Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Aerobic Base Malaise

This may be the year that I should have joined an Army 10-Miler training group for real because what I’ve discovered is that getting back into running shape after a hiatus is, for me at least, more mentally challenging than starting from scratch the first time around.  In true neurotic runner form, I’ve already revised my training plan to accommodate my slower than expected aerobic base build, tossed out the idea that I’ll be able to PR in the 10-mile distance this October, and am concerned that I chose the wrong race to train for.  This is getting frustrating enough that last night, I even posed a question to Lululemon's Ask a Runner Live on Twitter, hosted by their Vancouver-based Ambassador Linda Wong.
Desperate times for me because I'm not usually a participant
in Twitter-chats.  Or whatever they're called. See?  I'm a total noob.
The last time I ran the Army 10-Miler was in 2009, and I was a, uh, humbling 16 minutes slower than the previous year, in roughly similar weather conditions.   What I learned: (1) Poor training gets you to 6 miles at race pace; guts gets you the rest of the way.  (2) It feels like crap to rely on guts for the last 4 miles of the ATM, especially because the 14th Street Bridge is involved.  Anyway, I strongly disliked how I felt during and after the 2009 ATM, and I refuse to feel that way again.  But then there were this week’s training runs, which I'm not sure were particularly inspiring.....

This week’s training runs have been a little more on the “meh” side even though the temps have dropped in the mornings to 77˚F, 65% relative humidity, which actually feels cool.  You know you’re really warped when you’re psyched to run in 77˚F.  This week calls for ~15 miles total -- two 4 milers and then a longer run on Saturday -- and cross training (Iyengar, Pilates Reformer, and get out your ya-yas yoga)* in between.  Having had core stability issues sideline me from running in the past (and thus taking the hiatus), I’m determined to stay healthy these next few months.  

As for the runs themselves so far this week, there’s always an element of cross training when running on city streets.  Case in point: on Monday, a vomiting homeless pedestrian and a runner were both rounding a left (to them) corner by the White House as I approached the same corner.  I had a fence to my right, and while I'm sure leaping over it and being chased by the Secret Service would have been a very effective interval workout, it was not interval day. So, that left me on a collision course with the vomiting dude (why the heck did he think it was a good idea to keep walking while puking???) if I stayed the course, or the runner running at Mach 1 if I sidestepped to the left.

In my oxygen-deprived state, the idea of getting knocked out by a runner twice my size seemed preferable to having a stranger’s puke on me, so I sidestepped and somehow avoid calamity.  I still don’t know how I managed that.  Today’s run was on a route that I haven’t done in a few years, and my Garmin thought that I jumped off a bridge and flew back up again, all Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon-like.  I think I’ll savor that for now and not tell the Garmin the truth.  If I can't have a satisfying training run, at least I have super powers...



* Seriously, my idea of a brick is a 4 mile run followed by 1.5 hours of vinyasa yoga.  This could be part of my training problemo...discuss...

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