There’s an expression in the area where I grew up: “Yuh done did good.” It’s a grammatical nightmare stated in the kind of accent that might make one think of corncob pipes, the odor of manure, and an abundance of plaid flannel, but it’s often said with such pride that it never fails to make me smile. I think I done did good in January, especially for having started a bit late.
Though I missed at least one day of training in three out of four weeks, the training is going pretty darn well, I think. I’ve suffered minor injuries (all due to overwork/stupidity/ignorance) but have recovered pretty well and continued to train reasonably quickly. I haven’t had any equipment problems so far (shoes, socks, hydration pack, ColdGear, etc are all holding up very well – as expected).
The run I finished this morning was a 4.5 miler on the treadmill. I tried something new – I put a towel over the information readout, reached under to the speed dial, cranked it up to a pace I thought would be comfortable for a 4.5 mile run, and just got to it. I learned that I’m a better runner without that readout in front of me. My conceptions of when I should be ready for a walk break and when I should be needing some water are pretty far off. It makes sense really… I developed those conceptions earlier in my running “career” so I guess it’s time for a few more reality checks until they are back in order. Anyway, after a while, my curiosity got the better of me. I told myself that after another five minutes, I could look and see how far I’d gotten. It turned out that I had gone 2.8 miles, and I was still going pretty strong. I covered the readout again and kept on trucking for a while. Again, my curiosity got the better of me and I told myself that as soon as the CNN clock read a certain time I could check my status again. Well, CNN took the darn clock down one minute before that time. I kept on running for quite a while thinking they’d put it back up. Finally, I figured I’d better check my progress to make sure I wasn’t overshooting – I had run 4.2 miles! I cranked up the dial and pushed hard the last .3 miles, which felt great (when I stopped). I wound up running the whole thing without stopping for a walk break or water and I felt fine.
All that’s great, but the key there is that at 4.2 miles, I still had juice left. Enough juice to crank it up for the last section. That’s a definite improvement over where I was when I ran the last half marathon… so… awesome…. I guess the training is working! We’ll see when the big day arrives – we’ll especially see if it’s enough to shave the full 20 minutes off my time.
Oh – in another post (Runners & Running) I mentioned how impressed I am that much more exceptional and experienced runners have the ability to drink out of paper cups while running. I’ve been trying to master this skill on the treadmill. Mark this one with a big fat FAIL so far. I keep trying, but so far no good. I’m starting to feel like those little kids flailing around trying to be like the martial artists they see in movies and TV – enamored of the skill involved, but lacking even the rudimentary coordination required to start to gain it, lol. Some of those little kids DO grow up and go on to be black belts, though, so I’ll keep trying, too.
But I digress… All told, I ran 48.2 miles in January. Not too shabby, says I. If I can keep it up, making my goal of 500 miles in 2008 should be cake. I’m not counting my chickens yet, though. Summer running is rough – overheating isn’t fun and I’m not anxious to get five miles out and pass out by the side of the trail. Particularly since I almost always run alone. Not to mention the fact that I’m very likely to be moving in the somewhat near future, which can play merry hell with one’s workout schedule.
In fashion news, I scored some new shorts to run in. Shorts are tough because my taste in shorts runs a bit shorter than I have any business wearing, and because of the chafing issue and my mild dislike of Body Glide. (Once again, nothing against Body Glide – the stuff is freaking amazing if you need it…I’d just rather not need it.) My new shorts are just plain old Champion C9 shorts from Target – found them on sale for $5 a pop, so I got two. They’re long enough, and there’s a bonus. They’re an eye-gouging shade of hot pink. That’s right, you look at my ass, and your eyes will explode. Especially if I’m wearing them with a green shirt. Yeah. 🙂