Sunday, May 13, 2007

Training begins tomorrow - 20 weeks to go

Reporting live from the lobby of the Manchebo Beach Resort in Aruba
May 13th - 9:50 PM Atlantic Standard Time

Our vacation in Aruba is coming to a close. Our flight leaves tomorrow at 8AM. We will arrive back in Chicago at 3:25 PM on Monday afternoon.

It has been a hugely relaxing vacation. We've done, well, very little since we got here. While many visitors rented ATV's, went snorkeling, rode a tour bus, rode Jet Ski's, etc... I've read, slept and laid around more than I think I ever have in my life. It has been WONDERFUL.

Most notably, I did very little running - exactly as planned. The conditions didn't exactly promote any sane person putting in mileage. In fact, yesterday, I had to excuse myself from the hotel happy hour after sucking down a frozen hurricane... so that I could run a measly 3 miles in 85 degree weather. I got two 3-milers in, which got me to 20 for this week, thanks to my early runs before leaving last week.

I've done a lot of thinking about running this week, mostly inspired by a couple of books I brought with me. These books weren't exactly zen-inspired, philosophical takes on running. Instead, I was seeking practical advice as I consider my goal in Chicago on October 7th.

One is the "Runner's World guide to Cross-Training", which has been insightful - and the other, another RW publication, called "Run Faster", which was a smaller version of the same subject matter. Both made me realize I need to get serious about x-training. I never have. I need to start to push it to the sub-3-hour level. My first task? Sign up for the "Y" and learn to pool run.

Most ironic about my thinking about running this week is how I feel right now. We're fresh off our fattest, most satisifying meal of the week. I had a gigantic plate of Carribean jerk stlye ribs that I ate until I couldn't take it any more. I washed this feast down with a handful of Balashi beers, which is the local beer. I've had more Balashis than I care to count this week. I've been chowing down and slugging drinks while laying on the beach all week.

The irony is that I feel the furthest thing from a runner right now, let alone a marathon runner, let alone a marathon runner with the capability to run a 2:59. I feel like sludge. I feel out of shape. My two 3-mile runs (albeit both during hangovers in humid hot island weather) were a pathetic performance.

Right now, I am convinced that my sub-conscious has been influenced by my environment. All of the cues around me are saying "relax man, have a Balashi!" So it's no surprise I don't feel like a runner right now - and I am not behaving like one. I'm not supposed to.

You know what? I'm not worried. I know I will get back home to tomorrow and start cracking away at my goal. I am motivated to work - not just at running, but at my job, which will be spilling all over me when I get home.

Tomorrow, we go home and the work will begin.

20 weeks t0 go - Week #1 Schedule

Mon - 4 miles easy
Tue - 8 miles - beginning speed work on track
Wed - Rest
Thu - 7 miles easy
Fri - 4 miles recovery
Sat - 10 miles gen aerobic
Sun - Rest

Mileage Goal: 33 miles


Banking Miles said...

Out of shape in Aruba...I feel really bad for you - not. Good luck with your training when you get back to reality.

Firefly's Running said...

I am glad that you enjoying your vacation. Great job on keeping up with the training.

Neese said...

ahhhh sounds like a glorious time off in Aruba -- welcome home! :)

Running Jayhawk said...

Everyone deserves a break in the caribbean sunshine. You've got plenty of time to get yourself back into 2:59 shape.

I hope you'll share some fun stories and photos from your vacation. :)

Chad said...

I'm sure there are TONS of sub-3 marathoners who don't x-train.

And, unless you're injured, why do you need to learn to pool run?

robtherunner said...

Good luck with the next training schedule. I know what it is like to feel out of shape. It is my life currently.

Steve said...

I understand cross-training does work...but it is usually a recommendation for those struggling with improvement. I would stick to what worked for you; increasing pace and mileage.

I warned you about Aruba; after all it would be a desert island if the resorts didn't ship in all the palm tree and the hi-tech water filtration plants were built. Beautiful place though.

Looking forward to hearing more.

wayfool said...

Sounds like a dreamy vacation. Now its back to the serious work?

I like your idea of x-training. Pool running has been absolutely crucial for me. I find it helps most the day after long runs, especially with recovery. Pool running does this better than other x-training b/c it's zero impact, and the hydrostatic pressure from the water assists with circulation. Shoot me an e-mail if you want more info.

Anonymous said...

A vacation to Aruba sounds so very nice!

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