archives archives
horizontal rule

Sunday, April 27, 2003

countdown to the marathon!

it's less than a week until the flying pig marathon! i can't believe it. i'm getting a bit nervous, but i don't think it will get out of hand. this week ended on a high note with a great 8 mile run on a sunny and warm saturday. the temperature was in the high 60's, which made it a good practice for the marathon. the "heat" [ relative to the cold that i've been used to training all winter ] has been taking a lot out of me on the longer runs, but this time i hardly noticed. the route kris and i ran was a hilly, 4 mile out-and-back, which was good preparation for the hills in cincinnati. everything felt great, with very little stiffness in my left leg - keeping up on my physical therapy seems to be paying off.

i haven't ever alluded to my pace, because it's not good to focus on speed for your first marathon. i'll be happy to just finish. that said, i do need to be concerned about setting a reasonable pace and i'm having a bit of trouble figuring out what that might be. typically, if i'm in good form, i can keep up a respectable-for-a-"non runner" 9.5-10 minute mile pace over 16-18 miles, but with the heat and perhaps a wee bit of overtraining, i've been slowing to around 11-11.5 minute mile pace, just to make sure that i'm not overdoing it. i'm very wary of setting my expectations too high and running the first half of the marathon too quickly. so do i start with a leisurely 11.5-12 minute mile pace for the first 12-13 miles and see how things feel and then pick up the pace? or do i just start with a 11 minute miles pace and adjust up and down as needed. hmmmm. decisions.

this week is for "rest and repair" and should be a piece of cake. we'll run two 3 milers and walk for 3 miles.

6:11 PM

Saturday, April 19, 2003

winding down the training

a relatively boring training week. i skipped an mid week 8 miler because i was beginning to feel the effects of overtraining after the 18 miler last saturday. overtraining is usually difficult to detect in the early stages, since the signs are difficult to distinguish from normal "fatigue":

"Of course many people fail to pick this up and continue training, usually even harder, and go on to develop what Bruce Fordyce calls the "plods". Symptoms of this are sore muscles, heavy legs, sluggishness and a general feeling of fatigue and malaise. If you are sensible enough to rest completely for 24 to 48 hours then the "plods" should disappear completely. If you do not then you will crash into the full blown overtraining syndrome, with persistent muscle soreness, loss of interest in training, an increase in resting heart rate and changes in sleeping patterns. Once all this has happened then recovery will take 6 to 8 weeks, during which time it is impossible to train or race effectively."

overtraining is nothing to play around with. if you don't catch it early, you're out for six to eight weeks easy, which can easily put a big monkey wrench in your marathon plans. i could definately feel the performance decrease and the "plods", so i skipped the 8 miler and ran the two mid-week 5 milers and a leisurely pace. each one felt a little better and the 9 miler today felt almost back to normal, despite being a balmy 65 degrees.

i'm getting little tingles of excitement when i think that the marathon is only two weeks away. i think i'll probably take it easy the next week to ensure that i'm giving my muscles enough time to repair fully before the big day. next week should be a cake walk since i "only" have to run 4, 6, 4 and 8 miles. it should give me a chance to run in warmer temperatures without overdoing it.

8:37 PM

Saturday, April 12, 2003

the last long, long run

well, i did it. another 18 miler under my belt and i'm glad to be done with it. 5 weeks of 16 plus miler long runs is starting to take its toll on me. happily, from now until the marathon, i'll start scaling back the long run miles to give the ol' body plenty of time to repair.

today was tough mentally as well. kris and i ran a route that i've never run before and it was much more hilly than my typical route. this is good for conditioning, but bad for the brain, since me and hills haven't been on friendly terms since the injury. worse yet, it's long gradual grades that wreak havoc on me and there were several on the route. also, i ran sans my ipod for the first time in a long time because i found out the fascists behind the flying pig don't allow headphones. ugh. and it was a "balmy" 55 degrees out today. when you're used to running in 10 degree weather, 55 feels about like 90 degrees. so all these things conspired to make be quiet the pleasure to run with and kris should get a medal for just putting up with me. it's tough on her, because she usually runs with her sister and they do what sisters do. talk. incessantly. i'm, um, introspective, so running with me is pretty boring to begin with and even worse when i'm a biiiaaaaaatccccchhhh. making the marriage stronger, that's what i say!

so, now it's time for a ittle ice and them i'm going out to get drunk. i deserve it.

5:24 PM

Sunday, April 06, 2003

it was a day later than usual, but i ran the 18 miler today, which is quiet a milestone since it's the longest long run mileage that i'll do before the marathon. all-in-all it went very well. i had a little anxiety on saturday because my left leg/hip joint had started to act up again, but i doubled up on the exercises that my physical therapist gave me and things ended up feeling quiet good. for whatever reason, it looks like i may never fully get over the fact that after repeated use, i gradually lose range of motion in my left leg, which gradually leads to a variety of compensations that eventually lead to knee/calf pain. the good news is that if i don't get lax in doing the physical therapy exercises, then things clear up fairly quickly.

i felt strong the entire run, which i attribute in part to eating meat on a regular basis. for a number of reasons, i haven't been eating meat for a long time, but it's getting too difficult to get enough protein to repair damaged muscles on my regular diet. one can only eat so many soy products. it might be a bit psychological, but i feel like i can tell a difference in overall strength. i've also modified my carbohydrate intake in meals before a run to minimize complex carbs - sticking mainly to easy to digest things like banannas and fruits, which has also helped with supplying easy to acces energy during the run.

i also ran with some new shoes, which added to the overall great feelings during the run. i don't think i've reached the end of life of the last pair, but it's getting close, which is a little disappointing since i think i have only put 200 miles on them. i might need to check in at the running store and see if they have any shoes that better withstand the abuse that my frame will put on them. which brings me to an interesting point. don't start training for a marathon if your intent is to lose weight, because more often than not, you won't - or if you do it will only be a slight loss. i'm a large man - 6'4'' and nearly 245 lbs, and i haven't lost a single pound despite putting in some respectable mileage. my body composition has changed radically and weight loss wasn't a goal of running a marathon, so i'm certainly not complaining about anything. it's just that my shoes aren't reacting kindly to over 300 pounds of strike force pounding on them over and over again.

in any case, things are shaping up nicely. it's hard to believe that i'm also done with the hard part of training. after one more week with a long run, i'll spend a couple weeks rolling back the mileage to give everything time to repair properly before the marathon, which is on may 4th.

6:09 PM

just in time for summer - look snazzy and support the site at the same time by buying some snowdeal schwag!

"I think you devise your own limits for your own personal convenience. There are some people who wish to have limits, and they'll invent as many boxes for themselves as they want. It's like, you know, men invented armor. They wanted to protect themselves from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and so forth. And people do the same thing psychically and psychologically. They build their own armor. They build their own rathole, whatever it is. And they choose their existence. Whether they do it consciously or whether it is helped along by a government or an education system, somebody is helping to shape this imaginary box you live in, but it doesn't have to be there."

--frank zappa

runner's world / joe henderson / chicago marathon /

valid xhtml 1.0 ?

Powered by Blogger Pro™ Independents Day

This site designed by
Eric C. Snowdeal III .
© 2000-2002