Like a Starfleet Academy cadet, cramming during finals week…..

21 08 2011

… I have jumped back into marathon training with both feet and am scrambling to make up for lost ground (how’s that for a bunch of puns?) because the Berlin marathon will take place 5 weeks from today.

The heat wave which rendered outdoor activity about as much fun as a barefoot tango on a comet’s tail has gone, hopefully for good, and I have been training again for the past week and a half.  I took a full seven days off at the last of July and first week of August,  then did indoor cross-training for a couple more days before venturing back to the pavement on August 10th.

I was supposed to have peaked at 16 miles for my longest run by the end of July but did not do so and therefore have retooled the training program to make up for lost time.  Having crammed for tests all through college and med school, I am no stranger to the concept but physical endurance does not lend itself to the same compressibility as mere data.  Of course, it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some crazy challenge, so off I go.

On August 10, I did 4 miles of run/walk intervals and was not impressed with my performance, having walked quite a bit of the distance.

On August 11, instead of cross-training, I decided to run again (a rare event for me and my 55-year old knees) and ended up with a nice 6 mile outing.  It was interesting when at mid-run approximately 3 miles from home I felt the….umm…..call of nature quite insistently and had nowhere to go.  I considered some bushes but it seemed to be landscapers day everywhere I turned.  I found a bank but it wasn’t open yet.  I was about to ring a stranger’s doorbell when I spotted a small building I hadn’t seen before and approached it.  A dialysis center.  Great!  And it had a ladies room.  They saved an extra pair of kidneys that day for sure.

On August 12, I had a session with the personal trainer:  more strength/balance/core and a challenge to run a 1/2 marathon over the weekend.  I had signed up for Rock-n-Roll Chicago on 8/14/2011 but didn’t feel like making the 100-mile round trip drive into the City.  So in order to skip the event with no guilt, I was to run my own 13.1 miler instead.

On Saturday, August 13, I ran and walked 13.2 miles around the neighborhood (and some on my treadmill).  It was a good test of how well I’d built a training base.  It was tough to finish, having not gone that distance since June 25 in Seattle, but I felt great within an hour afterward and that gave me confidence.

Sunday, August 14, I got ambitious and planned a two-hour bicycle ride.  I got a late start and was only able to complete 1:45 before leaving to go to the movies.  I got 18.9 miles done.

Monday, August 15, I ran 5 miles.

Tuesday, August 16, I WAS SO EXHAUSTED I didn’t do anything athletic at all!  Well, there were those 16-ounce curls at the Plainfield Tap House….

Wednesday, August 17, I ran 3 miles.

Thursday, August 18, another session with the trainer.

Friday, August 19, I ran 3 miles again.

Saturday, August 20, a bit of lifestyle exercise was on the agenda:  tilling and weeding in the garden.

Sunday, August 21, 5 miles of run/walking.

The plan for the upcoming week includes the 16 mile long-run which is at least 3 weeks late, a couple of shorter runs, and a bike tour in Chicago with a cycling group.

The plan for the rest of the month:  build miles, stay healthy, avoid burnout and cram, cram, cram.


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