Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mostly Dopey

The Dopey Challenge is fast approaching, with less than two-and-a-half months remaining to prepare myself for running a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon and Full Marathon (a total of 48.6 miles) on four consecutive days. This weekend I wanted to find out how my training was going and learn a little about how my body might react to all that running.

I ran 3 miles last Thursday, 6 miles on Friday, 9 miles on Saturday and 18 miles (my longest run yet) on Sunday. Saturday's 9 miles were probably toughest of all, with 25 mph winds and 34 degree windchill. My legs were definitely feeling tired Sunday but I got the run in without any injuries.

I made a short video to chronicle my 18 mile training run.

I have some shorter runs between now and the RunDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon at Walt Disney World on November 9th. Then more long runs leading up to WDW Marathon Weekend.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Training vs. Running

I started the day with a 4:30am wake-up call in Charlotte, NC. I took an early-morning flight home to Rochester, where I was greeted by stiff winds and temperatures in the lower 40s. I went straight to the office and worked most of the afternoon (no time for lunch), then headed for home with six miles on the training plan - only to find this scene awaiting me.

As tempting as it was to curl right up in front of the fire, I managed to change into my running clothes, get out the door and get six miles in. I'm at the stage of the plan for the Dopey Challenge where this is clearly Training and no longer just Running. 

The Mickey Miles Podcast spent some time discussing the differences between Training and Running recently (Show 98 and Show 104). I thought I'd add on with my personal observations.

I've only been running since January 2nd, 2013 - about ten months. While much of the spring and summer were spent building a base of weekly mileage in preparation for training for the Dopey Challenge, I've really only been training for the last couple of months. The biggest differences I've noticed are:
  1. The overall time commitment. As my mileage has increased from 15 miles/week to close to 40 miles this week, the time devoted to pounding the pavement has really jumped up. I had expected that the training programs would be difficult physically, but I wasn't fully prepared for the amount of time I would need to devote to running, especially in the last 2-3 months before the marathon.
  2. The devotion. The training plan I'm following requires an increasing number of miles over the next 12 weeks until the races. To skip a scheduled run in favor of sitting in front of the fire would bring instant gratification but would put me off schedule and potentially derail the plan.
  3. The boredom. I'm not really a big fan of running. As I embark on these long runs (16 miles a
    couple of weeks ago, 18 miles tomorrow) I find myself increasingly bored. I typically listen to podcasts and I've tried audiobooks, but after about 90 minutes I start counting down the time until I finish (although I did find this neat secret message painted by a utility crew in our neighborhood to help encourage me).
  4. Fear of injury. My number one goal since my January start has been to avoid injury. I've had a couple of issues pop up early on (IT Band pain and plantar fasciitis) caused by either running too fast or too far. Each put me on the sideline for a week or two. I can't afford that to happen now, so much of my focus during a run is avoiding the temptation to sprint up that hill, or close too fast at the end of a run on tired legs.
I know that if I follow my Training Plan, I'll be successful in completing the Dopey Challenge injury-free. But I'm looking forward to being done with Training and going back to just Running for fitness.