Marathon Training Weeks 1 and 2

1 09 2012

Heading out for my run this morning in an over-sized baseball jersey and baggy black shorts, I looked like a refugee from a Kris Kross concert in the 1990s.  With baseball cap and shades, the only thing missing was a big ugly gold chain.  I don’t usually care what I wear when I run but I did recently purchase a new outfit (on clearance) for my marathon from Skirt Sports.  I figure it will be a special occasion so I might as well look good.  My new threads, while definitely more gamester than gangster, in no way resemble these duds worn by Capt. Kirk and company during the original series episode “The Gamesters of Triskelion.”

But, fashion statements aside, what can be said about my first two weeks of training is:  “So far so good.”

The Kiawah Island Marathon is 14 weeks from today, and I find myself looking forward to it.  Cooler weather should be approaching as well and I am also looking forward to that.

Getting back in the swing of serious training after two months of heatwave and a family tragedy has had its ups and downs, but I am dealing with it all.  There are days I have to shove myself out the front door and others that I am virtually bounding like an 8 year old.  I guess that’s life.

The weight loss efforts which fell by the wayside after the half in Alaska have resumed (albeit sporadically at first) because it would really help to be at least a dozen pounds lighter by race day.   I haven’t regained any weight but must acknowledge a slow erosion of the self-discipline I had built up over 6 months of carefully planning and logging 90% of my meals.

The Run Less, Run Faster training week features three “quality” runs (that means “tough”) and two non-weight-bearing “aerobic cross training” workouts like swimming, rowing or pedaling a stationary bike.  I can’t say I have the cross training stuff up to par yet but I’m working on it.  Since I don’t swim and have neither a rowing machine nor a stationary bike, I did rejoin the local gym during their current $10/month special and will make sure I get myself there as soon as possible.  The authors also advocate 2 or 3 quick strength training workouts weekly which I can do either at the gym or at home.

I really want to give myself this successful effort as a 57th birthday present in December.  It will provide a nice end to what has been an otherwise sort of crappy year.

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Week One
Sunday  —  Rode the bicycle 35 minutes.  It was hot, I was tired and I didn’t have more than that in me.
Monday  —  Took the day off.
Tuesday  —  Long slow run:  8 miles.  I hadn’t run this far in a long time.  I was suprised at how easy it was.
Wednesday  —  Upper body weights and abs; very short quick workout because I procrastinated too long and then had to go to work.
Thursday  —  Speed intervals:  15 minute warm-up followed by 3 x 1600 meters and a 15 minute cool down.  I was slower than I wanted to be, but it wasn’t a bad effort considering I hadn’t done speedwork in a couple of months.
Friday  —  Rode the bicycle around the neighborhood.  Short easy ride.
Saturday  —  Hot, hot day for a 10k but I did it:  the DeKalb Cornfest 10k.  Slow, slow day too.

Week Two
Sunday  —  Took the day off.
Monday  —  Walked the dogs two miles.  Didn’t feel like much else.
Tuesday  —  First attempt at the week’s tempo run:  I got out late because it took too long cleaning the house.  Started out from home but fizzled due to heat and sun.  So I drove to the woods.  It was hot there too and full of mosquitos.  Quit after two miles.  Very disgusted with the return of 90 degree temps the past week and dejected that my running is so affected by hot weather.
Wednesday  —  Second attempt at a tempo run:  A bit more successfully, I ended up doing 4 miles.
Thursday  —  Rode 30 minutes on the bike (6 miles), then came back and did a thorough upper body workout and abs.
Friday  —  Speedwork:  15 minute warm-up, 4 x 800 meters fast (faster than usual which made me very happy), 15 minutes cool-down.  Nice!  I felt my smile coming back.
Saturday  —  Long slow run:  9 miles.  Yes, I should have taken a day off in between but my schedule didn’t permit it.  It was a good run, faster than the schedule called for but still quite comfortable.  The smile is definitely back.  Even with the remnants of Hurricane Isaac pelting me the last 4 miles, it did me good.

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