Thursday, June 25, 2009


I watched the funniest movie the other day. "Run, Fat Boy, Run." It's basically about a guy who runs a marathon to try to win back his girl. It has a great visual about "hitting the wall" and the will to finish. If you watch it, just don't be eating during the "blister" scene, but it is funny.

This week this "fat boy" is focusing on running. It's my weakest discipline of the triathlon so this week I'm working on pacing and pushing through the mental weakness I seem to suffer from. I started out on Monday running just 30 minutes but with each 10 minutes getting faster. Tuesday was a 40 minute run with each 10 minutes getting faster and Wednesday was, you guessed it, 50 minutes with each 10 minutes getting faster.

As the week went on I noticed that as I increased the time I found it easier to maintain the pace from the day before even with picking up the pace for the additional time. By Wednesday I was practically sprinting the last 10 minutes.

A couple of weeks ago I did a training session with Bree Wee: a 3 hour bike ride and a 40 minute run. We squeaked out 56 miles on the bike and probably 4 to 4.5 miles on the run. It was an easy training day for her. For me it was a learning experience. I learned that when your body gets used to having a certain number of calories fed into it, it doesn't respond so well if you don't supply the expected calories.

That day on the bike I only had the calories from my drinks -- about 200 for the entire ride -- when my body was used to about 500 or so. ( I typically gain weight on long rides, I guess I just like to eat out of boredom.) Anyhow, that day I only had my drinks, which was actually fine for the ride, but on the run I bonked big time. after about 15 minutes my heart rate jumped about 10 beats a minute and my breathing became labored. By 20 minutes into our run I was toast. I could barely breathe. And did Bree take pity on me and slow down? Yeah, right! No. She may have even picked up the pace some.

She chatted away about Ironman and how even on this day we were building memories that would help us get through the marathon on Ironman.

After that run I resolved that I was going to work on my run and train my body to keep going even when my nutrition falls through. So this week as an added bonus of running every day, I also have been running on zero calories. No calories from the time I wake up until I'm finish running. Only water and salt tabs.

With no calories I figured Monday's run wouldn't be a problem. From what I've read, our bodies store enough calories for about 30 minutes of exercise. I've also heard this will teach your body to start burning fat first.

Tuesday was fine as well. My body was adjusting to this zero calorie thing. Wednesday after 40 minutes I started feeling a bonk coming on. Zero calories plus the much faster pace and running for the third day in a row was getting to me but I was determined not to slow down for the last 10 minutes. My heart rate shot up, my legs felt like lead and my lungs burned but I managed to get back to the pool (where I started from) right on pace.

I beat the bonk!

Thursday I backed off to 40 minutes but still worked on pacing and managed to gain nearly a half-mile from Tuesday's 40 minute run. This pacing thing might be working after all. Having zero calories before running seems to help control my pacing maybe because I'm not getting that sugar-rush ups and downs.

For Friday I'm backing off again to 30 minutes with each 10 getting faster. Saturday will be my 6th day straight of running. I haven't done that since I was in school. Each day running seems to be getting easier as my body adjusts to the routine. My pace is picking up some, which I like.

Sunday is the Kona Marathon/Half Marathon and 5K run. My daughter, Rebecca, is doing the 5K in her wheelchair and Karen and I will be walking beside her so I'm not running in the race. So because of that, for my run on Saturday I'm going to run the half marathon course -- by myself-- just to say I did it.

I'm going to try to beat my Honu time so we'll see if these pacing workouts are helping. My goal is to beat my best half marathon time by 13 minutes. That's a minute a mile -- ONLY a minute a mile. THAT'S EASY!

1 comment:

debbie said...

You blow me away. Amazing dedication and disipline. You really seem to know how your body works. I bet you feel healthier now than you ever have. I am really glad you have such great friends. Thanks to Bree for not showing you any pity. Probably made you try harde. And if you can give me the names of your other 1800 close friend I would also like to give them a little shout out too.


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