Friday, October 8, 2010

???

Physical well being is such a fickle thing sometimes. All week last week I was feeling like I had really found my stride (sorry for the lame pun) in my running, and also in my physical and emotional well being in general. I was running more than I had run in weeks and I was feeling really good most of the time. I ran 130 miles in an 8 day span and it seemed like my body was responding really well. And more than that it felt like my mind was responding really well. Running was becoming really fun again (for the first time since I was in France) and I was feeling really excited about life in general. And then this Tuesday I went out for a run, intending to do 12-15 miles easy, and my body just felt horrible. I ended up running only 8 miles that day, and have only run 4 miles total since then. I'm still feeling good about life in general but my body is for some reason really worn out right now. I've had some fairly severe pain in my lower back and just today I feel like I'm coming down with another cold or illness of some sort. Luckily I'm running a race in a week since races always seem to cure my ills.

This past 5 weeks is the most I have been challenged in my running in almost 18 months. I'm sure there is a reason for this, and I'm sure there is a lesson in this, but right now I'm too close to it all to see it as clearly as I need to. Maybe I just need an extended break from running, but right now it doesn't feel like that. I've been pretty good in the past (I think) at knowing when I need a break and it just doesn't feel like that right now. I guess time will tell.

16 comments:

Brandon Fuller said...

Shake it off. The snow will be coming snow. We are just getting warmed up!

AJW said...

Reading your words and trying not to interpret them too much I'd say you're overtrained. Or, you're sandbagging:)

Jannicke Bergh said...

You have a healthy attitude towards running. I'm sure you'll work things out.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Hope the race cures what ails you.

mom said...

Maybe you do need a break - you have had a lot of changes in your life in the past few months and maybe a break is what is needed. Please take care of yourself. If you really don't feel good, go to a doctor. OK - it's Mom just worrying. Love you

Will said...

You need a break...work on your base and forget the intensity for a while.

Collin said...

Hey Geoff,
Be careful with needing a break! My own stubbornness and not taking needed time off when I got mono has set me back almost a year in my running. You are one of the best long distance trail runners in the world, but basic physiology (I am working on a PhD in bioengineering, so I'm not full of crap... haha...) tells us that anyone racing your kind of schedule can't do it year round, no matter how insane their abilities are. I know you've been on this constant stream of better and better races for well over a year, but you'd be surprised at what 2 weeks off (or 2 very light weeks of like 20 easy miles to keep from losing a lot of conditioning) will do for you. The number one rule, as I've really learned this year after having continual setbacks by trying to run when I should've been resting, is to always listen to the cues your body gives you.

HEATHERRUNS said...

When all else fails... Listen to your mom ;)

footfeathers said...

I think your and my mom hang out, 'cause they sound identical.

130 miles in 8 days would likely leave anyone feeling tapped. Running like you do is a constant cycle of highs and lows. It'll swing back high soon enough.

Now go eat your spinach and drink oj.
tl

Wyatt Hornsby said...

Geoff: You're way more talented than I am but please allow me to share some observations that are relevant to what's going on with you. My family and I moved to Colorado in April from Ohio (sea level) and I can't tell you how much I suffered. Dude, I'm just now starting to feel good (evidenced by an awesome Pikes Peak summit and return trip on Saturday). The elevation kicked my ass and I barely finished the Leadville 100 in August under 25 hours, despite weeks and weeks of 100+ miles and plenty of confidence to boot. The elevation here in Colorado is very hard on the body (and mind) and only now I realize that all those 100-mile weeks training for Leadville, suffering through bouts of feeling like freaking garbage, were doing me a huge disservice. I was irritable and not sleeping well (over-training signs, as you know) but still pushing my body to the max. I wish I'd cut back my mileage a bit and allowed myself to adjust, rather than just clamping down and staying with my status quo training approach to 100s. The effects of elevation on a well-conditioned athlete who is used to living at sea level cannot be over-stated. Again, you are a way better runner than I am, but I think you should probably back off and let your body adjust for the next few months. Good luck, bro!

Wyatt

eric said...

hi geoff,

was reading "born to run" and i got interested in some fact checking... stumbled across your wikipedia page and thought, "hey, i know this guy!"

wow, geoff, you've really smashed the world of distance running into a million pieces! not that i couldn't imagine it based on your H.S. career... cheers to you!!

anyway, you've got yet another fan and follower...

one of the best skills, i would guess, you acquire as a runner of your caliber is the ability to listen to your body, understand what it's telling you and react accordingly. in your post, it would seem you already know the answer to your issue!

best of luck, geoff. i'll be cheering for you.

cheers,
eric (hodge)

Jonny P said...

Maybe run a bit less, cross train a bit more. When my body tells me to run less, I listen, yet I pick up my bike instead. You can still keep up on your conditioning and aerobic capacity yet rest your running bones and muscles by riding your bike more, swimming, even hiking with some weight on your back.

Most endurance athletes cross train, spend time in the weight room, and not always on your feet.

good luck!

fowvaydriver said...

careful about being over trained. nagging colds/reoccurring colds and or illness is a sure sign of it. i have full respect for you as a runner. these things are said in light of that.
best of luck on shaking out the bugs.
-jess

Hone said...

I think you need to man up.

Mike Barton said...

Blood tests always help, testing for liver enzymes and kidney function. Doesn't take long to have these levels return to normal with rest. Without rest these numbers will continue to fall, its a hole that could be hard to dig yourself out from.

Anonymous said...

when in doubt, leave it out.