Thursday, February 7, 2008

Shuffling along

I had my first decent run this morning since I got back to it last week. It was one of those days when I really, really, really didn’t feel like doing it at all, but the body parts worked together smoothly enough to make it, if not delightful, at least encouraging. This going well when you feel like not going at all happens so often, to me and to others, that there must be something physiological to it.

My base-line run for years was 4 miles. Anything less didn’t count. When I came back from injuries or simple layoffs, I’d get back to 4 miles as quickly as possible, usually immediately, then work toward 6, which I long considered the shortest run that did me any real good. Once I got there, I’d begin a standard runner’s program, building base mileage up, with hills (runners’ Miracle-Gro), long days, quick days, and easy days mixed in.

This is NOT what I’m doing to get ready for the TGO Challenge. Instead, I’m walking every morning, running afterward three days a week, now at about 3 miles, looking forward to no more than 4. And these “runs” are, in fact, the slo-mo shuffles I’ve described before—nowhere near Arthur Lydiard’s “steady state,” the aerobic-anaerobic threshold where I used to try to live. I’m also doing simple strength and flexibility exercises three days a week, primarily to make sure my back and other creaky parts don’t betray me inconveniently. In April, I’ll start wearing my pack on our morning walks, and will probably extend some of those strolls to 6-8 miles.

I have some real concerns about the Challenge, primarily navigating over open terrain in bad weather, something I’ve seldom had to do. I want to remove fitness from my worries and make sure that if I do manage to point my body in the right direction, it can get me to the next waymark.

2 comments:

Alan Sloman said...

Ease up there Mark

I'll think you'll find that the other 299 Challengers won't be quite so worried about their fitness - so this will stand you in good stead. It's a mental thing: Get over the huge problem of waking up to realise that you have thirteen more days that are likely to be far worse than yesterday and you will be ok!

:-)

Mark said...

Thanks, Alan, for the reminder and "encouragement." I did sound a little serious there, but I was inspired by your own recent posts and wanted to be sure I could keep up. :-)