Friday, September 10, 2010

Still Looking For A Rhythm

I thought I was over this head/chest cold that I've had for almost a week now, but I learned yesterday that this certainly was not the case. I didn't feel great when I set out on a run into The Indian Peaks Wilderness, but usually I'm able to run for an hour or two and get warmed up and generally feel a lot better the longer I go. I had about 4 hours to run yesterday so I chose a route up over a 12,500 ft. pass and down the backside. I figured I'd go for 1:45, turn around, and be back to the trailhead comfortably under 4 hours. I felt OK climbing up to the pass at the start, and OK going down the backside (about 2,500 ft. up and 2,500 ft. down), but when I turned around to retrace my route I felt horrible right away. I had no energy and felt like I couldn't breathe. Probably a result of my sickness as well as the high altitude which I am still not fully adjusted to. When this run was all said and done I had done 18 miles with about 5,000ft. of climbing, a very typical training run for me, the type of run I have done dozens, if not hundreds, of times in the past couple years. But never has a run this short felt so long and hard to me. By the time I finished I was completely exhausted and depleted.

It doesn't feel good to feel so weak right now, but this past week has been a very humbling experience that I think I can learn a lot from. Running feels really hard to me right now. This isn't a great place to be, but after a 14 month stretch in which running has felt shockingly easy I suppose I was due for a rough patch. My intention now is to work to find ways to turn this "rough patch" into a positive experience, something that I really haven't had to do since my DNF at Miwok last year.

10 comments:

Mike Alfred said...

Geoff, I travel a ton for work and it's easy to underestimate the effect the recycled air on airplanes, unfamiliar beds/foods, different temperatures/pressures, etc.. can have on your running. I just got back from Washington DC after only 3 days there and it almost knocked me completely on my ass. I'll probably start to feel better just as I hop on the next flight. You'll be back to full strength soon. Lots of water and rest and maybe even a day or two off (this might be heresy, I know) and you'll be back to full strength.

Wyatt Hornsby said...

Geoff: Although you're a WAY better runner than I am, when we moved out here to Colorado from Ohio back in April I really struggled. I still have moments. It takes time to acclimate to the elevation. The thing I've most noticed is how wiped out I am after a high-altitude run. I'm totally drained. It's gotten better with time, but I still got my ass handed to me at the Leadville 100 (and fortunately I got the big buckle).

Good luck and I hope you get over this cold soon!

Wyatt

Zac said...

Hi Geoff, in not having strung together more than a month of consistent running in the last five due to injury, I can understand your frustration completely. Patience seems to be the most elusive yet the most helpful virtue in dealing with such a situation - rest well, and realise that you will be back to consistency soon! Atleast that's my two cents, might not work for everyone...

Anonymous said...

just remember, you're one of the best ultra runners on the planet... you continually win at the 100 mile distance (and virtually every other distance,) while destroying course records... you're also smoking the young bucks, which is great for old geezers like myself (33...) it makes me hopeful, even though i'm just a middle of the pack kind of dude... the search for rhythm can be an opportunity to reconnect with the transcendental aspects of running and life... you've got a lot of folks pulling for you, as your success inspires all of us... at any rate, you're off the hook for pine to palm for this year, but i expect you to show oregon and/or washington some love in the year(s) to come...

peace and good things to you...

Anonymous said...

You're just at too high an elevation for good training. High altitude may be necessary if you need to acclimate for a high altitude race, but in my opinion, sea level to moderate altitude is usually better overall. The type of running you have in the mountains around Juneau at low altitude gave you your edge. When you first posted that you would be in CO for a few months, I was expecting that change in training environment would likely be detrimental...

Andrew in AK

GZ said...

I am not sure if altitude is effecting you or not Geoff ... but it might be good to check some of what Nate Jenkins experienced when he moved here.

Anonymous said...

three days off. Rest is key.

Mike C said...

Thanks for sharing your struggles Geoff. Persevere, figure out the issue, and keep sharing. The information is great for the running community and I like to read about it!

From my experience, the altitude exacerbated my overtraining symptoms, mainly anemia. Good Luck

Anonymous said...

rough patch is ok, just like any other feelings...be rough patch, this is your time to be in...enjoy & learn...

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discostu said...

You could be a front packer, mid packer or back of the packer but if you're ill you're ill and only rest will allow you to recover. Even the worlds super elite runners can not change this so why the comments from others that you are somehow impervious to this. You are only human after all. I think if I won WS100 I would take 2yrs off to recover!! :-)