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dragitoff 10-15-2012 11:31 AM

My Journey....Revisited (comments welcome)
 
I had started a journal here over a year ago and updated it regularly until June of this year. Time just wasn't there to update it like I should and comments fell off so I felt like I was just typing for myself. At the time, I was also getting very discouraged about my advancement in running so it was easier to stop posting than continue to keep it up.

Recently, I've had some huge breakthroughs in my running as I have completely re-thought my process and re-trained myself with the help of Coach Charles, my wife and actually paying attention to what I read! :)

I started running in January of 2011 as a way to lose weight. I got on the treadmill and would run as much as I could for 20 minutes. I'd walk when I couldn't run, but I'd spend at least 20 minutes on the treadmill. Eventually, I got to where I could run the entire 20 minutes and built my endurance up even further.

In the process, I lost over 50 pounds and felt (and looked) like a different person. I've always been an active, athletic person, but this was a new kind of fit I've never had.

Late Summer 2011, my wife and I began running outdoors on the road in anticipation of entering a local 5k with some of our friends. We got our endurance up and entered a few local races and were happy with the results.

I realized that despite my best efforts, I wasn't blazing fast. My 5k PR was 24:13 and I always finished just outside the top 3 in my age group. As we were both magically approaching our mid-30's, I knew the chances were greater for me to start getting slower in the upcoming years as opposed to the opposite.

I had also hit a wall in my weight loss. I was down to my target weight, but wanted to lose just a little more. I decided I wanted to start running extended distances beyond the 5 mile max runs I was doing. I set my goal to run a local half marathon in March 2012.

I didn't know much about official training programs. I had read a little about run/walk methods. I took a little of what I read and devised my own plan and planned to finish my first half in under 2 hours. I trained hard and actually had training runs of 13.1 miles right at 2 hours. I was running 9 minutes and walking 1.

I had major cramping issues the day of the half and ended up finishing in 2 hours and 10 minutes due to walking almost 2 miles of the race due to extensive cramping.

When I decided to enter the Disney full marathon 2013, I decided to back off my ratio and walk only 4 minutes and walk 1 minute to give my body more of a break. I was able to get the mileage up during the summer runs of 20 miles, but was having major knee, cramping, and other issues. I was in so much pain post-run, I could barely remove my shorts, socks, and shoes.

I knew something had to change. I reached out to Coach Charles (cewait) on this board and asked him for help. He gave me a plan to google and we discussed some slight mods to it. He told me the marathon was too far away for me to already be logging the miles I was logging and I hadn't properly built up my endurance nor was I giving my body adequate recovery time.

In conversation, I shared with him my frustrations with run/walk because I could never settle into a rythmn. I decided I would run and only walk when I felt I needed a break.

At first, my body had become so lazy, even short runs of 3-4 miles, I couldn't complete without walking or feeling like I really needed a walk break. Eventually that passed.

A few weeks ago, I was sharing with my wife how much I wanted to go further than 5 or 6 miles without feeling like I needed a walk break because I felt like I was finally getting into a rythmn at that distance, but my legs were so tired.

She told me to SLOW DOWN! I'm super competitive and hard on myself so I always have a tendency to start off entirely too fast. My last 5k, I ran the first mile in a little over 6 minutes only to run out of gas at the end and finish in over 25 minutes. My goal pace was 8mm.

I do that even during training runs. I feel like I should run faster at the beginning to bank time saved for when I tire out. Problem is, I tire out too quickly and fade faster than the banked time.

The morning of my long run (scheduled 11 miler), I decided to do just that. My goal pace for the Disney Marathon was 9:09mm (finish in under 4 hours). I knew that may be a bit unrealistic for my first full marathon, so I adjusted it. I told myself to run today's run just under 10mm and no walking. If I got tired, I would slow down, but not walk.

After a few miles, I began to settle into a pace and felt great. By the end of the run, I felt great and finished the final 2 miles faster paced than any other mile during the run. I had actually made it 11 miles without walking and averaged a 9:30mm pace!

The next week, I didn't walk at all during any training runs. The next Saturday (this past weekend), I was scheduled for a 12 miler. Honestly, there were those thoughts in the back of my mind saying "what if last weekend was a fluke?", but I decided to give it all I had.

I ran the first 2.33 miles with my wife who was doing a 4 miler and is a slower runner than me. This caused me to slow my initial pace down quite a bit. I finished the first 2 miles averaging over 10mm and the 3rd mile in 9:50. After 5 miles or so, I started settling into a nice rythmic pace. Every mile on the second half was consistently 9:15-9:20 and I fnished the 12 miler in a slightly better overall pace than the previous weekend's 11 miler!

I feel like I've finally turned a corner and I am excited again about running. I no longer fear the dreaded bad run that occasionally rears it's head. I no longer feel like I have to walk regardless of the distance. I no longer feel like I have to finish in a crazy time. I feel like I just need to run.

Thanks for reading and please comment. I will keep the posts coming and updates. I'm in week 6 of 18 for my marathon training. This week I'll run 4 miles tomorrow, 6 Wednesday, 4 Thursday and taper Saturday for 9 miles.

dragitoff 10-16-2012 06:40 AM

I had a solid 4 miler this morning. I've been really working on negative splits. I ran the first mile with my wife at a 10 minute pace and then the next 2 miles at a 9:30 pace before knocking the final mile out in 8:50. I must say the cooler weather really has been a blessing the past few weeks. I actually wore pants this morning! :cool1:

dragitoff 10-17-2012 07:08 AM

Honestly, I was so tired when I woke up this morning. I didn't want to get out of bed. I stayed up last night to watch the debates, then watched the end of the Tigers/Yankees game, and then still couldn't sleep. I made myself get on up and I'm glad I did.

I enjoyed a nice 6 mile run this morning. I just can't say enough about the cooler weather and how nice it has been. 2 days in a row with pants! WOO HOO! I'm a sucker for running in cooler weather. Some of my best runs have been in sub-freezing temps. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's because I live in South Georgia where the summer means running in extremely hot temps (even before daylight) and high humidity.

Just reminding peeps you can feel free to comment as well. Have a wonderful day.

robynslp 10-17-2012 09:14 AM

Thank you for posting your journey from run/walking to running. I am having some similar problems to what you have discussed. I feel like physically I should be able to run a whole lot more than I do.

Keep sharing. I hope to learn from your experiences and start my own experimenting. :thumbsup2

dragitoff 10-17-2012 11:23 AM

It took alot of painful runs and questioning my entire desire to run a marathon to hit that point where I had to completely re-think my training. As a youth pastor, I often tell my students, if I can share my experiences (good or bad) and it keeps some of you from making the same mistakes I did, then it was worth it.

Hopefully, my ramblings can help someone else like so many others have helped me.

robynslp 10-17-2012 02:01 PM

I am struggling with what my pace IS and what I want it to be. I, too, tend to go out too fast. I have gotten faster, but I can't understand why I am still so slow. I am going to be following you closely. Maybe tonight I'll settle in for a slower pace with more endurance.

dragitoff 10-19-2012 07:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by robynslp (Post 46473104)
I am struggling with what my pace IS and what I want it to be. I, too, tend to go out too fast. I have gotten faster, but I can't understand why I am still so slow. I am going to be following you closely. Maybe tonight I'll settle in for a slower pace with more endurance.

If it's any consolation, my goal pace was in the low 9 minute range. I hadn't settled on a firm number, but I had made my mind up somewhere between 9:09 (4 hour marathon pace) and 9:30. That was regardless if I ran the entire time or ran/walked.

I've been doing the first few miles of running with my wife who is a 10mm pacer to make myself start out slowly. I'm finding that I now get into an amazing groove about 5 miles into the run and run the second half of a 10-12 miler in that low 9 minute pace and averaging 9:30. When I was running faster at the beginning, I was running the first 3 or 4 miles in under 9 minutes, but then I was fading quickly and needing to walk after 4 or 5 miles which caused that mile's time to dip to 9:45 or even over 10 minutes.

I could only go another 2-3 miles before needing to walk again and repeating the cycle all over. When the run was over, I was averaging closer to 10mm than my goal pace and I felt alot more tired.

I'm a believer in run/walk. It helped me run distances and races I never thought I'd be capable of, but it's not for me any longer. I have to say though, I also never did any formal run/walk program. I'm now doing a specified training program. Maybe if I had of done a run/walk program set up for me by a trainer, things would have been different.

dragitoff 10-19-2012 07:33 AM

Yesterday, my alarm went off at 5am and I knew there was no possible way I could get up to run. I was beat! I slept in an hour more before having to get up for work. I had to make up that run last night when I got home from work. It was raining lightly, but DW and I went out on our run.

The rain cooled things off but also reminded me of my half marathon earlier this year when I got soaked and had a bad day despite finishing. I was determined to have a good run.

I ran the first mile in 10:09 (DW pacing) and then the next in 9:53 (half of it was with DW pacing and she was going much slower than the 10:09 pace). The 3rd mile I ran in 8:58 and the final mile I ran in 8:53. Because of the cars passing, my run ended up being 4:08 as opposed to the normal 4:03. That last 0.08 mile, I was running at a 7:11 pace.

I was tired after the run because I had pushed it and had just finished a hard day at work, but I felt good too. I'm excited about my 9 miler tomorrow morning. If I complete it without walking, I would have made it 3 weeks without walking!

I checked it too, and I'm going to finish just under my yearly goal of 1000 miles. Not by much, but because of my marathon training, I'm not going to add the additional miles to hit the goal. It'll be close enough I can round up! ;)

I'm about to eclipse the 700 mile mark for the year. I've already logged more miles this year than last year and I feel better about my running than I did a few months ago.

dragitoff 10-22-2012 07:02 AM

I had another really solid run this weekend. I was showing at a local car show this Saturday, so I had to get up an hour earlier than usual for my long run. Fortunately, this was my "lighter week" and I only had to do 9 miles.

I got to the Riverwalk where I do my weekend long runs and it was still pitch black dark. I did expect this so I wore my New Balance running hat that has 4 led's mounted in the bill of the cap. Unfortunately, it only allowed me to see about 2 feet in front of me.

I have to be honest, that was the creepiest run I've ever had in my life. Part of it was because of the darkness, part of it due to the sketchy characters that hang out on the Riverwalk after dark, and part of it due to the wildlife (once ran a 5k race where a deer collided with a runner there!).

I was a little worried after my first mile because I guess due to the adrenaline rush of being a little scared, I ran the first mile about 30 seconds than I normally do my first mile. I slowed myself down and ended up having a great run. I ran the entire 9 miles in 1:24. The last 2 miles I ran in under 9 minutes and the last one was 8:34!

This morning, I had to do a 4 miler. I'm traveling this week for work so I'm running today, 7 miles tomorrow, and 4 on Thursday. I'll attempt my 14 miler at Disneyland this Saturday! That also means I won't be updating much or at all this week.

I did a few 1 minute fartleks this morning during my run on the last mile and ended up having my best 4 mile run in over a month! I feel myself getting stronger with each week.

dragitoff 10-23-2012 07:13 AM

I had a nice 7 mile run this morning. Everything was going great until a stupid dog ran between my legs and nearly tripped me. This dog is a thorn in my side when I run at my house. I live in the country so I'm used to dogs barking at me while I run by and even one occassionally running into the road to check out the flashing lights and reflective vests that are running by, but this dog is aggressive and today he ran into my legs. I've got to find something to deal with this dog without harming it. I love animals, but I'm also concerned for mine and my wife's safety. We run this road 3 times a week.

Terapin 10-24-2012 08:48 AM

Wow! You are really getting up there in speed! Good work!

dragitoff 10-30-2012 07:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Terapin (Post 46533366)
Wow! You are really getting up there in speed! Good work!

Thank you. I don't feel exceptionally fast, but I feel so much better about my running and definitely stronger!

Here's a brief update. I had a business trip last week to Disneyland. Technically, my business trip was at the Anaheim Convention Center, but that's across the street from Disneyland and I was staying at the Grand Californian.

I arrived there Thursday and that afternoon did my 4 miler on the loop I was recommended by a few posters on this site. At the time I did my run, there were quite a few pedestrians out and alot of cars. It was also very hot. I ran my 4 miler in a very solid time and had little trouble doing so, but it was a challenge as I wasn't familiar with the route and had to slow down and weave my way through crowded sidewalks for a lot of the run.

Saturday morning, I was scheduled for a 14 miler and I chose to run the same route since I was at least a little familiar with it. The only exception is I'd have to run it nearly 5 times to achieve my 14 miles. There are 2 fairly decent climbs on this route as you have to run up freeway overpasses. The first 4 or 5 miles, I honestly thought something was wrong with my Garmin because I couldn't get my times below 9:50 mile. Finally, miles 6-14 fell within my normal pacing range and I completed the 14 miler slightly off my previous long run average, but still under my marathon pace goal.

To date, that 14 miler was the longest continuous run I've done (no walking). I felt like I could have run more.

This morning, I didn't run. I got home late yesterday and I was honestly still very jetlagged and took the extra 90 minutes of sleep. If I get out of work early enough, I'll make up the run tonight, but honestly I'm not going to push it. After traveling alot last week, I'm not going to kill myself, especially when I've got a 7 miler to do tomorrow morning.

dragitoff 10-31-2012 07:15 AM

After skipping yesterday's run to get an extra 90 minutes of sleep, I was anxious to get out and run this morning. I was going to make up the run when I got home from work yesterday; however I didn't get home until almost 7:30 and I was worn out. I figured my body would need the rest more than the 4 miler.

I wanted so badly to sleep a little longer this morning too, but I went ahead and got out and did my 7 miler. I felt like I had a really solid run. I love running so much in colder weather and this morning's temps (mid 30's) was perfect to me. I guess because I live in southwest Georgia where it is often extremely hot and humid.

My pace was pretty normal for a medium distance mileage run like that for me. Not too fast, not too slow. All in all, I was happy with it and very glad to get out and run.

dragitoff 11-01-2012 07:06 AM

It was really tough getting out of the bed this morning. My body is still adapting to spending a week on PST and now back in EST. I'm really tired lately and I'm so thankful for the extra hour of sleep this weekend due to the time change! :cool1:

As warm and cozy as the house was, I made myself get up and do my 4 miler. I pushed hard the 2nd half and did some fast fartleks for 60 seconds each time and finished with a respectable time. It wasn't my fastest run, but definitely a lot better than I expected after my first 2 miles.

I'm so looking forward to not running tomorrow morning and sleeping in a little longer! Woo-Hoo! I'll be up early Saturday morning for my 15 miler, but alas, I'll enjoy my little one day off. :banana:

Terapin 11-01-2012 07:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dragitoff (Post 46600816)
It was really tough getting out of the bed this morning. My body is still adapting to spending a week on PST and now back in EST. I'm really tired lately and I'm so thankful for the extra hour of sleep this weekend due to the time change! :cool1:

As warm and cozy as the house was, I made myself get up and do my 4 miler. I pushed hard the 2nd half and did some fast fartleks for 60 seconds each time and finished with a respectable time. It wasn't my fastest run, but definitely a lot better than I expected after my first 2 miles.

I'm so looking forward to not running tomorrow morning and sleeping in a little longer! Woo-Hoo! I'll be up early Saturday morning for my 15 miler, but alas, I'll enjoy my little one day off. :banana:

I am super sleepy these days too! Can only be the weather and decreasing light where I am, up here on the 43rd parallel. It is getting dark so early and staying dark in the mornings. It seems we have 0800-1800 only and it will just get worse!

My rest day was Tuesday. I suppose my next will be Monday after the HM on Sunday. I like rest days :-) I also like the rest of the day after a long run: no guilt and I feel proud! And the next one is a week away! :rotfl:


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