Sunday, April 29, 2007

GETTING INTO BETTER SHAPE

There are folks who would scoff if I said I'm not in good shape, but they are thinking in absolutes and I am thinking in relatives. Relative to the shape most people are in, I'm in good shape. Relative to the shape I want to be in and feel I need to be in to be able to do the things I want to do, I'm not really in very good shape. I'm slow and heavy and overweight and injured.

Last weekend, visiting our family in Ohio, I ran about 13 miles on Saturday, running 20 minutes and walking 5, feeling fairly good. I ate a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich en route to get used to eating while running for the ultra. This sat with me OK and I guess gave me some energy, since I felt pretty good after finishing.

However, since we've been "home" in Maryland, I've been feeling sluggish, swelled-up (legs, ankles), and sore. Just the same, I've been running the 10.5-mile "Lake Loop" every 2-3 days. Today was the third time.

Progress:
Tuesday: 10.5 miles in 2:01, 11:35 pace, ran 30 minutes, walked 5. I dragged and ached and could hardly walk after I finished, not from fatigue or soreness but from my injuries acting up. I rested two days before tackling it again.

Friday: 10.5 miles in 1:51, 10:38 pace, ran 10 minutes, walked 2. I only dragged and ached the last 2 or 3 miles, but still could hardly walk after I finished due to my injuries (Achilles and piriformis area, both on the left side.) However, I felt ready to go again after only one rest day.

Today, Sunday: 10.5 miles, 1:48, 10:22 pace, ran the whole time except for only infrequent short walk breaks, felt only mildly lame after finishing, feel fresh as a daisy now an hour later, except for my heel/ankle and butt. I have a massage treatment scheduled for tomorrow.

So I'm going to aim for every other day this week, same 10.5-mile loop, and then do my final pre-marathon 20-miler on Saturday -- maybe 2 laps of the Lake Loop, or 5 X 4-mile out-and-backs to get used to that, since that's what my 50-mile ultra is, yeah, 50 miles of 4-mile out-and-backs. We runners out there will get to know each other really well!

4 comments:

Kurt said...

I know what you mean about relative fitness and conditioning. I am 6 ft and 155-157 lbs and want to lose 5 lbs. Everyone jokes but they don't realize I need to be at that wait to run the 5K time I want.

Keep at it, your doing great.

bunnygirl said...

It's so true about relative fitness. I don't even like to mention fitness goals around non-athletes because they just scoff and act like I'm fishing for compliments.

I want to tone up my arms again. I want to drop the couple of pounds I've gained (both because every pound counts on my small frame and to combat the inevitable weight creep of being over 40). I also want to get faster and stronger because it makes me feel good.

Only another runner, cyclist, or other athlete understands.

You go, girl!

Vickie said...

I have felt the same way about fitness. I feel I am in better shape than most for my age, but then I go and read some blog about some 55 year old woman who does all those runs, is planning on doing 3 marathons, and an ultra this year, and then I just know I'm not in as good of shape as I thought! Keep it up!

ShirleyPerly said...

So true about the relative fitness. But will we ever be satisfied? I have my doubts ... we'll probably always be striving for better!

Sorry to hear about your anchilles and piriformis bothering you. Those are the very same areas that have bothered me in the past too. Hope the pains go away soon!