Monday, June 8, 2009

My Inner Athlete!

Uhggggg....My inner athlete went missing this last week. It was a recovery week and that is really the only reason I was able to save last weeks workouts. I am not sure if my inner athlete was really on vacation or just laying on the couch with her feet up watching bad movies on HBO. One thing I know for sure is she was not part of any productive athletic pursuits! I was on my own with all my sleepy demons alive and well on all my runs. After the canyon I had a recovery day on Wednesday which felt really good and made me super optimistic for Thursday's track session. Since Bill and Alex were on the school trip for the week I was home alone with no responsibilities which meant I could sleep in, not cook dinners, let the laundry pile get the picture. sweet as that sounds it really brought out lazy Ronda and I felt like a slug. Apparently I only have 2 speeds...on or off.

My track workout was awful, slow and all I wanted to do was lay down and cuddle the white lines on the hot black top. It felt like I was dragging a tire and working really hard going no where....very slow. I cut off my last 1200 meters, sulked to my car and went home to take a nap with my inner athlete. The nap didn't help! Friday I did my recovery run in the afternoon and it must have been about 94 degrees. Instead of feeling re-charged and ready for the weekends workouts I felt yucky. Is this post beginning to sound like someone who is describing a lot of over training symptoms??????? I know I am riding the edge big time right now. When lots of sleep, good eating and an easy week doesn't bring my inner athlete back in action I know I have pushed her over the edge and she is pissed!

Saturday was a mini Black Saturday and with very grey clouds and a mood to match it I sheepishly dressed myself for the workout. I have an added element to BS for then next 3 weeks. This last weekend was the tester. Besides the 2X45,55, or 60 minute hills I get to add another one but power hiking instead of running. Okay, that sounds like no big deal but it jumps the workout another 1.5 hours and adds another killer descent. This is added to be sure my legs get enough single track downhilling so their lasting power at Hardrock is increased. I have never done this before until last Saturday. Fortunately it was a recovery week and the workout was only 2X20 minute running and one 20 minute session of power hiking. I think all of us were somewhat tired and wearing ho hum attitudes but no one announced it except for me.....big buzz killer...except the buzz was really low so I dont' feel bad. I've been told by pretty much everyone who knows me I have no poker face. Forcing a smile and an upbeat mood when I don't truely feel it is much more of workout than any of the running I do! The hill repeats were over before I knew it because after 45 minute sessions 20 seems over before the next song on my Ipod starts. I actually felt strong on the climbs which lifted my mood and teased my inner athlete (look what your missing.....)but when it came to busting down the hills it was another story. I felt like an 8 month old wobbling for the first time but since I am 42 there were no helping hands to steady my limp legs. I had very little static contraction and my head and eyes were not in touch with my legs. The synapses must have been on the couch with my inner athlete. I still did an acceptable time but nothing like I know I can do and BETTER DO!

Sunday was a 2 hour run in Forest gorge, just running. I did have 2X10 minutes at threshold and picked just the right spot to force that heart rate up. I got things moving so it was an okay run in the end.

So here I am today wondering and hoping my inner athlete is over her lazy spell and is ready to get back in the game. We have had several discussions, some not so sweet and loving but I think we're on the same page. I have to manipulate her well because I am basically and empty shell without her. :) We talked about the workouts ahead and how this is it....our last chance to push the fitness level. We went over Hardrock together and we both know it will be us against the mountains so we need to be working together like never before. With a week of rest I am pretty sure I have her convinced to dial it up a notch for this next 3 weeks of peak training. I am now pretty sure I have multiple personalities and most of them are stubborn. We're heading to the track tomorrow for a whopper!


  1. Sometimes you just need a rest! I see you're on the starting list now for HR! AWESOME!

  2. Ronda, this was the best column I've read in a long time. I really, really needed this. Ironically, it gives me hope and optimism. For us mere mortals, reading your workouts, with your incredible abilities, can actually be sometimes just exhausting. Okay, 99% they are the opposite - they inspire me. But to read that you are indeed human with a week like that, but still do all the things you do before and after the one crappy week, well that just proves what a truly amazing athlete you are - not a god, but an amazing human athlete. Thank you for sharing with us.

  3. If I know you at all, your Inner Athlete is jumping up and down right now, ready to kick ass. It's ok to slack once in a while.

  4. Ronda - This post really spoke to me. Though I am no where near your level of intensity, I hit a "down" spot myself recently. I think ultra-runners get so used to being able to do extreme things, we almost begin to take them for granted and downplay how physically taxing this lifestyle can be. Or maybe this tough-as-nails group feels like being tired once is a weakness, but I think it is important to acknowledge the need for rest and recovery (and not feel bad about it).

    After doing Peterson Ridge, Capitol Peak, Mac Forest, a one hour track time trial, and WS training camp over an 8 week period, I was spent. I had no zip in my legs at all and even easy runs seemed hard. So I sent my "inner-athlete" on vacation: 3 days without running. It made me panicky and anxious, but reading about "over training syndrome" on the web scared me enough to stick to it.

    Relish the recovery - it will only make you stronger!

  5. It was great for you to get me out there as I had one of my best workouts this year.

    Relish the good, learn from the bad, and know you will bring it on race day ;-)

  6. Thanks for all the overly kind words. You guys seem to think I am at some other level than you all are but I am not! In fact, many of you are far faster runners than I. I need all this intensity in my training to run my best plus I love the challenges and new experiences. You are all so right about recovery but it's really hard to remember that when things seem to be heading south. I learned the valuable lesson about recovery during the SLAM and the more rested I was the better I ran. Keep up the good work and don't let your inner athlete down.:)