Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Week in review: July 25-July 31

Last week was a recovery week during which I suffered a minor injury.  I'm not going to get into the gory details of the training like my usual WIR posts, but I do want to write about 2 workouts, and the consequences of the little bruise.

The week was scheduled:  Day off, recovery run, recovery run, form work, threshold time trial, whatever in Cuevas, whatever in Cuevas.  It went:  Day off, recovery run, recovery run, form work, threshold time trial (DNF), run really fast from Samaipata to Cuevas, day off.  Guess which workouts I'm going to write about...

Friday I had scheduled a "Threshold Time Trial".  Perhaps you're wondering what that is.  Threshold is really Lactate Threshold - the point at which blood lactate is flushed from your muscles at the same rate it's created by your energy system.  Lactate Threshold Heart Rate (LTHR) is the key to all of my training.  It sets my heart rate zones and guides my future workouts.  A DNF in this workout isn't particularly desirable, but does still yield some interesting information.

Anyway, I had a 1 hour 15 minute block of time set aside for warm up, TT and cool down.  It was freaking windy out, I checked out the weather before I set out and saw that the wind was blowing from the north at 50 km/h and gusting to 80.  That's 30 mph with gusts to 50 for the metrically impaired.  I tweeted it'd be a fun run.

My warmup was 3 of my high cadence form drills spaced 5 minutes apart.  At 20 minutes into my run, I hit the lap button on my Garmin and took off.  I was running in the low 6's and my heart rate was surprisingly low.  The way this test is structured, you run essentially as hard as you can for 30 minutes.  At the end of the first 10 minutes of the test, hit the lap button on your heart rate monitor, and your LTHR will be approximated by the average heart rate of the final 20 minutes of the test.

By the end of the first 10 minutes of my effort my heart rate was still off from what I was expecting to see and I was starting to feel like I wasn't getting enough air (I still have some of that goop in my chest from a couple of weeks back).  I was being pushed along by that wind and faced with the prospect of turning around and running back into it.  Less than 5 minutes after hitting my 10 minute lap, I wimped out.

What did I learn from this workout?  I expect I may have overestimated my LTHR previously and have since adjusted it down 3 bpm.  We'll see how that effects my recovery during the week.  I also have a lot to say on the wind.  I mentioned before, there'll be a pretty lengthy nerd post on the wind in the not too distant future.

The other workout was a run from Samaipata to Cuevas.  I didn't bring my camera.  I did it after lunch.  It was downhill.  It was pretty darn quick.  There were 2 chased by dog incidents.

 For the first 4 miles or so I thought I'd run the 20+ km in under an hour and 30 minutes.  Unfortunately somewhere around mile 4, the perfectly sized rock impacted the underside of my heel very hard.  It hurt like a son of a bitch.

I limped along at a decent clip for a while, but quickly started developing a hot spot (which turned into a blister).  This here is one of the arguments against going minimal.  I did this run in my VFF Trek Sport shoes.  Had I been wearing normal road running shoes, I wouldn't have bruised my heel and likely wouldn't have had the weird stride change that resulted in the blister.

I ended up taking Sunday off because of the pain in my left heel and right calf which I assume took on a lot of the load once I switched from running to very fast limp.  Anyway, even though I suffered that injury pretty early on in the run, I still finished the 12.77 mile on a half marathon PR pace, and it wasn't any near race effort.

Oh well, the pain in my heel is almost gone and I was able to get a really good effort in yesterday.  In fact I think the day off really aided my recovery and will likely incorporate the bookend days off into my future recovery weeks (Monday and Sunday - off).

About the dogs, one of them I thought was going to attack for sure.  It was a giant.  I have no idea what kind of dog it was, but if that sucker tripped me, I think I may have been a goner.  Scared me enough that I may never actually do that run again.  We'll see.  I'm looking into pepper spray and/or a whip.

Thanks for reading, and don't be food.

If you make it all the way through this post, please leave a comment so that I may commend your fortitude.

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