Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Solid foundation

Yes, I'm a slacker when it comes to this content-generation stuff.  Has it really been 3 weeks since I posted anything? 

I need to get some notes on here about my training plan.  I've made a few comments about it already, but I have spreadsheets!  And graphs!  All manner of geeky wonderfulness.

One thing I do know:  the cornerstone of my training program is REST.  I learned this from a cycling coach a long time ago (thank you John Bravard). 
     Q: what makes you stronger?
     A: REST. 
Seriously ... I've done enough different athletic things over the years to know that no amount, kind, or specificity of training can make you stronger.  Training is just stimulus.  Apply the stimulus, and then REST.  The time, the *only* time when you are actually getting stronger, is during that rest period.  Now, of course the quality of the stimulus helps determine the value of the recovery, for sure, but one without the other is a waste of time.

Let's see, what else is going on?

I have a new pair of shoes in my rotation:  I picked up some Pearl Izumi E-Motion Trail N1s.  I've used Pearl shoes off and on for several years now ... this is the best Pearl shoe I've ever had on.  It's been a long-term trend for me that the more I run, the less shoe I like.  I was excited when Pearl first came out with the Peak XC.  The new E-Motion design tops it, though.  Sleek, close to the ground, flexible, *nearly* a zero-drop shoe. (really, why not just go to zero?  keeping a millimeter or two of drop in the midsole so you can claim not to be on a bandwagon?)  I'm very happy with the shoe so far.  I've had it out on runs up to 2 hours at this point.  The N1 definitely likes to go fast!  My only complaint is that the forefoot could be wider.  I don't have particularly wide feet, but would really like to have a little more room for the toes to spread under load.  Pearl's last has always been on the narrow side -- particularly their cycling shoes, which I'm not entirely certain are designed for human feet -- their running shoes use a different last for sure, but still skimp on the forefoot girth.


I was excited to bag a lunch run yesterday in warm sun and shirt-off temps!!  Of course it's raining now and will be snow by morning.  Welcome to springtime in Colorado.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Calibrating for ... *ahem* ... age

One thing I can definitely say I have noticed as I have started to ramp up in this training program:  things don't respond the same way they used to!  I'm 45 now, which ain't old (or at least you'll never get me to admit it), but I'm definitely *not* 25.

The biggest difference?  How long it takes for the soreness to show up.

Used to be pretty simple.  I'd go out and train long, or hard, or in a different way.  The next day I'd be sore, and I'd say "yep, this is from yesterday."

Now the time lag is more like 2 days, which has taken some getting used to.  Say I do a big mountain run on Saturday.  Sunday I still feel fine, so I think "great, my condition must be pretty good."  Monday morning it's a struggle to get down the stairs, and I'm all confused because I didn't do anything *yesterday* that should have made me sore.

But I'm getting used to it, and I'm training myself to look back more than a day in my training log when something hurts.  This helps everything make a lot more sense. 

There's also a positive spin to this, which I'm gonna keep repeating in hopes I will eventually believe it.  :)  I can now OUTRUN PAIN!!  Look at it this way... it takes 48 hours, or at least a good full 36 hours, for the soreness from a hard run to show up.  OK ... the 100-miler I'm doing has a 36-hour cutoff.  Do the math.  This means that I will finish before I get sore. 

It's magic.  I'm now old enough that I can outrun pain.  Yeah!