Archive for the ‘downhill’ Category

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Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

My break from running was short, but for some reason my body was thinking it was longer. I have run 4 out of the last 6 days with two set of back to back days. I am feeling really slow and experiencing a few minor injury problems. It is as if I brought my conditioning to a pretty high level and after the break my body is rebelling.

I have been having periodic issues with my hip lately. I have had these in the past, but it seems as if they have decided to flair up this week. I have been using the foam roller on my hips and that seems to help quite a bit, so perhaps that is the answer I am looking for.

On Sunday my running partner and I did an enjoyable nine miles in Forest Park, toward the end we decided to pick up the pace as we left the park and headed down the hill. Running downhill is supposed to build strength in the legs and running fast downhill is even better. The hard part of doing the fast downhill is letting go and not holding back. If you can relax your legs and gate to let your body just carry itself forward the downhill run can be a good thing. But if you are holding back you tighten up and can more easily cause injury to your legs and back. I think I was able to relax in our run down Thurman St. and we finished feeling good. My problem came later.

After our run and sushi my running partner wanted to go to the gym for a shower so I decided to bus home. The light rail took me from NW to downtown where I could pick up a bus to my neighborhood. On the train ride I saw that I had plenty of time to catch my bus, or so I thought. When I got off the train I had about a five block walk to catch the bus and when I turned into the bus mall there went my bus. The buses make a lot of stops downtown and tend to go slowly, so I thought I could catch it if I sprinted. Three blocks later I just made my bus! Phew! But as I sat down I realized my left leg was in pain. I could barely lift it. My sprint had been all I could take and I appeared to strain my left thigh. I seriously could not lift my leg, I could walk ok as long as I shuffled.

That evening I did a lot of gentle stretching and foam rolling concentrating on my left leg and it seemed to do the trick. Well that and taking a couple more days off combined with more stretching and rolling. My first run after the strain went pretty well. It was basically a junk run, over 70% of max so no recovery benefit and not nearly fast enough to be a quality run. But I put in some miles, eight of them, and most importantly was relatively pain free. I felt a little bit of occasional pain in my hip, but I was able to align myself and run through it. The only odd issue was feeling somewhat exhausted, like I still hadn’t recovered from my running break.

The next day (today) I started out resigning myself to another junk run. My thinking was that I might need to build up some regular running as a way of getting back into running form. Before I knew it I was cruising along at a pretty good clip with my HR in 160s. I quickly decided that my fear of doing quality workouts was not based in reality and today’s junk run became a slow tempo run, but still a tempo run and still a quality run. I felt pretty good as I maintained my high HR for five and a half miles or so before I slowed to a cool down for the final mile. The run felt great and I was really glad to beat the heat that showed up in the afternoon.

On another note we are considering doing the Pints to Pasta run that goes from the Widmer Brewery to the Spaghetti Station. Free food and beer and a new shirt are all part of the deal. Its a 10k and would be a good way to get another race it this year. My partner wants to do the Race for the Cure 5k the week following, so this would be a good warm up for that for her. More on this soon.

Running downhill

Friday, July 4th, 2008

I have been finding myself running slower downhill as if I am holding back. I pulled my groin stopping quickly stopping for a woman and stroller while going downhill, they popped out from a park entrance. After some rest, I went back to running but with a somewhat ginger step. After awhile it went away but I would hold back on the downhill. So I have been trying to let go on the hill down passed East Moreland golf course, just let my momentum pull me along. In some ways it is really meditative just flying along, but I also need to keep my eyes open for branches and holes in the asphalt.

On my run this morning I hadn’t decided on how far I would go, but I seriously was thinking a short run, maybe 4-5 miles. But I ended up going for my usual 8 mile route. I was finishing up in the canyon before I headed home. I come off the first foot bridge and around the overhanging theater and was confronted with a sign that said the trail was closed for the week. I thought “nice short notice Reed.” So I looped around and ran into this guy walking along. As I passed him I told him not to head east as the path was closed for the week. He looked at me with both gratitude for mentioning it and surprise when he said “actually, the sign said next week, the 7th.” Duh, he was right and I had added the loop to my already long 9 miler that was supposed to be 4. But no seizures until my cool down when I had a small one.