Fatigue is a funny thing. It sneaks up when you think you’re doing fine. sure the VO2 crap is hard… been doing the 120% efforts for 3 weeks now and while they are tough, they are doable. Even when the sets stack up with the longer 100% FTP sets, getting them done is fun. … in a sick puppy kind of way….
I should have seen the signs. The reluctance to go down and begin the workout…. Procrastinating till it is so late I really should just call it a day. But how can I just quit like that? The personal shame would be too much, so I drag myself down and get on the bike…..
Feeling flat during the day like I didn’t sleep when in fact I got 7 hours of un-interrupted sleep. In the AM, when the alarm goes off, I lay there…. Not ready to get up… it goes off again and again. I hit the snooze button each time. Finally 30 minutes later I realize if I don’t get up now I will be late to work. Can’t have that so I get up… grudgingly and start some coffee and head for the shower….. even there I feel empty of energy…. Eyes closed, feeling the hot water as it lulls me, I feel half asleep again…..
Training had been going well. My new found speed running has been great. Knowing my bike motor is building – watching the watts on my Joule….. sweat dripping in puddles around the bike…. I thought I felt strong. Confident in my ability to with stand the ravages of fatigue. Heck, it is only about 7 hours a week of training. How bad can that do me in? I have 2 full days off every week. My longest sessions are only 2 hours if I do extra zone 3 stuff or extra miles running. How can that beat me up so bad?
Well, it happened. Sunday’s run was supposed to be a 16 mile steady pace run. Tempo miles were optional on the 8 mile return trip. Just past the 2 mile mark I felt a funny twinge in my lower left calf, just below the Gastroc. OK I’m thinking. I had started easy and wasn’t ready to ramp up to my normal pace yet anyway. So, I’ll ease up a bit and let it relax, no problem.
Not happening. Two hundred yards further – bang! Cramp… Crap!.... stop and walk…. Stretch… walk… stop…. Man this suck!.... This wasn’t just a twinge. No, it was one of those spasms that wasn’t going to quit. Better turn around and walk. Too bad. The weather was decent. Sunny, temps in the 20’s, not too much snow on the shoulders. But I really needed to go back. I did jog a bit – off and on. Mostly off. Compression and ice when I got home. Roll it some with the Stick, put more ice on it….. Good thing Monday is a rest day.
Tuesday should be a hard bike with a easy brick run. It was almost 8:30 before I managed to get on the bike….didn’t really want to start but once I did it was OK. The main set was 5x2.5’s @ 120% then follow that with 25’ @ 85%. The run was to be a 20’ easy run… didn’t know if I was up for that… the last thing I want to do now is get a season ending injury. Right now it is more of a nuisance thing and I just as soon keep it that way. I did run, easy – 30 seconds slower than my normal easy pace. Mostly discomfort free, no pain, but some twinges of tightness almost got me to stop. At the 20’ mark I was just over 2 miles and decided to go to 3…. That should be just about 27 minutes… finished without incident, which was encouraging.
Today at work, no problems with the calf but that fatigue thing was there. Yeah, it has to be the fatigue that cause the calf issue. Must be the athlete in me – stubborn and stupid about feeling flat and being in denial about it. So now here I am on Wednesday – run day and no running….. to flat, too sore, too tired….
Coach says “stand down”. He is right. I know it. Skip a few runs, maybe do some light x-c skiing, try a few easier bike sets, but no running….. NO RUNNING… did you hear me? NO RUNNING until the leg is better!