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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Are You Training for a Marathon?

Aug 20th was a changed day. We were supposed to be gaming that night - moving gaming back to Wednesday nights after a summer of Monday night gaming - we're dangerous like that. ;) Anyway, it meant less pressure to get my act together for gaming, and since Violin lessons are now on Tuesdays, I wasn't too worried about making sure to get a practice session in the day before a lesson as usual. I also didn't feel like doing my Kenpo X workout (oh, I never mentioned here I'm doing P90X - saving it up for the final report :) ) so I decided to go for a run. My normal run is about an hour - run down to the bike path and keep going until I get to about 30 minutes then turn back. Great plan for forcing the full hour and usually MORE, as the return home has a nasty uphill: battery park. Ugh!
The weather was perfect. Perfect!
At the 30 minute mark I actually ran (not literally) into my violin teacher walking the opposite direction. I stopped and we chatted for a bit and I continued. I figured I'd go for another 5-10 minutes... then about 5-10 minutes later I realized "hey I feel pretty good", so I decided to try to run to the Burlington-Colchester line, which is about the middle of the bridge over the Winooski River on the bike path.
Well, as I was about as mile away from there, I started to wander in the mind again. I realized I was pushing my luck - well, pushing my muscles. It still felt good, but I knew I had to run back home, so I started to worry, or more so wonder, "what if?" OK, I could turn back now. Nah. I'm to OC for that, I'd feel like I didn't try. That happens nearly every year when we hike the White Mountains. I'll be feeling like I just want to get to the next hut and bypass some side-hikes that either get me up a peak that "counts" or to some neat views. This year I didn't do that. If it had a geographical name and it was in my way, I climbed it. It only ended up adding perhaps an extra half-to-full mile, none easy, and more time, but it was worth it.
So, not continuing on the run was out of the question. Then I thought "hey, I could just keep running until I couldn't any longer. I've neve done that before. I have NO idea how long that would be. I joked in my mind that I'd end up in Canada. Hahaha. Then I'd just call Karen for a ride home. Well, turns out that would have been a bad idea . I didn't have my phone and didn't have money or well, anything besides my clothes, mp3 player and a house key. So I set the bridge as my goal, thinking "hey, round trip, that'll be close to a half marathon.

I ran. By about 58 minutes, I got to the bridge just as what appeared to be a larger group of young girl soccer players out with their coach on a bike ride coming the opposite direction. I stopped to rest for a minute to let them pass. I didn't realize they would stop on the bridge next to me. I was feeling like I might block other traffic, so I turned and started running again. I just barely passed the lead and they started up again, slowly all passing me by. I kept going. It was my thing, typically, unlike most activities, when I'm running I don't care too much about who passes me. I was passed a couple times by the same woman who was running with her two dogs. She looked older than me, but she looked more fit and was wearing what appeared to be a commemorative t-shirt for some running race or marathon. I know I can't compete with a competative distance runner. I'm a sprinter at heart.

At about 1:30 into the run, I realized my ass was really starting to hurt. My legs were sore too, but nothing like my ass. I noticed I was running with a straighter leg stride. I decided to run with my knees up some more. All the while I was trying to keep my heartrate within the range my polar HR watch was telling me to keep it - 164BPM being the top it set for optimum performance. Well, that wasn't going well. I was more hovering around 167-172. The knees up did allevieate the butt pain, but it did tire me out a little more. I kept it up to stretch out the glutes and then went back.
Something extremely annoying about the bike path - no water fountains on the path. At least not on the part I was on. WTF is that all about? Encourage people to get out their and be active, but don't give them an easy way to hydrate?!?! I don't carry water on me when I run because I can't satand having a bottle bouncing around on me and I don't have a decent secure way to strap it on anyway. I see some people carry their bottles. No way. Not for me. I need to be able to loosen up my hands when I run. It promotes better running form.

Anyway, I'm convinced I was dehydrated and that caused a lot of the muscle pain and fatigue. I had to drop down to a fast walk for about 30 seconds 3 times on the bike path. I was burnt. When I got to the pain park at the foot of college street I could finally get to a fountain. I stopped the timer and got some water. Whew... that was good.
Then starts the rough part. Up the hill to Battery St and then up the Battery Park path. Uh, I could run TO the path, but I had to walk up the path. It was just way too much, if I wanted to make it home in one peice. Keep in mind, my knees aren't so great and I always worry about weakening them to the point that they just give out.

I got up the hill and ran back to the base of my block, at which time I ran harder - as much of a sprint as I could muster - to the end, where I live. Done. Stretch time and some moments to reflect on accomplishing the longest run I have ever done, both distance and time-wise. I spent a good 10 minutes stretching outside the front door then went in for my protein drink. All said and done it was just over 11.5 miles. Not quite the half marathon I thought it was, but still... easily 3 miles more than normal for me. I do suspect that the measurement of the run is off though, but what can I say? I believe I used to typically run 8 miles in about 1:20 or so. It's all iffy.

Here is the map of my run if you wanna see it's glory. The masochist in me thinks I should try to do this perhaps once a week. Eventually it'll become a lot easier and perhaps I'll build it longer. I'd love to be able to run a solid marathon one day. I might try to make a team to do the Vermone City Marathon next year, so that's a good start. Watching the olympians do it in the under 3 hour time makes me shiver knowing that I'd be lucky in my current level to finish in 5 hours.

In any event, it was a run in the right direction and proof that my fitness level is not too bad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hardcore. I did something like that a few weeks ago, but on a much smaller scale. Wiped me out for the rest of the week,but it was a lot of fun. Sometimes you just got to try a challenge when you see it staring you in the face.