slobbering dog = me

No, i wasn’t clobbered by a big slobbering dog today at the track: I was the slobbering dog.

Skipped the track yesterday cause work had me at the office till too late… if I had gone I would have been running in the dark, which I don’t want to do…

So, I decided to head to the track today right after work. I was a little unsure of how the workout was going to go: a full 3 days from the longest run ever… and well, I have to say that it went only ‘okay’.

I had the track to myself, which was very nice, and it was quite chilly when I got to the track. I had on shorts and a tshirt, but the sun was about eye level and going down. I think perhaps my muscles weren’t quite warm enough, and I should have worn more layers and shed them as I warmed up. Lesson learned.

I did the 15 minute warm up like always for these accelerations and then transitioned in the ‘speed play’… I am trying not to think of speed as actual speed, but instead just getting bigger and longer. The accelerations today, that I sort of set for myself were supposed to be (ideally) 6×800 m with 200 m jog breaks. Within each of the 800s I was to run one lap in gear two, and then begin thinking about getting longer and leaning more, but not really starting to speed up until the last 300 m. I think it was a good intention, but my heart wasn’t in it today.

I got through three of the accelerations, and was going to stop after 4 (and do 6 next week) but I got a hitch in my front right rib/upper abdominal muscle that was absolutely debilitating. I managed to finish the last acceleration and tried to jog it out, but I had to stop and walk. I admit I even shed a few tears of frustration as I walked with my arms over my head trying to breathe OUT as much as possible and relax. I was so irritated that I couldn’t even finish a shortened version of my intended workout, that my muscles seemed cold and unwilling to cooperate, and then being plagued with a yell-inducing wrench of muscle. Like I said, my heart just wasn’t in it, my head was in other places, and so I stopped with the accelerations and finished the workout with a 15 min run in gear 2.

Amazingly, my wrenching muscle subsided so that I could run the last laps with some normalcy. I actually felt really good. I could tell that my quads were stretching a bit and that I had probably tweaked them because a) I wasn’t warm when I started and b) I wasn’t body sensing my maximum capacity, but I finished the last 15 even though I wanted to stop short of it. I took some time to stretch out at the track and then got in the car and went home. Did a leg drain when I got here, but knew right away that my right quad was too far gone to prevent soreness.

A few observations:

When I started I was going in gear 1 to warm up. I was trying to pay attention to keeping my head down, chin up, ankles up, knees down. I experimented a bit with what it felt like to push my legs/ankles behind my body VS letting them just float up. I could tell immediately when I visualized them floating that I got into a more circular motion. I was really trying for a mid foot strike, and I think I need another video analysis to see where I am because although I wasn’t really hurting today at all, it just felt a bit off to begin with.

I realized after my 1st acceleration, while I was in jog-mode, that the slobbering dog syndrome seems to always happen when I am at the track (and has created a less-than-savory opinion of track workouts unfortunately). I know that the idea of the workouts is to get my body to be able to sustain form at a faster speeds for longer times. But I don’t really care about that right now. I might when I get whooped in Houston by Richard, my running cohort, who’s in his early 60′s, but today, I did’t care about speed. I just wanted to enjoy the running. Anyway, enough of my whining, but it was a good realization today that I am actually enjoying running! I just like to run at my own pace, as dictated by what my body tells me, rather than what is on the running menu.

All that said, I had my trusty metronome with me today and was practicing staying at a certain cadence. When I was warming up, it was right around 89, which is pretty high for me, cause I’m on the taller side… as I got into the run a little more, my cadence dropped to around 87 and stayed there, even through the accelerations, and even at the end after my little breakdown. This is a very good sign, folks. A Very Good Sign. That means, that even after fatigue, speed, slowing, etc, my body was still able to maintain form and turnover quickly enough. Maybe the high circular ankle visualization helped?

To anyone who has suffered from side aches: I feel for you. I also am desperate for a solution. I don’t get them every time I run, but often enough, that I need to figure out what is going on. Danny told me that often right side cramps that are above the belly and behind the ribs are likely your liver sac getting jostled around. This jostling is created by jumping-bean kind of running, so try to smooth out your motion to prevent a lot of up and down. If you want, you can take your right hand, and find the tender spot in your upper ribs where the liver sac attaches, and massage it. That usually works. If any of you has any other suggestions or solutions, please let me know!

Scale: 6. Need to stretch, need to keep my muscles warm before and after the workout, need to really probably do workouts at the track with Danny or someone.


Posted in Gear, Technique

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