January 20, 2012

Fierce repose

Maybe I'm just feeling my forty-odd years, but repairing the calculated damage of running takes me less effort than running itself. Running isn't much more than a specific choreography of destruction and rebuilding. Here's the thing: as I apply more intensity to recovery, running fast becomes almost effortless.

Last week I did more miles in one week than I've ever done, by around 20%. It was the easiest running week I've had in ages. I found myself excited about every run, in a way I haven't felt in at least a year and a half. All my aches vanished. My insides felt sleek and able. I bounced up stairs. My plantar issues subsided significantly. My "comfortable", low-effort pace approached my old race pace. The whole week was buoyant and light.

I capped the week with an 18-miler, 10 miles of it at marathon pace. I went out tentatively, not sure I could keep up with the plan. But three loops around a hilly course and my body kept finding energy for a perfect, steady effort. I probably hit the hills a touch hard, because the last one hit me back. But once I pulled it back together on level ground I felt I could have done a lot more.

Now to consolidate all those miles. This is a week of lower mileage - though still about as high as my previous maximum - and of lower intensity. I've been alternating a general aerobic pace with recovery pace. When I'm not running I try to walk a lot. I've been focused on staying calm. I work to hydrate and eat right.

I confess the plantar issues are back. Nothing worse than before, but they need attention. So I'm icing, stretching, massaging, and wearing shoes everywhere. Recovery is a constant dialogue with injury.

I'll get serious about speed again soon, because I know I've already lost some. We'll see about next week. But for now it's all about rocking the recoveries.


  1. I'd love to know more about your recovery methods.

  2. I'll list 'em out in excruciating detail shortly. . .