Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Running Away

Remember last year when I wrote every week about my marathon training? Being that it's not as novel this year, I'm sparing you all of the wonderful details, but I did feel like talking about it at least a little bit.

This time around is kind of nice. I had been considering which marathon to train for when a couple months ago I had a friend mention that he was interested in running a marathon. Of course, this got me super excited and I told him that if he was really serious that I would train for and run whatever marathon he happened to choose. He ended up choosing Long Beach on October 11th, which I think is awesome. October is a great season to run in, and Long Beach will surely be pleasant and plenty flat. All good things.

I hadn't spoken with him for a few weeks, but I've gotten a few updates from him the last couple of weeks and sure enough, he's right on track. He even went so far as to purchase a GPS/heart-rate monitor. I kind of love this guy.

My own training started off later and more slowly than I would have liked. I had a hamstring problem before coming out to California. Resting it for a couple weeks turned out to be enough, but I was several weeks behind the 18-week schedule I used last year to train for Chicago. I was thinking that I would have liked to have gotten three 20+ mile runs, but I would have had to ramp up the mileage much more quickly than I would have been ready for.

Anyway, things have gone really well. I've been in official training mode for the past four weeks. I reached a high of 15 miles last Saturday, and it took me just over two hours to do it. I felt pretty strong throughout. Getting up at 6am to get ready to run at 7am made a huge difference in beating the heat, which I've been so lazy with doing lately.

The best part about this second go-around with the marathon training is that there are no mental barriers that I have to break down as far as being able to cover the months of running, and the lengthening of distances. Last year, I had all sorts of problems with severe cramping in my calves immediately following any long runs of 15 miles or more, but that has not been the case this time around. I would also normally get soreness on the outside of my knees, but I've varied my running surfaces more and I think that's helped soften the impact of each step.

The worst part about marathon training is that a lot of my runs feel like chores rather than something that I look forward to. Although there are a lot of days when I'm not in training mode when the runs aren't as easy as other days, with marathon training I feel burdened by making sure I'm eating healthy, getting plenty of protein, giving myself adequate time to digest food, and make sure that I'm getting rest. The rest part actually has been super easy given my unstructured lifestyle. But most days I kind of dread knowing I have to get out and hit the pavement.

Last week I also decided that I wanted to run at 165-170 lbs. I don't think I have been that light since I was 15 or 16. The nice thing about weight loss during marathon training is that all it really takes is cutting out a few things a few extra times during the week. You'd be surprised how many calories you burn running 30 miles a week, playing soccer once a week, and doing some weight-lifting in between. I was at about 179 lbs last Sunday, and now I'm at about 174 lbs fully clothed on a full stomach at the end of the day. Consequently, all my shorts and jeans can slip right off my bum if I'm not careful.

I only have four more long-long runs of 17,18, 20, and 23. The drop back weeks will be cake.

Anyway, unless I have more interesting stories to tell you, this will be the last you hear about it on here until I actually run it. So there ya go.

Be blessed y'all.

No comments: