Today I finished my first day of TCI based training, so I'll use that to spark my first blog post on the site.
This evening I ran 8 minutes wearing a pair of Xero Shoes huarache sandals (my first "almost barefoot" running). A few hours afterwards I completed my first foot/leg/glute strength training circuit using a homemade slant board and poles. (I also built a wobble disc for use later.)
Although I ran track and cross country in high school 18 years ago, my running never resembled anything that could be described as fast. (5K PR was 22 minute something, never ran a sub-6 minute mile, and my sprinting speed was also decidedly unimpressive.) My running career recently restarted just before last Halloween when I signed up for a half-marathon at the end of January.
The basis of my plan for completing my "couch to half-marathon" in 12 weeks was using Jeff Galloway's Run-Walk-Run program, targeting a ratio of 30 seconds of running and 30 seconds of walking. Despite starting out well, bouts of tendonitis in my knee ultimately limited my mileage. I was only able to cover a total of 38 miles over 10 hours of run/walking prior to the big day,. The longest run/walk was 8 miles, but it was 7 weeks before race day.
Going into the race feeling a bit unprepared, I would have been happy to beat the marathon's minimum pace of 3.5 hours. (The marathon had a 7 hour limit; the half-marathon ran at the same time did not have a minimum pace outside of the 7 hour limit.) My ideal goal was to finish under 3 hours.
The race started out smoothly; I was obediently following the beeps of my run/walk timer (trying to ignore the beeps of all the other run/walk timers surrounding me). By mile 8 my legs were really feeling the fatigue from the lack of prep, but I was motivated by still being well ahead of a sub-3 hour pace. At mile 11 my legs were spent, and I was just willing my legs to move one after the other. A look at my HR monitor data afterwards would show a 180+ HR for the last 5 miles of the race, with a surge to 198 at the finish line. (So much for the 220 - age formula for max HR...)
In the end I was able to finish in 2 hours, 55 minutes; a nice 5 minutes ahead of my goal! Looking forward, I would like to dramatically decrease my half-marathon time, getting under 2 hours. I would also like to be able to finish a full marathon before the end of the year. My employer is sponsoring a 15K at the beginning of April, so I'll be running in that race too.
What's my cool impossible? A few come to mind: beating my high school 5K PR, completing the Disney Dopey Challenge (5K, 10K, half, and full marathon on 4 successive days), and ultimately getting in shape to run whatever I would like to run on any given day. I look forward to sharing that journey with you!