Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running Through the Storm

For the last two days, a storm has settled over the Washington area. With it has come troughs of rain, chilly winds, and the general gloomy pall that seems to accompany consecutive gray days. However, with no thunder booming or lightning crackling, I've seen no reason to stay inside, or God forbid, pound on the hamster wheel known as the treadmill.

So, after throwing back a few extra vitamin c chewables, I pulled on my waterproof jacket and headed out on the roads of my neighborhood. Last night the program called for a recovery run, and while I wanted to take the day off, I couldn't afford to and still get all my miles in this week. Rather than making it a 7-miler, I took it down to 5 and finished with 4x(3x30m) on a medium incline hill. Blinking back the rain, I felt the badness from my legs get flushed away and my legs return to normalcy....believing in that recovery run.

Actually, I've really come to enjoy this basic aerobic runs. While every run has a purpose, this one is simply to go out and run...doesn't matter how fast, and I feel better, looser, and stronger when it's over. It doesn't hurt that I feel pretty hard core going out there in the rain. Right? I mean don't we all (a little bit) feel bad ass after heading out into the rain after, before, during work and answer that fateful exchange: "What did you do last night?"
"Well, I ran and then..."
"Wait, you ran?"
"Yeah...what? Oh, I mean it's just a little water."

But there are other storms out there. Tonight was night two of the rain storm that doesn't seem to be going anywhere until Thursday. That wasn't the issue, though. Tonight was about forging through the lactic acid storm that raged in my legs and at times felt like a hurricane. I wondered if the three consecutive days of running would eventually catch up with me. I'd had some IT-band tightness going on, which brought on a rigorous healing regime last night of stretching, foam roller, icing, bio-freeze, and "the stick" before bed. Over the top? Perhaps. But I felt great this morning. That is until I set out on my second interval tonight.

I haven't been going to the track for these workouts lately, partly because the Flint Hill Football team hates me, partly because I've been getting out of work late, and partly because I've heard how incredibly hilly Boston is (beyond heartbreak). Therefore, I've been running my intervals on the hills around my neighborhood. Tonight called for 6x1000m. The odd intervals featured more downhill than uphill. The evens the opposite.

I. Suffered. On. The. Evens.

I got about 400m in and felt the lactic acid swirling in my legs and locking up the muscles. I envisioned vines wrapping around my calves and hamstrings, tightening their grip and slowing me down. With every stride, I tried to imagine those vines ripping, but just couldn't make it happen. The rain picked up but I had retreated into myself to try and take cover from the storm raging on the inside.

Everything flowed on the odd numbers and it became a matter of finding a rhythm on those even ones. I kept trying to focus on my turnover, churning my feet and repeating the cycle. I turned the corner to head back to the house and hit that uphill each time, and each time it me back...harder. I was able to keep each rep within four seconds of the last but I paid for it each time. On that last set, weathering that storm one more time, all I could think about was that well-deserved day off tomorrow to get ready for Thursday's Turkey Trot. I'm hoping by then the storm will have passed.

Does any weather stop you from getting out there? How do you weather the storms during your training runs?

1 comment:

  1. So, is it bad that I'm a wimp and choose the bike trainer instead? Indoors in front of our big TV?


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