Thought I would be back on track in the last few weeks with my training, but work had different plans for me. We are very much underwater with too few resources and too much business, so most of my days start when it is dark and end when it is dark. That makes it difficult to get any training in at all.
I have always had a challenge with working out too late in the evening as it keeps me from getting meaningful sleep. This makes it hard to get up the next day and makes the day even longer. The cycle is vicious and impactful.
Not sure what I am going to do about this as my next race is in about a month and I have given in to the fact that I will need to walk run to make it through. It makes me cringe to say that but if I push too hard, it will be very difficult to recover so I can start training for my next race.
Once again, the fine folks at the Chicago Half Marathon have generously donated an entry for the September 9th, Chicago Half Marathon, which takes place on a beautiful out and back course that is actually run on Lake Shore Drive. Details about the course and facilities etc. can be found here. You can view some of the highlights of the 2010 race here.
The Half Marathon starts at 7am followed by a 5K start at 7:45am. All runners receive the following:
Commemorative Technical long-sleeve T-shirt
Computerized Timing & Scoring
Great course support
Entertainment throughout the course
Outstanding post-race party in beautiful Jackson Park
Water & Gatorade Endurance available at 10 aid stations along the route
USATF certified course
and finishers receive a Custom finishers medal.
Post-race party complete with Michelob ULTRA (ID required) and free Chicago Style pizza
Packet pickup will be at Navy Pier, Exhibit Hall B at 600 N. Grand Avenue. Expo hours are Friday September 7th from noon to 7pm and Saturday September 8th from 9am till 5pm. Admission to the expo is free and open to the general public but you will need to pay for parking. Just plan ahead, get there early and walk around the pier and enjoy what Chicago has to offer. There is NO Race Day Pickup on Sunday the 9th, so if you forget, you will be watching the race from the sidelines. The deadline for race entry is September 2nd.
I am on the road quite a bit and one of my biggest challenges is staying on track with my training while traveling. I often go to locations that are quite a bit higher in altitude than Chicago and need to cut back on miles, or I am in and out of town for a one or two day trip with no time to even put my sneakers on.
To enter our giveaway for a free race entry, just comment on this post and let us know how you stay on track for your training while traveling or on vacation. I will pick the winner at random on Sunday July 29th at midnight, so you have 3 weeks to enter. We will send the winner an email with their free signup code. Please only enter if you are able to attend the race and use the code. You are welcome to comment even if you don’t want to enter, but let us know in the comment to exclude you from the drawing. Good luck and see you at the race.
Note: If you are participating in the Allstate Half tomorrow (June 9th) you are also eligible for the Windy City Challenge which will net you a third special finishers medal if you also complete the Chicago Half on September 9th.
Update: I gave the drawing one more week and will be selecting the winner on August 5th
Congratulations to Matt M. You are the lucky winner of the free race entry. See you at the finish line.
I am continuing with my steady mileage increase towards my half marathon goal and it seems to be working. I was able to crank out 6 miles tonight with not much difficulty and I actually ran it faster than my pace during my last 5.5 mile run. My previous attempts at training did not follow the 10% rule ( increase your mileage by only 10% over your last run) and thus caused a failure to achieve my goal. I still finished the races but no where near as comfortable as I wanted to. Yes I know, if you are comfortable during a race then you are not really leaving it all out on the course. That is true, but my goal for the race in January is to finish strong and still be able to walk around the Disney parks with my son over the next few days following the race, without looking like I am 80 years old.
I am talking the night off on Saturday which is my next scheduled run, to go have dinner with a few old friends from high school (they are not old yet, just the friendship) so I will do my 6.5 miler tomorrow. I could probably do 7 miles, but I don’t what to blow my progress and get discouraged at this point. My serious program starts in October. I can’t wait.
I am definitely getting back in the groove again with my training for the Disney Half Marathon in January. I am slowly increasing my mileage as I should, instead of pushing it like I did last year. My schedule training plan starts in October so right now I am just concentrating on increasing my miles in general. I will concentrate on speed and mental capacity when I start the program in October.
Had another great run today on my road to recovery. It was just a short 4 miler but I felt really good and I did not break the two rules I broke on Wednesday night (tonight I started the run at 6:30 pm and waited till after the workout to eat). Not being so rushed makes a big difference in my attitude towards the run and allows me to concentrate on what I need to accomplish.
Wednesday I talked about using my iPod and Nike+ to help track my progress and crank through some of the podcasts I listen to. The Nike Running site, which is where you upload your workout data from the ipod, has added some really nice motivational features in the last year. In particular, I like the goals section where you can set a goal for yourself and track your progress on line. You can challenge yourself to run faster, run farther, run more often, burn calories or set a coaching program for yourself. The coaching section is helpful if you are training for a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Full Marathon or some other custom distance.
The challenges section allows you to participate in pre built challenges like the January challenge to rack up the most miles in one month per team. In this case, team participation was determined by the state you live in. Other challenges let you select the team you wanted to run for, like you alma mater if it is a college based challenge. I just joined one that challenges you to run 210 miles in 2010. You can also create your own challenge and invite the public to participate.
Once I get rolling with the Nike add on, I like to listen to podcasts via headphones or some small computer speakers that I Velcroed to the treadmill. Tonight it was ‘Buzz Out Loud (BOL)’, one of the many great CNET technology podcasts you can find at www.cnet.com/podcasts. BOL is usually just over an hour long so I can get a nice 10K in per episode including a warm up and cool down. I have a backlog of podcasts left over from my injury time so I have a bit of catching up to do. I plan on squeezing in a few audio books as well that I have form www.audible.com. I will post a review of those in my book section once I finish each book. You can’t beat feeding the mind and the body at the same time.
It has been more than a week since I last ran and I am going nuts. I did a quick 5 miler the Wednesday after I got home (three days after the race) and it felt great but there was a little swelling in my right ankle. By Friday the ankle was feeling stiff so I thought I would try to do another 5 miler. Again, my body felt great and the stiffness went away pretty quick, but about 2 hours after finishing the run the creaking started where the shin meats the ankle. I also noticed that it was swelling a bit more. Was I going to have to stop running for a while? Sadly, very sadly, yes.
I talked about the injury in my post on January 14, 2010 so I won’t rehash it. The point of this post was the realization that I had no idea I would miss running so much when I was forced to take some time off. You would think the after all the training last year for the marathon that I would look forward to some time off. No, the time off is killing me. Now I see why the wife is crabby in the morning until she gets her run in (but it could be other issues as well ).
For anyone who thinks they can’t be a runner, don’t believe it. Two years ago when I was getting ready to do my first 5K at US Cellular Field (it is still Comiskey Park to me), I figured I would try it and have such a hard time that I would hate it and never try it again. But a strange thing happened. It was painful during the run but it felt exceptional when I was done. So began my road (no pun intended) to better health and eventually my first marathon.
The doctor said to give it four weeks before I run again. I think I’m going to give it 1 more week before I do a quick three miler. I know, listen to the doctor, but I think he was generalizing about the injury and I will know soon enough if I came back too soon. In the mean time, I will have to hit the weights or so some yoga that does not put weight on that ankle. We’ll see how that goes.