A Spring Blowout

FasterSkierApril 26, 2004

April 19

I have spent the entire last week trying to recover from a cold. I don’t recall the last time I was unable to train for a week because of the common cold. I should feel fortunate that I didn’t contract a case of full-blown flu.

On Easter morning my scheduled workout was a 5 mile race pace run. This is like a race, but I’m the only runner at the race, so it’s technically a time trial. These workouts are to be taken pretty seriously, approach just like a race. A 10 minute warmup, and a couple strides, then hit the go button. It was about as tough as usual, until 3.5 miles in. I didn’t have time to battle the inner demons that beg you to stop the pain. My body simply pulled off the road. If a conversation took place I missed it. Usually I can coax myself mile by mile until I get past a tough spot. The race pace workout was over, I jogged home completely spent.

Worse yet, I awoke Monday morning with that sick feeling.

A bit frustrating. What was the cause of the blowout ? Was it the cumulative effect of all the intense running on the heels of the nordic ski race season ? It is so tough to crank the mileage up after a dozen or so weeks of ski racing. I just want to relax, but there isn’t time for that. I have just enough time after ski racing wraps up to prepare myself for my first big race of the running season, the 5/3 25 km River Run in Grand Rapids, MI. Was it too much intensity ? Track intervals Monday. Long Run Tuesday. Tempo Run (Threshold) Wednesday. 5 mile recovery day Thursday. Race Pace Friday. Long Run Saturday. Sunday recovery.

One reason may be the threshold run. It had been a while since I looked at my threshold numbers. I had been thinking that I needed to have at least 165 bpm to be in the correct zone for a threshold workout. However, I was mistaken. That was the ceiling of the workout ! Anytime I had seen lower numbers than 165, I felt compelled to crank up the pace so I could see 165 bpm on my HRM. The result ? I feel this is why I lost a week of training to illness. Couple a 5 mile race pace workout just two days after the “Threshold-Plus” workout, and it’s like racing a couple 10k’s within 48 hours of each other. No wonder I was vulnerable to illness.

Last night was Sunday night, one week since the blowout. I was determined to run after a week of fitful attempts. I had logged a run of 3 miles, 2 miles and a sorry sad ONE MILE run. Took Saturday off. Sunday night when my workout window opened, the weather was bizarre. April 18, and it was 25% humid (in Michigan !), 84 degrees F (in Michigan !) And blowing 26 mph, gusting to 33 mph (officially per NWS). But, I went out anyway. Glad I did. I finally was able to cover the basic 5 mile run again. I felt as weak as you’d expect, but at least I felt like myself again. Now I can hit it again. Yet another valuable lesson learned.


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