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The Loop

To flu or not to flu.



Think everyone knows I get the flu shot every year. I haven't gotten the flu for a couple of decades at least, but started getting the shot anyway when Mrs. Dave decided it was important for me. People should also know that it's not 100% effective, based on a few things, like the exact strain that's going around each season and how virulent it happens to be. Mrs. Dave had the flu last week. She went to the doctor and was tested. It was negative, which also happens - medicine, like life, isn't perfect. But the symptoms were 100% there. She had the flu.

I do not have the flu. I think. None of the symptoms except for just not feeling right. I mentioned this last week, although then I was pretty sure it was just feeling the miles pile up. This week I'm not so sure about that. Not only have the runs been sort of a struggle, but the legs are feeling downright weak - almost wobbly - especially at the start of my runs.

The good news was that last week was all outside. Cold and windy, but not frigid. A couple of days I even wore shorts. That included Saturday's long run of 14 miles. Long sleeves and gloves, and at the end I almost wished for another layer, but close enough. Had to detour for a bathroom stop at McDonald's and that changed my route enough I had to make a couple of adjustments on the fly. 

This actually begs a question: Do you do pre-planned routes or do you wing it and end up where you end up? I consider myself semi-rigid. I have my counterclockwise starting direction rotation, and cycle through clockwise loops, out-and-backs, and counter-clockwise loops along that main rotation. I have my mileage planned out for every day of a training period, but don't decide on an exact route until that day. Not so much a decision as figuring out what's next based on my rotations. Once I start a loop or an out-and-back, I almost always do what I start.

Anywaimage.thumb.png.a42816e1d37c4d2644852a114ed1521b.pngys, changing up in the middle of a run means (of course) that I have to recalculate on the fly so I finish with the same mileage. The potty stop put me on a road I hadn't planned, but knew I could meet back up later on the bike path next to the freeway. I know there's an open gate somewhere. I turned into a park area where there are a couple of soccer fields that I can see from the trail, thinking I'd cut through and join it in the back. Sadly, there was no way through so I had to follow the trail in the park around and into an adjoining neighborhood. Not knowing exactly where the streets laid out back there didn't concern me, but I missed a turn that would have given me access to the gate I was looking for to the bike path, so had to adjust again. That put my route off by a half mile. Since I had nothing else to think about and because runner I spent the next 5 miles calculating and deciding where to cut and add to the run to make it 14 instead of 14-1/2 (or even worse, 13-1/2). In the end, it was exactly 14 miles, although in mile 11 I had to do one of the tougher hills in the area which I hadn't planned on when I started, and given the state of my legs they weren't too happy about it. But it was OK, and good to be out for a couple of hours on the roads.

Since I added tempo runs back in last week, I had another on Monday. Here's where I mention again about this wobbly legged weakness I'd been feeling for a couple of days, even when I wasn't running. But I could always bail if I started to get faint, right? 7:47, 7:53, 8:15, 8:18. I hadn't been looking at the watch (why have I not named this one?), so the gradual slowdown was inevitable. And the 8:18 felt WAY harder than the 7:47. Walked for a tenth of a mile to regroup, then went easy for the rest of that mile, wondering if I was going to have to sit down. Pulled it together for one more (8:20) and did a final cool down. Happy enough with the overall pace, but still felt like doodoo.

Tuesday I did 7 slow. The first 5 were OK and I took the struggle bus on the last two. Ran :30 slower per mile and felt 100% crappier.

Yesterday it snowed and blew all day and I didn't run.

Need to decided about this weekend. I'm due for a cutback week, but was hoping to get one more longer (16) run in first. Maybe I'll decide based on what we decide about marathon weekend, which is still up in the air today. Sometime between March 22 and May 17.

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Maybe just too fast of a build up? 

I can leave the house and think I'm going to do X route and totally change my mind within minutes of starting to run.


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It is hard to target training without a goal race day - you're doing awesome!  Hope Mrs. Dave feels 100% soon.

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I am so used to doing out and backs that I rarely do any planning for a run anymore. 

Hope you and Mrs. Dave feel better soon! The flu is no joke this year.

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I have main routes, but when I have to do longer miles on weekdays I often do on the fly "add-ons" to my normal routes, first to keep it interesting and because my longest "normal" route is 5.2 miles and I don't like doing multiple loops of a route on the same day. When I'm running less, I generally stick to the routes where I have the exact mile points memorized. Also for the longer runs which I drive to meet my Team in Training running group to do, I stick a lot closer to pre planned routes. 

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