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Monday, August 13, 2007

100 Days of Running - 100 Days of Progress

Click to see full-size (easier to read)
On Friday, August 10, 2007, I completed 100 days of serious running, beginning May 3, the day of my first JSRC workout. Prior to May 3, I jogged here and there, and had about a month of doing nothing in April.

The chart above (click chart to see full size) represents my rolling weekly miles. That is, on any given day, it shows my previous week's miles. Usually, in my weekly summary, I look at Sunday to Saturday as far as mileage goes, but that can be skewed by one long day, or two or three days off in a row. This shows the bigger picture.

I'm not sure why there is disparity between my recorded workouts here, and in the spreadsheet I am drawing from. Here, I list 56 workouts, and in the spreadsheet, I list 61. I'm guessing, here, in the beginning, I combined a few.

My first workout was unimpressive, but, depending on your vantage point, they still might be.

Weight & Pulse
For my first recorded Monday check-in (see all), my weight was 138 lbs, and my resting pulse was 64. Now, my weight hovers around 135, and my pulse hovers around 50-52.

5K Time
My 5K time has dropped considerably. Just after I started with the Jim Spivey Running Club, I ran a time trial on COD's track: 27:54. It is an adjusted time, from a 27:00 3-mile run. On July 25, 2007, I ran a 5K roadrace in 23:13. That's an improvement of 4:41, about 1:30/mile.

My mileage itself has steadily increased. I finished my first week with 14.6 miles, and now, usually average around 22 miles a week, with one week as high as 37.38 miles. My goal is not to pile on the miles, but I do need a certain level of constant aerobic intensity to build capillaries, muscle strength, psychological strength, and a sense of pace, as well as things like working on form, running relaxed, and enjoying the ride.

Greatest Success?
Which is the greatest point of progress? The 5K time looks like the biggest quantitative gain, but the real progress is in the 100 days itself. That would be a big victory even if I ran 45:00 for the 5K. Do the right things, and health will follow. While I am focused and hungry for that elusive 20:00 5K, I can't control how my body will respond to the workouts as speed goes. I can do all the right things, but still not run as fast as I would like. In a sense, that's not fair, but I didn't build this body. God did. He never claimed to play fair.

As our coach Jim once posted after breaking 3:50 for the mile, about recognizing he was given for no clear reason known to him, the ability to go faster than the rest of us:
I went for a warm-down, and just so you know that all milers are not the stoic, no pain type, I remember warming down, and stopping, dropping to one knee, after 1 a.m. in the morning, and crying. I can remember thinking, why did I deserve to run so fast? OK, it sounds a bit silly, but I did wonder this. Everyone trains. Everyone trains hard.
source: Track and Field News
I can control, to much larger degree, consistent effort, and, with 100 days behind me, I have achieved some of that. Consistent, healthy effort is all I can do. I've got good resources (nice track, running paths), plenty of time, and a coach who knows his stuff. The rest is follow-through.

The Next 100 Days
It has been a good three months. The next 100 days will be different, and it is hard to predict how. I still have more getting into shape to do, more weight to lose, more racing to run. I am not at maintenance mode yet, but it will not get easier. November 18 will be my 200th day, and some cold days may happen between now and then. Hard to believe as I sit here with the AC cranked, dreading another hot August day, but that's northern Illinois.

By November 18, I hope to have run that 20:00 5K, have lost 10 lbs, feel confident in my workouts, and remain injury-free. I expect some aches and pains, but won't jeopardize my health to get the time I want. I'm pretty sure I can run that fast still, but I'm not sure how long it will take me to get there.

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