I remember starting up running in the late summer for High School CC and swearing I'll never get out of shape again, it's just too hard to get back to where you were. Bet I've done it 30 times since then.
Haven't logged much for mileage for quite a while. To add insult to "injury" I was also forced to take a couple weeks off after another cortisone injection. I have taken five, two week layoffs from running in the last 14 months. During these times I have tried everything from "total rest" to using the elliptical 9 times. Neither extreme nor anywhere in between has seemed to maintain cardio like running would have. I can't believe how hard the first few runs are. This logic seems to contradict the taper theory, though I didn't go into the periods totally ramped up for a race either.
I skied 5 days, about half of each quite aggressively, in Colorado over Christmas vacation. No back pain or sciatica at all. Makes me wonder what really is going on. View from Condo:
On my run today I played around with observing my pace and the running surface. I'm less inclined to pay much attention to it this time of year and was amazed at the differences. Compared to running on a flat, plowed, packed snow surface the following was observed, maintaining the same HR:
Run in tire track, pace increased 20 sec/mile, I think due just to the change in gait
Add 3-4 inches of snow, pace increased 45+ sec/mile
Add 12+ inches of snow, pace increased by a little over 3 minutes/ mile
Guess thats why everyone tests their progress on the treadmill eh?