Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Reduced Speed, I'll Grant You. But Strength?

Debbie's Grandma was in a bar with a bunch of us other family members. At one point, a guy asked Grandma if she was truly a grandma. She answered, "I'm not only a grandma, I'm a great-grandma!" The guy thought about this for a time, and then said, "Good, I'll grant you. But great? aren't you taking that a bit too far?"

And then there was the time Archie Bunker met Sammy Davis Jr. and asked, "I know you couldn't help being colored, but why did you have to go turn jew?"

Running with Bill Henry at about mile 4.
Photo by  Larry Orwin
Had you asked how I thought I'd do at the Perfect 10-Miler a month or two ago, I'd have answered that I'd be lucky to hold a 7:30 pace. Had you asked a week ago, I'd have answered that I may be able to do most miles in the low 7-minute range, and maybe even go sub-7 for some. Had you asked a couple days ago, I'd have answered that I'd be lucky to hold any pace at all. This sort of reflects my ups and downs of recent times. My strength and speed improved dramatically in recent weeks to the point where I had been doing tempo runs of 3 and 4 miles at sub-7 pace. And then a few days back, it all came crashing down as my butt injury came back with a vengeance.

My 7:30 pace in the early miles should have been conservative. I reached half-way in about 38 minutes. A 75 minute finish wouldn't have been half bad. I'd run each of these 10-milers, and almost all had featured negative splits. Even though I was injured, I ought to still have all that strength I'd built up in recent weeks, no?

No. Of course mile 6 - the uphill one - was slow, and mile 7 - the downhill one - was decent. But I wound up slowing for the rest and finishing in 78 minutes. A PW. By a lot.

So that's the reason for the title and the initial story. With this here injury, Reduced Speed, I'll Grant You. But Strength? It hurts to bring my leg forward, and this reduced range of motion surely reduces my running speed. But why did the strength have to go as well? Why couldn't I have just powered my way through?

And to paraphrase Archie, I know you couldn't help being slow, but why did you go and become weak?

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