Friday, March 14, 2008

General Update

I haven't written for a while. Once again last week, we had bad weather. It was rainy, but very heavy. So, I have gone three weeks without a 5K. I try to get in some other training, but I am not sure it has worked. And surprise, there is rain in the forecast for tomorrow - starting in the early morning. But, it isn't supposed to the torential downpour of the week before. If it is misty, I'll be there. I feel a little as if rain is a bad excuse to not run. But, to be realistic, running really puts strain on my body - so being wet with New England March rain isn't great. March rain in NE is usually mixed in with rain and hail (like last weekend's weather). We call it rain, mostly because we don't have to shovel it, but it is still chunky precipitation.

My neighbor heard about the 5K's and she is going to come with me tomorrow. (Unless it is raining.) I am mixed about this. She says I should just go ahead and run it, and she will walk it. But, I will want to be with her the first time she does the route. I think I may use her as an excuse to not run the whole way. But - that's not so bad is it? When I did the 5K with someone last time, I jogged in place while they walked, so I used a lot of energy, but didn't worry about the time. Where I haven't "run" the 5K in a number of weeks, I think it will be good to get out there to remember the route, but nice to have a reason not to push past my limits (so I don't get discouraged that I can't do as well as I think I should). I am still on pace to get to my first goal.

I wanted to mention, and get feed back on my overall, very loose training plan towards the 2009 Disney marathon. Most of the training plans I found for marathons take 16-18 weeks. They mention that before starting the training plan, you should feel comfortable running 3-6 miles per day 3-5 days per week. I need to get to that point by late August (~18 weeks from the marathon). So far, I have been doing daily walks (with the dog), anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 miles. I say walks, but I usually run during 3-5 of them a week.

My first real goal point is about to come up. I set the goal in February that I have to run the 5K by the end of March. I have walked/run it, but I need to do 3.1 miles at a jog (no walking). That will be a one time in the week running 3 miles. And, I won’t be “comfortable”.

After that, I have been thinking of what next? In April, the weekly 5K races move to 40 minutes away from my house, and are going to be Wednesday nights instead of Saturday mornings. I can't get to them as easily. I would like to commit to doing one per month, but maybe realistically it will be one per six weeks.

I need to work through the spring and summer to get to that "comfortable 3-6 miles" by August. There are some things during that time that I will use to keep me motivated – I plan to walk for Project Hunger in May (it is 20 miles in Boston), and walk the Boston marathon route for the Jimmy Fund in September. There is a cancer walk in Worcester that is 5 miles, and I want to run that route with a friend of mine. I think the summer will be when I need the most help staying motivated – I hate the heat, and the weekly 5K’s are not so easy to get to. I am hoping that once school is out, I will take advantage of the school track - maybe run in the morning with a neighbor.

What do you guys do to stay motivated in the heat? (I am a true New Englander. I ran one day in 45 degree weather, this week and it made me start to worry about being hot in the summer. I prefer running in snow I guess.)


IM Able said...

A couple suggestions...

I say get out in the rain. In fact, make a point to get out in the rain soon. It's not as bad as it seems and otherwise the weather will forever foil your training plans. If you want to reach your goals, you're going to need to keep to a plan that need you to get moving, even when it's pouring out. Plus, it's not so bad afterall! If you hate getting totally drenched, I suggest a cycling raincoat. It's uber cheap ($20) and I have a men's version so it it big and comfy for me, and hangs low. It's amazing. Email me if you want a link to something similar.

Also, as for your next 5K effort, I think you've already answered your own question! If you have a goal to run a full 5K by the end of the month and you feel you're ready to do it this weekend, then do it. Your friend will understand (clearly she already anticipates starting together and finishing separately) and it's important for you right now to start hitting milestones. Not because it will make or break your running plan, but because making goals is important for every athlete! It reminds us why it's worth it to run in the rain! :)

The more times you move yourself out of your comfort zone, you'll gain trust that you *can* get out of your comfort zone, making all the goals you have for the summer within your reach.


Andria said...

Chunky precipitation! You crack me up P!

To be honest, you think that running in the heat will suck, but if you have been running before the heat hits, you're body will adjust and you really won't mind. Here in Kansas it gets in to the 100's, an I have a general rule of not running if it's over 95 - that's my cutoff. But at some point you just stop caring. I mean, you'll be running. What is it about the heat you don't like? The uncomfortableness of sweating? Well, get over it. There's no way to run and not sweat, even when it's pretty cold out. And that's when you can look forward to a cold shower.

The tech type gear is what helps, but just being smart about the weather and what you wear makes the difference. I recently read somewhere that on average your body feels about 20 degrees warmer once you get running so dress as if it were 20 degrees warmer. You WILL NOT be wearing your non-drawstring sweatpants once it gets to be 60+ degrees out. So, you won't feel the heat as much.

Plus, like I said you just reach a point where you don't care. I find that some of the best runs come when it's hot and humid out because it's pretty satisfying to see your shirt just soaked with sweat and think "wow, I just pushed my body pretty hard and accomplished something I didn't think I could do."

It's good that you are worrying now because it shows that you are planning to be in this for the long haul. But, because you are in it for the long haul, you just have to have patience. It'll pay off, but I know I'm also impatient when it comes to my running. Don't worry, you can always vent to me :)

Andria said...

Oh, and im able's comments are spot on. Run this weekend! You are working towards a personal goal. It's great that the neighbor wants to go with you, but she shouldn't be expecting you to stay with her. She has her own goals and shouldn't stop you from gaining yours. It may feel wierd on your part, but if she wants to go with you, I'm sure she understands what it is you are trying to do. And if she doesn't, is she really someone you want to hang with?

That sounded a lot more brutal than I meant it to.

Ken said...

I guess I have been in Louisiana too long. I love running in the heat. The hotter the better. My motivation comes through the "Fuelbelt" I bought one of these and saddle it up once a week for my summer time 9 mile runs along the Mississippi River Levee.

Goog Luck this weeken! Be sure to post an update for us after the race.

Tracie said...

I too absolutely HATE running in the heat - no matter what you'll be sweating a ton and a shower is a definite need at the end so it doesn't matter if you're doing it in 40 degree weather or 100 degree weather. I have learned from having lived all over the world that the trick to the heat is that as the weather changes you continue to run so that you are meeting goals and becoming a more experienced runner. I have been doing this for years and I absolutely DESPISE it so I definitely know how to make it seem easier. The goals are important and there is NEVER an excuse not to get out there and do it - NEVER, not weather, not illness (maybe an injury) - you are either going to do it or you aren't - it's all mind over matter. When I am not feeling well or have a headache - I drink a bottle of water and go out running and it ALWAYS makes me feel better. The majority of this is KNOWING that you can do it and having a strong mind - "LUCK IS WHEN PREPAREDNESS MEETS OPPORTUNITY" - I think that has a lot to do with training for anything - especially a marathon!!