Friday, December 18, 2009

Dec 15- Day 30 of 30 Runs for 30 days

And so ends (almost) another crazy experiment in how to ruin ones body!
I met Mike Cheliak this summer while playing 'Race Announcer' for a couple of the HSBC Tri weekends. Crazy, fun, big guys who ended up adopting Puppy Puppy from us.

About a month ago, Mike came up with this crazy idea of running 30 runs for 30 days. He tossed the idea up on Facebook and I saw it, his buddy Ted and his sister saw it. 4 people without the common sense to say "That's a dumb idea". Nov 15 we started. We all updated each other by adding onto the Facebook thread.

What a ride. I started out actually 2 days early and was shocked at how hard it was to run. Was I just out of shape? I hadn't done much at all since Ironman in late July. Was it the altitude? We're at a bit over 5000 feet above sea level. Just about exactly 1 mile up. Hummm - the mile high club with a different twist!

I did a bit of Google searching and found a few articles on running at altitude. If I have it right, it seems that at 5000' one can expect to loose about 10% of their ability. The blood thickens and it's much harder to get the oxygen that we need. I don't know if I'm glad I read that or not. I instantly felt better about myself and how hard it was to run, but then it quickly became an excuse for me too. The things I read said that one will feel like superman if they race at low altitude again shortly after returning. I can't wait for that one!

I worked my way up to 10k at a somewhat reasonable time last weekend. Actually, the 56 minute 10k was a great time for me! (I always remember my abilities much greater than they really are!)

I thought for the last 10 days I'd increase the distance by 1k, and not really think about speed at all. That lasted for a few days (as the chart on the right shows) but quickly I ran out of steam and ran the last couple of days at much shorter (recovery of sorts) distances.

I felt like running 21k shouldn't be that big a deal for me. I've raced a half dozen half marathons before and run, God knows how many 21k training runs in the past. For some reason I was nervous though.

I headed out this morning after a good breakfast, loaded with 2 litters of E-Load water, and the last 3 Gels that I could buy here. (Power Bar gels are crap aren't they? Who decided that 'Oh yea - this taste is great" Man oh man I can't stand that stuff. (Dear God - please open a Gu store within a days drive of here for me!)

I had a knot in my right calf from the get go. It lasted almost 5k into the run. I ran over to the town of Chapala along the highway. The highway is the only road that isn't 200 year old cobblestone, so it's easier to run on. It's about 7k to Chapala but, in town, there is a paving stone boardwalk along the waterfront that runs about 1.8k return. I did that 5 times and headed back. I watched my pace decrease slowly from about the 12 - 13k mark.

By the time I got back to Ajijic, our home town here and the start/finish line, I was bushed. The last 4 - 5k had turned from just going at whatever slow pace I could to, Holy Crap - I'm going to puke and pass out! I go to my start point to see I was still about 40 meters short. I'd added a couple of return laps along the way so that once I hit the start, I'd be done. Event hat idea didn't work out. I turned and ran back a bit more to put in the distance. Heaven forbid I'd be short by a few feet!

I walked back home, about .5k and had the only 2 packages of E-Mend that I'd brought with me. (Will someone tell Dr Doug that he needs to open a store here too please!)

The finish of this experiment for me is going to be taking a couple of days off, doing a couple of short runs and then something long a quick. Does running endlessly for a month build muscle, endurance and speed, or, did it just knock the crap out of me? I'll let you know.

Thanks to everyone who send good luck wishes along the way for me!
Oh yea - almost forgot to mention that I posted the totals from the month at the bottom of the table at the right.

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