Monday, July 16, 2007

Marathon training update: week 3, day 1

Today is a rest day, which means I don't have to exercise. I cling to these rest days like Leonardo DiCaprio, clutching that old piece of boat he held onto before he drowned in the water and old-lady Kate Winslet started throwing jewelry at him. You remember.

It's only been two solid weeks of my marathon training schedule (short runs Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, long run on Saturday, cross-training Sunday, and resting Monday and Friday) but I feel like it's going well. I have violently upended my natural clock, getting up early in the mornings and exercising before work. One potential problem is that I have not cut back on my regular exercise routine; instead I'm just adding more stuff. I'm realizing that this is not a sustainable course of action, though. You should see me in strength training, trying to lift weights as my legs shake violently underneath me. There is some sort of diminishing return happening, I think. In the next couple weeks I want to focus on running more, running a lot, and cutting back on the cross-training and lifting.

I ran a solid 10K on Saturday, yet I was a little discouraged - my breathing seemed a little raggedy, I had that weird loping gait like a marionette for the first couple of miles, and I had to go to the bathroom the entire length of the run. It was not ideal. I'm trying to run slow, as I'm supposed to on these longer weekend runs, but it's hard for me to run slow. When I first began running (7 years ago!) I honestly didn't realize that "jogging" means "don't sprint." I would run as fast as I could for as long as I could, then marvel at all the other normal joggers passing me by as I clutched my side and minced back home. A similar learning process needs to occur here -- I need to get a better sense of my timing (I can't not a run mile between 7:20-7:40, it seems) and let it slide, just a bit.

Overall, it's an exciting couple of weeks. Two weeks down, sixteen to go. I want to use this space to keep a record of my training, both to mark my progress and any obstacles that arise, and to keep myself accountable to this process by posting a public record. This is exciting! Hit the streets!

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