Wednesday, June 02, 2010


So I'm a closet video gamer of the pathetic kind. I have a bunch of old games and a decrepit Sony Playstation 2 that is at least a decade old and looks like it could stop functioning at any time. My favorite game of all time though is Gran Turismo 4, a car racing game. The physics of the game is as real to life as they could make it - meaning that no matter how wonderful your vehicle is you have no business hitting turns too fast. Take one too fast and you will take your car right off the turn.

Well that is kind of where my running ended up a few weeks ago, off the track and into the wall.

Six days after the Miwok 100k I had taken it real easy and only went for a couple of short runs but that following Saturday I paced for 19 miles at a 50-mile race and it ended up breaking me. The next two weeks I struggled through lackluster workouts, fatigues, aches and pains, and no motivation. I went on a 20-mile run that felt like the last 20 miles of a 100-mile race and was just as slow. The first thing that came to my mind was over-training but it's not uncommon for me to race on back to back weekends and I didn't even do that much so I dismissed it. Nevertheless as a precaution I took a couple of days of rest and went easy on some of the workouts - no change. Next I suspected other causes like fatigue from my allergy medicine or low iron but when the mood swings started that was when I knew for sure it was over-training.

I stopped running right away and treated it like the flu; rest, fluids, good food and no exercise. Definitely not the kind of thing that I should be doing just a few weeks out of a 100-miler. After three days the desire to run came back, surprising because two days off of running earlier did nothing. Ran easy on the 4th day and have been running short stuff since. That was a week and a half ago and I haven't run longer than 90 minutes. Let's just say I'm having an extended and easier taper than I had planned. Tonight I was at track practice for the first time in two weeks and I performed well. I was able to hit my times, a great confidence builder. Now if I can just drop a couple of pounds!

One thing that is going well is my heat training. The last six days I was in Orlando, Florida because of a family emergency. It was quite warm and humid out there. In a way it was good that I couldn't run long because 60-90 minutes was about what I could take in that weather. My last run was 90 degrees with humidity and on the exposed sections of the bike path it got nice and hot. Before I flew out to Florida I also managed to get eight sessions in the steam room at the gym so I think I'm going to be okay in the heat department.

I am adjusting my goals for San Diego. Slipping up like that and then being away from my training grounds for a week cost me. With less than two weeks to go I can't really recover from those setbacks. It will be okay. I have what it takes to finish but I plan to be more realistic with my goals.


  1. It will be fun to see you next week.

    I would not stress about SD. You have the base to knock out a good one.

    I have not felt like running much at all the last couple of weeks. In fact I called it quits after 5 miles of a planned 20 yesterday. I just didn't feel like running.

    Good job on the heat training. I hate running in the heat.

  2. You know that I, of all the people, had always been a proponent of high mileage training. The last 3 months I am on a different approach and so far don't see a difference for the worse (even if it's questionable for the better as well). So, I wouldn't adjust those goals too far off:) See ya in a week!

  3. Ugh...glad to hear I'm not alone (although I'm for sure not overtrained). My body and mind have both been refusing to run for the past 2 weeks. I took 4 days off straight. And my FLAT 8 miler yesterday beat my body up like I had raced a hilly 50 miler.

    But Rick...can't wait to see you next weekend in SD! No doubt race day magic will happen again and you'll sub 20 this year!

  4. you have the same problem I do....full bore...all the time...and sometimes...the body knows best...good grace in SD

  5. Sucks to hear about not feeling it, but who knows, maybe you;ll suprise yourself. I'll be rooting for you!!

  6. You have a lot in the bank so you never know. You may just do better than you think! Good luck!

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Who knows the extended rest will do you good during the race.

    Good luck, sensei.

    (had to delete the first post due to wrong spelling :)