We ran the Woodside Ramble half marathon this weekend, a mere approximate 11.8-12.5 mile run depending on whose Garmin watch you were referring to and if you were looking at mine which includes an extra mile where I made a wrong turn. In my first and only marathon, I accidentally skipped the last two miles of the race, running ‘only’ 24 miles. So this was probably making up for those lost miles.
The race was the smallest one I’ve been to, probably 30-40 runners, and it was a nice change of pace to see a very simple race set up. The trail markings were well done, except for the part where I got lost and ran an extra one mile loop.
The rain started early morning and went the entire race, although I never found it bothersome as the canopy of tree cover above us shielded us for a lot of the run. And on the second half I had some pain in my right knee that took all of my focus away from anything else but this consistent pain shooting up my right side with each downhill step. I managed to find a stride that cause this sharp pain (smaller steps) and found that I was mostly fine when running on flat or uphill terrain.
And then I started thinking about this thing called The Stick and how I was going to buy it right after the race. Imagine a rolling pin that you use to roll over your tight and sore muscles, flattening them out and working out the kinks. Feels good right? Totally right.
So this afternoon I went over to Sports Basement to buy this Stick and of course added some extras I hadn’t planned on buying but obviously needed:
Body Glide for the sore and tender right nipple. Ouch. It hurts just thinking about the hot shower water hitting that oh so tender right nipple.
Nike running gloves with slot for key in each palm. my hands were so frigid cold during the run i had to rip open the Gu with my teeth.
Adidas charcoal grey and blue running hat. I could have used a hat during the race.
Cytomax electrolytes. I drank Gatorade at the aid station and felt great after so i want to try experimenting with electrolytes in addition to Gu.
The Stick muscle massager. for the tight muscles especially up and down my right leg. hoping this helps reduce the knees issues.
SmartWool navy blue running socks. They’re the $10.50 a pair socks but I liked the first one and so why not buy a second pair.
This is the running log from our Wednesday night Run Chuggers group. For this run I wore the heart monitor and interestingly my heart rate didn’t do anything too different when we ran up Lombard for two blocks of straight uphill. You can see this in the elevation towards the last mile of the run. My heart rate felt like it was going 200 bpm but it topped at just a couple bpm more than the rest of the run.
I just bought a bad boy Garmin watch that records everything during a run. I just uploaded this past weekend’s long run at Pleasant Hill Ridge park and you can see the details at the link below. I still haven’t tried the heart rate monitor yet but that should be pretty interesting to see especially if I can overlay it with the elevation map.
On our training schedule, Sundays are noted as ‘Run on Tired Legs’. On Saturdays we have our long runs (we’re now up to 12+ miles) and for the first month of training the last thing I wanted to do the next day is run again. So for the first few Sundays, rather than run, I counted my walking around the city as my ‘tired legs workout’. I mean, have you seen the hills in San Francisco? They’re a workout in themselves.
But these past two Sundays I decided to go out for a real run and I’ve made running from my place to the Golden Gate Bridge and back my recovery run. It’s a flat 6 mile run that never gets old as there’s always people watching and sailboats and the bridge to watch. And after running up and down hills the day before, it’s a welcome change of pace to just run flat. I can definitely say though that running on concrete and asphalt puts more shock and impact on the body, especially the knees and hips. Trail runs cushion a lot of that.
A couple of coaches and experienced runners I’ve talked to say the recovery run is one of the most important parts of the training schedule. It makes your legs work a bit harder before you rest them for the next two days and this process helps build up strength. It’s too early for me to tell that for myself but one observation I can share is that it definitely makes for a more tired Sunday. Both weeks I’ve come home and needed to take a nap.
Additional research has shown that when athletes begin a workout with energy-depleted muscle fibers and lingering muscle damage from previous training, the brain alters the muscle recruitment patterns used to produce movement. Essentially, the brain tries to avoid using the worn-out muscle fibers and instead involves fresher muscle fibers that are less worn out precisely because they are less preferred under normal conditions.