So last week, really from Saturday 7/19 to yesterday (7/29) Suz and I were in Michigan, touring around the state. While I had envisioned maintaining some form of training schedule running in some of the more beautiful parts of the state, once we got out there I figured what with the Boston Half Marathon around 11 weeks away this was just about the perfect time for a mid-summer break. So a week full of not-running. About the only athletic thing I did was run down and then crawl up the 450-foot sand cliff along the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. That said, that was hard!
I was curious to see how my body would react to the week of sudden inactivity. In general, pretty well I think. Obviously being on vacation helped, since I was sleeping a good amount and having a great time and in good spirits, so probably not in as acute need of the mood boost that you get from a good hard run. I also noticed that my metabolism kept kicking along even without any activity to spur it, in other words, I was hungry the entire week and ate everything I could get my hands on. I probably gained a pound or two (haven’t checked).
On Monday, the day before we left, I decided that enough was enough, and went out for a hilly five-miler through the streets surrounding my house. Did 5 miles in pretty oppressive heat without the aid of my water belt (which I had forgotten), at a decent easy pace (7:45ish) and then added a few hill sprints on the “big hill” behind my house. We used to call it that when we were kids and it would add an impressive amount of speed to an already-manically-pedaled bike; now it doesn’t seem quite so large but it was still large enough to give my legs and lungs another bit of a kick.
Yesterday I was pretty sore, but my friend Mark Breeze helped drag me out for a welcome back run about 4 hours after we stepped off of the plane. It’s normally the day I do 2 or 2.5 hard tempo miles, but in the spirit of easing back into things we did 1 easy, 1 tempo (7:15), 1 easy, 1 tempo and then called it a day. A good run though in the lingering 7PM Cambridge mid-summer heat.
Today I am very sore and laid in bed rather than get out early and make up the 10-miler that I skipped on Sunday. I figure this week I can bring in 20 miles and then get back to 30 next week with the intention of pushing up the mileage again through August before tapering in mid-September for the half. We’ll see if recently-rested muscles and tendons sign on to this plan or not…