[Reminder: I’m attempting to blog weekly as a put one foot in front of the other en route to the LA Marathon in March. Thanks to readers like you I’ve raised nearly $900 thus far. My goal is $2012. If you’re reading this I’d appreciate you giving anything you can afford to Pablove. Thanks!]
After ten days of travel, I came home from LAX on Thursday evening in time to kiss my five year-old goodnight. Around 8pm she complained of a tummy ache. Around midnight she started throwing up, and didn’t stop until about 7pm the following evening. Last night around 10pm the bug took out my wife, Julie, who was up all night back/forth between the bed and the porcelain god. I woke up this morning feeling a less than perfect in the tummy department myself, but knowing I had 14 miles to run today to keep with my training. I was pretty sure I was next in line for the flu bug and heard the clock ticking. I thought maybe I could outrun it, literally, getting the run done before I went down for the count.
I laced up, put Lucinda in the stroller, and headed out the door. The first three or four miles were uncomfortable but not unmanageably so. Around mile five I knew I was toast, though. I was only two miles from the turn-around, but I knew I wasn’t going to make it. I was starting to get the hot flashes of the flu. Ugh.
Maybe I’ll get the 10 in, I decided. So I turned around at 5 miles and started running home. It started to become pointless. My GI distress was severe enough that every step was a challenge. I decided to call it, and walked the final mile plus to the Hotel Erwin, where I folded up the stroller and spent $10 on a cab ride home. Once home I succumbed to the flu bug myself and I’ve spent the day in/out of consciousness and the bathroom. I think I may have had the easiest of the family, though, I’m already feeling much better, sitting upright, and drinking some water. I have Accelerade popsicles freezing right now, ready for my breakfast tomorrow.
I’m definitely bummed to not have completed an important day in my training program. It’s ironic that I managed to make it through all my key runs traveling from home to NYC to Nashville to SF to Vegas (including a hungover tempo run on the Vegas strip Thursday morning) but didn’t manage to get through a long run right here at home on an excellent night’s sleep. There’s no accounting for illness, as they say. Hal Higdon talks about people who get anal retentive about their program, wondering if they will finish the marathon if they miss one session. I’m not that guy, but I would like to see how the plan works when applied. Since I did nearly 7 today I’m going to swap this out for Tuesdays run and try to do my 14 miler when recovered on Tuesday. I’ll let you know how that goes.
[UPDATE: I put the 14 miler behind me this morning (Tuesday, as planned). Felt good. Telemetry can be found in my RunKeeper account right here. Special thanks to my stroller-riding running companion, five year-old Lucinda, for her patience. Lucinda’s playlist from today can be found right here.]
- Stretching. Agreed. I *never* stretched until recently and it treated me well. I’m stretching more now, seeing if it might help with soreness as I add miles. My right IT band is tightening as it’s been known to do in the past. Still, I find the foam roller more effective than stretching. More important than stretching is likely increasing mileage slowly. Stretching and yoga definitely *feels* good, though!
- Barefoot. What they report there matches my personal experience with barefoot running. I have stopped barefoot running for the time being due to a weird little injury in my foot, a swelling under my right ankle which seems to be irritated by barefoot running (I keep meaning to have it looked at but just haven’t had time). Still, barefoot runing did really improve my form and my time, I’d like to go back to it on the short runs again soon and will do it as soon as I’m sure it won’t jeopardize my training program.
- Core strength. The “myth” they’re pointing to here seems like unhelpful bullshit to me. I believe my improvements in form and speed are directly related to weight-training. There’s just no question that solid foundational fitness allows you to hold better form for longer amounting to better performance with less fatigue.
- I don’t know anyone who thinks guzzling before running prevents cramps. Is this really a myth? More on my hydration experimentations below.
- Re: Ibuprofen. Makes sense. I’ve never heard any science around this and like the above I never read any sports nutritionists who recommend this. Eating a good meal of whole foods post-run probably speeds recovery more than anything. Hardcore dudes do things like spray magnesium on their legs and wear compression tights. But that’s only after something gnar gnar like a marathon or ironman.
- Their comment re: dehydration is directly related to the post last week where Dr. Noakes debunks the hydration myth. Based on my personal experience, I would have to agree. I don’t take any liquid on runs less than one hour. On a run of an hour or more I would take a small amount of water (12 oz per hour) and some gel packs. Based on what I know hitting “The Wall” comes from running out of glycogen stores in your liver, not a lack of water or salt. I’ll let you know if that changes based on my experimentation over the course of this training.
- I have no experience with ice baths so I can’t comment here. Sounds fuckin cold and unpleasant, so if it’s a placebo I’ll skip it, thanks.
- I’ve heard the same research they note here, that the fastest way to burn calories is with high-intensity interval training. Sounds like you can get just as much cal-burn benefit from very short workout, based on the research. It also sounds really un-fun. I only get the one day of interval training in per week on this marathon program so I’m likely spending my time all wrong, plodding along for hours on these long runs. Heh. Maybe this will be my next experiment…
- They’re claiming fructose is good for you when training and can in fact make you faster. Not sure I buy this one, it’s counter to other research I’ve heard. Carbs in fructose are difficult to access. I call bullshit. Get your fructose from whole fruits, not high-fructose corn syrup.
- It’s funny, I’ve read a ton on supplements and everyone says basically the same thing: no conclusive evidence of anything here that improves performance. I take a whole food multi vitamin, a vitamin D, and some fish oil. For the rest? Eat good whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies.
See you next week.