Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lactic Acid Management

Today (Tuesday) when I started out, I had planned a track session to work on leg turnover.  Let’s see, do about a three mile warm up, hit the track for a couple of sets of 200s to churn the legs and get that lactic acid burn we all love to feel, and then do a final 4 miles to cool down.

I got through the three mile warm up.  But when I reached the track, I saw that the local middle school Girls Track Team had taken it over.  Actually, it could have been the soccer team or lacrosse team for all I knew.  I saw a lot of young girls milling about on the track, a bunch of parents on the bleachers, and lots of red cones.  No one was running on the track so it must have been an orientation.  However, I didn't feel like being a mook, going over and saying, "Excuse me.  Since you guys aren't running today, could you all move over to the bleachers?  I want to use your track to run a couple of 200s".  Yeah, real mook material here.

So I continued onward trying to figure out what I was going to do instead.

I thought about continuing with an easy run much like I had run on Monday.  But I also realized that I needed a stress day.  After running easy for 40 minutes, I picked up the pace after mile 4.

It was probably too hot to put serious stress on the body, but I did it anyway and ran the last half of The Lawgiver trying to break the 8 min/mile pace.  Probably did at some point in that 4-mile stint.  But once the lactic acid burn sets in, you just don't get any more push out of the legs.  My guess is that I burned that first mile, probably somewhere between a 7 and a 7.5 pace because my legs were on fire towards the end and I was struggling to push the speed at the finish of the loop.  As one of my track buddies from my racing days once told me, "Halfway through the run, somebody tossed you a piano--and you caught it!"

During the cool down, I knew that the right choice was the track workout to work on leg turnover.  But this provided a good opportunity to manage lactic acid build up.  I think more of these “burn” runs are in order to train the leg muscles on efficient removal of lactic acid waste, although I don’t think there’s enough time before the first marathon of the fall season.

During my walk-run back to home base, I was reveling in the surrounding environment, noticing the humidity in the air and the cooler temperatures now that the sun was setting.  That's when I heard a muffled thumping.  Unsure of what was going on, I started looking around for the source of the tapping.  That's when I realized that I had walked in front of my fan club’s house.  Yes, the two little girls who were typically out in front of their house at 5:30 shouting, "Look Mom.  It's the runner!" were now inside.  Well, it was almost 8:00 PM.  But that didn't curb their enthusiasm one bit.  There they were in the living room window, waving furiously.  Mom should have put towels in their hands.  This was definitely a window cleaning "wax on" moment.

Anyway, it was a decent enough day.  I'll hurt tomorrow.  I'll probably take the day off, give the legs a break, and visit a Toastmasters group.

We'll call this run 1.5 hours with the warm up and cool down miles in the Asics DLs.

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