I seem to have forgotten what running is, because I haven’t done it since Saturday. I felt fine immediately afterward, but as I mentioned in my earlier post, I’ve been very tight. Like, really tight. It’s not getting better. I took Monday and Tuesday off from running (and Wednesday was a cross-training day) because I’m both tight and rather sore in my left hamstring (the one I injured training for the half). I have foam rolled and used my muscle stick every day. I swam on Tuesday night – my first time doing a pool workout since 2009 when I played underwater hockey at UF. I intended to do this workout one of my teammates recommended. You warm up with 8 laps of easy freestyle, then repeat this sequence: 4 laps with a pull buoy, 4 laps with a kickboard, 4 laps of normal swim.
Except I didn’t “warm up” and just went into right into the sequence, which I did in reverse order. Literally 12 laps and I was dead. Well, OK. I could’ve gone a little bit longer but this young couple was staring at me and the other woman sharing a lane with me. It wasn’t packed but every lane had at least 2 people in it, some had 3. I was in a lane marked “slow” but I was one of the only women not wearing a swim cap (they aren’t required, so why would I? except now I think I want one), so I felt judged and uncomfortable and just wanted to get out. I was sick of them staring at me. As soon as I got out, they got in. They never asked if they could rotate in, so I’m not really sure what their problem was or if there was some pool etiquette I was missing. The woman sharing my lane was very helpful when I told her I’d never used the pool before, she showed me where I could get a kickboard and pull buoy (and how to use the pull buoy – the thing between her legs in the photo below).
Afterward, I sat in the hot tub for about 5 minutes, but my legs felt no different. No better, no worse. I’m actually getting a little concerned about how tight they are. When I got home, I foam rolled for a while. I did find that while I was foam rolling my hamstrings, I felt some discomfort in my right inner quad.
I will say that I felt insanely drained as soon as I walked out of the gym last night. I forgot what chlorine and some laps will do to you. I needed to stop at the grocery store that’s between my apartment and the gym and I found myself standing in the aisle staring at the shelves, basically sleeping with my eye open. I grabbed what I needed (Cuties and English muffins) and rushed home to have some yogurt, foam roll, and hit the sheets. I didn’t even shower – I was too tired. Now I know to never go swimming before work…
I will definitely swim again. I like that I can go at 7, swim for 15-30 minutes, use the hot tub, and be back around 8. I don’t like being away from Rags on weeknights because he’s already spent the day alone. But an hour is OK! He loves when I foam roll for some reason. He plays with the foam roller and then gets bored and plays with his toys right next to me, and usually brings me a ball to toss around the apartment.
On Wednesday, we had a DFMC Team Meeting focused on nutrition. It was SO informative. Almost everyone at the bar afterward agreed that we had been running for years and thought we knew everything we needed to about nutrition – wrong! Jonathan Roche, Founder/CEO of Breakthrough Health & Wellness Solutions and 21-year DFMC teammate, made us think way more about nutrition and how it affects our runs and recovery.
Here’s what I think has led to my incredible tightness this week:
- I ate weird on Friday night. We planned to go to Soulfire for one last hurrah but they had already closed down for good. So we went to Sunset and the food was awful. Instead of suffering through it, I barely finished half of my meal. Then went to bed.
- Whether due to Friday night’s dinner or the fact I was out of English muffins and had to steal two of my brother’s soft taco shells to slather my peanut butter on instead, but I could barely get it down. I ate half and brought the rest with me for the car ride, but never took another bite.
- I did drink plenty of water – that’s never my problem anymore.
- During our group runs, we are so spoiled with water stops every 3-3.5 miles that include water, Gatorade, gummy bears or Swedish fish, peanut butter-filled pretzel bites or regular pretzels, and peanut M&M’s. This is so wonderful and great, but those snacks won’t be on the course, and I don’t have them on my weekday runs, so I think I need to stick with what works for me Sunday-Friday.
- After the run, I had a headache which is usually from lack of caffeine for me, so I got an iced coffee on the way home. I’ve never done this after a long run before.
- I drank a lot of water, but also that iced coffee and two beers and two margaritas later Saturday night.
- I didn’t eat anything for several hours after my run. Like, not a bite.
- I got a cheeseburger and fries for a late lunch, but couldn’t finish – very unusual for me.
I think the combination of all of those things led to my legs feeling awful. They honestly still do. But Coach Jack reminded us that miles are miles are miles, and that the Arc Trainer is almost as good as running, and much better than nothing. So I’ve decided to take this whole week off from running, and do some miles both today and tomorrow on the Arc Trainer at the Y. That way, hopefully my legs are fresh for Sunday (yes – our group run is on a Sunday this weekend) because I plan to run 14 miles, even if I have to do run/walk intervals till I’m back to 100%.
I’m also going to try salt tablets. I’ve never in my life heard of anyone taking them but a few people last night said they have been a lifesaver. For $20 for 120 tablets, it’s worth a shot. Does anyone have experience with them?