This was just not my week for training. My entire body is aching!
I didn't go as hard as I would have liked because of the blisters I got from ice skating. They weren't terrible, just big enough to be slightly irritating for Monday's run. But it turned out that blisters would be the least of my concerns this week.
Before this week, if I had been asked about my take on stretching, it would have sounded much like NBA basketball player Allen Iverson and his take on practice. Yeah, sure it's a good idea, but it isn't always necessary! And when I did stretch it was only for about a minute or two total. But my body has been screaming with aches and pains for my neglecting any sort of stretching this week.
On Friday morning, I woke up with very little desire to get out of bed. That was partly due to my aching lower body after some cross-training sessions with a trainer at my gym. He thought it would be a good idea to put me through a boot-camp style workout focused on resistance training. Who knew some giant rubber bands could inflict that much pain! I've found muscles that I never knew existed!
The other reason I didn't want to move from my pillow was the realization that I had symptoms of a head cold. My nose has done more running in 48 hours than I've done with my legs all week! I didn't want to neglect the schedule so I stuck with my Saturday run. But I was hesitant because I wasn't sure how to handle running with nasal congestion. Then I remembered that Mark Remy had the remedy for such a situation in his book, The Runner's Rule Book. The book is a humorous read on all the un-written rules about running. In rule 1.18, he describes the Farmer's Blow, a technique to clear mucus from the nostrils while on the run. This may be a little too graphic for some, but I thought it would be appropriate to share his technique:
1. Breathe in through your mouth, like your gasping.
2. Lay a forefinger against one nostril and compress firmly.
3. Purse your lips.
4. Turn your head slightly in the direction of the open nostril and exhale forcefully through your nose.
5. Repeat with other nostril, if needed.
Let's just say I didn't have beginner's luck on my first attempt at the Farmer's Blow. I didn't take into account that I was running into the wind!
If there was one thing that saved me on my runs this week, it was the purchase of the greatest product for those runners with thicker thighs. If you're like me, I would highly recommend an investment into an anti-chafing stick. When I was walking this week, I was a little slow because of stiff muscles. But thanks to this product, I was happy to not look like I just got off a horse!
Okay so I didn't follow the training schedule as written this week. But I did it with the best intentions. Knowing that Sunday was scheduled as a rest day, I rearranged my workouts so I could fit in a pre-scheduled cross training. My wife is a youth director and needed my help in chaperoning a group trip to the local ice rink for an outing. I thought I could get in a lot of work with some laps on the ice. But I didn't take into account that this area is still feeling the effects of a Winter Olympics hangover...and for good reason. Our local rink has seen a sharp increase in people wanting to learn how to skate and what better place to learn from some of the best, because the rink is the training home to 2 figure skating pairs teams. The teams of Caydee Denney/Jeremy Barrett and Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig shocked the figure skating world in taking the top 2 spots at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and went on to represent the U.S. at the Vancouver Olympics.
With all of their success, it's great to see such an interest in people looking to get active. There were lots of little kids out their trying their hardest to follow in the footsteps of these Olympians. A lot of little girls crowded around the middle of the ice trying to master the artistic spins. But more often than not, the triple lutz looked more like the triple clutz! And then there were the boys, in their brand new hockey skates. Watching some of them was like watching the misfits in The Mighty Ducks movies.
Because their were so many people on the ice, it was difficult to call my time on the ice a "workout." I thought I could get a really good cardio workout in but the pace of the crowd was very slow. I would venture to say that I could have gone faster sitting in a tube floating down a lazy river! When I did see some open ice I wanted to just break free from the crowd, but I would just end up catching up to the back of the crowd. And worst of all, I now have some small blisters from the skates I wore. Going into this week's runs, I'm really apprehensive as I don't know how these blisters are going to impact my efforts.