Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday tired - session #11

These session numbers are about to stop. They are counting my pre-trainging training. They count my sessions in which I get in shape to begin marathon training.

This week we finally begin actual marathon training. We really start today, but we are starting with a race in Tel Aviv that I am not doing because I am not ready for it. So tomorrow night is when I start. So today I had what might be my last pre-training training session. Maybe I will go out tomorrow morning as well, but I doubt it.

Today was typical Sunday. Friday I did not get to run because I went to sleep very late and missed waking up in time to run. So by the time Sunday comes along, I have gone 3 days or so since my last run. So the Sunday morning run is always very "worn out" and tiring.

I ran at about the same pace as last time. I ran about 4 minutes for every half minute of walking, give or take. I did not pay so much attention to my watch, but enough to keep a general estimate of my pace. So that puts me at about 8:1, just like last session. The only thing is because it is Sunday, by the end I was very tired and my legs were starting to feel rubbery.

I found a good method - I noticed that if you look ahead, you get even more tired seeingh how much you still have left. As long as you look down, at your feet, it is not so bad. Then it is only one step at a time, and it helps keep you going a bit. Obviously you have to look up - see where you are going, not bump into things, etc., but the3 more you look down, the further you will be able to go without tiring out.

Anyways, I think I am ready for adding more distance to my runs.

I am ready for marathon training (I think and hope!)!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

sweating like the Rebbe - session #10

Right now, as we would say in yeshiva, I am "sweating like the rebbe". I don't know when the last time I was pouring sweat like this, and it for sure has not happened from my running until this point.

Why am I sweating so much? Because I ran angry.

"Angry" might be too strong a word, but it was close to it.

I am a yekke. I like my stuff and my schedule. I keep my stuff in place and my organization and time is important to me. When I get delayed, even slightly, because of disorganization, it frustrates me.

Today I woke up to run and could not find my hat. My kids raided my cabinet, and none of my hats were there. I spent about 10 minutes looking for a decent hat to run in. That was very frustrating. While looking through the kids room I noticed the state of disaster in which they keep it, and I got angry. Normally I would just tell them to stop living like animals and clean up, but it would not upset me. Today I got upset. They take my hats and they live like animals.

Eventually I found a replacement hat, but was already so delayed that I was angry. I went out to run about 10 or 12 minutes later than usual. Not such a big deal, but when those 10 or 12 minutes are important on the back end, I knew I had to make up the time.

I decided to push myself today and run much more of the time. I paid attention to my watch, and I ran at a pace of about 8:1. No exaggeration.

I was able to do it because:
  1. I was blowing off steam. Running angry is a great push.
  2. I felt very strong. I probably could have run further today as well, but I impressed myself enough with my pace. A motivated person can accomplish a lot.
I believe there is nothing holding a person back from doing something, other than himself. I am not a creative person, nor am I much of an original thinker, but I do believe in people's abilities to control themselves by using their willpower. I told myself I was going to run harder and more, and I did. That is why i know I can do this marathon stuff. As long as I keep myself motivated through the training, I know I can do it.

Lesson #4 - Motivate yourself. Control your body, don't let it control you.

and that is why I am "sweating like the rebbe" right now.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hard to imagine

I have been running my beginners route for about 3-4 weeks now. while I do feel I am getting stronger, by the time I finish each run, I still cannot imagine running even a minute more, or a meter more.

Last night on the spur of the moment I decided to drive my car around my running route and measure the distance/ the car odometer measured it at exactly 6 kilometers. It might actually be slightly more because I am running on the outer ring of the various streets I run on, and the car was not measuring on the outer ring, but let's call it 6km.

So I can run 6 km, but cannot imagine running any more than that. How the heck am I going to run a marathon?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

an unintentional run - session #9

I ran today, but did not mean to. I planned on taking the morning off and letting my muscles rest (yeah right, like they work so hard normally!).

I was so tired last night that I went to sleep a little earlier than usual. So this morning, I woke up earlier than usual. I guess my body just does not let me sleep too much anymore.

I could not fall back to sleep, so I got up. I checked the score of the Cubs game and saw they were pounding the Pirates, so that cheered me up. Then I decided I am up anyway so I might as well run.

So I ran.

I ran my regular route. I like that route. I think it is a good distance and a good run. I got out a bit earlier than usual, and the difference is amazing. The streets were busy. People delivering newspapers, people on way to shul to learn daf yomi or whatever else I should probably be doing before davening, I guess some were going to start an early work day, whatever. While I have gotten used to empty roads and solitude, today was pretty busy out there. Going out 8 minutes earlier must make a tremendous difference...

I ran, and again I did not pay attention to my watch or my pace. My estimate is that I ran a little less than usual. I think I brought my pace down to a run:walk ratio of 3:2 or so. Don't know why that is so, but I felt strong, but just seemed to walk more than in previous runs. Maybe it was my imagination.

Actual marathon training starts soon. Hopefully I will be able to keep up with them.

Monday, August 25, 2008

still no group run- session #8

I was not planning on running this morning. I was going to take the morning off and instead run Monday night with the weekly BS Runners Group beginners run. Once again it did not work out, as the group is meeting tonight to prepare for a Tel Aviv run that is coming up soon. So the beginners run for this week has been canceled.

So I was out on the roads by myself again this morning.

I did not really keep track of my pace today. I felt like the run was stronger, and I was running slightly greater distances before switching to a walking pace to allow my heart to stop looking for a way out. I still am not acutallu measuring my runs, so it is all an estimate, but that is what it felt like.

Also, while in stride I changed my route today. I decided I needed a change of scenery. So, I made an adjustment to my route. I ran up Ayalon and around Dolev once. Then on the second circuit of Dolev, I turned right on Nahal Maor. I ran down Maor to Nehar HaYarden and turned Right. I turned right on HaYarqon and ran back down to Ayalon and back home.

The route was pretty good, but I suspect it might have been slightly shorter. I finished about 5 or 6 minutes earlier than usual. So either I ran at a faster pace, with more running than usual, and that is why I finished earlier, or the route was shorter.
Probably the route was shorter.

No insights during todays run. I was kid of distracted. I hardly even looked at my watch.

See you on the road!

comments?

I have to apologize to all of you. I did not know people were leaving comments. It seems that when I started this blog, I forgot to set up the part where it emails me when a comment is left. And because I have not yet publicized it (it is in my blog list, but I never announced it officially or added it to my email sig line), I just assumed there were no comments yet.

So I just noticed that a few comments have been left over time and have now seen them all and responded to them.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

regression - session #7

Today's run was difficult.

Last week I only ran once - on Sunday. After that we went away on vacation. I tried to run at our vacation spot, but it did not work out. I did not know where to go, how far to run, where it was safe to run on the highway, etc. So I did not run, though I swam a little bit.

So after a week of not running, today's run was tough. It is amazing how quickly one regresses if he does not keep up with something.

So, here is lesson #3: The pace of regression is much quicker than that of progression.

I kept up with my pace of about 4:1, though it was hard today. I was huffing and puffing but I did it. I ran my regular route completely, and while at the beginning it took some time to get into the run, when I did I was able to run as usual.

Tomorrow night is my first "group run" I hope so I am excited by that.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

getting into a habit - session #6

Today was a tired run. Last night I prepared my stuff for running in the morning, but then when I finally went to bed, I had decided I would not run. Part of the reason was being tired (I guess that is part of the problem when m,aking these decisions at bedtime), and part of the reason was because we are planning on going away on vacatino today and I thought that maybe walking up early will make it harder to drive later.

The problem is that my body is already used to waking up at 4:45am. So I got up on time. I checked my email and the score of the Cubs game, and decided to go back to bed and skip the run. As I am laying there, I realize by now I am fully awake and have no reason not to run. If I do not run I might as well quit the program, because I have no excuse, as I am up already anyway, and it is just laziness.So I get up and go out to run.

But I ran a short circuit - I dropped one circuit of Dolev off the route today. The run was tired, but I kept the same pace as last time, more or less. I looked less at my watch, maybe because I was running a shorter run.

Nothing exciting happened, but I am getting tired of smelling the horrible sewage smell at the end of Nahal Kishon, so I think I am going to change my route. I have to think of alternatives.

Lesson #2: Whatever you do, you are training your body. Waking up early, waking up late, running, walking, sitting, using muscles, letting them atrophy, whatever. It is, clearly, very easy to train your body. After 2 weeks of waking up at 4:45am it is already natural for me. Think of what you want your body to do for you, and then force it a few times. Your body will very quickly "get used to it".

Thursday, August 14, 2008

running - session #5

There is not really much to write about today. I had a good, strong run.

I changed my approach a bit today. Instead of running for however long I could and then walking until I caught my breath, I basically limited myself to 2 minute runs. Then my walks were about .5 minutes each. So my pace was something like 4:1 in favor of running over walking.

That was a pretty good pace, and it helped me with the complete run. Meaning, I did not tire out at the end and walk the last 10 minutes. I was able to keep the pace and run most of the way, all the way to the end.

I think I have to design a new route for the next run though. I wish I knew how to calculate the distance I am running!

See you on the road!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

outrunning yourself - session #4

I don't know if going out to run 2 days in a row at my beginners level is smart or not, but that is what I did this morning. At least I did not go out with the running club last night! I was tempted, but I think next week might be my first group run.

So I went out this morning on the Dolev route again. I did pretty good on my pace. I was running more than walking - probably to the pace of 3.5:1.5 (in favor of running). I was feeling good.

Then I hit about the halfway mark of Nahal Kishon. I was on pace to finish the route maybe 10 minutes earlier than previously, but my legs died. I could not run anymore. I had to fast-walk the rest of the way. I had a couple of short runing bursts, but I pretty much walked the rest of the way.

I think I overran earlier and I had used it all up.

I guess I should start a list of lessons learned - Lesson #1: Don't outpace yourself. You will pay for it later. Take it easy and go the distance.

Seems like an important lesson.

Nobody else was out running on the road this morning. I saw some kids finishing an exciting night of hanging out and getting drunk, and I saw a Hassidic father with his son lugging some small luggage, like they were going on a day trip. The father kind of eyed me suspiciously as we passed each other. Maybe because I was dressed like a runner but walking like a girl.

Also, running around the nieghborhood in the dark and in the silence of pre-dawn allows one to hear the sounds of the nieghborhood thathe normally misses. The gemara says the sun makes so much noise during the day that one cannot hear other things, but by night those sounds can be heard.

I don't know if it is the sun itself making the noise, or just all the noise that is made by the sun rising - the cars on the road, the construction workers, the stores, the people, the radios blaring, etc. Either way, before the sun comes up you hear all sorts of noises you just don't hear by day. Such as; the cackling of the high power lines, the scurrying of some sort of animal in the bushes, the chirping, and the silence of your own thoughts.

Monday, August 11, 2008

knowing when to stop - session #3

This would be called Knowing when not to run, but I was not that smart.

After 2 days of being sick and fasting (fasted Tisha B'av and practically the whole Shabbos), I decided to still go running. I figured that I would wake up and see if I was feeling too weak to go, otherwise I would hit the pavement.

So off I go, a few minutes earlier than the past few times. Of course I got up thinking I should not be going. I brushed off those thoughts saying they were from the yetzer ha'ra (right, as if I am so in tune) and went running.

Turns out I started to feel weak as I was running around Dolev, so at least I had the brains to cut it short. I finished the one circuit around Dolev and called it quits. At last the running I did was more or less in tune to the pace I had planned - about 2.5:1.5.

One more thing - this big mop of hair really itches when I get sweaty. Thankfully, after mid-day today I will be able to buzz it all off!

One more positive note - because I made it home earl, with plenty of time before shul, I was able to catch the end of the Cubs game (they beat the Cardinals! Go CUBS Go!)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

would've but couldn't

Today would have been a running day, but there were two problems:
  1. It is Tisha B'Av and therefore inappropriate, but also cannot drink afterwards.
  2. I ended up sick with a stomach bug. I spent Tisha B'Av with my head in a toilet bowl.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Endurance training session #2

I just returned from my second training session. After my last fiasco of route selection, I thought this one out in advance.

I chose to run on Nahal Dolev. Nahal Dolev is a power-walker/runners paradise because it is mostly flat. It is at the top of the neighborhood, and therefore one can get a good flat walk/run. Just go out on Dolev any day between 5am and 7am and you will see a slew of people exercising.

So I went up to Dolev and turned right, as the gemara says that Jews turn right [at least when there is no preference to other directions]. I ran around Dolev 1 and 2/3 circuits.

I was inspired by seeing other runners and walkers. Last time the route I chose left me all alone on the roads, so it was nice to see other people out there. I even saw a chassidishe couple out power-walking together in full chassidic garb.

When I hit the corner of Dolev-Dolev on my second circuit, I turned down and ran down Nehar HaYarden to Nahal Kishon. Then I took Kishon back across to Ayalon and to my house.

Kishon is surprisingly on a slight incline (from the direction of Hayarden). When driving in a car, that is less noticed. I thought it was pretty flat, until I ran it today. Now it seems lik eit was a slight incline.

Anyways, this route is immensely better, at least for a beginner like me. It allowed me to improve my walk:run ratio. What started out as 2.5:1.5 (walk:run minutes), I was able to do this time about 1.5:2.5, maybe even slightly better. The problem is when running it is more difficult to track the time. When walking it is easier. because I was running more this time, it was more difficult to track my time precisely.

Even though this improvement was accomplished because the chosen terrain was flatter this time, that is ok by me. I am doing a time-based endurance buildup. I need to first build up my ability to run and only later worry about adding uphills and difficult terrains.

So my second session is done and I still have not collapsed or had my heart jump right out of my chest (which I still thought might happen by the end).

See you on the roads!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

next few sessions

I know that the next two or three running sessions will be tough. Probably the toughest.

If I can make it through the next few sessions I might be in the clear..

I made it back alive!

Why I am doing this, How I decided to do this, How the training program was developed?

these questions will all be answered soon.

For now, this is what I did for my first training run.

I need to get into shape to start training for the marathon. That means start running now.

My run consisted of 44 minutes, broken down into 11 segments of 4 minutes. Each segment was to consist of 2.5 minutes of fast walking and 1.5 minutes of running. As time goes on and my body gets into shape, I will decrease the time spent walkign and increase the time spent running.

This is the plan as put together by my buddy Chaim Wizman from the BS Running Club.

I finally got myself off my tuches and did it! So I went out at just after 5am today. I started off keeping to the 4 minutes segments.
At about 20 minutes or so, I made my first mistake. I went to Nahal Tze'elim.

The top of Tze'elim is downhill, so I suspected it was a bad idea, but it levels out pretty soon after. So I figured there would be one bad part (coming back) but most of it would be ok. I did not realize that even the leveled out part is really downhill, but on a slight incline. Even that slight incline makes the run difficult.

Going downhill was great. The problem was coming back. I nearly died on the way back. My heart nearly burst out through my chest.

I stopped the running part and finished the uphill with just walking (kind of fast).

I still had some time on the meter, so I continued the run-walk, with mostly walking, as I was pooped by then. My legs had officially turned to jelly by now. I did continue to run, but not for 1.5 minutes at a time.

But I made it back at just under 44 minutes and I lived to tell the story.

First run

Whew! I just came back from my first run in my marathon training program.

I thought I was going to die.

More later.