Sunday, August 16, 2009

Feeling Too Good is Dangerous to My Health

A thought on the evening of Sunday, August 9th:
"It's only been a week since the 100 miler...I expected to feel much worse."
A thought on the evening of Sunday, August 16th, one week later:
"I feel much worse."
The thing with running your first 100 miler is that you also get to experience your first recovery from a 100 miler. The first week was about what I had expected, general soreness and stiffness, and a lack of energy. By the end of the week, I was beginning to loosen up and run without much pain. In my addled little mind, I decided I was mostly recovered. Hey, I observed that Mark fully recovers from a 100 miler in roughly 15 and 20 minutes, so couldn't I be ready to run hard again after a full week? So, I canned my recovery plan and went right into 'training for Akron Marathon' mode. Are you wondering how that played out for me? Here is the recap of what should have been week 2 of my recovery.

The week started inauspiciously, with a moderate 6 mile lunch time run in Independence. In anticipation of speed work on Tuesday, I concentrated on trying to open my stride which was still a bit compressed. On Tuesday, after work, I started my warm-up with a slow mile from home to the Solon High School track, and added another mile and half. Some of the regulars were not there, but I did talk with E-speed and Nicole. E asked me if I wanted to pace her at the Perfect 10 Miler on Sunday. She said she was targeting around 6:30 pace. I gave it a non-committal, "I'll see how I feel and let you know." As usual, before doing my mile repeats I ran 6 x 100 yard stride-outs. I increased my level of effort with each, starting with about a 60% and running the last at about 85%.
I toed the line for my first mile, with one goal...keeping it under 6 minutes so it would not be a total embarrassment. Wayne called out the start, and we were off. It was a very thin field, just Mark and I. I actually didn't feel bad for the first lap, my breathing was good and stride was opening up. The second lap was more difficult. My stride was good, but I was having trouble keeping the turnover. Midway through the third lap, I was thinking I would not be able to finish the mile, maybe not even the lap. I tried to concentrate on staying on my mid-foot, keeping a slight forward lean. I made it through that lap, and I don't remember much of the forth lap except that I was trying to stay as close as possible to Mark. On the backstretch, I felt the nausea creeping up my throat. I held it together, and since Mark was taking it easy we crossed the line together. 5:23.68 I kept moving, barely, hoping that the urge to throw-up would pass. It did. And I thought about what had just happened. The fastest mile I have run since in easily 30 years. Where did that come from?
We took a little longer than normal to recover from that first mile, then started the second mile. I knew within the first 100 yards that my second mile was going to be a struggle. I had used it all up in the first mile. I could not hang on to Mark, and fought hard just to hold a 2:45 after two laps. The third and fourth laps were, well, quite unpleasant. I finished with a 5:40, and believe me that could have been much worse. Again, I felt like tossing my lunch but kept moving until the nausea passed. After trying to recover for the third mile, I told Mark I was done. I did a couple of slow miles and headed home.
Wednesday was a nearly idyllic frolic in the woods. I reran a section of the BR100, starting at Alexander Road. Not as much fun as the last time I was there, but still a good run.
On Thursday, I went to the North Chagrin Reservation for the Twilight Trail 8k. The race has an unusual format. Instead of everyone starting together and sex/age group awards being given based on finishing time, the starts are staggered based on sex/age. Because of that, there are no age group awards. First through third men and women across the finish line win. There is also a two-runner team competition. I ran it in 32:32 and was the first man across the finish, so I took home the $60 prize money. Nice. E-speed and her friend Nicole won the women's team competition.

Feeling the effects of a tough track Tuesday and race Thursday, I ran a moderate paced 6.7 miles through Glen Willow after work on Friday. Saturday was a beautiful morning and I arrived a little early to run a warm-up mile or so with Wyatt before the rest of the Lock 29 group started. We did a comfortably paced 11.4 miles, then Wayne decided it had been too comfortable. He commented that, back in the day, we used to run hard for the last mile, and this group had gotten soft. Paul was the first to bite, separating from the group and picking up the pace. Then Mike R. took off and passed him. I caught Paul and said, "We have to catch him", so we really picked up the pace. The three of us covered the last mile at a 5:45 pace.

That set the stage for a very tough Sunday. At the track on Tuesday and again at the race on Thursday, E-speed had asked if I might pace her at the Perfect 10 Miler. I said I would have to see how I felt in a few days. On Sunday morning, Wyatt and I met at Jeff's house at 6:00 AM and ran the five miles to Brush High School, where the race would start. I was surprised by the humidity and heat so early in the day, tough conditions for a race. Wyatt was registered to run, but Jeff and I were just going on as bandits, using it as a tempo run.
I talked with E's coach and he told me how he wanted me to pace her. Go out fast, 6:20 pace or lower, then back off and eventually average out at 6:30 for the ten miles, which would be a 1 hour 5 minute finish. I found her near the start, and within a few minutes we were off and running.
The first few miles were fast, 6:16 and 6:20 I believe. We backed off a little and by the half way point, we were right on the 6:30 average. After 5.5 miles, I peeled off and retraced the route for a few miles, looking for my sister-in-law Lisa who said she would be running the race. I didn't find her, and I rejoined E between the 7 and 8 mile marks. She was looking strong, and I just tried to keep her on pace for her target finish. We were passed by Tracy M. who was really running strong, but she couldn't pull away and we passed her again within a half mile or so. When we approached the stadium for the finish, I peeled off and E ran the last few hundred yards to cross the finish within seconds of her target time. Well done on a tough, hot morning.

After a little break to watch some of my other running buddies finish, Jeff, Wyatt, and I ran back to Jeff's house. That run was tough for both Wyatt and I. Jeff had been smart about his tempo run, backing off at points to give himself some rest, so he seemed fresher. I was totally tanked by the last mile, the cumulative effect of the race, plus 100 miler 2 weeks earlier, and a week in which I pretended I didn't need to back off and recover from that 100 miler. Thankfully, we were able to shower at Jeff's house, then catch up with Sue and Lisa and friends Alex and Chris for breakfast at the Original Pancake House. Great food, and lots of it, but much too long a wait for it. The rest of the day Sunday, I couldn't get the energy to do much of anything.


allanjel said...

Overall it looks like the week was still positive, even if you are a little tired. 1st place win, fastest mile ever in a long time, managed to pace accurately...hmmm I give it 2 thumbs up.

E-Speed said...

Frank you are a machine. I am exhausted from last week and I didn't even race 100 miles two weeks ago!

solarsquirrel said...

Dude - seriously. You are starting to achieve Mark G. status - i.e. FREAK OF NATURE.

Ernesto said...

I am amazed you ran that week such a short time after your 100 miler. I'd still be in an ice bath, I think, eating Advil like M&Ms. Congrats on all!

Mark Carroll said...

Great stuff Frank. Thanks!!

kayan Association said...

Thanks ..your topic beautiful ..... Good luck