First Fears

My first hard run has made me susceptible to a few nagging doubts about the enormity of the task I’ve undertaken. I did not have a great run on Saturday – I was breathless quite often, side stitches and was pretty tired by the time I turned around at half way point. And now I’m scared. What if I’m not able to run it all? I realize I may not but I did feel more confident than I do now that with time I would be able to do it easily. I think therein lay my error. The word ‘easily’.

I’ve had numerous people at work tell me that the Austin course is a hard one. Austin is a hilly city (it is after all Hill-Country TX) and while that’s pleasing to the eye, its brutal on the legs.  Here’s the elevation chart. Saturday was my first run on hills (the previous Saturday had some gradual incline). But this I think I can learn – I’m going to talk to Coach specifically about hill training. I tried out hill training on the gym too today, but I know there’s a lot of difference between that and the road.

The second reason I feel my confidence is a bit shaken is the doctor’s diagnosis on my left calf muscles being weaker. But if I work harder at the strengthening exercises it may help. Will it help me to run completely injury free? I don’t know – so there’s a little bit of concern there. So a not-so-good run and knowing you’re only half-equipped as of now has given my confidence a battering today.

Can I overcome these? Perhaps – if I train well and not train hard. They say at Rogue, how well you have trained is determined by how fast you recover from your training. For that, you need to take those stretches darn seriously – which I did. Second, you need to follow the course schedule. For instance, my schedule had XT today (XT = cross-train = anything other than running). What did I do? I did one step short of blowin it completely – I ran in the gym. I should have read my course schedule, and then either used the elliptical or swam or done simple leg exercises for 30 minutes or something. But no, because I felt I didn’t have a great run, I went back and ran.

And those are the exact pitfalls the Rogue coaches tell you not to fall into. They tell you to follow the schedule – so when you have a day off, you take a day off and not go for an ‘easy’ run. And when you have an ‘easy’ run, you shouldn’t decide to run a few extra miles and make it a ‘medium’.

FYI here’s a typical weekly course

Mon – XT (anything other than running) – easy

Tues – Quality Workout – these are high intensity workouts with the team/Coach such as time trials, fartleks (get your mind out of the gutter). This week we’re doing a Warhurst. I hope it’s better than it sounds, seriously.

Wed – Off or XT

Thur – Easy pace run (3 miles)

Friday – rest/off

Sat – Long Run (hard) – this week they’re doing 9 miles but I’m probably not going to ramp up to that just yet. I mean seriously, there’s 3 months till the marathon. I still want to have legs to run on.

Sun – Easy pace run (3 miles)

I skipped my Sunday run because I thought I should get a break for Diwali. I sat on a couch all day and bemoaned my left leg the whole day – not that it was paining but I kept brooding upon the chiro’s diagnosis.

The other thing they tell you at Rogue to do is listen to your body. And while there’s normal soreness always after a long run, it could be as subtle as a nagging worry about the impending run. And that’s my fear right now. I’m worried about tomorrow QW. But, I’m going to talk to the Coach and get her opinion on stuff. Btw, I do like my coach a lot. She’s very responsive. Tomorrow she’s going to show me weight exercises that I can do to strengthen my legs which is what I will do on XT days.

Someone mentioned Rogue is following the Lydiard method of training – which involves a pretty quick ramp up of the miles and building strength through that. You can see its pretty intense. I wish I hadn’t seen this. Sometimes when I talk to other runners and read other people’s running blogs it’s just an info overload. I just want to run! 😦

Anyway, tomorrow’s post will be better if the Warhurst doesn’t kill me. Tomorrow I’m getting a bunch of goodies I ordered – running gear. So tomorrow or later this week I promise a post on the price tag of running :). Cheers, and yes, keep running!

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9 responses to “First Fears

  1. Hey!
    Vidisha (and FB) directed me to your blog. All the best with the training!
    Stretch, stretch, stretch. Ice, ice, ice. And Speedtrain (what you call Quality workout, I think).
    Have fun!
    ~Harini

  2. way to go sirsha! impressed with all these planned dedicated physical activity you’ve undertaken! Quite a first right? but knowing your level of dogged determination am sure you will clinch this definitievly – it not easily!! 🙂 All the best and yeah listen to your coach and to your body, rest will all fall in place, mwaah!

  3. Harini – thanks a lot – any tips/suggestions etc. are always helpful!

    Dhabs – thank you babes. Yes it is quite a first. Quite a process of self-discovery at 30 you could say.

  4. Hey Sirsha,
    I read one of your posting last week. pretty inspiring. Anyway, about your problem, I saw in CBS news few days about running barefoot or atleast shoes with no heels. they were saying that landing on the heels while running is bad as it creates huge shock on the shin bone. i dont know if you have that problem. I started running long time ago when I came to Purdue, but the pain in my shin bone was incredible that I stopped running. tehre is a harvard study in this (see the link). May be it helps. But keep running and post your experiences.
    http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/4BiomechanicsofFootStrike.html

  5. hey Ganesh, thanks a lot for that. I did buy a fab new pair of running shoes (see an earlier post for pics :)). These are pretty flat as in I can feel the ground and I love that. Lot of people prefer cushion but I like to feel the ground. Nevertheless this has enough cushion and its snug on my feet. The first thing ANY runner will tell you about pain – go buy a proper pair of shoes. I think a lot of new runners disregard that. That’s not to say they should cost you a leg, figuratively speaking. Here’s a good article on how to buy running shoes:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/23/health/23patient.html?_r=1&src=me&r
    – it says the first pair can be the works – get fitted in a proper running shoe store and get a good pair. Once you know what works for you, just keep going back and you can even buy your shoes at Target.
    Did you try different shoes? My running partner is also having shin splints (probably what you had) and he’s getting some PT for it.

  6. Sirsh…… Aww cheer up, see going to the Chiro was a good thing, now you know what your potential weak muscles are and you can work on them instead of injuring them. And you are still are a beginner, so there will be hard days.
    But its lovely to read your enthusiasm and your love for running. keep going and three months later it will all culminate in a lovely half-marathon
    all the best and hugs.
    Hope to see you in Dec

  7. @ shalz – thank you!!! see you in dec defi, hope you don’t change plans

    @ Ganesh – i saw the link – super useful – i’m going to make an effort to put forefoot forward consciously!

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