Monday, 6 June 2011

Plan B

I have reworked my running plan and it does not have me running five days a week, as I had envisioned this morning. It does have me running four days a week though. After reviewing the current 24 week marathon plan, in which I am just starting week two, it was obvious that it wasn't going to get me where I need to be in nine weeks for the 23k trail run I've signed up for. (Jabulani Challenge To remedy this, I've consulted an expert runner.

It was easy. I just cranked my head to the right and said "HELP!" My wife has been living the running life for a few years now, has run multiple half and full marathons, has read every book and magazine on running she can get her hands on, is an active member on the Marathon Nation web site and really, really knows this stuff. She looked at my running schedule leading up to the 23k, asked me a few key questions and moments later I had a brand new plan that will have me ready for the Jabulani Challenge on August 7th.

I can't believe how excited I am to jump into this new plan, feet first of course, even though I know that I'll have to back off the bike a bit. The bike will still be useful to keep my legs from getting too cold on the off days, much as walking does, but I don't think I'll be cycling with great amounts of gusto until after the Challenge.

I have to end this now. A new episode of The Big bang Theory is about to start and that is quiet time for Ashton and I.

Rest day

Today is a cardio rest day, but I don't want to rest! I want to get out there and run and bike and push myself to the next level!

I know muscles need time to repair and that if I don't rest, I increase the chance of injury and fatigue. I don't know if it's my head or body that isn't listening because it wants to get out there and pound the pavement. Am I developing an Athlete's attitude? Am I starting to suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome? Is my morning coffee causing me to be dehydrated and now I'm not thinking clearly? I can only hope the first question is the answer...

Last week I set myself up on a 24 week marathon training plan that includes the cycling that I've been doing for the last few months. I have no current plans to actually sign up for a marathon but it would be nice to be able to run that distance and it will put me a bit closer to actually being able to keep up with my wife, the real runner in the family. The plan starts off to accommodate beginners and is only three days a week. After this weekend's 10k run, I am definitely going to take a closer look at the plan and add a couple more days, so I run five days a week, and move further into the plan so that the distances are greater. I hope I'm not setting myself up for failure here.

I have a dream here, a method to my madness. When our son is old enough (he's almost 9 now) to be alone for a few hours at a time, I would like to be able to run with Debra and not slow her down (too much). We could even run in the same events and encourage each other to set new PRs. Okay, I'm sure it'll be more like her dragging me along for the first few kilometers and then just taking off to run her own race. That would be okay as it would give her time to locate the coffee tent and/or medical tent for me at the finish line.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Doubled up the run

My cardio plan for the day started off as a 5k run followed by 20k on the bike. It's always nice to have a plan and even nicer to know nothing is set in stone. At the 2.75k mark, where I usually turn to make my usual 5k out and back circuit, I was feeling so good that I wanted to go to 4k before turning around and heading back. At 4k, I decided to go to 5k before turning back.

My run ended up being 10k total in 60 minutes and change. That's got to be enough for one day...

I decided adding the bike ride on top of the run would probably be a bit too much on my legs at this time. Since I've only been riding since mid-February and have only recently been able to get back to running, I'm a bit cautious/concerned of causing any more injuries to myself. It seems that the past times that I've set long run goals, I end up with some injury that prevents me from running for a few months and then I never get back into again. The last injury was in December when I was running home from work, about 8k, a few times a week. It wasn't until February that I tried another run and I could still feel the injury in a big way. That's when I decided to give the bike a try.

Now I am riding the bike to and from work each day and try to add in a few lunch hour rides, just for fun. I am really glad that I added the bike to my day. Now, my runs are much stronger and faster than they have ever been in the past and I know that if I have a hard running or biking session one day, I can still ride the bike the next day and just take it easy. So now I am both running and biking, within the same day, and loving the fitness level I never thought I'd achieve when I was only running. I know these activities work different muscle sets and that this cross-training is a great combo to increase performance for each, but I guess I just have to prove things to myself before the knowledge really sinks in.

Since I was feeling oh so good after doing 10k, I started pondering finding a half-marathon later in the year that I could do and not interfere with my wife's (Debra) schedule. Wouldn't you know it, not an hour after my pondering commenced, she asked me if I wanted to do the 23k trail run that our son's (Ashton) school sponsors to raise funds for for the Stellenbosch Community Development Programme in South Africa (officially called the "Jabulani Challenge"). The suggestion couldn't have come at a better time and I am now signed up for my first half-marathon + 2k!