Thursday, April 10, 2008

Taper madness

There is nothing quite like the Great Canadian Winter and we had our share these past few months. However, I'm thankful that we don't live in northern New Brunswick where this picture was taken this past weekend. It's hard to believe and we're seeing this after a significant melt! BTW it's still snowing.

A few hundred miles south and the crocuses are blooming in our backyard and I've been running in shorts all week. Awww, so nice and my pace has picked up on the easy runs as a result. I think the lack of extra clothing and layers can produce a 20-30 second per mile improvement with no training involved at all! At least that's what my watch has been telling me lately.

The leg is also getting better after over a week of treatments and multiple icings and stretching. It doesn't hurt to sit at my desk so much and there is less tightness and reduction in my stride but I'm still reluctant to push the pace. Actually, at this point the work is done and all I can do is hold back and try not to do any harm.

I had a nice visit up to Bathurst but it was a long drive over winding bumpy roads. We stayed for a couple of days and there was time for one easy 5 mile run in the snow and rain. The return drive on Sunday was a little better using some alternate roads but my ice packs were of limited help for the sore hamstrings. Immediately on arrival back home it was out the door for my last long run of the program. Despite starting out stiff and sore, things loosened up nicely after the 1st mile and it was hard to go slower than 8:00 pace during most of this run. I've found that the stretching after the 1st mile of running is helping more and more. It seems to lengthen the muscles and I feel alot smoother after a quick 5 minute session mid-run. The rest of the run went well, mostly in cruise mode trying to hold back the horses but towards the end things began to tighten up as the legs got sore again. 17 miles in 2:18 (8:06 pace).

Monday - very sore hams all day as I paid the price for the long car ride followed by a long run. Icing every hour or so helped but it was not the best way to be feeling so close to the end.

Tues - physiotherapy appointment thankfully was scheduled 1st thing today but the leg was feeling much better today. My easy 5 miler came back at 8:03 pace as the sunny 14C temperature made running a real joy today.

Weds - 8 miles with some so-called stride pickups but held back on the speed so as to not strain those hammies any more than necessary. Another shorts and t-shirt day made for a great run. Time to whip out some sunscreen!

Thurs - easy 5 miles today in 40:30. These short easy runs hardly seem worth doing but I guess we have to remind the body that there are no days off yet. I've got a harder 3x1600 workout scheduled this week but have been putting it off because of, well you know. Might try it on Friday but as I've said the work is done and there is no point in pushing it unless things feel right. We'll see.

Meanwhile, this weekend has the London marathon taking place and you can get it live at 5am eastern on WCSN. Even more exciting, my cousin Garry from Alberta is doing Ironman Arizona and you can track his number #1635 at the Ironman website starting at 7am on Sunday. Give him a shout out and wish him well. He'll need it, the bike course looks sick and the marathon route is hilly too. The things we athletes do for fun, eh?

Have a nice weekend!


Michael said...

Enjoy the taper and best of luck with the mile repeats... I'm living vicariously through you this year!

Grellan said...

I've (nearly) always stopped to stretch after the first mile of every run as an injury preventative measure. Don't know if it benefits but I have had few injuries.

Glad to see you verging on the side of caution or is it just the fact that "mile repeats" and "taper" don't sit well together.

Best of luck.