Thursday, October 30, 2008

Run or Ride? Ride

A little less green than the last picture I took here.

The last while I’ve been running during my lunch breaks. Sadly, I’ve put ping pong on the back burner and use my lunch hour to train for a silly race weekend I was signed up for. Against my own wishes I might add.

I log 4 to 6 miles per day, depending on the type of running I’m doing that day (fartlek, steady pace, hills etc…) and my weekend long run is going to really start climbing up in distance. I’ll be doing 10 miles Saturday and soon enough I’ll be doing to wondrous 20 milers.

I like the 20 milers. Generally, once I am at the point in my training where I’m doing them (I’ve trained for and complete 3 marathons) the 20 mile run is actually quite easy. When I’m in my peak distance running condition, up to 23 miles is not hard to do. After 23 miles, it’s the worst pain I’ve ever put myself through. Some call it the wall, but it’s not the wall for me. The wall sounds like it wouldn’t be that bad. Sounds like it would just all of a sudden get difficult to run at that point. I find that after mile 23, it’s difficult to continue existing. Everything hurts. I literally scream at myself in my head to just take one more breath and one more step. It’s a very strange sensation and always take me by surprise. When I’m at mile 22 of a marathon, and everyone says “you’re almost there! Keep going! The worst is behind you!” I tend to believe them. And at mile 22 of all 3 of my races I felt great. Not quite good enough to say I was feeling fresh, but I definitely was feeling good. Grooving to the music, singing, air-drums and lots of smiles for those camera guys who try to sell you pictures of yourself after the race.

Mile 23 devastates me. I haunts me after each race, and I think about it every time I run. It’s probably the reason that I don’t want to run.

The last few days I’ve been feeling some pain in my shins, and having been through a nasty case of shin splints while training for my first marathon, I know to switch it up and bit and even take a day or two off if need be. Today, I did something that I rarely do. I rode my bike with a training mindset. Training for a marathon on a bike. I figured that a good hammerfest for 40 minutes would be about the same as a 5 mile tempo run. I think it probably would be, except that I didn’t have any gears. I would be spinning out of the seat, or standing and forcing my lead-filled legs to get up that hill. I was either gasping for air, or pressing back on the pedals trying not to over spin on the downhill (a brake would help that).

I was reminded of several things today.

1. It’s easier to get into a steady rhythm and hold it while running that it is on a fixed gear bike while riding hills.
2. I like riding bikes much more than I like running.
3. It’s way easier to stay warm running than cycling.
4. I can do stairs much better after cycling than running.


No comments: