Friday, September 24, 2010

T-9 Days and Overtraining (not me!)

9 days to go.  I followed my plan for today and logged 0 miles.  I suppose I jogged about .3, but not enough to count.  I took it fairly easy at camp and just walked when everyone else ran, except the first little bit I jogged with hubby.  Tomorrow I've decided I'm going to drive to the local hill that's closest to the MTCM 21-23 hill elevation profile and run up it. 

I don't want to run more than about 2 miles tomorrow, but I really want to do that hill.  The realization struck me at camp this morning -- just because I want to run up the hill doesn't mean I have to run down it!  Tomorrow is Saturday so there's no huge hurry to get the workout done and get on with my day.  If it takes me an hour to cover 4 miles, fine.  Heck, if it takes me 2 hours because I decide I want to crawl back to my car instead of walk, that's okay too!  There's nothing to gain from running down the hill, so why do it.  My schedule says 2-3 miles, I'll do 2 uphill and no more. 

I took my pre-marathon physical inventory this morning, and things are looking pretty good.  I use a scale of 0-10, with 10 being crazy pain or appears crazy bad (like protruding bone, even if it's completely numb b/c my spinal cord was severed or something). 
Achilles - 0:  My blisters on both Achilles from a couple weeks ago are 100% pain-free and almost gone (though you can still see where they were), so that ranks at a 0. 
Calves -1:  The random calf pain that started on Sunday night/Monday is now basically gone.  It's still a bit tender if I really rub my inner calves with moderate-heavy pressure, but no pain when walking, standing, running or anything else.  I am also trying to be super careful about not crossing my legs.  It was a new year's resolution this year or last year to break that habit, but I still do it (or sit on one of my legs), but I'm going to try to be careful for the next week. 
Knees - 3:  Some fairly new biceps femoris pain for a couple days, mostly on the left again, but think it's more from working out at camp than any injury or anything.  I need to watch it though and not do anything else to aggravate it. 
Glutes - 3:  Left glute is also somewhat sore but seems worst when I'm just sitting.  Wonder if it could actually be IT-band, so I'll give that some extra stretching post-run for the next week, but doesn't seem to be alarming. 
Toes - 6:  They're ugly right now.  Unfortunately, the 5k cost me a toenail I think.  I can see the blister underneath it, so I'm sure it will go in the next month or two.  It's so random.  Same shoes as running 20-some miles a week earlier with no toe troubles, but that time it happened.  I feel like about every other year I have toenail issues while doing full training.  But my blister toe on the other foot is also a disaster.  Fortunately it's not actually painful right now, but that's just b/c I haven't had to run very long in a few weeks.  Oh the pain in that toe will definitely be back next weekend.  And it will probably double in size after the race.  Ugh.  But it will be worth it because I'll have run the best race ever!  And no, I'm not going back to wearing a toe cap. 
Back - 3:  Sore from lifting and doing rows on Wed., no worries there. 
Shoulders - 2:  Again, sore from weights but minimal.
Heels/plantars - 7:  Still a lot of pain if I jump out of bed to get my alarm instead of stretching first, but quite manageable.  No pain when running. 
Everything else - 0:  Feeling good, no complaints. 

So, it's all systems "go" right now, and I think it will just keep improving.  The lifting pain will be gone by Monday.  I still might do some weights and abs on Monday, but nothing major.  I'm probably going to skip camp on Wed., but that's still up in the air.  Sunday is more than enough time to recover from an easy workout.  We'll see -- I need to give that some more thought. 

I took a poll of the other MTCM runners I know and I think I'm doing better than most.  Adam is burnt out on running, and he continues to ignore my advice to find people to run with and to vary his route.  But he'll be fine b/c he's such an athlete and in such good shape in general.  Everyone else seems to have some fairly major complaint, but nothing that will prevent a finish.  Among the many family members who will be running MTCM next Sunday is my cousin Becca.  She said she is currently experiencing 11 of the 14 symptoms of overtraining right now.  If you'd asked me before my rockin' 5k last weekend, I'd have guessed I was at about 5.  Today, I'd say I'm at 3: 

Common Warning Signs and Symptoms of Overtraining Syndrome
• Washed-out feeling, tired, drained, lack of energy
• Mild leg soreness, general aches and pains
• Pain in muscles and joints
• Sudden drop in performance
• Insomnia
• Headaches
• Decreased immunity (increased number of colds, and sore throats)
• Decrease in training capacity / intensity
• Moodiness and irritability
• Depression
• Loss of enthusiasm for the sport
• Decreased appetite
• Increased incidence of injuries.
• A compulsive need to exercise

I feel I have the first one and the last two.  I feel pretty tired, but I think most adults in this country usually do.  I don't really feel more tired than usual, but starting tonight, I'm going to work on getting extra sleep every night until the race.  Even if it's just getting to bed 15-30 minutes earlier, it should help.  I think I have an increased incidence of injuries, but not really injuries.  It's more like pain (but maybe it's just paranoia).  Like I'll start running and feel like oh, my knee, oh, it hurts, and then 2 steps later, I'm wondering if it was just some phantom pain.  But my body is definitely feeling worn down and the taper is doing me good.  And I definitely have the compulsive need to exercise right now.  There was really no reason for me to go to camp this morning other than to see Joy and spend the extra time with my husband while he worked out.  But I just wanted to be out there and doing something, even if I knew I wasn't going to run.  But hopefully I'll stay as disciplined as I have been this week and my legs will be itching to run next weekend!  I also think I've seen some decrease in training capacity/intensity, but I didn't count that since that's what my schedule dictates right now.  9 days, 9 days, 9 days! 

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