Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Walking is different from running

I'm back!

Where have I been? Not running, that's where. After the Steamboat Marathon, I had planned a week-long vacation to see the sights in Colorado and Utah.

I figured while I might not be able to run for a few days, surely I'd be able to enjoy a couple short hikes while I recovered. Unfortunately, the first one I chose was a very steep hike along a creek that, more often than not, overflowed onto the trail.

Yes, that is the trail

Needless to say, this trail, while beautiful, didn't do much for my aching quads.

Over the next few days, my legs gradually felt better, and by the end of the trip, I was completing rough 12-mile hikes with no pain at all. But I didn't run at all on my vacation. I figured even though I was doing some tough hikes, my legs would be recovering and I'd be able to start up where I left off when I returned home.

Yesterday, my first full day back in Davidson, I got to test that notion. I decided to do a 9-miler: the 1.32-mile run into town, the 6.38-mile DART loop, and the 1.32-mile run home. My legs were feeling okay but not great during the warm-up run, and I hoped to take it fairly easy on the DART loop.

When I arrived in town, Chad and Marc were there. Chad was fresh off a 50-miler and Marc hadn't run for over a week, so I figured I would be able to go easy. Then Adam showed up. Adam always gives me a workout on the DART loop, and this day was no exception: we went out in 7:38, 7:29, 7:27. I was still not feeling great, and as we started uphill at the end of the run, I could tell I wasn't going to be able to maintain this pace. Adam stayed with me as I ran a 7:50 and then an 8:15 on the always-challenging uphill Mile 5. Finally I suggested that he take off while I slowed down for the final 1.38, which I completed at an 8:18 pace, for a 7:51 average pace. Not great for me on what I thought would be fresh legs. I guess hiking on rough trails isn't an ideal way to recover from a marathon. Humbled, I took it very slowly on the 1.32-mile run home.

Today I decided to just drive in for the DART loop, for a total of just 6.38 miles. Chad, Jeff, Jeremy, and Rodney joined me and they were taking it fairly easy, running roughly an 8-minute pace. Once again, by Mile 5, I was struggling, even though the pace was slower than yesterday. I managed to barely hang with Jeff as Chad, Jeremy, and Rodney picked up the pace at the end. Average pace: 8:09. Tomorrow I'll be recovering with a spin class, and hopefully by the weekend my legs will feel solid again.

Details of the last two days' workouts are below:

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