Week 22, 2012

A week that broke me :)

Monday off, then Tuesday traditionally interval training on the track with Jan. Last week it was 20x300m, now it was time for 10x600m with acceleration for the last 200m. Numbers look good as I was going 3 second faster per km than last week (on longer intervals) with the same average HR -- yet another tiny step to better form. On Wednesday I felt pretty beat tough and only went to the gym in the evening.

Thursday was supposed to be a big day. I planned a 60K run from Hoorn all the way down to Amsterdam and even took a day off at work to facilitate that. I figured that it'll be difficult to find so much time on the weekend, plus with the Amersfoort half-marathon looming around the corner this variant would give me more time for recovery before the race. The weather was not on my side as it was cloudy and raining a bit. I also (still) felt very tired but figured that will go away after a proper warm-up.

It didn't. I got to Hoorn, did the warm-up and still felt as if I was run over by a truck. My legs were hurting from accumulated effect of the training over the last weeks, my body was hurting from gym the day before (as I stopped going there regularly) and some funny muscles around the hips, that I had no clue I even had, were hurting me from all the jumping that Jan made us do on Tuesday. The idea of jumping on the train and heading back to Amsterdam was very tempting. But then I thought what the heck, if I want to run ultramarathons I cannot just give up at the slightest problem; it has to hurt sometimes! And so I set off.

The first 15K were actually going pretty well. I was keeping a good pace and once I set into the running mode my body was kind of cooperating. Around 15K I did my first break and that's where problems started. I was running in an almost constant drizzle and was just in my shorts and a short sleeve t-shirt, so for the break I had to put my spare long sleeved shirt not to cool off too much. The rain was keeping at it, so when I set off again I decided to keep it on. Taking off again was very difficult but again after a while I settled into the rhythm and it was not too bad.

However, when I was closing on 20K I realized that this will not work in the long run, so to speak. I was totally wet, getting cold and without spare clothes. There was no chance I could run another 40K in the rain in this state; at least not without some consequences. So I decided to give up. Not an easy decision, let me tell you, even though it was not a race.

I was close to Edam and that meant I still had to run ~13K to the nearest train station. But once I made the decision about giving up I was done for. I started jogging and shortly afterwards I would even walk for long stretches. I made it to the station tired, soaked and cold. One of the worst trainings I ever had. But instead of looking it at as a failure I decided to try to learn some lessons. And there are at least three to be learned:

  • Plan. If it's raining and you're going for a long run: check the weather, get good raining gear; thinking that it will stop eventually is... well, stupid.
  • Be realistic. Running >40K cannot be taken too lightly. Listen to your body. If you're super tired and still stick to the plan of running 60K that's... well, yeah, stupid.
  • Recovery is super important.

I have a big problem, especially with the last point. Anyhow, this Thursday training broke me. Afterwards a combination of: tiredness, shitty weather and some other factors resulted in me not doing any more trainings that week. Three days of no activity at all. Wow. It's been a while. I hope to be back in full swing next week, though. It may be difficult to combine that with Amersfoort half-marathon on Sunday, but I hope to treat it as part of the training and not an all-out race (I'd be happy with 1:33, I guess). We'll see...

One tiny looking change in the interface this week: you will see small globe icons next to most running trainings. Actually the change is not so tiny (pretty much a result of last 4 weeks of work), but to realize that you'll need to hover with your mouse over this icon. More to come!

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