Wild About Wednesdays!


Wednesdays.  Oh how I love Wednesdays. 

 

(OK that sounds like a…well…dumb way to open a blog entry.  I know this.  You know this.  But work with me – it gets better.)

 

Why do I love Wednesdays?  Well I’m glad you asked. Let me explain.

 

I’m the kind of person that is – for like of a more eloquent term – not-very-bright.  When God was passing out brains I thought He said “trains”, and asked for a really long one.  My rather meek level of intelligence is very clearly illustrated in the way I run.  Whether the training schedule calls for a five mile tempo run, hill work, or the weekly long run…I run every day at the same exact pace. 

 

Seriously.  The same exact pace.  And that is SLOW.

 

I began getting impatient with myself and my lack of progress.  The way I was looking at it, I felt like my inner Kenyan would be released at any moment.  However, he never has shown his really, really fast face.  This has been the case – I’m not kidding – for YEARS.

 

Nope.  That’s not a typo.  I said YEARS.

 

So just recently I actually stopped expecting this transition to a fast runner to simply happen, and I began researching HOW to MAKE it happen.  So I cracked open a book – an actual book with pages, words, and wisdom contained within – and began to research how a runner actually gets quicker over time.  What I learned made me knock my head against the wall repeatedly until Baci (that’s my awesome puppy) (and the name is Italian for Kisses) (they tell me she’s a poodle / shitz-tsu mix…but I say that’s bullshit because her attitude and feistiness screams paisan at me) (I am digressing – see: not the brightest bulb on Broadway) began to growl her very clear disapproval at my rather juvenile behavior.

 

According to what I’ve read, advanced / elite runner run 70-80% of the time at a pace that is 60-90 seconds per mile slower than their race pace.  That other 20-30% of the time, they do speed work that really makes them push themselves to the limit.

 

WOW.  I am doing this all wrong.

 

Whenever I go to practice with Team For Kids, I always feel the pressure of trying to show my coaches and team mates that I can clip off 5-6-7-8 miles at a 9 minute pace.  When I’m done, I feel great…for about an hour and a half.  The next day, I feel like my legs have no juice in them.  So I begin running slower, I watch others fly by me, I get self-conscious and off I go like a bat out of hell.  And so the cycle continued, with me always running as hard as  could.

 

According to what I read – that was a mistake.  I need to shut out the nonsense and the pseudo peer pressure and just stick to a smart game plan.  Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: I’m running 60-90 seconds slower than what I want my race pace to be.  That should result in my legs being able to recover quicker.  Saturdays are my usual weekly long runs – so I’ll run close to my race pace (10 minutes per mile – I want a 4 hour 20 minute finish in NYC in November) and get myself used to the right rhythm.  And Wednesdays – oh baby Wednesdays – THAT is my speed work day.  That is when I can run like a lunatic and push myself hard. 

 

And that’s why I LOVE WEDNESDAYS.

 

Steve Prefontaine – a famous runner from the 1970’s which all runners simply refer to as “Pre” – once said that “My only pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die.”  I think I took Pre’s words a bit too seriously.  I need to run SMARTER – not harder.

 

Oh yeah – P.S.: I tried out my new Salomon hydration pack this morning along the bridal path for about 5 miles.  I’ve got to share my thoughts on this one.  So check back in a bit for a quick review!

 

Until next time!  Great long-term habits begin with a simple decision at the outset: the decision to get out there and get in motion.  I don’t care if it’s down the block for a walk or a 10k run in the woods.  Motion creates emotion.  You don’t get today back – so back it count.

_______________________________________________________

 

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

 

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409

 

Oh Yeah – I Feel Like Elvis


So I come home from work Tuesday evening…and there it was.  Sitting at my front down.  A small cardboard box.  Oh yeah – my new toy had arrived, right on time.  I had been looking forward to this all…day…long.  CHRISTMAS.

I ordered the Salomon Advanced Skin 5 S-Lab Pack for my Sunday run around Manhattan.  It looked so darn cool in the pictures, I was betting that I’d feel like a rock star in this thing.  I pulled the box apart.  Quickly.  Grabbed the contents and began to examine it.

It….looked….cool.  Small – but cool.  This pack comes in 2 sizes: extra small / small and medium / large.  OK, so I’m usually an XL.  I was worried about this thing arriving and looking like it would only fit one of the Lollipop Kids.  I threw on a technical shirt and put the pack on over it.  It felt snug.  Not tight – just snug.  There were no buckles or latches in areas where serious chaffing could result during a long distance run.  There were several zipper pockets in easy to reach areas, which were big enough to store GU packets.  There were two sleeves on the shoulder straps which could hold 16 ounce water bottles (or an Iphone and/or other small crap I want to lug with me), and the reservoir held 50 ounces of water (or Captain Morgan – depends on my mood).  The design maximizes the available space.  The material is incredibly soft yet it appears durable.  The water reservoir is housed in a very light material which is designed to keep the water cold for a longer period of time.  And there were two small elastic straps that go across the chest to minimize the bouncing motion of the pack while I run.

All that….and it looked cool.  Just really…really cool.

This morning I couldn’t wait to find out how the pack felt while I ran in the park.  So I threw it on and went out for a light five miler.  It didn’t feel like the fabric would irritate my neck as I ran.  The pack was designed to fit snug on the runner’s body so that the water and contents did not bounce around.  After five miles in this thing – I can confirm that Salomon hit a home run with this thing.  It was EXTREMELY comfortable.  The shoulder straps did not screw with the way I swing my arms as I run.  By the time I finished my workout, I felt like buying this product was money well spent.

This damn thing made me feel like Elvis.  I was rockin’ and rollin’ along the bridal path.  One note, however: I only ran 5 miles in it.  I need to put in 26.2 on Sunday, and I cannot be distracted by chaffing under my arms or along my neck from this thing.  So I am worried about trusting this product without first truly training in it.  I am 90% sure I’ll use it Sunday.  90%…not 100%.

I’m sharing this for one simple reason: I highly recommend only going on long distance runs in clothing and equipment that you’ve trained in.  One of my mottos that I really believe in: train it and THEN trust it.

Until next time!  Great long-term habits begin with a simple decision at the outset: the decision to get out there and get in motion.  I don’t care if it’s down the block for a walk or a 10k run in the woods.  Motion creates emotion.  You don’t get today back – so make it count.

_______________________________________________________

If you’d like some information on The Dream Team Project or would like to make a donation to their amazing cause, please stop by the website:  www.wdwradio.com/the-dream-team-project  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I really believe in what The Dream Team Project stands for.  It raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation, helping to grant the wishes of children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.  Being s former wish-granter for the NYC Chapter of the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I can tell you first-hand just how much of an impact this organization makes in the lives of children.  Please consider donating to this worthy cause.  Thanks!

…and if you’d like a bit more information on the WDW Radio Running Team, please check out the Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/WDW-Radio-Running-Team/163606410344409