Musings of a has-been (Read 825 times)

Feeling the growl again

    Well, I'm a hack. I'm accepting it, owning it. But I don't like it, and I hope to change it! I spent a lot of years building to my PRs, after years of being decidedly mediocre among my peers I experienced a few years of good success culminating in a sub-31 10K at age 28, running at a couple national championships, etc. It was a big deal for me considering I was the slowest of slow of those I ran with for many years prior to that success. It took a huge amount of effort to get there, many 100+ mile weeks and 3000-4000+ mile years for the better part of a decade. I think toward the end of that I lost touch with exactly how much the training had modified my body. I'd take 1-2 months off, and jumped right back to 70-80 mpw. I'd train for 1-2 months and run a 4 mile tempo in 22:00, what I considered my "base" fitnesss to BEGIN real training. Well, at the end of 2006 I was somewhat overtrained. I got sick last January so I just took some time off. I got a few months of training in the spring, but then my daughter was born premature and little running happened for quite awhile. Whether it was the baby, increased job demands, lack of sleep, or climate, I found I had terrible heat tolerance and ended up taking another running hiatus in September when temps still reached the 90s here in Indiana. I started running again in early November, 30ish mpw. I continued this thru the New Year, sometimes hitting 50 mpw. Few workouts. Still weighing 155 when normal racing weight is 145-147. Well, last night I decided I'm officially a has-been and need to get my butt in gear. I tried to do some mile repeats on the road, and only managed 5:41 and couldn't push my HR over 170....in "decent" shape they'd have been 5:00-5:05 and I SHOULD be able to see a HR of 185-190 if I'm pushing them! Apparently my aerobic fitness has degraded so far that my cardiac output can't even be used. So I'm owning this now, and going public now I'm accountable for changing it! I'm going to focus on getting back to weight and getting my mileage up to something reasonable over the next couple months.

    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


    I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills



    Barefoot and happy

      Sounds like you know exactly what you need to do. Good luck.
      Curious about running barefoot? Visit the new barefoot running group.

      Prince of Fatness

        Just remember that it took a good year to get to where you are now so ..... But you already know that. Best of luck.


          Andy, I am in same boat as you recovering from 8 months of upper hamstring tendonitis and bursitis with a lot of time off and very low miles and some weight gain. Finally, the cortisone shots seem to have done the trick for the most part. I am at a whole different level - and as you may know I am a low mileage runner because a congenital toe problem but look forward to building up to 25 miles per week, but realize it may take me another year to build back up to where I was. Good luck man. You will get it back with smart training.

          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

          Just Be

            Now you have accountability so that should help you stick with it this time. I'm not sure how old you are, but based on your story it seems like you probably aren't older than 32 and you haven't taken that much time off in the grand scheme of things - at least you didn't allow yourself to fully decondition. We can take the has-been challenge together and further keep up our motivation! Smile Both of us seem to be at about the same output right now. Best of luck to you with getting back in shape! By the way, what's your primary motivation to get back to a national competitive level?
              There's a kind of freedom in admitting you've hit "rock bottom" as a runner. Although I never had a heyday like your heyday, about a year and a half a go I decided I'd bottomed out and it was time to start over. In a way it was nice to be able to start from scratch, knowing a lot more than I knew the first time around on how to train, what works for me and what doesn't, etc. I'm not as fast as I was the first time around--maybe I'll get there maybe I won't--but I'm a happier runner. Enjoy the process.

              Runners run.

              Feeling the growl again

                My motivation is just that I don't feel any PRs except my 10K reached near my potential and the driving force behind my running has always been that I won't settle for being less than my best at anything I try to do. I have always known this would lead to a hard, hard period when I stopped improving, but I figured that would be due to age and at 29 I'm not ready to take that sitting down. I'm still clinging to the hope that underneath this lack of conditioning somewhere, there are elements of my previous training waiting to be uncovered by synergy. For example, I can buy that the mitochondria are gone but I don't buy that all the capillary density is. Capillary density means squat without the ability to use the oxygen. I'm hoping that when I get the miles back in I see an abnormally large performance bump. It's a hope anyways!

                "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand


                I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills



                  Better a "has been" than a "never was" like me Wink It doesn't say how old you are but I'd expect your max HR to decline with age whether or not you stay in shape. Probably not the best metric to look at. I have no trouble getting my heart rate up there when I'm out of shape. Its when I'm in shape that it becomes more of a challenge.

                  I ran a mile and I liked it, liked it, liked it.