Tuesday, January 11, 2011

tortoise pace

My pace lately has been the slowest it has ever been in my life. In fact, last week most of my runs were around 12 minutes/mile. I'm usually in the 10 minute range (which is already pretty slow compared to a lot of runners!). What gives? Well, I can think of a few things to use as excuses. The first is that I'm sick with chest congestion. This has diminished my energy and has made me even struggle to climb the stairs! Some people would say I'm crazy to run with chest congestion but I figure I might as well wait until it gets REALLY bad before I take some rest. It's still in the stage where the mucus in my chest is just hanging out there. Once I start hacking like crazy I'll probably rest. Another reason (excuse) for my slower pace is likely that I took a month of from marathon training. I ran slow short distance; not a great recipe for pace on longer runs! Finally, my pace has slowed down due to the weather. Running on snow and ice slows me down. There are times I have to climb over snow banks, like at intersections. I usually run at night, when I typically run slower anyway since I can't see as well (even with a headlamp). Add the darkness factor to the snow/ice factor and you're reading something typed by a tortoise! But you know what? I am just happy to be out there! I am grateful that I am healthy enough to have two legs that get me going at any pace. So I'll plug along as a tortoise...and maybe one day I'll become a turtle again! :)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Break or Boston or Both?

I intended on taking the entire month of December off from intensive running, since marathon training for the Delaware Marathon didn't start until January 3rd. I planned to run a few times a week at 3-5 miles per run. Nothing like marathon training! And I wasn't going to "squeeze in" a run when I didn't really have time to run (like I have to do when training). And I wasn't going to give up precious hours on the weekends to do a long run.

Then I got a number for the Boston Marathon. That would mean I would have to start training on December 13th which would put a major damper on my plan to take some time off. Long story about how I got the number for Boston, but the bottom line is that I came in 2nd place in a year-long competition in one of my running clubs and an invitational bib was my prize. The club was even going to pay half the registration fee. If I ran Boston on April 18th, this would mean I'd run 3 marathons in the course of 6 weeks. I consulted running expert Bart Yasso, who not only told me to run Boston, he told me how to train in between each of the marathons.

With Bart's blessing, I accepted the bib to Boston. Yet I didn't give up on my plan to take some time off. My marathon training program, as dictated by Hal Higdon, lasts 18 weeks. I decided to start at week 3, thereby cutting down the training to 16 weeks. As a veteran of 13 marathons, I figured I would do just fine with a 16 week training program. This gave me a month off between the Richmond Marathon and the start of training, which commenced on December 27th.

Thank God for breaks!! It was so well-needed. And I think it did my body good. I am slower now, but who cares? I've got 15 weeks until the Boston Marathon. Plenty of time, right?!