A story of going from being a non-runner to planning for a marathon in three years...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Technical Difficulties

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Since my Tuesday night gym class got canceled due to lack of enrollment, I now have Tuesday nights free for running. Normally I would also run on Monday nights, but this past Monday I spent the day traveling to some classes where I went to graduate school. I left my house at 8:45 AM and didn't get home until after 11:00 PM. Not much time for running there!

So, I told myself I would do at least 3 miles on Tuesday night. Preferably 5 miles. The shoes I wore on Monday gave me a big honking blister on the inside of my left heel (which is totally strange since I wear those shoes all the time without problems) but I figured I'd stick a bandaid on it and move on.

Which I did. My run started out okay. I did the first mile in just under 10 minutes. Mile two was tougher and I really wanted to walk. But, I didn't want to walk before I hit the two mile mark so I pushed on. Miles 3 and 4, however, were horrible. Both were around 11 minutes. And, yes, there was walking. Towards the end of mile 5, however, I saw a woman running up ahead of me I decided to make it my goal to either catch up to her or pass her. I caught her right at the bottom of the one and only "hill" (read: freeway overpass) on my route. I powered up that hill, passed her, and kept going until the bottom of the hill. And then I would walk a few steps and jog a few steps.

I wish I could look at the pace graph from my run. I'm sure it would be all over the place but I really wanted to see my actual mile times. Sadly, due to technical difficulties the data from last night's run disappeared into the ether. Thankfully, I'd looked at the final stats before it got deleted. 5.01 miles with an average pace of 10:17 minutes per mile. Better than Saturday, but not as good as I would have liked.

When I walked in the door after my run, I felt like hell. Note: Non-runners might want to skip this paragraph. Around mile 3.5 I realized that I needed to use the bathroom. The pretzels with peanut butter I'd eaten shortly before my run were, um, threatening to run faster than me. I managed to make it home and promptly headed for the bathroom. However, pushing myself so hard at the end of my run seemed to have thrown my body into some sort of sphincter-tightening overload. And, let me tell you, it's really difficult to sit on a plastic toilet seat while you're streaming sweat and feeling overheated. It took all my strength just to stay on that darn seat. It felt like it had been lubed up with baby oil on Teflon.

Jason, bless his heart, always asks me how my run went. I wish I could answer something other than "crappy". Do you realize I haven't run a race without walking since May? I have come to the conclusion that my cross-training and schedule-switch-up experiment is failing. My old schedule gave me 3-4 days of running and 1-2 other days of cardio cross-training. Meaning, I was doing hardcore cardio workouts 5 days a week. I think that skimping on the cardio cross-training has really killed my endurance. Right now, though, the problem is, I hate wasting money. And since I already paid for my yoga and my swimming class I'll feel like I'm totally wasting money if I stop going. And, no, I can't get a refund. So, I suppose I stick out this period of crappy running until classes end in mid-October, take what I can get at my next two races, and vow to do better next year.

Meanwhile, here's a few questions: Do you do yoga? What kind? Do you like it? If you're also a runner, do you think it has helped your running? Why?


Janice {Run Far} said...

I LOVE YOGA. I really only do it once a week at the YMCA. My friend teaches it and she is amazing. Not sure it has helped my running because I only do it once a week (i should do it 2-3 times a week) I have noticed I can actually touch my toes when stretching on other days as well. YAY!

KAT said...

Yes! I love yoga- it has toned my abs and arms, and it stretches me out after runs so I haven't gotten injuries. Also, not sure if this is a side effect, but since picking up yoga, my running pace is a whole minute faster...

aimeegomeow said...

At my old YMCA I did Ashtanga Yoga and thought it to benefit my cardio endurance for running. It also enabled me to stretch out really well and gain flexibility.

Now I do a "Power Yoga" class, which is basically intense stretching and poses with some moderate cardio work. It's insanely good for building my strength and flexibility. It makes a really good after-run class.

kilax said...

Ha! You know how I feel about yoga! I hear it's so good for me, but the few times I've tried it, I've been TURNED OFF.

I am sad your running has become so unsatisfactory for you lately. Did you find anything out about a coach? Do you think it is time to try a new approach? Or go back to your more cardio routine?

kristen said...

I do like yoga, but I don't do while marathon training. Bikram is my favorite. It's a workout for sure!! I also do a low key stretching class at the Y every once in a while.

I don't really do cardio excecpt for running. Occasionally I'll do a spin class, but again, not while marathon training. I also LOVE swimming and can't wait to get back in the pool.

I hope you can figure out what works for you.

Bayjb said...

I have never done yoga before but I would love to try it! And OMG that picture of the panda made me melt a little bit.

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