Curse of the DOMS!

Pain is what I am now experiencing… and it has a name!

So the day after my first work out w/ Jeanne I got up and wasn’t feeling too terribly sore but I was stiff. I met with Kelly at 7am and we headed out for our run to the beach and back. I was suppose to take it easy that day but you know how that goes… we were just talking and running and the next thing I know we’ve gone 4.68 in 48 minutes. I told Kelly I needed to walk – so we chatted and briskly walked the rest of the way back home. I could already feel the ache setting in – the sore dullness of my muscles already speaking to me. I started to feel just how sore I really was… and it was about this time that I new I was going to be feeling it full force later that day. ON TOP OF THAT…today was Cross Training Day w/ Jeanne and she really put a hurtin’ on me! See “training updates” below – I thought I was in pain this past 24 hours but NAH, that is nothing compared to how I now feel or how I am sure I will feel tomorrow!

What is DOMS?

Well it is Delayed-onset muscle soreness (AKA Muscle Fever) and that is the name for when you’re in pain after doing exercises that you don’t normally do! There really is a name for everything! (I’m using RW The Runner’s Body for all of my information on this) So typically DOMS sets in the morning after your taxing workout – mine came a little early just for fun! Never fear though – “even the most experienced runner’s endure DOMS after intense running, or any other activity, that their bodies are not used to.”

I just want to take a moment to say that there really are certain mobility abilities that I take for granted until this sort of pain sets in! Lets take sitting my butt on the toilet seat for example! You never think about how you normally sit down so softly, slowly knowing the exact ration of butt to seat you’ll get UNTIL you lose the ability to control your squatting momentum due to PAIN in your upper legs – I’m not even going to take the time to name the muscles involved b/c it all hurts! So now I plop onto the toilet – sometimes half on/half off! There is no slow lowering here – you just aim your butt in the general vicinity of the seat and hope you don’t rickashay off into the wall!

Okay – now that I have that description out of my system… I want to share with you what I have learned about muscles and why they sometimes feel this way. It’s actually extremely interesting! (I’m such a bookworm)

Did you know that as far back as early 1900’s scientists were studying and researching athlete fatigue? Lactate was blamed for most all aches and pains that runner’s experienced UNTIL “the invention of the muscle biopsy technique, in which a small piece of muscle is taken from an athlete and then examined…revealing a new angle to DOMS.”

Hans Selye (scientists) came up w/ the General Adaptation Principle – this explains, “how the management of training stress is the single most important factor determining your running success. You have to control the training load so that you are stressed enough to adapt but not so stressed that your physiological capacity to adapt is exhausted, which will lead to injury and over training.” (pg.33)

Our muscles experience an “Alarm Reaction” and “DOMS is nothing more than the alarm reaction to a bout of exercise that is more stressful than the muscles are familiar with. Taking a more long-term view, DOMS is actually part of a process that will lead you into a stage of adaptation, in which running is easier, the muscles are stronger, and DOMS is (thankfully) a distant memory.”

Phase 1: Eccentric Muscle Contraction and Structural Damage to the Muscle – “This happens every time your foot hits the ground – the muscles contract in order to decelerate the leg, working against gravity to stabilize the joints and keep them from buckling.” (pg35)

Phase 2: Damage Repair – “The body responds to this structural damage w/ a process that ultimately produces a stronger, more durable muscle. Rebuilding and producing muscle fibers that are far more capable of withstanding the stress the next time. This repair process is also responsible for the pain and discomfort.” (pg.35)

Please keep in mind that there are many more details to all of this but I am trying to keep it simple and only put the info I feel is pertinent to the over all message of the blog posting today. And that message is – I AM IN PAIN! Lol!

Training updates – (I’m just gonna copy and paste Jeanne’s email to me of what I did today – she said it best)

Cross Training Day!

Today – you did an 8 minute “Tabata” of push-ups  – goal was 10 each round, then 5 as you fatigued, then 4 as you further fatigued.  Then you did 5×50 high knee skips, switching to running skips after the 3rd round.  Emphasis was initially on crossing the midline to work the hip flexors and quads, but as you fatigued, emphasis switched to running skips with a forward lean.  Area to concentrate on – forward movement and landing on toes, rather than vertical movement and landing midfoot/heel.  Switching muscles groups and going for complete anaerobic work, you did 2×50 broad jumps with 5 second breaks as needed.  The idea here was to fatigue the quads and hip flexors.  Finished up with 2×400’s (easy) with 1 minute break.

This was a really great day of training. Even though my body was sore, mentally I was fully present! I did push-ups until I couldn’t really feel my muscles – like my brain was telling my upper body to do ONE more push-up and when I would move it just wasn’t happening – not like I wanted it to. I always mustered one more but my synapses were definitely confused!

Nutrition Updates – I really need to work on getting more protein into my diet. Truth-be-told, I am such a creature of habit and I thrive off of routine – If I could just find a breakfast, lunch and dinner that I like – I could eat it over and over again only needing to switch it up every once in a while. In the hopes of cutting back on Carbs and adding in more protein I am gong to search for a good balanced routine diet to maintain until my mileage per week requires me to add more carbs in. If anyone has any menu suggestions that have good lean protein in them please feel free to share on here or email it to me!

Miles ran yesterday and today = 5.48

Miles ran-to-date = 33.55


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hubbs/Daddy
    Jan 20, 2011 @ 23:26:25

    Great picture at the top! I assume that Jeanne is the one spitting blood from her mouth? Is she holding up some unfortunate by-standers head as a warning to you to pick up the pace or else?

    Gotta love it!


  2. AIMEE
    Jan 21, 2011 @ 06:58:38

    Alright Sarah now just pretend the DOMS are your best friend and instead of fearing them jump on their back and ride them like a pony!!! I always like to visualize myself and my tall friend PAIN in a nice giant bear hug, skipping along hand in hand, and high fiving everytime another lap meets my goal time!!! Your doing great, your going to look great, feel great, and run great. Keep it up and leave it all on the pavement.


    • AIMEE
      Jan 21, 2011 @ 06:59:34

      P.S. you already look great your just going to look even greater….


    • Living Runner's World
      Jan 21, 2011 @ 07:07:54

      HAHA! Ride it like a pony, huh! Well, I would even be able to mount the pony today – 72hours in is the worst so they say and my muscles are concurring with that so far! You’re the best Aimee – thanks for the motivation and the support!


  3. Liz Jones
    Jan 21, 2011 @ 15:16:31

    You are funny.


  4. Living Runner's World
    Jan 27, 2011 @ 21:38:24

    I just came up with a new meaning for DOMS = Delayed Onset Mommy Sobs! I came up w/ this in a response I wrote on the RLAM wordpress page – a featured mom was talking about having Post-pardum Depression and I totally related w/ my new version of DOMS! ;o)


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