Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wicked Wednesday

Kids, you've got to love em but don't you just hate when they bring their little microbiological friends home like a lost puppy?  "Mommy, can I keep him?  I'll take care of him, I promise.   Pretty Please??" 

Our household is full of sickly people.  Springtime hurry up and get here!  Yesterday's skipped run came close to a skipped day of work, but I made it, a bit late but I'll blame that on the snow we got last night

Yesterday, I was talking with a coworker (He's run 5 Marine Corps Marathons!) about my marathon training and the run/walk method.  He made an interesting remark that got me thinking.  You know the "Zone" when you completely forget that you're running and your mind is off in La-La Land?  I don't think I've ever experienced it during a run/walk.  I'm constantly thinking about my next transition and how much time is left.  Yeah, it's great for injury prevention, and yeah it occupies my mind making the time go by faster "only 30 more seconds and I get to walk"  but it does make for less of a transcendental experience. 

I recall from my previous running life those times when the run was just perfect.  Like I was floating along instead of pounding pavement.  No intervals, no counting down to the next transition.  I was just out there.  Doing it.  I miss that.

Over the last few weeks I've been thinking about my goals for 2011 and what I want out of running.  I've also been thinking about my run/walks, their benefits, and the drawbacks.  I've come to the conclusion I'd like to start bringing back straight running into my life.  That doesn't mean I'm done with the run/walk method, far from it.  It's a great method and has helped a tremendous amount of people get into running that otherwise wouldn't, and most of all it helps keep people injury free. I would just like to reintegrate full running as part of my overall running plans. 

After my marathon in March, I'm going to pull back on my distances and start working on speed.  Along with this, I'm going to work on extending run times out to a gradual goal of running my 5K races straight.  Anything above 5K will be a run/walk. 

I'm hoping this will provide me with the best of both worlds.  We'll see.

When was the last time you were in "the zone"?


Nej said...

I started using an interval timer....so when it beeps I either stop or start running. I don't look at it to see how much time I've got. When doing a long run this way, I find myself in the "zone" quite a bit.

I struggled, when I first started running, with the stigma attached to run/walks. "If you're a runner, you don't walk" is all I could think about.

It all depends on the person. Everyone is different.

James said...

My watch has intervals and I usually just listen for the beep to change. But it still keeps my mind on the transitions instead of wandering into outerspace. This winter has been harder because I can't always hear the beep with all the winter gear. I just got a interval timer that vibrates so I'm going to give it a try. I struggled with the stigma too, but either way, you're still covering the same distance.

Nej said...

And, if you can cover that distance without injury....I'd say intervals is a win!!

I couldn't hear the beep this winter so bought one that vibrates as well. :-)

I've always used the "run until you need to walk" plan....but decided to start using official intervals...the jury is still out on whether I like it or not. :-)

James said...

Yes injury prevention is the key. I'm definitely sticking with intervals for long runs. I just think it's not necessary to 100% always do run/walks, and want to have my relaxing steady mentally escaping runs back as well.

Jamoosh said...

I keep telling myself, "After this next marathon, I definitely working on a fast half or faster 10K." But never do. Hope you succeed where I have failed!

James said...

I'm going to give it the ole "college try". I'd like to get back to sub 30:00 5Ks. I think it's doable as long as I don't loose focus.

Annie said...

Nice Dali pic. I see the benefits of both. Maybe you could do your shorter run days (4-5 miles and less) as straight runs and the longer days as run/walk, so you can experience some of that now and not have to wait until the marathon?