Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Know when to fold 'em

In my last post, I mentioned an hour easy run gone VERY bad on Saturday, a few hours after a short aquathalon that had gone quite well. Three days later, I am still feeling the effects in the form of residual muscle soreness and some fatigue.

In hindsight, I should have pulled the plug on the run. I should have respected the lead legs. I should have realized that a race-like heart rate paired with a plod was my body yelling at me to stop and rest.

Instead, I got mad at myself for not being able to make myself chill, relax, run easy, and bring that heart rate down and lighten those legs. I kept going, determined to finish, determined to check that box and get those miles in.

For my efforts I was rewarded with a post-run crash-and-burn nap, then soreness from head-to-toe the following day. It was the most sore I have felt in years.

Why was this happening? The prior weekend I raced the double at Nationals and complained that not one molecule of my body was sore. I felt like I had not done anything! Why had a short race and "easy" run done this to me?

The theories are (1) not enough hydration on a hot day (2) body was in post-race recovery mode after those all-out sprint runs and swim and not prepared for another effort (3) stress from life, travel, and three races in 8 days had caught up to me.

My lessons learned here are that (1) I need to pay closer attention to hydration and nutrition on a double workout day; (2) either do the workouts in close succession or allow sufficient time between for a proper meal and rest; and (3) when the body is not functioning within normal bounds, the wiser, smarter, more mature thing to do is to STOP.

I don't think STOP was among my menu of choices. It did not occur to my overheated stubborn brain.

Given how I felt Sunday and Monday, STOP will definitely be a choice in the future. It has not been fun knowing my decision to keep going brought about soreness from what is probably muscular breakdown. Today I got in a proper easy run and things have largely returned to normal. But this is a lesson I will not forget.

If your body is sending signals that are out of normal bounds for you, please choose to "Fold 'em" and save yourself to train well another day!