Friday, September 08, 2006


OK, seriously, I'm back now. So what was that all about? Part of it was another brief heavy work period (another 80 hour week). There was also the distraction of "almost" selling our house back in Kansas (more on that later). And then there was dealing with yet another injury of sorts...

As you may recall, I was ramping back up to train for my next marathon (Tucson in December). The training runs just weren't going that well, though. It seemed every long run was just a bear to complete. And I'm talking about the easy 12 to 14 mile runs here. I've never had that much trouble completing them. And less than two months prior I did a 50 mile week with a 21 mile run with no problems whatsoever. Also, after every fast or far run, my hamstrings were flaring up (both legs, but especially the left).

So were the hamstrings the problem? No. I finally figured it out last week (chalk up another new experience).

Overtraining fatigue.

Let's see. After June's marathon (but not quite marathon because I got dehydrated), I decided to try a double and two weeks later did my 50 mile week. So let's see, that was a marathon - one week recovery - 50 mile week. Brilliant.

So I trained for a second marathon (that never happened because of work overload). Then I did a two week recovery, didn't I? Well, apart from the 1 mile time trial. OK, so I did some speedwork and a race when I should have been recovering. I had a good race, though.

Then I started ramping back up the miles to get into marathon training again. Too quickly. Not enough recovery (especially given the double marathon attempt).

Then I started marathon training, and there was another heavy work week. So, additional work stress.

Then we thought we were going to sell our house. We had buyers. We had a contract. But the buyers were evil. After the house inspection, they decided they wanted an allowance to do some more (cosmetic, but unnecessary) work. They provided a bid for the work. They totally forged it. We told them to get lost. More stress from the unsold house.

OK, so we have:

Inadequate recovery after the marathon (plus additional high miles) - check.
Speed training and a 1 mile time trial during recovery - check.
Work stress - check.
House (not) selling stress - check.
Building miles too quickly - check.
Low grade hamstring injury as a result - check.

Yeah, overtraining fatigue. Too many factors got stacked up here.

So ... the Tucson marathon is out. On tap is two weeks at half mileage, no long run, no fast training. I'm doing the recovery I should have done after the last marathon. Two weeks of very easy running alternating with some cross training. Then I will (a little bit more slowly) build the aerobic base back up. There will also be more sleeping, and making sure to get enough protein in my diet. And only then will I begin training for my next marathon. Marathon training is now 5 weeks away - minimum.

Disappointing, yes. But it's like Craig says, reacting to your situation doesn't get you very far. Far better to respond intelligently.

PS - I have been reading your blogs -- I just haven't had the time to do much in the way of thoughtfully responding. Hoping that's changed now...


Anonymous Audrey said...

hi, yes, I've been reading all about the national and boston housing markets. I can understand what you're experiencing. BUT, I will tell all readers of this blog that I've seen (at least the outside of) Kurt's place and the neighborhood and it is AMAZING!! If the stars were aligned I would want to live there. GO BUY IT!

But does this mean you are moving? Where?

Enjoy your recovery. Hopefully this will do the trick to get you back to full speed. Very wise.

9/08/2006 3:13 PM  
Blogger Kurt in Boston said...

Just to clarify -- it's the house we own in Overland Park, Kansas that is for sale (it's a big classic home in the suburbs).

We love it where we are right now in Cambridge and will not be moving anytime soon.

9/08/2006 3:33 PM  
Blogger olga said...

Look who's in town:) Overtraining does sneak up on you without you noticing, and it seems so benign that you don't feel a direction to point at it.
And your 80 hrs weeks sound horrible! I don't know when you train at all!

9/08/2006 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad you're back. Sorry to hear about the injury. But sounds like you've got a plan.

9/08/2006 11:26 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Great to hear you're still alive and (relatively) well. Thanks for providing such a good example of the perils of overtraining. Good luck trying to find another, honest buyer for the house. It's amazing what some folks will do, isn't it?

9/09/2006 12:20 PM  

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