Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pain Killers

After finishing my run on Sunday, my back was really sore, and every time I made the wrong movement I was almost wincing in pain. It must have been caused by running in a tired state so that my form had badly deteriorated, hunched over like a octogenarian. It really had me worried for a while, but on Monday that had already gone away, after just one night’s sleep.

Unsurprisingly, that was not the end of pain; for the last 3 days I have paid for my long weekend with a pair of very sore legs. At least the pain is completely symmetrical, both legs sending identical symptoms from the same muscles. Looking at a that picture, the Vastus Medialis is the worst affected, with the Vastus Lateralis coming a fairly close second. The Stick has seen a lot of action again, but my quads were so sore initially that I was wincing almost before it even touched my legs.

My usual test for leg soreness is walking down the staircase at work. On Monday, I had to hold on to the handrails for support. At first I was wondering why I was as sore as after a marathon, then I remembered that not only had I done more than a marathon on Saturday, it also included 3 mountain passes, followed by more of the same on Sunday. Of course I was sore!

By Tuesday I managed to walk down without holding on, though it still hurt a lot. Today, Wednesday, there is just some residue of soreness left, so recovery is going well. Which is good, because I intend to do more of the same the following weekend. Eventually, or so I hope, my quads will be rebuilt with sufficient strength to sustain long, steep downhill miles during the first third of an Ultra, which is exactly what lies in wait in Dingle.

Unsurprisingly, the training schedule went out of the window over the last 3 days. I took Monday off completely (actually, that was according to schedule) and only did 5 miles on Tuesday, starting out on my tippitoes initially and then waiting for the endorphins to kick in, which took 3 miles. Wednesday morning was similar, but already a good bit easier. It’s a wonderful feeling when the body-internal drugs kick in and take the pain away. I could get hooked on that. Oh, hang on …
20 Jul
5 miles, 43:36, 8:43 pace, HR 131
21 Jul
6.1 miles, 53:31, 8:46 pace, HR 130


  1. You have been doing a lot of training recently - I feel such a fraud whineing about my niggles and aches after reading your diary. But seriously I do have slight twinges in the outer thigh (can't even remember what you called it now -the place were your seconf to worse soreness was) - pause to listen to the sound of 3 tuenelss violins wail....

  2. Thomas you ought to really be careful not to go too fast down the hills at the start of Dingle!

    I made the mistake at the Hilo marathon in Hawaii and it was a really painful last 10Ks that I don't want to repeat!

    Hope you get well soon.

  3. Dingle can't be as bad as Boston! Good to give the quads some work in preparation.

    Glad you're teaching Maia at an early age the importance of running in the grand scheme of things ;)