If you’ve visited here more than once this week, you’re probably marvelling at how much whining I can do about a single run. You might be asking, “If you hate it so much, why do you keep doing it?” To which I answer: I have no idea.
Okay, I have one or two ideas. Even on a bad run, good things happen. Here’s what went well on my personal 32K tour of hell last Sunday:
· I got faster. My pace has improved pretty significantly over the past few long runs. In fact, I might be running too fast and using up my store of energy before the run has finished. However, I don’t think that’s the whole story. I also think I’m getting stronger.
· My form improved. A couple of weeks ago, we had a presentation at our running clinic on form and the presenter suggested a couple of things that have made a real difference for me:
o Concentrate on a point in the distance when running. When I do this, it lifts my head away from my chest and dramatically increases my ability to draw a deep breath. That’s a very good thing.
o Keep elbows down to relax hunched shoulders. Tried it, and my Quasimodo-like crouch is almost gone.
· I am learning. I have been following the “30 and 1” method I’ve used to run half-marathons (30 minutes running, 1 minute walk). Everyone else in my group follows the Running Room method of “10 and 1s” (10 minutes running, 1 minute walking). I thought my 30-minute stretch of running would help me maintain momentum and keep up with the pack. For the first half of the run, it worked. But all the other runners in my pace group pulled past me at about 21K and finished minutes ahead of me. So why am I killing myself? Next week, I’ll try “10 and 1s” and see if I can keep up.
Also, I recovered pretty quickly. On Sunday night, I was no longer hobbling up and down stairs. On Monday, I wore heels. By Tuesday, I had stopped moaning involuntarily every time I got up from a chair. By the time our next 32K run rolls around in three weeks, I may even be ready to do it again.
I’ll post the long-run schedule for the weeks leading up to the marathon, in case you’re interested:
Sunday, April 20 – 23K
Sunday, April 27 – 29K
Sunday, May 4 – 32-freakin’-K (20 miles)
Sunday, May 11 – 23K
Sunday, May 18 – 6K
Sunday, May 25 – Marathon
Monday, May 26 – Quit and never run again
I am declaring an official end to this week’s whine-a-thon. Tomorrow’s topics: sunshine, rainbows, adorable puppies or something equally cheerful.