Sunday, April 13, 2008

Think Global, Run Local

So did I mention I signed up for the Phedippidations World Wide Half Marathon in October? I love the concept. You sign up to do a 5km run or a half mary, you train and keep in contact with others who have signed up and are training, and then you do the run on or around the weekend of October 11/12 in your own area. Hence the Think Global, run Local. I'm assuming you post your results once you've completed your run.

So can I run a half marathon this fall? That is the question. The Okanagan International (Half) Marathon in October has been a secondary goal for me this year. I had planned to run the 10km for sure, and hopefully be able to do the half marathon. I checked out the PWWHM page a few times and finally decided to bite the bullet and register. What do I have to lose? And maybe it'll help to motivate me - I love to have goals to work toward.

So how does one train for a triathlon AND a half marathon at the same time? There are many hurdles to overcome to reach this goal. This first of which is my stupid shin splints which have plagued me over the past 6 months. I am KNOCKING ON WOOD and crossing my fingers when I say I THINK I just MIGHT have that problem solved now. I have been on two runs with my orthotics and my relaced shoes and nothing hurts. Not my shins, not the tops of my feet, not my big toe joint. Oh please, please, please let this be the solution.

I have worked my way up to a 9 min run, and 1 min walk now, and I can do a full 5km run 3 times a week without too much discomfort. I think I'm ready to start lengthening out my theoretical 'long' run on the weekend. I will start by adding a half km each week and see how that goes. I have to be careful because at the same time, I am trying to lengthen the time that I run between walk breaks. This week I am planning to do 10 min run with 1 min walk break. I guess I'll just keep on at it and see how I feel. Critical to all of this is icing after every run, and stretching LOTS. And I mean LOTS. I stretch my calves 2-3 times a day - every time I think about it. When I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, whenever.

So my goal is to work my way up to a 10km long run by the triathlon date in August. I cannot follow any sort of full or half marathon training plan as they suggest while I'm biking and swimming 3 times a week as well, but I think if I run 3 times a week and gradually increase my long run to about 10 km by the end of August, and then once the triathlon is over, switch over to a training for the half marathon, I can then run more often and start to lengthen my long runs - hopefully to be able to build up to the full 22km by October. Who knows. It might be doable. If not, I will do the 10km run in October and do my own half marathon a few weeks later.

Related Links

Phedippidations Podcast Website with Steve Runner

The Extra Mile Podcast - supportive podcast for people training for the PWWHM

On Running

To be completely honest, I do not understand why I like running. It hurts. It makes me tired. It feels like I'm pounding my body into the pavement. Often, I am watching my garmin, waiting for the next walk break. But interestingly enough, I look forward to my runs more than any other sport. I do remember the feeling I had last year when I finally got up to speed and was able to run comfortably and get 'into the zone' when running. I felt like I could run forever. I remember the awesome feeling of running my first 5km race last June and realization that I was capable of doing well if I trained. I want to get that feeling back. I enjoy the challenge of learning about my body and figuring out how to deal with the aches and pains and work through the various problems. I am nothing if not determined. I want so much to be able to run a marathon. It just takes some work and planning and working towards small goals along the way.

I watched the most amazing movie the other day. "Touching the Void" It was a true story about two young men who attempted to climb a very challenging 'unclimbable' mountain in the Andes in the early 1990's. One man was injured and had to make his way back down the mountain against insurmountable odds. The men were narrating the movie so you knew they made it, but as you were watching, you could not understand HOW he was going to be able to do it. The key was to break everything down into tiny steps. The mind cannot fathom a huge goal and will give up. But if you break it down into a small, manageable task, you can slowly work your way to your bigger goal. The men in the movie were amazingly determined and had a strength and will to live beyond anything I have every seen. The next time you are whining about how your shins hurt, watch this movie. You will never complain again. :)

"Touching the Void"

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