Saturday, March 28, 2009

March Madness

No, I have not become obsessively compulsively addicted to viewing the Sweet Sixteen college basketball teams battle it out for the "number 1" ranking in the NCAA Tournament. I do mean not running for 31+ days in order to allow an appropriate healing and rehabilitation of feet, ankles, hamstrings, and Achilles tendons to heal after two back-to-back marathons.

I now know why I have never done this before ... it is madness! Sheer madness. If it were not for my bicycles I would be insane - Insane I tell you! I knew on February 15 that I would impose a one week mandatory "no-run" period just for the sake of allowing muscles and feet and ankles and such to rest and recover. I ran one 4 miler, slow and easy, 8 days post-Donna and discovered that indeed a longer recovery was truly necessary this time around. So, I declared to the world as I know it: "I am taking the month of March off from running." And, so hopped on the road bike 4-5 times a week and the mountain bike a few times in order to keep the fitness level boosted until I would return to pounding the pavement.

This past Thursday, 31 days into my self-imposed running moratorium, the weather promised it would not hold out long enough for me to get in my regular ride. What to do know? I am thinking to myself: March is not yet over; the Blue Line 100 ride is Sunday; I really want to rest on Saturday; and yet I can't ride today, maybe not tomorrow or Saturday... So, I say to myself, "Self, we will hit the streets a few days early, and see what we shall see. We will keep it easy and short for the first run out of recovery, and that is what we will do."

I have to tell you, the run itself was GRRRREAATTTTTT! I put in about 3 miles at a wicked good pace (8:42/miles) and felt good afterwards. Friday morning was a completely different story. Thank goodness the Achilles was not plaguing me as I was worried it might. But, can I tell you, creaky creaky. That same old left hamstring reminded me that yes siree bob it is still connected, and the quads spoke up and voiced their opinion of maybe a slightly too ambitious pace for the first time in a month. So, as I am again faced with the weather dilemma today (one day before a 100 mile ride) I ask myself: "Self, do we run a short run? Or, do we rest and ride hard tomorrow?" I will probably run short and slow to stretch out a bit, and then ready myself for the Hills of Havana Hell tomorrow. Truly, I am looking forward to tomorrow's ride. It is an anniversary of sorts - a year since my first century (The Blue Line Metric 100, March 2008). It will be an awesome morning.

I'll let you know how March finishes out. Who knows, maybe 31 days is just enough of a recovery if you do it right. ;-)

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