Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Long Road Back!

Well, folks, after about 5 weeks of no running due to some surgery, I started yesterday....well, sort of.....

During the course of a 1.7 mile brisk walk, I jogged one entire lap around the track, and then added another 150 meters of jogging near the end of the walk.  My doctor gave me clearance on Tuesday to start running and working out again, but said I should build back up gradually.  I still have scars from 6 incisions, and the abdomen is just a bit sore when I try to do pushups.

But regardless, this is exciting.  The hard part is going easy, and building gradually.  I think tonight I may ride an exercise bike for about 15 minutes instead of walking/running, due to predicted rain and mid 30s outside.  By the weekend, I will likely attempt a full one mile of easy running.  By the following weekend, my plan would be to run something like 2.5 miles, after which I will continue on fairly quickly until I am back to 4 to 5 mile runs about 3 to 4 times per week (my usual winter running).

Stay tuned!!!!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mid-winter Update: Training Plans

Hello, everyone!  Although I have little to report on training, I will state that my recovery from surgery is progressing very well.  I am walking up to 2.3 miles now, with minimal effort, although even with over 9 hours sleep per night, I'm still fatigued by 9 or 9:30 at night.

We finally received some serious snow here in Buffalo, with about 5 to 6 inches today, blowing/drifting/cold.  I'm not recovered enough yet to cross country ski, unfortunately.  I need to take it easy until about January 24, when I see the doctor.  If I receive clearance at that time, I will slowly start running/XC skiing again, leading into my spring buildup.  In some ways, maybe a 2-month break from running (last run was around December 20) will be good for my body.  I ran quite hard last year, with moderate success:  two 2nd place overall finishes in trail races, one 6th place overall 5K road race (out of 175), one 15th place overall 5K race out of 745 (18:28), and a couple other decent results. 

This year, as stated in a previous post, I have some loftier goals, but reaching those will be almost entirely dependent on the quantity and quality of training I am able to conduct.  I'm going to try to take a different approach this year, do some good cross training (possibly biking), more weights/strength, and as much trail running with hills as possible.

I believe that I can continue to improve my performance (including times) over the next couple of years, regardless of turning 54 this April!!  There are many 50+ year olds in the Rochester area who are well ahead of me, so I know it can be done, with the right type and amount of training.

Stay tuned!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Goal Time!

Although, as Eric mentioned in a previous post, some of us have had some health issues recently, I am recovering very well from some recent surgery, and looking forward to returning to training in about 3 weeks.  This year I have some very lofty goals, and would also like other authors and commentators to post their goals for the year.  Although goals are not always achieved, they provide an impetus and encouragement for training, and function as a virtual "finish line."  This year, I have some tough goals, but I think they are all within reach.  Here they are:

1.  A sub 5-minute mile.  In 2010 I ran 5:17 indoors, with minimal speed workout.  In 2011 I only ran 5:33, but that was early in the season, and I did not run the mile late in the fall/early winter when I was in peak condition.  Keys to achieving this goal or getting in a good distance base early in the year, then speed workouts early enough in the fall to make the attempt in good weather.

2.  A sub-18 minute 5K.  In 2011 (December 3), I ran 18:28 in a 5K road race.  Again, this was with almost no track speed workout, although I had done tempo runs and mile intervals on the grass.  One key to this goal will be getting in some good long runs.  This past year I did better with long runs, typically doing a 6 to 7 miler on the weekends, but I should probably be doing 8 to 10 milers.

3.  I love trail racing, and last year I came in 9th out of about 180 runners in the annual GVH mudslog race, roughly 8.2 miles over hilly, muddy terrain, including a very cold 50 meter pond swim in October!  This year, I would love to make top 5, but at least improve on the 9th place.  Time is a bit meaningless in this race.  I ran 1:09:53 this past year.  Some of the hills/terrain was so difficult that I had to walk in parts.

4.  Mix in some good cross training, such as biking, with running.  As we age, it is important to protect our bodies, and I'll be 54 in April!  However, I'm convinced that I can go faster!  In 2011, my 18:28 5K road race was only 7 seconds slower than my time on the exact course 11 years ago!!  We don't fully understand the medical reasons why we slow down with age, but some masters runners are proving that you can run excellent times in your 50s. One 50-year-old in California (his name escapes me at the moment), ran 14:45 at Age 49 just before he turned 50, and is aiming to be the 1st 50-year old to break 15 in the 5k!!!  This is inspiring!

5.  Improve my tennis ranking from 3.5 to 4.0.  OK, what does this have to do with running?  Nothing!!  But I still want to do it.  I took my first private tennis lesson last year at my clay court tennis club, and the instructor said I was about a 3.5  I agreed with this assessment, although I have beaten a very good 4.0 player on occasion, and come close on several others.  One advantage I have in tennis is that I seem to be able to run down balls better than most people.  Almost everyone I play has the same comment:  You've got some wheels!"

I have other goals, but I think these are key, along with one other.  Always enjoy running!!!


Erik Van Ingen: Sub-4 Miler Creates a Running Film

Erik Van Ingen, Binghamton University's first and only sub-4 minute miler, is a film major, and has produced a film about running, scheduled to be released in late Spring 2012.  The movie is about what it is like to train as a collegiate athlete, with dreams that go far beyond that.  The cool thing is that Van Ingen is a local from Marathon, NY, just a short drive from Binghamton, near Cortland (home school of Harry Beal).  He has run more than one sub-4 minute mile, with a best of 3:57, and one more season of track eligibility this year.

For the full article about Van Ingen, see the link below: