I realized recently that the vast majority of my blog postings were details of my weekly training and that more interesting content was getting pushed down and lost amid the clutter. I found a WordPress plugin that let me suppress my “Training Log” category on the main page. For those of you interested in my weekly training you can just click the tab marked “Training Log” in the menu at the top of the blog. I post everything I do every week in detail there with a history going back a few years.
2012 Training Review
Well 2012 is finally over and what a year it has been. I started the year still recovering from my Achilles tendon rupture. I was still very injured in January and was at a very low point in both my fitness and my spirit. I had gained 17 pounds since my injury in September of 2011 and had not really exercised in months. I tried a few things now and then but mostly I sat on the couch and played video games and ate. Very depressing.
Starting near the end of February I was able to start running and by March I was definitely on the mend. In retrospect I was not fully healed until September, so really everything between March and September was re-training. It was almost like starting from scratch, the main difference being that I knew *how* to train, so I was not floundering around like I was back in 2010. That and the fact i was not as fat as I was at my biggest, so i was able to start running without the weight slowing me down.
As you can see in the chart my running miles were around 60 for March and April, jumped to 70-80 through July and then jumped to over 100 for Aug-Oct before tapering down as we headed into the winter.
I am very pleased with how the year went. Here are the highlights:
- My first century cycling event was the Prouty in June. 100 miles in blistering heat in the Connecticut river valley. I did this event with my sister Shelby and her husband and I had a great time!
- I ran thee half marathons in the fall, including a 2:02 personal record!
- I learned that I had activity induced asthma, which explains a lot of the issues I have running in certain weather.
- My overall fitness increased significantly and I am becoming very comfortable in the 9:00 pace range with the ability to push into 8’s and even 7’s for short distances.
So onward and upward into 2013! Who knows what the year will bring!
Gorgeous view on my run
Cold and damp
Cold morning run
Chi Running Workshop
When I saw that there was a Chi Running workshop being held only half an hour from my house I was very excited. When I saw that it would be taught by Danny Dreyer himself I was ecstatic. I had been dabbling in Chi Running for quite a while and had recently started to take it more seriously. The opportunity to be taught in person by the founder of this innovative style of running was one I could not afford to pass up. The date was for one day before the Baystate Half-Marathon and I was concerned that I would be very wiped out following an all-day running workshop. I wrote to the coordinators of the workshop and they assured me that there was very little actual running and my legs would be fresh the next day. This was both true and not entirely true, but I will get back to that in a bit.
My expectations for the workshop were very high. Although I had read the book and watched the DVD, I was struggling with many of the concepts and I was convinced my technique was inherently flawed. I was right. In retrospect I can say that the book is completely accurate and I am sure that many readers get everything they need to master Chi Running by reading the book and following its drills. I must be in the rare minority of people for whom both the book and DVD were not sufficient. All through the workshop I had these light bulbs going off in my head as I finally connected what I knew which how it felt.
I had a thought today about racing. All the training, all the miles and all the preparation serve to bring you to that one moment in a race. That one moment when your body demands that you stop. All you have to do is stop and all the pain will go away. All other animals on the planet would stop in that moment. Only human beings can override all that biology, ignore the feelings of agony pressing down on us and go on. Its all about that moment.
All of us are lucky that we have moments like that to overcome. So many people around us don’t have a clue. I come home from a race, plop my medal on the kitchen counter and go about my day. Every time I chat with a neighbor or answer the phone I feel like I am moving through a world of cutout figures who can’t see in three dimensions. I want to scream “I AM ALIVE TODAY”
Baystate Half-Marathon 2:05
Gorgeous day for a race with wonderful crowds and mostly nice course. I do wish they had mile markers every mile as I got confused several times. I forgot to start my watch so I was at the mercy of course markings. Now, this may be considered flat by some people but it’s not smutty nose flat. God that one bridge in particular felt a little masochistic the second time around.
I started the day with intestinal distress and light nausea and almost didn’t get in the car to go. Sitting my car before the race my HR was up to 72, up about 12. During the race my HR remained high and I started to get what I call excessive heart rate nausea followed by the predictable chills. Basically I was headed into stupidville over-reaching territory. I massively pulled my pace back from 9:00 to 11:00 for the last 3 miles and walked the last water stops and then walked 2 times in the last mile. Ended up averaging 9:30 for the race.