Wednesday, March 4, 2015

You Win Some, You Lose Some

Since I began my quest to complete a half marathon, I would have to say my training has gone really well. I've had some runs that felt really hard because, well, they really were, and others that felt hard because I was a bit tired or something. I even had the flu and had to take three days off and hurt a bit when I came back, but I have to say today was probably the worst workout I've had in two months.
All things considered, that really isn't bad, but it was a bit disconcerting.
Today was a four mile run for endurance. Myself, and a few others, have determined that means at a bit slower pace. Within the first five minutes I knew I was in trouble. My footfalls were too heavy and I was doing more bouncing up and down than pushing forward and my breathing was all over the place. I've had problems with my breathing before, but I am usually able to get it under control.
Today, not so much.
I made it through the first mile, but after that it was a huge struggle. I even had to walk intermittently. I haven't had to walk/run since I first started. I also had the worst pain in my side which would go away once I started walking and got my breathing under control, but that would instantly come back as soon as I began running again; even when I was breathing in a controlled manner.
I tried breathing through it, pushing all of my air out and really concentrating on good breathing, but my attempts were futile.
My right shin was also starting to cramp up which made me worry about getting shin splints. I know I need new shoes which was certainly part of the problem.
On top of all of this I was sweating buckets. I am not exaggerating. I was shocked that after the first seven minutes that I was dripping all over the place. My hair, my face, my arms.
My arms?!!
With all of this in mind, I finally called it quits around the three mile mark.
The stitch that I just couldn't shake in combination with the excessive sweating made me rethink my workout of the day.
There's no point in injuring or exhausting myself now. I have so much more to do. If I had to take time off due to an injury, I'd be screwed.
I walked at a good pace for a while, cooling down and focusing on my gait cycle to try and get the cramping in my right leg to stop. The sweating never really calmed down, but the leg spasms did. I checked my heart rate just before walking and it was too high. I was an athlete long enough before to know that an over working heart rate could indicate the body missing something to help it function whether that is food, water or sleep.
I had never experienced that ridiculous amount of sweating before, but then again, I used to be a swimmer. Maybe I had, but had never noticed because I was already wet.
After cooling down, making sure to have my heart rate return to normal, I began hydrating and replenishing my food stores.
I am highly suspicious that I was dehydrated and didn't eat enough today. I don't think I ate enough yesterday either which was my day off.
I'm taking the rest of the night easy, making sure to eat some more helpful calories and definitely drink myself silly... ;)
Water, of course.
I also stretched out in the shower. I really need to go get those new shoes.
I have to say that it was a bit of a wake up call for me. If I really want to do this, I need to make sure I am eating and drinking properly. I can spend all of the time I want on the treadmill, but if I'm not doing the work (mainly eating and hydrating properly) when I'm off of the treadmill then all of my work will be for nothing.
On that note, my water bottle is empty.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Guess Who?

So, it's been almost a year since I last posted here. I really have no excuse other than that by the end of March of 2014 the skiing season ended and I didn't know what would be happening next for me in my sporting life. I was in another transition phase which meant uncertainty for my athletic endeavors. In fact, it wasn't until January of this year that sporting plans started to solidify.
Last October I moved again so that I could attend a master's of social work program. In moving, I lost my skiing guide and in the move my skis and poles were accidentally left behind. So, I turned my attention back to summer sports; I seem better suited for them anyway.
In January of this year I purchased my first treadmill. It's nothing fancy, but it runs and gets going pretty fast. It was exactly what I needed to jump start my running plans.
For years now, as I'm sure you remember, I've been wanting to run a marathon and/or do triathlon. Through a series of unrelated, but strangely coincidental events, I signed up for my first half marathon race, found at least three guide runners-perhaps four-and I am now in my sixth week of training for the half marathon. It's kind of amazing really how everything started gelling. If all goes as planned, I will run a full marathon by the end of the year. But, let's tackle the half first.
Of course there were little hiccups here and there, but somehow in the last month or so things have really been coming together. Tomorrow, in fact, I'm going outside to do a hill workout with one of the guides. There's still snow on the ground, but my body really needs hill work because apparently the half marathon I've signed up for has brutal hills in the last couple of miles.
Of course I only discovered that on Thursday when discussing guide running with two more people.
I won't bore you with the details of my workouts since all of them, except one so far, have been done on the treadmill. I'm certainly looking forward to the snow melting so I can get outside and really practice with guide runners.
It's another beginning to another attempt at being an athlete again, but I think things are more concrete this time. :)