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Acid Party


from Diary of a “Rubbish Marathon Runner” That heading should bring some interesting visitors via Google. They’ll leave disappointed, though. The acid coursing through my legs this morning wasn’t illegal, and probably a lot less fun. After whining a lot about my sore legs on Wednesday I was pleasantly surprised on Thursday morning about the lack of pain. However, within 5 minutes this was replaced by a sense of impending doom, emanating from the inner depths of my digestive system. I’ll spare you the details, but I bet you can imagine them anyway. This had two effects. First, I took longer than normal to get ready, and second, I was wondering if I would be able to return home “in time”. I decided to check my Garmin after 4.5 miles. If I was running at or under 8-minute pace, I’d carry on to my usual 5-mile turnaround point, otherwise I’d cut the run short. When I got there, the average pace came up as 8:13, which meant an instant turnaround, and showed me that the hill sprints had obviously left a mark on my legs. However, the gut, which had never fully settled, started acting up at that time and I was left wondering how I would make it home. I experienced a few rather unpleasant stomach cramps, but the last mile was decidedly faster than the rest of the run, as I was getting a bit concerned that an otherwise unremarkable easy run would end up becoming very memorable for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully I made it home. I’ll spare you the details again, but again I’m sure you get the picture anyway.

A few of you have voiced concern in the comments that I might be pushing too hard. While I can’t rule out that possibility, I’m the only one who can feel the effects on my body, and I’m reasonably sure that in the longer term I’m recovering enough between the workouts, even if that wasn’t true for the first half of this week. Running two hill session in one week doesn’t seem excessive to me. Lydiard’s schedules usually have three of them, and in the early days he had six! In comparison, my one week with two hill sessions is rather meek. Anyway, I set off today on a carbon copy of Wednesday’s effort. I had hoped that the tempo part would be improved, but the 6:52 pace was only marginally better. I think it might have something to do with the early hours. Sometimes the legs just don’t feel very responsive at faster paces at 6:30 in the morning, especially on a cold day like today. At least that’s my excuse.

After the tempo run I did the same 8 hill sprints of 60 seconds each. After the second one I had serious doubts about my ability to finish the other 6, but somehow managed to go through the entire session. The legs were howling in pain at the top of each repeat, drenched in lactic acid as they were (or whatever physiological explanation goes these days). However, on the 2-mile run home I felt that the legs were less sore than on Wednesday. Maybe they’re getting used to being abused.

19 Feb
9 miles, 1:13:04, 8:07 pace, HR 142
stomach cramps aren’t fun
20 Feb
10.5 miles, 1:26:03, 8:12 pace, HR 152
2.75 miles @ 6:52 (HR 161) and 8×60 hill sprints
lactic acid isn’t fun either