Sunday, September 23, 2007

Where are my socks?

And so I run .... I have good days and I have bad days .... days where I feel on top of the world and days where I wonder where I will get the energy to get my running shoes on and hit the street. Weekend warriors they calls us. I guess that's appropriate. Running is definitely a whole body experience and I realize that every time I hit the street. I have seen what running has done for my body, soul and mind and I have vowed to myself to never stop running unless I am forced to due to an injury (knock on wood). Nonetheless, some days are definitely easier than others. I find myself paying attention to everything I have done that week or that day. Did I eat enough? Did eat too much? Did I eat the right foods? Did I hydrate enough? Did I get enough sleep? How is my stress level? All of this plays a part in how well I can train and ultimately run on race day.

Despite the fact that I am training for my fifth marathon, I have only been running since May 2006 and I ran my first Marathon in October 2006. I am still a "newbie" at this running thing and I often wonder if I am pushing myself too hard. Back in May 2006 I started training as a Run/Walker for SF Nike Women's Marathon and graduated to the runner's group by August. By race day I was able to run the entire marathon with walk breaks every water station. My overall pace for that Marathon was 13:20 and taking into account that it was my first marathon and that Nike is probably not a good choice for a first marathon, (the endless San Francisco hills), I was happy with my time and my pace. Not even a year later and I have run three other marathons with a best time of 4:33 which puts my pace at about a 10:28. In less than a year I have cut off almost three minutes off my time. I figure that if I continue training the way I am now, and continue to listen to the experts, I will eventually reach my goal pace of 8:40 and qualify for Boston. I want to qualify for Boston by my fortieth birthday (a year and a half away) and while I think it's possible I may be asking too much of my body at this point. I have to continually take into account the fact that I cannot train everyday like a super athlete. I still have to work, care for my children, go to soccer games etc... and still find the time to train. I am not privileged enough at this point in my life where I can just run.... I have other things that are a priority too so I guess I am cutting myself some slack and letting myself off the hook at little bit. After all, I also want to enjoy my runs and my training. Yes, even the intervals.

So here's what going on currently. I am still training with Fleet Feet and I am more aware every time I run with the group, that the trainers are following a schedule that is very likely to get someone injured. The trainer for my group commented today that she is concerned with the schedule as well. Of course that did not go over real well with me. So the bottom line is that I will continue to train with the group (I paid for the registration and I won't quit now) however I will modify what needs to be modified and work on not injuring myself. We received the full marathon training schedule this morning (up to now we've been following the half marathon training schedule) and our miles from week to week go up weekly with no recoup miles in between. In addition to that, the schedule has us doing between 70 and 100 minutes of "interval" training on Wednesday's. The interval training is really nothing more than long miles because we are not really doing intervals but just running "really hard" for 70 - 100 minutes. So if we're doing these long miles on Sundays and then doing between 7 and 10 miles of "really hard" running on Wednesdays, we're really not having a chance to recuperate from the long miles and in addition we are not training our body to improve our pace. Every Wednesday we're just told to go out and run "really hard" for x amount of time. No intervals at all ...

I found out that I paid the registration to have running buddies which in and of itself is not so bad but I was really hoping to get more training ... live and learn.

So ... I'll keep running with the group while at the same time following Galloway's training guide for the 4:00 marathon. I'm going to start going out to the track and following Galloway's and Carmichael's (Armstrong's trainer for New York Marathon) interval training guide. They discuss similar methods so I'm going to give it a try. Stay tuned ...

Today our group ran 12 miles. I came in at 2:02:11. Can't seem to get out of that 10:00 minute plateau. Soon though ... soon. My foot starting hurting pretty bad about mile 9 and got increasingly worse until it was burning again and I began to limp slightly. The new shoes have been great so I don't know what happened today .... I've put about 52 miles on the shoes thus far and with the exception of today my feet have felt great. I laid my running clothes out last night - everything that is except my socks and when I got up this morning I couldn't find my Thorlo's and ran with an old pair that do not provide enough cushioning. I did not like how they felt at all. Perhaps that's the reason for my poor performance.... a pair of socks? That's why they call them "training runs" I guess. Where are my socks? Probably at the bottom of the laundry basket .....

1 comment:

David said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm sure I'll look back again some time. Keep it up.
Dave