Monday, June 06, 2005

I've been doing it all wrong

I had something of a breakthrough during my run yesterday.

It's been two months - almost to the day - since I decided to run the marathon, and I've been pretty hard-assed about sticking to my training schedule. The runs get done. Increasingly, though, they seem to have been getting harder, and I was finding it more and more painful to get through each workout. It's not that I get out of breath - that's not a problem - it's more that my legs get heavier and heavier, until I'm humping across concrete. It hurts.

Yesterday I realized I was just trying to go to fast. I am about halfway through my initial 16-week program, with the goal of building up stamina and running about 30 miles a week. I've decided that the next 8 weeks are all about stamina, and speed is not even going to come into it. The following 16 weeks - the countdown to Vegas - well, let's see how things go then.

It was amazing. Once I'd made that decision, I slowed down to a 10.5 / 11.5 mile and really, really enjoyed my 7-mile run. Usually I go round the lake, but yesterday I ran to Fremont, and then continued on the Burke-Gilman trail along the canal. How have I lived in Seattle six years and not been here?

When I lived in London, I regularly cycled to work along the Regent's Canal, from Caledonian Road or Bethnal Green to Ladbroke Grove. I'd forgotten how much I love canal scenery. In London, the towpath took me through the zoo. Here there are no gazelles, but there are crows and seagulls battling it out on the water.

Canals were purely functional. They weren't designed to be beautiful. They just ended up that way.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

It took me awhile, too, to learn that the long runs aren't supposed to be fast! It was difficult to accept that...I felt like I wasn't pushing myself hard enough. But, you're right: they are about *stamina*! Glad you enjoyed the run...sounds like a neat spot!

And a belated congrats on the race!!

skipsaw said...

In one of your earlier posts (the one about placing an ad for Vegas partners), you mentioned having a specific finishing time / pace goal for the marathon and I wondered why. These things are hard enough to begin with. I think that the goal for a first marathon should be to finish. That's it.

Riona said...

Totally true! I've always known that I'm horribly competitive, but I think I'm only just realizing how bad it is to be competitive at something you're particularly good at!

So now it's about hanging back and having fun ...

It's great to hear from you!

jeff said...

the bg trail is awesome. head out to marrymoore and try running it from that end sometime. it gets really pretty through redmond and north of there (can't think of the city name where it gets really tree-y) or get someone to act as a shuttle when you get on your longest runs and run from seattle all the way to marrymoore!

Riona said...

Jeff, you're totally right. But before the end of the summer I want to run it out to Woodinville, where I plan to meet up with friends at the Red Hook brewery, drink beer, and get driven home in the style I may by then deserve.

jeff said...

woodinville! that's the city i was trying to remember. i have to agree about the canals in england, too. whenever i stay in congelton, i run the tow path. can't run the streets, since the drivers try to run you off the road.

Brit said...

I totally forgot you were doing the vegas marathon. We just got back from Vegas..and we loved it and are talking about going again, this would be a great excuse! I googled vegas half marathon and it says there is one but I can't find confirmation on any of that...do you have any?