November 8, 2010

Sh!t or get off the pot

Apparently it's cliche week here at TTHR.
I had something of an epiphany today. I've been talking to Superman about staying active, walking and moving on the days I don't run, to avoid feeling like I did on yesterday's run. I believe my inaction Saturday directly contributed to the stiffness, if nothing else.

I've said several times now, to fit my definition of runner I have to run 4-5 days a week, 5-6 miles a day, with an additional long run on the weekend. I currently run 4 miles, 2x a week, plus the long run. Last month I was running 3 miles, 2x a week, occasionally bumping one of those 3s to anywhere from 4 to 6. I had it in my head that I needed my current runs to be 5-6 miles before adding anything more. That is not necessarily the case.

I have been thinking for a while about speed work, and about running just a mile in my Vibrams on the off days (at least until after this race). That hasn't happened, for various reasons, but mostly because I have a set running schedule. I changed that schedule today. It occurred to me, apparently in a way I could finally hear, that I do not have to wait until my scheduled runs are up to the distance I imagine they should be, before adding on. Also, I do not necessarily have to run 3-6 miles every day I run. As I said at the end of yesterday's post, it doesn't have to be pretty to count as a run.

I was determined today to get out and move, one way or another. I did some stretching this morning, I moved a bit at my parent's, and I walked about a mile round trip to the post office and back. The whole time, I mulled over the idea that I do not have to run far, to run today (an "off" day). I decided it was time to shit or get off the pot. Time to just do what I've been saying I want to do. I know I cannot yet run as far as I ultimately want to, as often as I ultimately want to, but I can still run.

I decided I didn't even have to run the entire distance I chose to travel, today. I would do speed work, the 60/120s Ninja keeps telling me everyone keeps telling him to practice, to pass his PT test. I believe they are also called intervals. You sprint for 1 minute, jog or walk for 2 minutes, then repeat. I set Jog Log to tell me my pace every 60 seconds, laced up and headed out.

I started with the idea that I would take the 3 mile route, but soon realized I would not make it that far. I also realized I cannot sprint for a full minute. The exercise turned into something more along the lines of 50/130s. When it was time to sprint, I focused on breathing, foot placement, and kicking my feet up behind me. That's not entirely true, as the first few sprints showed me I had to focus on breathing and foot placement. The kicking was an afterthought as I realized where my feet and legs were throughout my stride.

I covered 2 miles in 26 minutes, sprinting as hard as I could for as long as I could, then walking the 2+ minutes in between. This was hard, but it was also fun to run, to see how fast I could run, to see if I could make the entire minute (I only did twice, once at the beginning and once at the end) and to see how quickly I caught my breath before the whole cycle started again. I figure I did 6 sets. Maybe next time I will concern myself more with how many sets, as opposed to how far I travel. There will be a next time, maybe this time next week. I have other running exercises in mind for Wednesday and Friday, my other "off" days. I'm not sure how I'll handle this new schedule with taper next week, but I certainly want to keep the momentum going after the race.


Amy Boukair said...


Andrew Opala said...

Lots of "ifs" and "ideas" here ... every think about getting a coach? They could help you in a few weeks with most of your major problems and training issues?

Anyway - mine helped me. :)

ShebaJC said...

Andrew, I appreciate the input and I'm sure a coach would help a lot. Unfortunately I'm not in a position to pay one, so I'm left embracing the adventure of figuring it out on my own. 8-)

John said...

Hey. Nice work.

Coach thoughts for you... an off day, should be off. Like so easy it makes you crazy. Otherwise, it's not really an off day. You've already got structure, now you're adding volume with more structure.

So add if you feel you can tolerate it, just remember to take some off days. It's SO much easier on a bike, where an off day is a stupid easy cruise. No speed work, not long distance, just enough to get and keep the legs move.

Either way, your writing is fantastic, and your running is too!