Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Marathon Training, Week 1

So far, so good. With one week down, I've logged in 27 miles of running, not to mention the rides and walks I have done to supplement this. I feel great, too!

My second run of the week was completed on Thursday night with a local group, the Fishtown Beer Runners. If you think this group sounds like a bunch of drinkers with a running problem, you might be on the right track! Seriously, though, they are a fun group to run with. I rode out to meet them, and we ran 8 and a half miles before stopping- you guessed it- at a local bar. David, the founder of the group, has a taste for local brews, and each week plans a different route to a different tavern in the hopes of replenishing lost carbs the way he knows best. Does it work? The ever-popular runners of this group think so! Here's a pic of David with Chris McDougal after one of their runs:

Check them out:

My next run was nice and short, but still effective for training. I had to take Kaleb to the vet to get his shots, and it's exactly 2 miles away; I wondered, "Why not run?" So we did! Nothing exciting, but it was a nice, sunny day, and the run was set at a relaxing pace. It was the perfect way to recover before my next day of training.

Saturday morning came earlier than usual. I was up at 6am, getting ready to ride out to Ed's house in East Falls with Doug. The ice was treacherous, and we watched more than one runner hit the ground while we struggled to keep the rubber side of our bikes on the road.

After meeting at Ed's house, we set out for our jaunt into the trails. At first, the plan was to meet up with the Wissahickin Wanderers at the Valley Green Inn, and run about 15 miles. As our run progressed, though, we began to rethink this. The snow was deep, the trails were icy, and the obstacles were many. We were dodging, jumping, and ducking downed trees, jumping muddy sections, and working hard up slick hills. Our heart rates were high, and our run was even more taxing due to the attention we needed to pay to every step. It was becoming one of the toughest training runs I had ever done!

The body can only take so much abuse before it begins to break down. I, running in my Vibram Flows, had a distinct advantage over my friends when it came to grip; I was slipping very little. I attribute this to the way the foot gets weighted in a barefoot-like situation: most of the force is placed under the ball of the foot, where it is most stable. Just like a skater tends to lose their balance if they lean back, landing on your heels, even slightly, adds to instability in icy situations. Doug, who started the run with a sore ankle, started experiencing pain from all the slipping and sliding after a few miles, so we eventually took to the roads to keep him in decent shape.

The roads weren't easy, but they sure seemed that way after what we were used to. We worked our way uphill for miles, slipping on black ice, but our pace was faster given the same heart rates as before. Eventually, we winded our way back toward the path, running a high speed mile on Lincoln Drive before ducking back to the trail and heading home. We ended the run tired, sore, and satisfied.

I rested for the next three days to finish out week 1. I'm confident week 2 will go even better!

Fishtown run:
Wissihickin run:
Doug's Tale:

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