June 2007 Archives

Early Morning Commute

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Well, I've had a tiny measure of consistency this week. Tuesday's run was nestled betwen morning pushups, situps Monday and Wednesday. To continue my fragile chain of actually doing something, I rode the bike to work today.

I opted to get up at 5am, and leave as soon as possible. The rationale was that I wanted my first real ride of the year (I've done a few short family rides, but they don't count) to avoid busy roads as much as possible. Since the route didn't really allow it, I had to adjust the time.

It was cool out, only 10C (50F). I shivered a bit at first, but warmed up fairly quickly. I completely wasn't in a hurry, opting instead to relax and enjoy the ride. There was very little traffic, especially long the roads that I was a bit nervous about. The drivers that I did encounter were very courteous, giving me a wide berth when they passed me.

I'll definitely need to be a bit better prepared in future weeks, with foot stored at my desk ahead of time. Still, it feels good to finally be commuting responsibly.

I can only hope that I"m more consistent with it this year than I was last year.

A Tourist at the Forge

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It took me a while yesterday to realize that it had, in fact, been three weeks since the marathon. Time flies.

I knew that I hadn't run in a week, though. I was planning to run Tuesday morning, but then it occurred to me that I was actually free on Tuesday night for a change. The triathlon group at masters swimming runs on Tuesday nights, and they were doing Stonebridge Trail, one of the better local running spots. I decided that I wanted to attend.

It was fairly hot out for the run. It was also windy, and rainclouds were building, so it's possible that it cooled off as we ran. Still, the heat was more than I was used to. Oh, who am I kidding? It was my second run in June, and the running was more than I was used to.

Still, it felt good to be out. It felt good knowing that I had done my pushups and situps (which have been irregular at best) the day before, and that I was working on two days of "training" in a row. We ended up running on a trail that's very close to home that I didn't even know was there, which was awesome.

What wasn't so awesome was the heat, nor the blasts of hot air. It was like I was in a forge, slowly recrafting myself into something new. As I followed along at the back of the pack, I could see clearly where I wanted to be. I wanted to escape from being a cold weather runner who wilted in the heat. I wanted to be the guy out in front, setting and holding my own pace, rather than trying desperately to keep up with the pack.

I finished the run feeling very much beat by the run. Later in the evening, the top of my left foot started bothing me again. By the next morning, my left knee/hamstring was tight, just like before the marathon.

Ok, so the rest phase really shouldn't be over yet. Still, I think the lazy phase is. I'm willing to give myself more time to recover, but I'm not quite willing to be lazy any more. It's been nice, I guess, but it's not really me. At very least, it's not where I want to be.

16 days

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In the last 16 days, I have swam once, done a few pushups and situps, but I have not run. I have not even gotten on my bike.

What I have done is eat ice cream, jujubes, and say "Hey, look at me, I'm not breaking training!" Haha! It's been nice, and all, but sooner or later, I was going to have to get back out there.

It took a while for the itch to come, but after failing to get the bike out this weekend, it was starting to get urgent. When I was awake at 5:30 this morning, I knew it was time.

Since I haven't had the chance to look my bike over yet, I opted for a run. It was probably
20 degrees (68F) by the time I got out the door. I took it easy, more or less. It felt pretty much like what you'd expect it to feel like, if you haven't run in the last 16 days, and haven't really run in heat for half a year or more. I creaked, I groaned, I sweated. I'll spare the details.

I think I'll take my bike out tonight, and prep it for a morning ride tomorrow.

Sleepless Reflections

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Insomnia has me wide awake. I haven't run in 10 days, but I've had a lot to think about.

The last 8 months have been pretty amazing. I trained harder than I ever have before. I did my absolute best to balance my training with my home life, and diligence at work. I tried to stay healthy, to make myself fast, and put more miles in than I ever had before.

I succeeded in some things, failed in others. In some, maybe, the jury is still out.

In the end, the marathon was everything I hoped it would be. I ran a negative split. I ran a smart race. I was able to run down Queen Elizabeth Drive, rather than limp. This time, when I crossed the finish line, my arms were raised in triumph.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

I honestly don't think I could have gone any faster, on race day. The last 5km were probably the least amount of fun I've ever had while running. Well, that's not true. I've been in more pain, and run more slowly. I've never had it so tough, though. It was mentally demanding. I'm proud of what I did at the end, keeping going, pushing constantly even though I was suffering. I'm proud of it, but I'm in no hurry to repeat the experience.

Honestly, I fully believe that I have a faster marathon in me. In fact, I think I have a much faster marathon in me. I wanted to break 4 hours, and I probably can. And I will.

But having done all that I've done over the last 8 months, I've gained a fair bit of insight into what that will take. It will mean a lot more speed work. It will mean more miles. It will mean more personal sacrifice. It will mean that I will need to ask even more from my family.

It will mean more pain.

I still have the fire. I want to be faster. I want to break 20 minutes for the 5k. I want to challenge 40 minutes on the 10k. I'd love to run a 1:30 half. If I can do those things, I'll have the speed I need to run the kind of marathon I dream of running.

I came to running with a desire to test my endurance. I was the smallest kid in class growing up. I'm not strong, not fast, not gifted athletically in any particular way. I love endurance sports, though. I love being able to set a pace, and maintain it for hours. Often, when I run, I'm running a pace that I feel comfortable with. I like to push myself to run a little further, but running a little faster isn't something I'm geared towards doing very often.

It's a nice philosophy if you're out for a sense of personal accomplishment. Running my first half marathon felt good. Completing my first marathon felt great. Completing my first olympic triathlon was a thrill.

I've done all that now. I've run as far as I'm likely to ever run. I have proven my endurance, my ability, to myself.

To beat my PBs, to go to the next level, is going to require a change in philosophy. I want to continue to improve. I want to be fast.

I also, incidentally, still want to be a multisport athlete. Swimming, cycling and running are all in my plans.

So are Sunday mornings with the kids.

I've learned a lot, and I've achieved a lot. I suppose I've suffered somewhat, too. Somewhere out on Queen Elizabeth Drive, I decided that I wanted something a little different. I love the marathon to death, and I will come back to it someday.

For the time being, though, I'm done with them. Onwards to something new, something different, and hopefully something a little easier to balance.

Naval Standards

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So for the first time in 23 months, I'm not currently registered in swimming. It was time for a break.

While I haven't exactly got great definition above the belt, what little I do have comes from swimming. It would be a shame to lose what little I have over the summer, especially if I want to get even more serious about swimming again in the fall. So, in addition to whatever running and cycling I do over the summer, I need something a little more to fill the gap.

I recently came across this - the US Navy's physical test standards. The run and swim are straightforward, and I know that I can score well on them. However, 2 minutes of pushups and situps is very difficult for me. I've tried this a time or two in the past, and been humbled.

I tried this out yesterday. In 2 minutes, I was able to do 25 pushups. In 2 minutes, I could do 35 situps.

Yuck.

My thinking was to try to do situps and pushups every morning this summer, to maintain and build some strength.

OF course, this morning, I woke up with sore pectorals. Gee, I wonder why? Also, when I sat down to do the situps, my abs were a bit sore.

This could be tougher than I thought.

I'm also leaving more time between the situps and pushups, to try to pad my numbers this morning.

Pushups/Situps

Sunday, June 3: 25/35
Monday, June 4: 26/42

Tomorrow will be a rest day. I need it!

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Recent Comments

  • Cheryl: Right on Wendy! read more
  • Wendy: That swimming fitness will be back before you know it! read more
  • deene: you have to listen to your body, you probably needed read more
  • Cheryl: The heat, mixed with the humidity were extreme and it read more
  • Wendy: Sorry to hear you were so ill, Warren, but good read more
  • Cheryl: Sounds like a tough go! It's a shame that everyone read more
  • deene: anything timed in seconds and with repeats sound tough to read more
  • jank: Ease comes soon while riding in a group. As long read more
  • warren: Sadly, no. Nor did I delve into the Leguminosae family read more
  • jeff: WOOHOO! did you ever come up with a name for read more

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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