30 March 2012

Merely a Warning

I don't know how to explain this.  The body, my own body, continues to amaze me.  When I woke up this morning, I stepped out of bed and felt nothing.  No pain, no discomfort, no tightness in my Achilles tendon.  I walked around my apartment preparing coffee and eggs and snacks and lunches.  No pain.  I drove my kids to school and walked them to their classes.  No pain.  I came back home and performed eccentric calf strengthening exercises and a full-body strength workout that included one-legged squats and forward and lateral lunges.  No pain.  I walked to a cooking class and returned home, jogging a little to test the Achilles.  No pain.

I hesitated to write the post I did last night.  I didn't want to jump the gun and make people believe that I was in worse shape than I was, but I did feel more than just an annoying pain during my runs on Wednesday and Thursday, and I want this blog to be an honest portrayal of what I go through in my day to day training.  Today, I honestly feel no pain.

I'm stupefied.

I can't imagine how the pain literally disappeared overnight.  But it's gone, and I am thankful.  I also acted maturely.  I ignored my desire to run and took the day off as I had planned.  I didn't want to push my luck.  Maybe some universal force decided that I needed a warning, something to remind me to get sleep and to keep my volume and intensity in check.  And to get back on the strength training that I had been ignoring.  If that's the case, I better listen.  A warning is better than a citation.  A citation usually means a penalty, and a penalty in running is missing workouts because of an extended break from training.  A warning is an opportunity to change your behavior before being penalized.  As it is, I heeded the warning today and got some much needed rest.  I lost nothing and may have gained much.

For this, I am grateful.  And dumbfounded.


Yesterday, Alex Hutchinson at Runner's World online reported on a study that shows that a hard workout may block iron absorption, an important study especially for women.  It seems that if you are taking iron supplements or eating iron-rich foods, then you may want to wait six hours post workout to take your supplement or eat your iron rich food.  According to Hutchinson, only about half of all people may actually need to follow this protocol.  We just don't know how to tell who does and who doesn't.


I have no idea how this weekend will play out, but I plan on running tomorrow as long as I am pain free.  I'll stop either after running for ten miles or feeling pain in my Achilles.  I will do the same thing on Sunday.  (I'm stealing a weekend session from the Hanson's marathon training program.)

For those of you racing this weekend, I hope you have fun and meet your goals.  For those of you going long, I hope you have a friend or two to share the time with, unless you enjoy the solitude of running solo.  Have a great weekend, everyone.

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