I’ve written about a few things that have helped keep me running, a bite splint that I wear at night that keeps me from grinding my teeth (it helps a lot more than you’d think) to active recovery rides (some people enjoy an active recovery run the next day). Over the last couple of years I’ve started honing my after run active recovery routine down to where I’m recovering from a long run in a couple of days, depending on how soon I can get on a bike after I’ve run.
Specifically here’s the deal… After a long run, if I can get my butt on a bike within 3 hours of finishing, all I have to do is a simple recovery ride: 10-12 miles @ 17 – 17.5 mph with a cadence between 90 & 100 RPM. If I feel like going a little further, that’s all good just as long as I keep the speed reasonable. Where I run into trouble is when, for one reason or another, I can’t get out for a ride after a long run within 12 hours or so. Saturday, for example, I went out on a 12 mile run but had things to do afterward that kept me busy for the rest of the weekend. I wasn’t exactly “pain” but I sure didn’t feel like myself so for my daily spin on the trainer I kept the cadence high and the speed low but I rode mostly in the drops. Riding in the drops, with my nose as close as I can get it to the stem (keeping my feet as flat as possible) stretches my hamstrings, the main source of most of my problems. I was right as rain before I finished.
I’m experiencing another problem, hamstring related, that I’m hoping this will help as well. As is usual, this will sound familiar to anyone who has followed this blog for more than a few months, I bumped up my Saturday running mileage too fast (I went from 5-1/2-6 miles two a half marathon in two weeks) and I’m right on the edge of developing Plantar Fasciitis. This is a typical injury for me if I increase running mileage to fast. My hamstrings tighten up, pull on my calf muscles and that works all the way down to the arches of my feet. There were a few times I actually thought about turning back on Saturday rather than risk full-blown PF, but in the end I decided that I’d suck it up and run through it. Time will tell as to the brilliance of this. So far I’m OK though. In any event, I’ll be doing everything I can over the next few days to stretch the hamstrings out.
It’s hard for me to wrap my head around it: One year, 711 posts. I started this blog with the hope that a couple of my friends would share in the blogging duties but it just didn’t work out that way so I took to it myself. It’s been a fantastically rewarding year and thankfully I’ve rarely run low on topics to write about.
I celebrated on Saturday with a 12 mile run followed by a family trip to Home Depot to pick out paint for our remodel project and a nice dinner. Yesterday evening while driving home after bowling I was listening to Peter’s Principles on the radio and I heard a phrase that I’ve often repeated myself, but this time it meant something different: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Normally when I use this phrase, and it was used in the same context last night, I’m referring to something in my life that I deem unacceptable that must be changed. With fitness, and recovery as well, I’ve been doing a few things over and over again simply because I wanted results. A year and a half ago, after running anywhere between two and four times a week for near a decade, I got into training for triathlons. At the time, I was pleased with my physique but I wasn’t happy. It is quite possible that I was being hyper-critical by average standards but that didn’t change the fact that I still thought I could (should?) be in better shape than I was. To train for my first Olympic Length Triathlon, I ran and rode the equivalent (or close to it) every Saturday and started riding my bike on other non-running days. Before I knew it I was riding a bike or running (or both) almost every day of the week… Fast forward to December 17th, 2012… I’ve been more active in the last year and a half, more physically fit, than at any time in my life (including my teenage years) – and I am happy, finally, with how I look. All because I kept doing the same thing, over and over and over again.
I suppose if I had to split hairs, I didn’t do the same thing expecting different results, I just expected results. That’s probably an important distinction. The point is, I absolutely had to work to stick with this – the results that I was looking for took more than a year. I don’t think there’s any doubt that I could have done it faster, I know I could have – but that’s not the point…
To everyone who has joined me for the ride, thank you. Here’s to, as long as the world doesn’t end on Friday (snicker), another year…