Monday, January 4, 2010

Running my A$& Off

As I've documented before - I am not a runner. In fact, I hate every minute I'm out there and I spend each moment thinking about how great it will be to stop. All of this means that over the last month I must have been a very unhappy athlete.
I've tracked my training pretty meticulously since I began training for triathlon (specifically on Nov. 3rd 2006). My early data is in a raw but usable spreadsheet on Google Docs, but in April 2008 I purchased a PowerTap, and switched to logging my workouts in TrainingPeaks WKO+. After having reviewed both records I can safely say that I ran more miles in December 2009 than in any month of my life.

Above is a graph of my weekly running distance over the last two years - both of which involved Ironman training. Each point on the graph represents one week of running - you'll notice that some weeks have no point on them - these are weeks where I didn't run at all (how does that happen?) and really should have points at the 0 mark.
Through November I had run more than 23 miles in a week 6 times, and 3 of those instances resulted in immediate injuries (shin splints, plantar fasciitis). Last month I ran 23 or more miles 3 weeks in a row! I can hardly believe it, especially considering I'm not injured, though certainly a little beat up! The reason for the jump is due to a number of factors, including:
- A winter focus on running, since it's clearly my weakness as a triathlete
- A re-introduction to a long run each week, thanks to my new coach
- A vacation to visit my parents for the Holidays, where biking and swimming were not possible

This is the most consistent I've been running in a long time, and that feels pretty good. I'm not running well - my form is still crap and I'm slower than my 4 year old nephew - but I am running, and that's something. This is all leading up to the Carlsbad half marathon in a few weeks, I'm hoping to do well. My PR for a half marathon was two years ago at this course, 1:53:52, or 8:41 minutes/mile. I'm not sure how fast I can go this year, but I'll be disappointed if I don't set a new PR - even if I am 25 lbs heavier now than I was when I set that time in 2008.
I still hate running, and dread every workout. I have a visceral fear of going to the track workouts each week. But I'll be damned if it's not working. With some tweaks to my diet I'm hoping to drop some weight this spring, so for now I'm literally trying to run my ass off.

1 comment:

rocketpants said...

i bet ya...when it starts to feel easier and your numbers come down you will start to like it more. Something about a positive feedback loop that us athletes love. good job!