The final countdown brings aches to body

Runners Diary: Cesar Gamez

In my last article, I mentioned I was excited to get back to Columbus and find out if my two weeks of training in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, would have some effects on my training.

I got back the night of Aug. 18 and had a 5K race the next morning. I got worried because my time was 20 minutes, 44 seconds. I started fine at 6:05 pace; however, by the end of Mile 3, I was really tired, probably due to the trip back from Mexico.

Usually I prefer to think on some conditions that could affect my race instead of thinking on negative things. This race was part of my race simulation I had scheduled in my training program. I ran 14 miles Aug. 20; however, I was tired from my race the day before and could only run the last four miles at 7:30 pace.

Starting Aug. 21, I did my easy run with no problem. Then my tempo hard run the next day, I was feeling well; however, I still have some pain on my upper left leg that lasts for one or two minutes and then it’s gone. Strange, but the good thing is that the pain goes away while running. Aug. 24, I was able to do my eight miles easy with no problem.

Aug. 26., I had my long run and I was really happy I was able to run 22 miles in 2 hours, 58 minutes. I started taking the sport gel at Mile 9 and 16. During this training, I realized that my training in Mexico had paid off. I was able to run Miles 13 to 17 at 7:45 pace; however, I ran out of water by Mile 18, and the last mile I was really tired and thirsty and my pace was 8:30.

Regarding water, I carry with me two 8-ounce bottles, one with water and the other one with sports drink. Every two miles, I have two sips. On this run, I was thinking of stopping by home at Mile 16 to replenish my water, but I decided to keep running in order to finish my run without stopping. After my run, I had an ice bath, submerging my legs in ice and water. This helps me prevent soreness on the next day.

I did my easy run Aug. 28 feeling tired due to the 22 miles a couple days earlier, but I was able to do my speed work with no problem, doing six repetitions of three-quarter miles at 6:20 pace, plus warmup and cool down.

I was happy with my exercise since I did not have any pain next the day. Aug. 31, I was able to run my eight miles with no problem. I have been using a knee strap around my left knee, and it helps a lot. I have not had any pain.

Regarding food, I am now trying to avoid white bread and foods like white rice and add more fish and chicken with vegetables. I just noticed I have lost four pounds from a month ago. Also, I have been checking my weight before and after my long runs to see my dehydration. After my 22-mile run, I checked my weight and found out that I had lost four pounds. Usually, I am around 158 pounds, and after my long run, I went down to 154. Usually, I do my long run at 8 a.m. in order to have some warm temperatures to get me ready for my race day.

Time is flying by, and I am in the top of my training where my body has some aches, and I am feeling the pain of the long runs. I am trying to get motivated by thinking how these next two weeks are the last of hard work, and after that, I will do my tapering to start resting my body. I just need to keep my body healthy and not get injured on these next two weeks that are critical in my training.

I can tell that my shape is getting better since my heart rate is now at 44 BPS, and my easy run at 8:00 per mile takes me to 120 BPS. That is very good if you check the common formula to take your age from 220 to find your max heart rate based on your age. (Do not take this as a rule. This is something I read just as guide to have an estimate).

At a glance

Cesar Gamez’ training diary for this week:

Monday: Easy run, 45 minutes

Tuesday: Six half-mile reps at 6:15 pace

Wednesday: Cross training

Thursday: Tempo hard, 25 minutes at 7:15 pace

Saturday: Easy run, 16 miles at 8:00 pace

Sunday: Cross training