Monday, April 26, 2010

Week in Review: April 19-25 + Bonking

(the dense forest of the North Shore mountains)

Monday, 2010-04-19: 4miles (2 barefoot) (35min) Typically I am inclined to take this day completely off from running following a full weekend. However, I had a hidden agenda this week to attempt to run every day. As such, I headed out after work and hit the field for a couple quality miles barefoot. Legs felt heavy but it was pleasant to get the feet out of the shoes on a beautiful spring evening.

Tuesday, 2010-04-20: 8.10 (1:12) Did the usual before-the-sun-rises road effort. Meredith joined me this morning (coming off a frustrating foot injury), so we took it easy and just soaked in the serene silence offered so early in the morning.

Wednesday, 2010-04-21: 13 miles (1:42) Engaged in what I will haphazardly label a speed workout (although I would classify it more as some form of a fartlek). Nonetheless, it was a marvellously warm night; I was really pleased with this run and how my body adapted. I bonked hard at the end but likely do to the fact I took no water/ fuel and had not eaten in over 5 hours. Not well thought out perhaps…

Thursday, 2010-04-22: 8 miles (1:05) Headed out on the roads with Meredith for a pre-work Lonsdale loop. This run offers a 700 foot climb (over a 2.25 miles stretch) up the entirety of Lonsdale. I felt good climbing today, especially comforting given last nights effort. Thought about heading out in the evening after work, but decided against it.

Friday, 2010-04-23: AM: Gym/ Core/ Strengthening; ran there/ home (2 miles) Glad to continually keep-up with these gym sessions. I am often disposed to slowly wean this cross-training out as I get into the full running season. However, I am convinced that it is assisting in necessary pre-habilitation and improving my leg strength and core stability.

PM: 4.5 miles (43 minutes) This was truly a spontaneous and random run. I had to go over to my parents to borrow their car. I was locked out of the house because I forgot my key; the drizzle had begun but I was bored and had nothing to do. Luckily, I had a pair of shorts stuffed in my bag. Naturally, I was wearing my NB 100’s; as such, I headed out for a quick loop up the Rifle Range towards Hyannis via Bridal Path (one of my favourite runs that I had memorized when I use to live at my parents). The rain became heavy and by the time I returned, I was muddy and soaked sporting my o-so-stylish collared work shirt. Definitely got some weird looks from people. Tweaked my right gastrocnemius coming down the final switchback; loosened up fine afterwards though.

Saturday, 2010-04-24: 12 miles (1:40) Not my favourite type of run but much to my surprise and delight, I was able to really enjoy it by the end. Meredith and I went to Burnaby Lakes to hit up the 6 mile dirt path/ bark mulch loop. Slowly working her way back from foot issues, she wanted a more forgiving and chill run; I was inclined to oblige. We took the first lap relaxed (51:20). At this point it started to rain fairly heavily (par the usual). After warming up, we did the second loop in a quicker (48:09). This was meant to be a fairly easy day, and the less than ideal weather assisted with this. Furthermore, I was experiencing some odd and uncomfortable “chest-chafing” during the second half (see photo below if you dare; consider yourself warned). We stopped after two loops and headed back to enjoy the afternoon. Easy day, and felt no fatigue or muscular issues post-run; the right calf was fine once I was warmed up.

(Burnaby Lake... not looking quite like it did on Saturday)

Sunday, 2010-04-25: 25miles (4:30) I started this run with the initial objection of running approximately 4-5 hours. I decided to start at the base of Grouse Mountain and run the Iron Knee 25km route to Deep Cove and then return via the Bridle Path. The secondary objection was to fit in some decent climbing and descent; especially given the flat nature of yesterday’s effort. The water fountains have been turned on so I was able to coordinate the run with a single hand-held, filling up at Gazebo, Honey’s Donuts (in the Cove), and then Gazebo once again. I reached Deep Cove in a comfortable 2:05 after side-stepping my way through the swarms of people heading up/down the lower portion of the trail. Although I love this section of trail, I could not wait to get back to higher, more remote grounds. Apparently it is a prerequisite to have on a hefty dosage of cologne/ perfume for a morning forest stroll. Notwithstanding, I resolved in the climb back, heading along the Bridle Path, Twin Bridges, then to Gazebo. From there, I decided to head down to the Suspension Bridge towards Bridgeman Park eventually climbing my way back to my house via my customary route. Four gels, 4:30 minutes later, 6000 feet of climbing and I was feeling good completing the last mile for kicks in a solid 7:30. Unfortunately, about an hour after the run, I bonked hard and felt like total shit. I was in no mood to take in any food which only exacerbated the situation. This was unexpected and caught me completely off guard given that I was feeling perfectly alert after the run and physiologically balanced. Got to figure this out; absolutely not a good pattern to get into...

Miles: 75 (2 barefoot)
Time: 12.5 hours

(unbeknownst to me... masculine or pathetic? The byproducts of chaffing)

This was a solid week of running for me. Firstly, I was able to run every day, satisfying my hidden objective. Secondly, I ramped up the volume and was able to get my mileage up to a level that I would like to maintain as a minimum; this will surely take some time, but I am definitely on track (just over 100 miles in last 9 days). My body felt at ease most of the week and importantly, nothing materialized out of the minor tweak in my right gastrocnemius on Friday. No doubt, the continual work of Leah Startup from MOVEO is the deciding factor in this equation.

On the other hand, I experienced first-hand the ever-dynamic issue of bonking. Normally I can predict the onset of these physiological/ psychological deficits with relative consistency. I am generally body-aware and have a comprehensive understanding of my bodily reactions; notwithstanding it being on a more intuitive/ instinctive level. For instance, I knew that I was likely to bonk after Wednesday evenings 13 mile run. I had not consumed food in over 5 hours and took no form of fuel or water with me. However, as is typically the case, I had taken in sufficient calories throughout the morning/ mid-day, providing just the requisite amount to satiate the system during the effort. Moreover, I just don’t find myself desiring much/ if any food during the afternoon hours.

Contrast this with Sunday’s post-run melt which I failed to foretell. The run went smoothly and I was comfortably cruising through most of the day. There was only one point at approximately the three hour mark where I ran out of water. However, this was only for about 20 minutes and I was able to down a full 16oz and then refill my bottle soon after. The ‘bonk’ came in earnest about 45minutes after finishing my run (in the interim I had drunk a large glass of chocolate milk, had an apple; and munched on a few other items). I experienced a heavy sensation in my chest/ throat; like someone was compressing my upper-abdominals. On a psychological level, I felt far from lucid but certainly in no way delusional. Upon going out with Meredith and running some errands, I came home and flat-out crashed for about half-an-hour. Upon awaking, I felt much better; my chest had settled and I was craving calories. So I did, and within an hour I was back to 100%.

I suppose these bodily tribulations are just par the course; indeed, I have come to accept them as such. On the other hand, I cannot help but ponder whether I am amiss in some of my strategies... (Thoughts??)

1 comment:

  1. I think it could be that you didn't take in enough calories on your run. Let's see, you probably burned upwards to 3000 and you took in 400...yo do the math. The body need between 200-300 an hour. You only took in 100. That left you in such a deficit. I am not to sure why people are trying to defy the body to eat less when their body will function better on more.

    You should consider trying a new recovery drink. Yes, chocolate milk has the right ratio of carbs, fat, protein but your missing out on replacing all the other trace minerals and L-glutamine that helps with muscle repair.

    I have been fighting with having no appetite as well and the thing I was suggested to do was have a rally big smoothie post run which doubles as a recovery drink. Try making a smoothie with Vega. I have a great recipe I got from a naturopath because I was experiencing post long run no appetite. Not taking in calories is a bad option because the body needs them. Smoothies are great!

    Sorry for the rant. Let's chat more on a run!