Monday, June 20, 2011

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)

As I thought might happen, I jumped back into running a bit too quickly after the onset of shin splints. I had taken a full 2 weeks off, and gradually eased into running, hopeful that "achy" wouldn't lead to pain. However, once in Cairns, I was in racing mode and when racing I'm processing so much that I didn't really process any pain. In the sprint tri I did, I didn't feel anything. In the high-intensity runs I did in the week leading up to the race... I did. I felt pain. But the half-iron had rolled around, and I just kind of "went", and yes I had a phenomenal run because my aerobic engine and endurance were big enough but...

But... when I returned to Melbourne, by first run was achy. My next run was HOLY SHIT PAIN. So, so, this needs more time. I'm going to give it more time. I'm taking a month off running, giving me 5 weeks easing back into running for my next race (Calgary 70.3 on July 31st). I'm ever so hopeful that things will be alright by then.

However, that's not the point of this post. That was just a quick update on my sad run life. Once I realized I couldn't run, instead of the planned track workout, I did circuit training along the track for about 1 hour. This included 100m lunges, 100m backwards lunges, 100m butt kicks, 100m high knees, rinse and repeat for 1 hour. No big deal, right? Well, holy mother of batman, I spent the next 5 days in the most intense quad and glute pain.

I felt as awkward as this fucker.

I haven't had such an extreme case of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) in a very very VERY long time. After training week in and week out, I am rarely sore. My body is tired, yes, oh yes, but I'm rarely sore. After races (from all-out 5k run races to iron-distance races), I'm not sore. Sometimes I feel like I've been run over by a truck, but the muscles aren't actually incapacitated. The joints ache, the heart is tired, I want to sleep, but nah... not sore.

The point is, I was surprisingly schooled!! I forgot what "sore" felt like. I used to be incredibly sore after soccer games because I would push myself so hard each game (and also get pushed by others because I was small), but that level of intensity in soccer games left after I returned to soccer after my knee surgery. So, it's been years since I felt proper, debilitating muscle soreness. I used to relish feeling muscle soreness because it made me feel as if I'd worked very hard but now... I try to avoid it.

After my quads and glutes were punched in the face last week, I felt bad ass. Then I realized I still had the rest of the week of training to get through. Crap!! I did have to shuffle things around so I just had swimming for at least the day after, meaning a lot was left for the end of the week. It all got done, but damn, I will try to avoid overdoing it like I did. Lunges all on their own are great (I do them regularly as part of my strength training routine), but the excessive number of "lunging" I did was unnecessary and probably counter-productive as they debilitated me for several days, thus reducing the quality of my training. Nevertheless, it was still good to "get schooled". I'm not invincible, my muscles will cry out if they've been overloaded.

Lastly, and probably most happily, the boys from my cycling club that I've gotten to know during the year I've been "studying" at the University of Melbourne presented me with a parting gift last night when I went out to dinner with them. I'm flying back to Canada on thursday, and it's likely I won't see them for at least a year, if ever!

Check out what they got me:

A MelbUni water bottle with messages
and signatures from them!

These guys know what I love in life, and if I could, all I'd do
is live in a beautiful place and train all day. 
Inside the water bottle were a great set of tire levers and a permanent marker for "when I have to start signing autographs". Ahahaha, the laughability of it all. But seriously. I'm 22, and if I keep working hard, who knows what I'll be capable of in 5-10 years' time. I went from not knowing how to swim to being a 1:32/100m (for 1500m) swimmer in just about 3 years' time. I can fucking do whatever I want, as long as I work my ASS off, enjoy the suffering (and the views) along the way. Speaking of awesome views, I'll be riding with a friend of mine tomorrow for one last hilly ride in Melbourne, and I'll have some GREAT pace booty views. High five!! 


  1. You did those exercises for AN HOUR!? GEEZ! haha No shit you were sore girl!
    Also, that's the awesomest going away present ever! So nice that they did that for you, and it's all about the thought behind it. It rocks when someone gets you something that shows they really know you. Better than a million bucks.
    Enjoy your ride, looking forward to seeing you - mrs. badass soon to be famous triathlete - on Friday!!! Just so you know when I talk to my runners and the subject of triathlons comes up or being hardcore comes up I always tell them that I have this crazy badass triathlete of a friend. This week I told them about this anti-chafing product and how it's really durable cause it's made for triathletes so that topic came up once again. Triathletes are intense and kind of scary I told them, so if the product can work for them it'll work for us puny beings only doing our runs.
    Except I left that last part out because I need to be a motivator :D hehe

  2. And yet, triathletes are also wimps because we complain all the time about the weather, our training volume, how much we eat, etc etc. Too cold for riding, too hot for running, water is too cold to swim, the pool is too crowded, the chaffing is too painful. Blah blah blah. We're whiny bastards.

    Also, I can't wait to see you! I want to pick your brain in regards to how you go about being a motivator, mentor for runners. How do you DO IT??? We'll chat soon!!

  3. haha that's one thing that we are not, we do not complain! We embrace the crap thrown at us, or at least that's what I try to encourage :D

    see you soon lady!!!! have a safe flight!!!!