November 7, 2010

Two steps forward, one step back

I read a story once about a town who took the cliche Two Steps Forward, One Step Back literally. They celebrated the incremental progress with a parade, each participant moving two steps forward, one step back, until they'd traversed the length of the town. 

I search periodically for a copy, even mention of that story. It is as elusive as the Bubble Joy album I wanted to share with my children, which I enjoyed so much as a child. I still search Google every now and again, though my children are now grown.

A funny thing just happened. I searched, as I have periodically for the past 20 years, and this time I found Bubble Joy! Not only that, I found the album I've thought for the past 20 years
was Bubble Joy is actually Free To Be, You and Me. Now I want both, and this gives me hope eventually I will find the story mentioned above.

I think about that story on days like today. In fact, weeks like this past week. Last week, if you remember, I was blazing trails and breaking PRs. This week, my running seems to have fallen apart. My regular Tuesday run got bumped to Wednesday, and Wednesday was hard! My regular Thursday run was bumped to Friday, then canceled due to exertions at my parent's house.

Superman joined me on today's long run. It was miserable. I feel like I've lost my mojo. I was in tears the first mile, stiff, sore, and unable to find the stride that carried me so well last week. I couldn't breath, and my knee hurt. We didn't even start out fast, which I always do. I had to walk, to catch my breath and calm down. The whole time I was saying "wtf!?" and "I don't understand!"

I can make some guesses. With my run schedule thrown off, I did not move as much as I should have. Yesterday was spent entirely in front of the computer. I knew I was stiff, but didn't do anything about it. Last week I stretched before bed and stretched when I woke up. This week, not so much. I spent some time with the foam roller Wednesday, but barely did more than nod at the ankles and hamstrings as I rolled out of bed each morning. It's not like I was in a hurry to get anywhere, either.

I've also been eating like a fiend, eating out as if I could afford to, and today was no different. Superman and I went to an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. We knew it was a bad idea, but we went anyway. We waited a few hours before heading out, but that just wasn't enough. All day may not have been enough. While I know in my head that diet and PRs go hand in hand, I haven't had much luck getting my behavior to listen. Maybe today's experience will help.

I walked for a while, calmed down, did some dynamic stretches, then reset Jog Log and started up again. Still slow, knowing today there would be no PR. I was content to just get the mileage done.

That didn't happen either. We got about 2 miles out and my body let me know what it thought of all that bacon and bread this morning. We made a pit stop, which helped a bit. I decided I didn't need to fuel when I obviously still had food in my stomach. We got 5 miles out and turned around where the sidewalk ends. Shortly after that I started bringing up bile.
I tried to keep going, but within another mile I was walking again. I picked it up, but again had to stop. We walked the last 3 miles, for a total of 10. It was an hour after I got home before my stomach finally calmed down, and it's still not really right, now.

*Sigh* I know I have a lot to learn. Some lessons, like this one, I have to learn over and over before they finally stick. This lesson is one I fight, and one I know I'll have to adopt if I ever want to consider myself a Runner. Which I do want, btw. Someday. Apparently not today.

So this week was my one step back. I've made progress in strength, distance, and pace. I haven't lost all that in the course of a week. I have 1 more week until taper, 2 weeks until my final race of the year. I WILL PR that race, and I will run through the winter. I'm signed up for a race in February, and one in April. I have running plans and goals into at least 2012. I will take my lessons from today, move forward, and never look back.

1) I simply CANNOT eat like a trucker and expect to run like a gazelle
2) I absolutely HAVE to stretch for optimal performance
3) A warm-up wouldn't hurt
4) A day without motion is a precursor to a day like today

I also happened to completely forget today was World Run Day. If you haven't already, go get your run on! It doesn't have to be pretty, to count.

1 comment:

Amy Boukair said...

While it may not have been pretty, you still did the miles. That should count for something, non?

Diet will be very tricky now, especially for us unemployed folks with a lot of time on our hands, and (gasp) the holidays coming up.

Do what you can. It's all you can do.