July 15, 2014 by scratchtype1
A little bit of muscle along the left shin is a bit tweaked right now. Because of that, I’m going to cut back the mileage this week and do nothing fast and hard. In fact, I plan to run mostly around recovery pace and monitor how things feel as I go along. When this started getting tweaked, I don’t know. The best guess is that it happened sometime Saturday, because I first felt it some when I woke up Sunday morning. I only ran 2 on Sunday, but it might not have been good to do on the varied and awkward terrain in the nature preserve. The tweak felt worse yesterday, then felt better as the day went along and after running.
It was again stiff this morning when I first set out, then loosened up and has felt better since. But I’d this morning’s stiffness was less than Monday’s, so it makes me optimistic that if I’m careful, I can continue to run quite easy and the tweak will untweak itself in time.
It’s been a little more than 2 months now that I got serious about using the heart rate monitor as a way to regulate how hard I run. This morning, I got to see another one of those indicators that improvement is occurring with all this low heart rate training. The Garmin had just beeped and indicated the completion of the second barefoot mile and I had up to that point been running recovery level. I decided that for the last .4 miles before I got back to the bridge and the Xeros that I would increase effort to take the heart rate up to 136, the ceiling for easy level for me. I ran it at 9:15 pace, which with its slight downhill to it, I’ve got numbers and experience that tells me that section is worth about 15 seconds per mile versus level terrain, so consider that to be about 9:30 pace at a heart rate of 136. The temperature was about 73 and nearly 100 percent humidity. Nice. I can hardly wait to see how it feels to run easy pace when the temp is down in the low 50s and there isn’t so much humidity. I wonder how fast I’ll have to be moving then to get my heart rate up around 136.
I had a bit of weirdness on Saturday’s long run. It started off well and about 8 miles through it I was thinking I would take the run to half-marathon distance or more maybe. And then I bonked during mile 9, I felt the legs get heavy and pace began dropping off. I struggled against that, but it was on a quick and steep uphill that it became clear — cut things short. I wondered if it could be a blood sugar issue, but a check of that came back at 115 mg/dL, so that was fine. It was later when I got home and checked my blood pressure that I found it was 82/40 which is very low for me, and I suspect it had probably gone lower while I was out there running. Perhaps that created that feeling of a bonk. It may also have been brought on some by dehydration, because when I weighed myself before I got in the shower I was down about 3 pounds. I don’t know how that happened because I drank plenty of fluids on Friday. The other factor might be the blood pressure medicine I take and the fact that I didn’t cut the dose down Friday evening, along with overall I’ve been noticing a downward trend in blood pressure readings for me over the last month. Some of that is due to the warmer weather, but it might also be all this aerobic exercise I’ve been doing is having effect as well.
But anyhow, I felt that weirdness and frustration while out there and during part of it I began to have a lot of deer flies buzzing my head. Whenever I have that happen, I often flash back to a run I did 5 years ago back in July, during what was going to be one of the happiest periods of my life and may remain the happiest period of my life that I’ll ever know. I remembered that and it contrasted against the weakness and sluggishness I felt this last Saturday and I almost began to weep because of it. What craziness is this, I asked myself.
There is no real answer to that. There never will be. I felt lonely from it all though. Quite lonely. Maybe that’s what led me to taking a long walk in the nature preserve on Sunday after I had run the 2 miles. I took pictures of the flowers that are blooming there now. I also walked to the potter’s field and looked at the numbered memorial markers. On the way back to the car, I only had one person go by me in the other direction. I said good morning but he seemed uncomfortable at the sight of a man in a kilt walking barefoot over the dirt and rocks. Then later as I went down a hill I stopped a bit to look at the honey bees who were visiting the morning glories growing. Back up at the top of the hill behind me, I could see a couple of people walking down. I took a video of a bee down in the morning glory, and then squatted there for some time.
Eventually I stood up again and glanced back up the hill. The couple of people were now walking back up the hill, but they must have been walking down for some time before that judging by the position on it. Sometimes I almost swear it’s like I have some sort of people repellent field on me at times.