Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 reviewed

Mar CPC Half M Done!
Apr Rotterdam Marathon Done!
Apr 25--10K done!
May 2--anything you want Done!!!
May 8 Boretti Bike Tour Done!
May Royal 10K scratched
July travel DONE
August 21 Tri-Beach Challenge Done!
Sept 26 Middle distance UK 70.3 tri Done!
9/10 120 km ride Done! 132 km!
Oct 9 World Wild Festival of Races scratched.

Oct 17 -- Amsterdam 8k run for Peace Done!
Nov 21 - Seven Hills Done! 1:43
Nov 27 - Dune Run 25km
meijendellopen DONE! Great course. VERY cold.
Dec 18 - the Mackrel run Done!

Training (via Garmin):
running:  913 km
cycling: 1785,71 km
and a lot of swimming.

Wk2/16 on the road to Paris (99 days!)

Last run of 2010. 11 k, a distance which is accidentally a great opener for 2011. 

Into the fog. I asked myself the question, whom do I meet out here on the run. A tempo run with a fast (for me) target pace on the soft sand sucked. Until I changed my attitude. I decided if this training program is going to suck the joy out of running, I won't do it. I spent some time afterwards writing my way through the experience and came up with the idea that this training program comes out of my strength, not weakness - that it is my strength that will bring me through it, and that if I choose to increase my running strength, I will have to take myself outside my comfort zone. And knowing that it will be uncomfortable makes it tolerable. 

I started with a feeling of inadequacy and moved through all my feelings to a place of power. And the pace chart doesn't know that I rode for 90 minutes yesterday - after being off the bike for months - and felt fatigued. Nor does the pace chart have any idea I wanted to take Odie to the beach and it was high tide, which meant I ran in that wet squishy sand most of the time. The value is in the effort, not the goal. I met the relentless critic on the beach out there in the fog, and I tamed her. 

And I made a list of items within my control - getting enough sleep, choosing a helpful attitude toward the workout, adapting to my body's signals as a goal, rather than achieving a particular pace, taking care of what I eat and drink, attending to how I plan my training sessions (to allow enough recovery time & to avoid sucking the energy out of the one that follows by going too hard or long).  I can take  care of myself, thereby  enjoying the process of increasing my fitness even more.  Bye bye 2010.  It's been a good long run.

Onwards to Janathon!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

marathon training starts

I've registered for the Paris Marathon in April, motivated by the desire to stay off the couch during the dark winter in Holland.  I finished the 2010 racing season by cutting 20 minutes off my 2009 run of the Meeuwen Mackrel Loop. I felt really happy with the year as a whole.

Although this will be my second marathon, I'm following the novice marathon training program from FIRST. I think the volume and intensity of the program will take me out of my comfort zone. The "regular" program has more long distance running on the weekends, and I'm a little concerned that my knees will not like it.  

So this week, marathon training  began.  Ready or not.  So. Wednesday, I sat at the table while everyone ate dinner and then went out for a run. in the snow. in the dark. under a full moon. it was beautiful. And cold. and slippery and crunchy. at freezing temperatures, it's a challenge to regulate my body heat. But I did my best with 1600m intervals. freakishly long intervals. the total was 8 km. in about an hour.  Wednesday meant I had to go. Since I need three runs in by Sunday (tomorrow).

first I had to try to figure out why an audio book that I got for my son wouldn't sync with his iPod. black-hole on the clock. then I had to figure out the pace setting for 1600 meters in 10 minutes. criminy. 1600m/10min = x min/1km; solve for x. or find a running calculator on the web. guess which.

we tried all three ipods in the household before my son said, your run is more important. go run and I'll find something else to do. Then I remembered my phone plays the books just fine. so I gave him my phone.

then there was a car stuck in the mashed potato snow that is our street. I stopped to help and my neighbors came out to help too, while Odie barked at the spinning wheels. I ran back to get a shovel. we dug, rocked and pushed the car out of the stuck spot. (all day I saw cars getting stuck there - fancy ones - Audi's and Merc's. My Fiat runs just fine in the snow).

Then out to the dunes. Odie had a great time. He saw the fox and wanted to investigate. Fox was not interested. We saw Fox several times.

I didn't make my target paces, but I gave it my best shot. It's a little tough to run on packed snow. The places where cars have been were too slippery and icy. The sides or in between tire tracks were nice and crunchy. Running on hard-pack snow feels soft and sounds nice. The moon came out, making the field glow in silvery light. This is the field where the ponies graze in the summer.

Earlier in the day when I walked Odie, I saw migrating swans - at least a dozen. Such beautiful birds with their long necks. the day before, the sky was full of geese.

My goal with marathon training is to work the plan to the best of my ability. I really didn't think I had the energy to run Wednesday night. But I've learned that I always feel better afterwards and just getting started is the hardest part. I would feel disappointed if I started the first week with skips. I thought about skiing instead  (since the day had been consumed with shopping), but it's not the same as running intervals. 

So the plan is: Intervals, Tempo and Long run. Pace-based. Plus cross-training and weight lifting and stretching.

Yesterday, I ran 6km tempo, again on the hard-packed snow. The plan called for 9, but I was short on time. Had to take the kids SCUBA diving for Christmas. We had a blast. 

Today was 50 minutes x-country skiing on fresh snow with my older son.  A great way to spend Christmas.  Now, Christmas dinner is calling.


Friday, 3 December 2010

getting support for running

I wrote this little bit for my friend Becky about my experience with Jeff Galloway's e-coaching program.

Jeff offers "e-coaching" for 6 months for $60 through his website. The price is incredibly reasonable considering the cost of other coaches and Jeff's huge knowledge and experience.  He does this by email. If you look at the very earliest posts on my running blog you can see my coaching reports & his advice.

Jeff's  assistant Michelle, who is great, sends a questionnaire about your goals, overall health and experience running (for instance, the longest distance you've run in the last three weeks, etc.). Then based on your goal, he sets up a program along the model you can find on his website. Two mid-week runs & a longer run on the weekend. Then you send a weekly report after the weekend noting your assignment, and answering several questions - basically you tell him what distance/pace/walk breaks were assigned and how you did with the assignment. Then you add whether you've got questions, aches, pains, etc.

Jeff then replies to your email usually by Thursday with suggestions, encouragement.  He'll warn you in advance there are a couple weeks where he gets really busy. He travels a lot, teaches often and of course runs marathons.  I had the impression he's not the most technologically handy fellow. Michelle serves as a back up if you don't get a response from him. Over the course of a year, there were a couple weeks where we had these kinds of communication glitches.  But we worked through them.

I found that nearly all the time Jeff seemed really responsive to the content of my individual emails - he has a gentle tone, and had a lot of patience. especially with my stiff neck about wanting more speed etc. even though my body needed more time to adapt.  I liked having the support and personal attention. It kept me accountable to my goals and I learned a lot.  He took me from 10 km to a successful marathon. I have grown to really appreciate his gentle approach. A couple "on-line buddies" I have trained too hard for their marathons, trained through injuries and blew up during the race and didn't finish due to those injuries. Jeff's approach is running in health.

I definitely recommend his e-coaching. You also get one of his books, so it's really a bargain. If you're interested, I can describe the books that I picked out to help you choose one. (he's got so many of them....)