I am completely and utterly spent. I just spent 12 hours playing volleyball with my wife and the youth group that she runs. This volleyball marathon was a fundraiser for area churches and summer camp, so while it was fun it was for a good cause as well. Even though I've spent much of the day in bed, I'm just about ready to call it a night. So after 12 hours of running and jumping and chasing the little white ball all over the floor, I'm at the point where I think I've done enough cross training to get me through this final week. Right?
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!