Every 4th week I back off of the long run distance, the speed work, and the mileage in general. This would typically be the week to back off. It gives me a chance to let my body recover, my head to get screwed on straight, and it postpones burnout. The issue that I have with this week is timing of the next race. It is a 30K (18.6 mile) off road race in Austin Texas on June 1. (I will detail this in a later blog.) So my hope was to go hard for four straight weeks and recover the 5th week, leaving one week before the race.
So this Saturday, May 17, I get up and have predetermined to go 20 miles. The problem: my throat hurt, my head hurt, my body was not revved up like it usually is for a long run. But when your up as 4:30 A.M. might as well try to run, get the blood flowing and who knows...things may begin to click. So off I go.
Mile 1 is always brutal and stiff. Mile 2 tends to begin to find the rhythm and by mile 3 all cylinders are typical firing. This morning is not typical. By mile 3, I am now sweating profusely, my legs are now beginning to ache and by mile 4 I am wondering if I can make it home. At mile 5 my body says, "Dude, I'm cashing in the chips; I'm DONE!" I go home. Mentally this messes with me. There is always pain involved somewhere in the long run, usually at the end...not at mile 5. I always question whether I am wimping out or being smart. Ten years ago I would have finished the run and for the next 2 weeks battle either a sickness, an injury or both. Good call to let it go...go recover.
So on Sunday, I am ready for an easy 6 miles or so. It's up to 90 degrees in the afternoon and I'm loving the warm weather. I train by myself and sometimes this gets to be monotonious. The next door neighbors' kids are back from college and they play varsity soccer for a Division I school, Penn State. They are great people and my family has come to really appreciate them as awesome neighbors. To stay fit, the oldest likes to run and so I invite them on the Sunday easy afternoon jog. It will be great to break the monotony. She kicked my butt! Yeah, Allie Daus can run. We ran out about 2.5 miles. I kept up with her pace the first 2.5 miles and on the way back I told her that if she didn't slow down she would be calling an ambulance. Come to find out she was offered a track scholarship out of high school and that she won state in the 400 meters. I'm not 21 anymore. She was humble enough to slow down. When we got to the turn off for home, she mentioned that she was going further down the road. Thank goodness...I could bring myself out the anaerobic state that I had been in for the past 15 minutes...breath deep, get the heart rate down. It was a good 5 mile run. I had intended to go 6. Thanks Allie. Two weeks to the Rogue Race Series - The Loop.....more to come.