Photo from Mount Royal, Frisco, Colorado.

"That is happiness; to be disolved into something complete and great. When it comes to one, it comes as naturally as sleep." - Willa Cather

Thursday 15 September 2011

This can't be normal

Abnormality. We hate it. But we also love it. Perhaps that is why you are here. Or you are here because you are steadfast. Or a bot.

Regardless of the reason, you get a story.

Have you ever heard of interval-induced capital gamma symbol?

Well, I haven't either. Nonetheless, it happened to me today.

I had the plan of running intervals around the Herlufsholm dirt track again. This time I was foraging new territory: I would run 7 x 1 mile instead of 6 x 1 mile. Wow.

I had a 3.5 mile warm-up at between 11 and 12 minute pace. (when I'm not trying to run fast, I astound myself with how slowly I run)

After arriving at the track, putting my music on and getting into interval mode, it felt strangely effortless to run at suddenly nearly twice the speed.

First mile in 6:32

And then I bent over to get my water bottle, and squatted to pee. And my body locked. I could not straighten out my lower back and I was hanging there in, yes the shape of a capital gamma symbol. It hurt so bad that I started yelling. I couldn't straighten out no matter what I did. Nothing remotely close to this has ever happened to me before. Immediately I thought - so THIS is my "punishment" for starting intervals so quickly post-partum. I was contemplating whether I should go to the ER or a chiropractor (whilst looking at my watch, thinking I'll never be able to start my next mile with only a two minute pause!). My lower back would not stop quivering. Ow ow ow ow. Think calf cramp, but in your lower back that doesn't go away. And then I stood up, but as soon as I stood up, I was forced back into the gamma. OWWWW!!!! What on EARTH? So I started running, still in gamma shape. It made so little sense that it might just work. And it did. My back felt better. I regrouped in 20 seconds, lower back still shaking, to make it to the start line with just a 3 minute pause total (not ideal, but I'd take it). Running felt fine - but the whole mile I thought- will it come back?And then will I be eternally stuck??

To make a long story short, after every mile, it DID come back, but always to a lesser degree. Who knew that the only prescription for interval-induced gamma symbol was MORE intervals??? The proof is that I am sitting here writing about it.

My question is: has this happened to any of you before????? It was WILD. (in all honesty, I don't think it was entirelydue to my body changing post partum, I think it is because I have been sleeping in a weird position due to a cough and a bed on the floor (long story), which has been giving me upper back problems).

So you want to know how my 7 x 1 mile intervals went? Sure...

6:32 (3 minute pause, due to Γ position)
6:19 (2 min pause)
6:26 (2 min..)
6:28 (2..)
6:29 (2..
6:37 (feeling queasy, 2 min...)

These are, actually by far, my fastest mile intervals ever, with 6:19 being a mile interval PR! (I actually looked back at all of my old interval posts) and they don't feel like as much work as they did last year. And I did one extra. I'm struggling to explain this but thinking I should find a short race sometime soon (maybe a 10k?). Maybe part of the explanation is my weight is two pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight??

This week in pictures

Sometimes it doesn't pay to be fast.

Even not in profile, SR looks right sexy...

This picture was taken just before his 4k run-20k bike-2k run (duathlon) last Sunday in Sorø. He ran the first 4k, on a reportedly beautiful route in 11 minutes. He then transitioned on to his bike and was back from a 20k ride after what I had clocked as 10 minutes --- what? He then finished the final 2k run in a total time of 27.30 and ... he admitted that someone had given him incorrect directions on the bike route. He was otherwise far in the lead, and got out there so quickly that there was no one there yet who knew the route.

But Erik, the awesome race director from Sorø Tri, was so nice to give us a toy for each kid as compensation.

Despite having a "rough day", Amy Sproston
ran the 100k world championships in The Netherlands in 8:10, thus beating all four of the Danish men there, and taking 11th woman overall!!! Meghan Arbogast set a world record for women over 50 with a time of 7:51. Unreal.

This woman biked to the hospital in Copenhagen while having contractions.

And things turned out well.

(thanks, Emily Pease, for telling me about this!)

You're probably thinking she's Danish - but foreigners are the only ones doing weird things here and blogging about it. She and her husband are from Montreal :).

A Danish woman might instead ride to the hospital having contractions with her other kid in the bike seat on the back and never tell anyone.

Here is a picture of a tired mom, who took second place in our region's Scientific poster competition. Whoohoo!

And a little guy who, despite an unfortunate resemblance to his mother, is become less newbornish and more photogenic.

Running song of the week has been Steve Q's recommendation:Tecnho Fan by The Wombats (partly because it brings me closer to SR, who has been in London all week, but also because it's an awesome song)


amy said...

Thanks for the shout out, and nice intervals!

Helen said...

Your stories get better and better!!! I don't know anyone that would try running another 6 intervals in that state... well, maybe I do but they would not make me laugh as hard reading about it.

Love the new header pic (maybe not new but it's been a few days... okay maybe a week, or two...)

Are you guys back in the US this year?

Kinthelt said...

Spinal disc herniation?

I had that happen to me whilst picking a pen up off the floor.

mmmonyka said...

I was like, what the heck is interval-induced capital gamma symbol? :)

You are super fast. Definitely find a short fast local race and go for it!!!

Kirsten said...

He actually looks quite a lot like the Lorax!
I all the time experience that if I don't run enough, my lower back start acting up. So I can understand how it worked - but not been able to do what you do!!

PiccolaPineCone said...

oh please, please, please find a short, FLAT, accurately measured race for which the course is well marked with no random people sending you the wrong way, DOUBLE tie your shoes, don't eat oatmeal in the morning, tie three extra nuks to the Lorax for him & his brother (have I covered all possible contingencies??) and then go and run a HUGE PB! Do it for pregnant and post-pardum women everywhere!! Do it for me! Oh yes, and do it for yourself - you deserve the reward of a nice PB.

SteveQ said...

My body forms a question mark in every ultra after 40 miles; I can't straighten, but I sure can get a good look at tree roots!

Have I ever suggested "Different" by Ximena Sarinana?

Anonymous said...

SI joint issues, perhaps?

sea legs girl said...

As far as the diagnosis - definitely (fortunately) not disc herniation. Disc herniation tends to be unilateral pain and pain down the leg, when the disc in question is that low in the back. Most definitely involvement of the SI joint since that is the joint that is right there. Why? Well, part of the problem is my running posture - I lean back when I run fast and that's why I always have problems there. It's just never felt like this. Luckily, I've had no problems since. But I haven't run really fast again either...

Helen - yeah we will be in the US from Jan 1st to the first week in August.

cherelli said...

Hmm. Nothing for it - you'll just have to SLOW DOWN....

Yeah right!

DDitlev said...

Nice to see you all at the duathlon. My family (wife and kids) still haven't shown up for a single one of my races so I'm a little jealous that you and SR share a this passion for running ;) I too love the new header picture! Btw, watching SR run in Sorø was inspiring. He was really cutting through the air to bad it ended like it did :( Btw. I'll be joining your race the 25th just haven't gotten around to signing up yet.

Lisa said...

Awww, he is sooo cute! What an adorable little guy!

Anonymous said...

Utterly adorable little one. Congrats.

SteveQ said...

Running song of the day (and guilty pleasure): "Money" by The Drums.

SteveQ said...

Someone found my blog today searching "crazy legs tracy hoeg." Somebody knows how to make me laugh.