Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've got to stop reading Runners World

I had already burned out on reading about training plans and what brand of electrolyte tablet is tastiest (I think the consensus was Succeed), but now I'll have to pass on "Ask the Sports Doc", too. If you thought the specter of bloody nipples was bad, then you won't really want to read all about toenails. Black ones, red ones, falling-off ones and the fun treatments like sticking needles under your toenails, drilling holes in them, or burning holes in them.
Wow. So much to look forward to after my long runs.
On a positive note, got in a 3.5 mile run early this morning before the rain came. "But wait", I protest, "I was only supposed to run 3 miles today since I'm still a bit sore from all the concrete running I did on Saturday." Yes, but when you plan your run at 6 am after getting maybe 6 hours of sleep you tend to make mistakes like taking shortcuts that don't exist. Fear not, I have now mapped an actual 3 mile route in the neighborhood to use next week. I even mapped a 5 mile run for Saturday.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

The great thing about coming from a big family is when you get together, everyone's kids can occupy each other and leave most of their parents free to relax or challenge each other to fun stuff like running in the heat of the evening until you puke. My oldest brother begged off running since the concrete streets around my other brother's house would hurt his knees. (waaaah!) My other brother said he'd die if he ran, or at least sweat. (waaaah!)
That left my sister and I to hit the pavement. She wants to do a half-marathon in November so she'd been doing a little running lately too. I let her set the pace, and luckily it was comfortable so we chatted back and forth until we hit the first hill. Halfway up she was reliving the ice cream we'd just eaten so we walked the hill and then did another lap of the neighborhood. She begged me to stop telling jokes so that she could breath and I decided to be nice and comply. We filled the time with bits of running advice we'd gotten from concerned friends about the right clothes to wear and how to hydrate properly. After two laps she was fading and decided to walk one while I ran ahead. On my last lap I decided to run it backwards so I could check up on her (partly to make sure she didn't fall over dead and partly to make sure she didn't just wimp out and cut it short ;-). When I caught her she'd just finished walking the big hill and was ready to run again. Unfortunately for me she was feeling good and ready to really push it to the finish and started to leave me in the dust. So I did what any good brother would do...told jokes until she cracked. "Last one home has bloody nipples!" got me to the front door first.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Simple Plan

Most people attempting a marathon for the first time would do something smart like consult a trainer or join a running group. I prefer the do-it-yourself approach, since trying to get coordinated with other people would eat into the time I have to actually train. So I read dozens of plans and articles about plans and rolled my own...

It's basically spending summer carefully building up to running the kind of mileage most serious runners have before they even start training, and then carefully doing increasingly long runs on the weekend, backing off a bit after each milestone.

The serious runners will probably be aghast that there are only 3 running days each week, but that's the time I have to do it, so that's what I'll do. Just for them, there's a proper 3-week taper at the end.

Non-runners will probably be aghast that it takes around 600 miles to train. Luckily it provides the answer to the age-old question of what do I want for Christmas? This year, it's a new pair of shoes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Long Road Ahead

With today's run I'm all of 2% into the nearly 600 miles of training I've got planned. My pace is where I want it for now and I'm starting to believe I can not only finish, but do it in under 5 hours. Not exactly burning up the timesheets, but with just 3 days a week to train I think that's still pretty good. The only problem is I spent too much time running on the left side of the road instead of the right today, and my right hip pain is back a little bit. Slightly longer run planned for Saturday so I'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

How it got started

I've always loved running for fun, and after I broke my mountain bike in a small crash last fall I started trail running so I could fall down at lower speeds. I'd worked up to running for an hour or two at a time pretty easily and thought about doing the half at the Austin Marathon in February. Sadly I'd missed the deadline and blew it off, then got busy in the spring and lost all of what a serious runner would call "form". When I tried to go right back to running 5 miles at a time my hip would hurt so I had to start over from nothing. Now I've got some new shoes and carefully worked back to running a solid 3 miles twice a week with no issues and thanks to the generous 7-hour time limit for Austin (a 16 minute/mile pace!), I'm pretty sure just about anybody could finish.