293 days: Sag Wagon

Quick recap: I have a plan to raise $10,000 for some awesome organizations by Sept. 22, 2013 – the day I run in Ironman Lake Tahoe. Over two months in and so far we are on track. Raised so far: $1,490!

sag wagon noun

The supply vehicle that scoops up the slower & injured racers that won’t make the time cutoff or have opted to abandon the race.

This week I am a passenger on the sag wagon. Last Friday I posted about my training woes for the week. First a tweaked calf muscle… then a rolled ankle, skinned knees, and bruised ego. That is the sort of thing that happens when you roll your ankle over a hidden curb drop-off and face plant in a mud puddle at a busy intersection.


The first “big” race of next year is 3 months from today. I have every confidence I will be ready to rock the Napa Valley Marathon. I am even more confident that I will knock out a great 13.1 at the tuneup Pasadena Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon two weeks before that.

But for now I am content to sit in the sag wagon and focus on work stuff. Good thing, too, because my working universe is ridiculously stressful and busy as we prepare for an upcoming project review. One of these days I’ll actually describe what it is that I do… and the project that I do this stuff for. It is some seriously awesome stuff.

Training results for the week reflect my temporary visit to the sag wagon… and that is OK. Not every training cycle will be perfect – and we need to know when to cut back and let our bodies heal… But, hey, we talked about that in the Attack portion of the TFAC method of setting and attaining your goals. Could I be out running right now? Possibly. But at the expense of hurting my healing wounds more… not smart.

Monday: 3 mile recovery run
Done: 3.0 miles at 6:43 per mile. This run felt really, really good.

Tuesday: 35 minute tempo run (start very slow, build up to very fast, decrease to slow)
Done: 5.7 miles @ 6:35/mile. The first 5.3 miles were AWESOME. Calf muscle tweak as I was getting close to home… ugh.

Wednesday: 3 mile run
Thursday: 3 mile race pace run
Both of these were washouts as I liberally applied Mission Max Muscle Rehab, and judiciously used The Travel Stick to work out the knot in my calf.

Friday: REST
Done: 2.5 easy miles @ 6:43/mile to get back into the groove… and then the crash happened. Ouch.

Saturday: 7 mile run
Sunday: 14 mile slow run
I spent both of these days nursing a swollen ankle… and past experience with rolled ankles – and an accompanying Achilles tendon tear 4 years ago – has informed my caution on this front.

Grand total: 11.2 miles at an average pace of 6:39/mile… 1,487 calories burned. But, most importantly, I am healing.

This week: a recovery week in the training cycle with 31.5 planned miles. I know I won’t be reaching that target this week… but I think the ankle will be solid enough to get some good runs in as the week advances. And soon I’ll be back on the full training plan. When dealing with injuries it is fine to test them out, but don’t be shy about knowing when to pull the plug. Better to be down for a week than out for 6 months.

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