Friday, March 07, 2008

Run! Don't Run! No, Run!

I'm resisting the urge to turn this into a marathon training blog. For one thing, I barely have time (read: I don't have time; I haven't had time) to post some of the other things that have been on my mind these days. (read: because I'm so lame that I'm usually in bed before 11pm these days. We went to bed at 9:30pm last night.) But, here I am, wanting to talk about how the training is going.

And how it's going is that it seems like it's going ok, all things considered.

Tuesday felt great. I did a hill workout, and I felt pretty good, aided I'm sure by the mild temperature (51°F) and the unexpected sunshine.

3 miles on the dreadmill on Wednesday to stay out of the rain. Fine.

The run yesterday kind of sucked. I went 7-1/2 miles, and I totally ran out of gas halfway through it. It was also back to the below-freezing mark again (I think it stay around 31°F the whole time), which certainly took some of the potential pleasantry out of it as well. (I can't fathom the guy I saw running in shorts and a T-shirt, or the other guy picking up stuff in his yard in his boxers or the middle school girls in miniskirts and/or single layer tops with the plunging necklines -- I guess I'll just chock up my incomprehension to being a pussy from southern California.)

Then there are the long runs. The long runs are about building endurance. When I eventually get into the thick of the actual marathon training this summer, these runs are going to be around 20 miles and take over 3 hours. (Technically, I'm only training for a half-marathon in May right now -- the plan is to use that to build up my base and then start in on a 4-5 month training schedule for the marathon in October.)

The long runs are on the weekends. Except that I ended up running this week's long run today because tomorrow is supposed to be all rain, all the time -- Wunderground says "definite rain" and a friend of mine told me that she heard "soaking rain." Neither was particularly appealing. I considered running on Sunday, but that forecast indicated greater peril -- it was supposed to be clear, but cold; dropping below freezing sometime in the wee hours of the morning, just after the rain stopped. Meaning: ice.

Ice bad.

So I was planning on just sucking it up and running on Saturday in the rain, until I heard over the radio about the potential flooding. I was ready to get soaked, but the idea of 12 miles of waterlogged shoes put me over the edge. The run went ok -- just a little colder than expected because of a steady easterly wind. The only downside was that I didn't get a rest day between the 7-1/2 and the 12 today; in my head, I'm pretending that I got some benefit out of running in the afternoon rather than in the morning, giving myself a few hours of extra "rest," not that it was actually rest or anything.

It does make me wonder whether somebody is trying to tell me something. Sometimes when you decide to do something, it couldn't be easier. It's like it was meant to be -- path of least resistance, easy like Sunday morning. (so long you're not getting up early Sunday morning to run in the cold for 2 hours.) And then there are times when it's... hard. It's not easy. Hurdles are getting dropped in your path. (that's ok, I ran hurdles in high school...) Challenges. Difficulties.

The weird ankle thing isn't bothering me so much this week, but my hamstring has been acting up a bit. (did a little research, gonna try to add some strengthening to the training plan.)

And JEEZ, the weekend weather has just SUCKED the last few weeks. I've been running almost daily since the beginning of February and started following a relatively formal training for about 3 weeks now. The first long run two weeks ago (8.2 miles), we had a blizzard that Friday -- I had to shovel to get to the road. And while the roads were well plowed, in places when I couldn't run on the road, the sidewalks weren't so great. (how many of you would wake up at 7am to shovel your sidewalk, just in case some dumbass might have decided to do his training runs in the early morning after a blizzard?) Last week, it pretty much snowed DURING the entire run. (11.5 miles -- it was supposed to be 10 but I took a wrong turn. Whoops.) And of course, maybe an hour after I finished the run, it stopped snowing, and was actually sunny. And of course this weekend was going to suck, so I took measures, as it were.

So, is somebody trying to tell me to stop? To end the madness!? (I've already had one friend tell me that it was a bad idea.)

Or are they just helping me fight my insecurity about being a quitter and giving me the opportunity to struggle a little and feel like I've accomplished something? Or at least give me something to whine about.

I tell ya, I have the hardest time telling them apart.


Leah said...

marathon training seems to be harder than the marathon itself (which is still a challenge, but still seems to pale in comparison to the ongoing training that gets you there.) the year i was training, i ran in slushy snow and twisted my ankle, but recovered and got back to it. i considered giving up at that point, but didn't. i ran a half-marathon in the pouring rain, and met friends at 5 in the morning to do long runs. i think you have to be slightly nuts to do this and no one would blame you for stopping. but then again, if you do it, i think you'll find it to be a worthwhile experience (it's one of those things that in completing, it makes you feel like you can do *anything*). i'd say, just don't beat yourself up about doing the training perfectly. do what's right for your body, and keep a nice relaxed pace. (i think finishing is more important than getting a great time.) so those are my thoughts. hope that helps a little. and i hope you got in your run before it started pouring! (((Hugs)))

Leah said...

i mis-read, i see you ran your long run yesterday. hope you can get some rest this weekend!