Friday, January 8, 2016

Twelve days of run-mas

On Boxing Day (that's the day that follows Christmas, for Americans and other odd ducks that don't celebrate such things), I was a complete and total lump.

I did not train. I did not foam roll. I didn't even stretch.

I polished off the last of the pork pie and other assorted goodies we had for Christmas, and didn't leave the house all day.

This is not an easily sustainable way of life for me.

So, for the next twelve days - culminating in yesterday - I ran every day.

Last run of 2015, just before heading out to a New Year's Eve punk show

I hadn't really intended to do so, but Fridays are my only regular day off, and it's not like I was going to skive off running on New Year's Day. For that matter, I've had some things on my mind lately, and running is the best way I've ever found to shake the jagged things in my brain into a more comfortable position.

None of these runs were terribly long - the biggest distance was just over 8.5km - but none was less than 6km. It was often the only training I'd do in a day apart from the strength exercises I generally get in before work, since the pool schedules were shot to hell by the holidays. I put in 83.5km total during the 12 days, averaging just shy of 7km per day.

Any illusions of speed are solely due to lack of artistic talent.

As an experiment, it worked out well. Some days I ran a little harder because I was either short on time or felt good - sometimes I ran easier because I was sore, or because I was fighting off the stupid head cold that has been riding me like a rented mule since Monday. Conditions played a part, too; we got a big dump of snow on the 28th and another lot on January 1st, which required a little more caution in my stride. Sometimes there were hills, sometimes mostly just flat (or what passes for it, around my neighborhood), but all runs ended up being on the road after dark - I just couldn't seem to make it out on a trail before the daylight failed.

While this wasn't planned and I'm not totally sure I'd do it again, it's nice to know that I'm in a position to be able to put together a half-decent run streak. New Year's Day represented the first time I'd run six consecutive days since I damaged myself back in October. I'd been trying to get back to running 6 days a week since the beginning of December, but something always seemed to come up that would stop me at no more than five days in a row.

While I'm not going to say my legs feel fantastic, I can confidently state that this little experiment has not resulted in any injuries. I'm a little beat up, but nothing that a good foam rolling session and a bit of rest wouldn't sort out. It's also been great for spreadsheet filler for the annual 100 runs in 100 days challenge, helping me make up for some of the gaps that opened when I was laid up with a nasty throat infection the week before Christmas.

My New Year's Day fix

I won't lie and say it was easy kicking myself out the door every single day to go pound pavement. It was -16c (3f) on Monday night when I left the house, and that was without wind chill. I've been getting as little sleep as usual, so on top of sore legs, I've been tired and just wanted to collapse into bed upon getting home from work. Somehow, though, I'd always feel a little better when I was done...even if my legs were complaining and I had to chip the icicles off the tip of my nose.

It's also helped me rid my chubby arse of some of that leftover pork pie as well, which is always welcome. Any bit less of me that I have to lug around is a good thing, and nothing helps me strip off my winter insulation like running.

So now I'm going to try to keep rolling with my usual 6-day-per-week running schedule, having proven that I'm more than strong enough to maintain it again. First, though, I'm going to enjoy my day off!

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