Monday, January 14, 2008

Dead Legs

I have been streaking now for 15 days. This might be a record for me, though I might have gone in the past for as much as 3 weeks. Generally speaking though I am good for a 10 day streak and then I need to take a rest day. My workouts of late have been pretty hard and long so I am a little surprised to still find myself hanging in.

Here is how last week broke down:

Sunday: 6 mile run~ about 48 minutes/general aerobic run on hills

Monday: 105 minutes of swimming. 65 minutes of hiking and running with the kids in the afternoon

Tuesday: 15 minutes of walking/running with the kids. 120 minutes of running (8:38 pace--little over 14 miles)--hilly

Wednesday: 120+ minutes of biking/ 17 minutes of running (2 miles) (ugh, hills!): 1 mile walk with kids in the evening

Thursday: 30 minutes of running on the treadmill (3 miles between tempo and marathon pace. .5 mile walking), 30 minutes of swimming

Friday: 180 minutes of running for 21 miles at 8:50 pace (yep, more hills!)

Saturday: 40 minutes of running for 5 miles recovery with the last mile at tempo. (relatively flat, one hill)

Running: 51 miles
Swimming: 4 miles
Biking: 28 miles
Walking/Hiking with kids: 6 miles

And the reward from this is dead legs.

Okay, really just my calf muscles--now known as the giant lead balls on the backside of shin.

I am not exactly sure what the problem is. Definitely not a joint/bone issue and doesn't feel like tendinitis. Really it feels like the muscle is in a knot--or has a knot in it-- and it makes the rest of my leg hurt because of all the tension in the calf muscle. It isn't bothersome on the downhill or flats but on the uphill it can stop me in my tracks. My guess is calf strain. Seems I had this problem last year when I was hitting the 70 mile weeks doing doubles and taking no rest.

Yesterday I hit the trail for 6 miles and my calf muscle was super tight on the left leg. I thought it might loosen up but no dice. I think maybe there were just too many hills. The run was rough and that was very frustrating for me.

Mondays are usually a 5 mile easy run while Beau is at speech, a 2 hour bike ride with Steph and then an easy 30 minute swim in the evening. This morning I woke up and both calf muscles looked a little swollen and felt hard--particularly the left one that is giving me the most trouble. Steph is sick (feel better soon!) and it was too cold for me anyway to bike so I figured I'd hit the gym for a treadmill speed session and a swim. Then tonight I figured I could hit the bike trainer.

I got about a mile and a quarter into my warm up and my legs just felt dead. I am sure I could have pushed it and gotten at least a 5k done but tomorrow is the first of 2 2 hour runs I have planned this week. The longer runs are more important than the speedwork outs. My speed is fine for my marathon goal-- I just need to get the endurance to catch up so I can hit a sub 3:30 (McMillan says I can do 3:20 based on my 10k and half time. I say, yeah right.).

So while I hated to quit my run it was necessary in the scheme of my training plan. I suppose I could have walked but I can barely stand running on the treadmill and I really dislike walking in general--it just takes too long.

I went and changed for the pool. The whole time I kept thinking how what I really needed was a full rest day but damn blasted streak. BUT, I am not giving up on the streaking. Not yet anyway.

I walked out to the pool and I saw a guy in another lane with a buoy between his legs and a band around his ankles. And that gave me an idea.

A dead leg swim.

Sure it probably would have been easier with a buoy and the band but I didn't have either. I really had to focus on not kicking but at the same time keeping my hips up and legs afloat. I had to push my chest a little lower in the water than I normally do and pull harder with my arms but it really helped keep my legs from dragging. It was kinda neat to tweak my stroke and see how just the tiniest body adjustments would make it easier or harder. So today's workout was a modified workout in the spirit of active recovery to keep me in the streak:

30 minute swim using only my arms. I know, it is ridiculous how little it takes for me to be impressed with myself.

So just 40 minutes (10 minutes from treadmill) today but nevertheless the streak continues! 15/0


  1. Way to go on your streaking. Dead legs swim is your friend. Good for knee pain,too. . .

    I thought I would get a walk in today but since I got exhausted from checking my email, it wasn't in the cards. Sorry.

    When our trainer comes, maybe we could do trainer rides on speakerphone.

  2. How about a 30 minute yoga/stretch workout on your "rest days." That way you're still streaking, but getting some rest from the hills, AND getting some good stretching in. Just a thought.

  3. you have just gotten sooooo strange. Lala

  4. Nat, have you ever tried 'The Stick'?? When I was struggling with shin splits, it was a life saver, I just LOVE it. Def worth a try.

    Agreed with working a 'rest' day into the streaking with yoga or even an hour of good deep stretching on your own...def 'health related'!!

  5. You had a good week Ms Natalie!

    I seemed to remember that you hardly ever took a break and we had to coax you to take it easy at times...especially when you were sick.

    I think the 22 mile run had something to do with your dead legs. Give them some time and they will be back better than ever!


  6. Not sure where your hot meal post went...just wanted to share that I have the same problem. :)

  7. Streaking? What's streaking? Clothes on or off ;-) Nice run, chica! With dead legs even! And swimming with no legs? Isn't that the way triathletes are supposed to get'er done? LOL!!!

    For a rest day, try a WALK workout :-)

  8. x3 on the yoga. Was going to post that but was too tired to log back in yesterday.