Thursday, September 11, 2008

Prophesy This

Do you know my secret ultimate super power? I am the queen of self-fulfilling prophecy. In fact, I'm so good at it they should have made a Disney movie out of me (well, the producers did come knocking).

While I don't know if I'd wear a cape, corseted leotard or a mask, I think I could hold a candle to Superman... if and only if our objective were to defeat one common enemy: me.

No, no, no, nothing bad has happened. But my right quad has been increasingly achy for the past couple weeks. I know: it's the consequence of upping my miles faster than recommended and not allowing enough recovery time. I'm on a tight schedule for Sept. 27 here, people!

My fault entirely.

Anyhow, the quad has been tight and a little nagging all year. Yoga and targeted stretching, rest and massage have worked their magic for months. Until now (bum, bum, bum... may the movie-voice guy rest in peace).

I ran 7 miles on Tuesday and returned home to some tightness, which I didn't really stretch until the next morning. Several times I reminded myself that by this time last year I was training in tears from injuries, but that didn't rush me to my yoga mat. Just to bed.

Then came Wednesday's 6 miles. The quad felt subtly tight and not problematic at all. About 1.5 miles into the run, however, it really started aching. First I tried to run through it, then I stopped to stretch, to massage, to shake, to grimace.

So, I took a slight jogging pace to keep it warm (walking just made it worse) and headed home. The quad hurt for the first 5 minutes, but then warmed up and felt only a little yuck. Was it really achy? Did I merely convince myself it hurt? I salvaged what was left of my run (it was supposed to be a 13-miler, but we all know how some things shake out) and spent the rest of the night stretching.

For the past week I've been waking up to some serious stiffness in my quads and calves. In fact, I'm not looking forward at all to older age now or arthritis -- not that arthritis was high on my to-do anyway. Walking right out of bed was getting tough; stepping on my clutch not so good; stairs have been impossible. I'm that person who makes "ahh" and "ooh" and "ouch" sounds with each step.

This morning, however, I felt about 85 percent better. I could feel the hint of stiffness and a touch of nagging, but no pain whatsoever. The lesson here, my friends: if you have a recovery method like stretching, yoga, sleeping, eating, gambling, walking or massaging, do it! And, umm, if you can avoid convincing yourself that injury is nigh, do that too.

While this week marks the last distance week before Akron (oh, how I live to taper!), I'll probably take off today and see how the quad feels on Friday before my long day on Saturday. Sure, I won't meet my distance goal for the week, but I'd much rather run the marathon, not run in tears and run my taper weeks than sit them out. Like I missed taper last year.

Which wouldn't be very superhero of me at all...


DaisyDuc said...

Sounds like a good plan! Now ya just need your superhero to come out and play Sept. 27!!! Best of luck with the quad!

TrainingtoTri said...

Sounds like a plan, give yourself some rest.

WAit you are doing a long run on Sat, and THEN running for 2 hours on Sunday for the cupcake run?

MissAllycat said...

Sounds like you need some foam roller lovin'!!

Joe said...

I bet you're looking forward to the taper!

Steve Stenzel said...

Good luck with the quad.

I'd watch that movie....