in another 12 miles which gave me a total of 74-75 for the week. A lot of miles in a short time since returning to running after a December break, fastest time I've returned to the 30-mile long run. So it was no surprise to me that after taking my usual Monday day off I couldn't get back into the groove of training. I was like a car that wouldn't start because the batteries have been left on all night. Should have seen me Tuesday, pushed myself out the door for a 6 mile run, got as far as 30 feet and came right back home. Felt guilty, put my shoes back on, got as far as a block this time before returning home. After two days rest I felt fine on Wednesday but during track practice that evening I felt spent, not a lot of speed and what I did achieve I worked too hard for. Yesterday's 6 mile run was the worst miles I've run in a long time and that includes the last 6 miles of long races! Today's run was fine though and I should recover by next week, taking the strength training workouts off the table this week will help.

Regardless this has been a pretty spectacular if unsafe month. Unsafe in that I'm piling on the mileage too fast. What was I thinking? I was thinking - "how fast can I pile on the mileage?" I'll be fine, no major damage done and soon my body will catch up and once it does I'll be smarter and nicer.

Enjoy the pictures from our run last Saturday. These were off the camera in our phones. Not spectacular photos but not terrible either. Don't tell John but my phone takes better pictures, shhhh.

Some Sun further north.

Heading to Pantoll Ranger Station.

Jon on Coastal Trail, headed to Muir Beach.

Lots of water on the trail because of the recent storm. Photo Courtesy of Jon Gunderson.

More water on the trails. Photo Courtesy of Jon Gunderson.


  1. Very nice pics! It's good to hear that you are at least able to get back into training. I've felt like crap too (still struggling with injury), and trying to crosstrain/weight lift to supplement. Do you think the strength training has something to do with the fatigue?

    Good luck with training, and be nice to those legs! Maybe I'll see you in some races, if I ever get well enough.


  2. 人因夢想而偉大,要堅持自己的理想哦!........................................

  3. The third week is...arduous. It tests the will, for sure. It reminds me of just how hard running can be. Accumulative, accreted fatigue settles in my legs and forces me to ease into every run with the utmost effort. If that last sentence appears contradictory, that's because it is. In the third week, running is contradictory; the perceived effort is fairly uniformly high, but the achieved pace does not correlate. Every run is slow.

    Thankfully, all that is required (as if this were somehow trivial) is some good old-fashioned stick-to-it-iveness and a hopeful eye to the future, knowing that the drudgery will eventually pay off. This past week was the beginning of the pay-off. Not every day felt good. In fact, most runs still felt pretty bad. But, from time to time I could detect a glimmer of solid, dependable energy (not the fleeting, somewhat fake energy of the second week) through the murkiness of fatigue.
    ABove is some fitting words from Krupicka's latest post...perfect for what u been going through :-)

    Good work Bro, keep it going!

  4. That sure is a steep ramp, listen to your body is all I can say!

  5. Way to ramp it back up, Rick. I'm on the same path, but not quite as far along yet.

  6. Must be nice you can head out for 25 and accidently end up doing 32 and be alright with it. Nice to see you again. ;)

  7. Cynthia: When I started reincorporating strength training and new strength training exercises in my regimen my running suffered until my body was able to adapt. For example the first couple of weeks I started doing lunges with a medicine ball my hamstrings would be toast during the week and still sore during the weekends. These days I can run comfortably the day after hard strength training workouts but I cut them out this week just to help my body recover faster. I'm on board with the whole strength training thing and this year more than any other year I will try to do it year round instead of only during the winter when I'm not racing. I feel the difference and it's partly the reason why I was able to get away with piling up the mileage so quickly. I may not have been running in December but I've made an earnest effort to do the upper and lower body exercises and some of the core workouts. I also found the exercises that was less dependent on machines to be even better, more free weights, more core work, more fun with balance boards, bosu balls, lunges and plyometric type of work, etc. I sought the help of a trainer in my gym. I hired her for a few sessions and she showed me a whole bunch of exercises that is now a part of my regular gym repertoire. By the way I hate the gym but for the love of running I am doing my best to get it done.

  8. Wow...great stuff...but you let Gundy talk into a 30 plus run...and felt it the rest of the'll come back stronger though...but smarter? well see...;-)

  9. I like your graphic at the top of the post! That is really funny! Awesome pictures as well. A couple of those look like you are in some remote tropical jungle!

    All the best with your training, Rick!

  10. So much for easing back into the schedule! But it must be nice to know that you can whip out a 30+ miler like that. : )

  11. It looked like you two had a blast. I am rather curious. What is the hydration pack you two were wearing? They look the same from the pictures.

    With so much experience and wisdom after all those years of running, you'd be fine.

  12. Hey Jon,

    They are Nathan Packs. I like them because of their pockets in the front, perfect for a camera, cell phone or extra gels.

    If you don't already have them there, you should soon. They are also quite comfortable. I just wish they made them in a dark gray, the light gray/white gets dirty easy.

  13. Thanks Rick. I've heard that strength training is important for preventing injuries, and I suspect that's true. In the long run (no pun intended!) it probably helps even if there's more fatigue initially.

  14. From dialuxtrainor whose comment I accidentally deleted instead of publishing.

    "Hi Rick,
    I am sorry but I already took the liberty of using your pic on my blog post. I've been googling for days to find a perfect pic to match my post and fortunately you got it. Hope its ok with you. Anyway, post is found here:"