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Thursday, July 5, 2007

New Inspiration, But Without a Good Plan

Paw-Paw Lake, Coloma, MIYesterday's race, all 32 minutes and 57 seconds of slowness, frustrates me. Where was the 31:00? And, to look more carefully, where was some sub-30? Never happened, and was never even threatened at any point in the race.

I said yesterday I sucked wind. I did. Not one bone in my body, and, as is important in a race, not one muscle either, came to race. All excuses about slow starts and humidity aside, I should have picked up my pace when the chance allowed itself. Physically, I was not at my best, and, mentally, I dogged it.

I need more. This should not be this hard. I'm not that old or infirmed. I can run faster, or, at least, I think so. I have run faster, so there is at least that evidence. I'm fatter and older, and it has been many years since I trained in any way close to my effort now. But my progress now? Disappointing.

What can I do? Adding more miles aggressively would be foolish. I'm adding them as fast as I can, I think. More speedwork? No. Working on my base is key. As Jim has told us, speed will find its way. I know, in a sprint, I have something. I'm not sprinter, but, for my needs, I'm good there.

Fitness and fat. When I last ran fast, I was less fat, and I'm working on that. My fat will leave when it is ready, and every mile I run will help there. Fitness, which is more than just less fat, is my problem, and the one I can better manage.

I started, then, quit, sit-ups and push-ups. Never enjoyed them. I need to do them. And, I need to stretch more. A lot more. Daily. Never enjoyed that either, but I need that elasticity.
I need some hills. Since a health club is financially out of reach, hills can help, to a degree, get me some strength.
The Equestrian Estates have a nice big one -- a knoll -- off Naperville Road, in the midst of an open, semo-rustic field. A few gallops up and down could do wonders. It is an ankle breaker, and care should be taken, but, for my legs, it will be good.

Finally, and maybe most crucially, my miles need adjustment. Fewer long runs, more days running. Instead of one day running eight miles, and one day resting, I'll run both days, 4-5 miles apiece. I'll only do a longer run maybe twice monthly. With the shorter runs, I will run some harder, or pick things up mid-run.

About my miles.
I love long runs. The longer, the better. I have always regretted not running a marathon in my prime, with one reason being the training would be fun.

A favorite run from days gone by would be twice around Paw Paw Lake in southwestern Michigan, a 22-mile hop on old dirt and semi-paved roads. I'd run 11 miles, get back where I started, then, turn around, and find my way the other direction. I cannot explain why this gave me such a rush, but there it is.
My plan is vague, then: more sit-ups, push-ups, stretching, and days running, and fewer very long runs. A good plan?

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