A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn....

It's gonna get harder before it gets easier. But it will get better, you just gotta make it through the hard stuff first.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Lethargy and slow recovery.

Whether it's a 50k through the muck, a loss of overall endurance in the long 9 months of short bursts of running and long staying indoors, the time change past weekend, a sudden (as it always seem to be) coming of our humid summer, my thyroid acting out again, or who knows what, but I had been lethargic for the most of the week. Probably the combination of all of the above. Bear in mind, I, surprisingly, wasn't sore at all the following hours and days, I was just feeling lethargic. I can't believe I used to pop a 50k, a 50M on consecutive weekends, then a long Gorge run, and in-between never stop putting quality workouts. Now, the marathon took a full week to feel normal, and so does this past race. I ran, or rather shuffled, this week a few times, and it was an effort every time. With the time shift, we are able to get on trails now during a week from time to time, and Larry and I took an opportunity on both Monday (when I manage to lock us out and we had to break a door) and Thursday to go to our old apartment complex and run Ken's loop variations (and Stephen hung out at the pool and a hot tub with his old friends). The temperatures are up in the air, and it moist and sticky already, a reminder why I actually don't plan to live here for the rest of my life. Something we long to forget when a season "something else" stays here during winter months...

I shuffled through one road run too, and went to the gym and Bikram, but in general, I was just drained and tired and crashing hard at noon, practically driving around with my eyes shut closed. Didn't help that I am still off coffee and that Stephen had a spring break, what meant I dragged him to various appointments (doctor for the camp form, dentist for cleaning, oral surgeon for consult twice and to schedule a thing to do, skate park, friend's house,  whatever thing so he feels entertained...) and still put in a full work week. By Friday I was toast and begging for the soul search, so I slept in (6 am, baby!) and instead of heading to work, waited till the sunrise and ran the River Place trail (The Staircase). Ran would be an overshot, as I mostly hiked every up-stairs and painfully struggled to maintain something running-related the rest of the way, but it was wonderful for the heart and the mind. The live felt much better, and I squeezed my work into a few hours to leave early and get a haircut! I was getting tired to have my hair all frizzy and messed-up and practically dead, and needed a change. Humidity didn't help either, so I was with a hair-do on Friday night...the night before the long run, sure:)

Doing 15 miles this morning in my condition wasn't the smartest idea, but I am full of stupid decisions, and Larry was out for the 27M trek around Georgetown lake, so I went to Barton creek. Thank God I didn't press that silly "start" button! I ran pathetically slow, but I ran, looking around, talking to bikers, meeting a guy from Oregon (he wore "Hood to Coast" shirt, and I stopped him and we chatted, and he lives in Tigard where I used to be, and he ran my PCT50!!!), talking to HCTR grizzly Jim Baltazar, having some chatting with Meghan Hailey...and eating pumpkin pie for calories that I made the night before and sucking on a soy sauce packet I picked up for salt! Yes, I am like that, when it comes to training runs that are not important, I just get out and hope for the best. Unlike Larry, who prepares for his long runs (and medium runs) like he is leaving the house for good on a cross-Arctic expedition. My clothes were soaked wet and disgusting, and I was in great need of food and salt, but I had enough water - and plenty of time to shuffle back to the car.

On the medical front, I think my foot will never be the same. It hasn't gotten worse, although there are days (or times) when it feels pretty bad, but overall I am able to work through things. At the same time it's not getting any better and feels structurally misaligned completely. My right quad got something pulled in there (lateral head) and it hurts and also doesn't hold me knee well anymore, so the knee hurts, and today the shin began to pain too. I am an old and horrible mess. I bet it's time to crosstrain for a couple of days and visit my stationary bike - and a book that I didn't finish reading while riding it ever since I jumped back into running.

That's all not to say that I am complaining by any means. I am simply sharing thoughts in my mind. I am adjusting my own life and running to the new ways of how it behaves. As we all get a little older, we need to treat our bodies a little different. May be while I kept doing those training/racing combo non-stop, I was tricking my body into thinking it still can, but once a long break came in (even if not planned and even if I did plenty of other things), it remembered that it is, indeed, not 30's anymore. And I need to take it into the account to make sure I keep doing what I love for a very long time.

Today Stephen has a skating event, and we are going to check out plants for the yard (I am used there only for purpose of beauty opinion as I have no green thumb and will kill anything, but Larry, on another hand, is crazy good with this stuff). Tomorrow is my CE class for LMT, and this should give me a much needed rest (otherwise I'd jump back on trails, I missed them so much).

And last, but not least, I can't not to show off my latest product - my newly knitted top made of organic cotton, soft and breezy.
The hair, though, is the "before" the one above. See the difference?
p.s. the cake story has been completely resolved, as the "cake guy" had emailed me with a story repeating one of my friend and we kissed and made up. In the future, though, if you'd like me to treat you better at Cactus Rose or any other races I own an aid station at, please bring a Shepard pie instead!

15 comments:

  1. "Arctic expedition"? Really??? Didn't matter, anyway, since I bonked like a mofo around mile 19 and spent a few miles (actually, 6 of them...) trying to revive myself with way too many caffeinated gels.

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    1. I proud of you making this run though, bonking or not! Looks like you're out for another in sequence!

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  2. You deserve to have an off week ever now and then. This week was the same for me, and a reminder that my body was saying time for an easy week. It has also been in the 80s (already) with humidity, which was another reminder of how much it sucks to acclimate to the heat. On the other hand, it will pay dividends for those summer races. I just can't run as hard in the heat.

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    1. I agree, Thomas, not every day or every week is great, and I say the same to my friends when they have one of saggy ones. I really need to apply the rule of rest and cycling to myself:) I just feel that I missed out on so much - running and training - that this week wasn't thinking wisely. And yes, the heat and humidity comes as a big cloud and it takes time to acclimate, indeed. Nobody expects folks to be feeling great when they come to 10k peaks on the first day, right?

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  3. Lethargy happens. I hope your foot does get better. At least it isn't worse though.

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  4. Great job of knitting! Looks nice.
    I don't like hearing about a sore foot - that's my department.
    Your 'down' weeks are like my 'up' weeks. It ain't the age, it's the mileage.

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    1. What mileage? I got no mileage! Just time on my feet...err, one foot:)

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  5. I like that you tell it like it is Olga! You deserve a break every now and again. But it's hard not to push along no matter what (as I did this weekend!) I think you're in the 2 steps forward, one step back stage of recovery and you'll just keep getting better. Don't give up hope. I don't think you're "messed up" for good! :-) Moderation can be a good thing.

    P.s. I like your hair best when it was super short..but I think you look great!

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    1. I was going for short, but my men requested at least some length and a pony tail:)

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  6. Oh Olga, I can totally feel where you are at! It's hard to come to the conclusion that we need to change our approach to doing what we love as we change with the times. At it's even harder to committ to making the changes. I don't think my leg will ever be the same and sometimes I feel frsutrated and sometimes I feel just plain lucky to still be active in the ways I am active. I do hope you get some relief with your foot so you are not in constant pain......I feel for you! Take good care of yourself and I love your knit shirt!
    ps. We did set the date for our wedding! 9/16!

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    1. I love your date! It's only 3 days off our date:)
      You take acre of YOUR leg and thanks, Allison!

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  7. I spent the last few months feeling pretty lethargic, with some niggling injuries, and it is soooooo frustrating. Sounds like you were smart to take some time to rest (although you are still pretty busy! :). Love the sweater! What CAN'T you do Olga? :)

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  8. You don't know me but I would like to say how much I enjoy reading your blog. This latest post post struck a chord with me and I thought I'd make a comment. I'm a 42 year old male and I'm training for my first ultra which is a 100k from London to Brighton (in the UK of course). I love being out on the trails and in the hills but my biggest problem lately is getting out of the house. A general feeling of lethargy has hit my training and although I'm clocking 40 miles a week there is a general feeling I'm not doing enough with only 62 days to the race. Anyway - keep up the posts, your honesty is genuinely inspiring.

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    1. Thanks, Doc, for your kind words. I hope the feeling you have now is fleeting and is due to the fact that you actually put a good training in for your upcoming race! But as I often say, I love being out there, but getting up at 5 am and out the door every morning wears on regular folks with jobs and family. It is difficult to do, yet we keep trying. May be if more people tried a little harder without expecting the easy way (or a simple pill - hint, I read some of your blog), many things would have changed.

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  9. Great job, this blog is just as awesome as I have expected. I enjoy this blog so much. Have you tried using GPS running watch? Check out www.runningwatchreview.com, you will be amazed with the reviews of this watches and you would love to buy one for yourself. This website will help you decide what fits your taste.

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