Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Heat, the Hills, the Hurdles

My Akron Marathon training plan has been thrown out the window for now. After missing successive long runs the last two weeks, something needed to change. And that something is conventional wisdom.

Although it seems counter-intuitive to scrap a rubric that led to my greatest success as a marathoner last year, my mind and body just aren't adjusting well to the same old, same old schedule of shorter runs during the week with a medium and long runs on the weekend.

Instead, I've arrived at a new kind of plan to build up my mileage with more frequent longish runs, as I build back the strength in my legs that was lost during the long, cold winter. The idea is to run a longish trail run every four days, with short and medium runs between.

Last night, I ran eight miles on the Buckeye Trail, and my intention is to run another eight miles there (or elsewhere) on Friday. But before that, tomorrow morning, I plan to run a short barefoot distance to shake out the legs.

My hope is that by the time I can run the entire eight miles on this trail that I'll have the fitness to pack on the miles. I haven't had much success with consistency so far this year, so we'll see how long this plan lasts.

No Breath 
I really like to learn lessons when I run. Last night, I learned two. One, I need to get acclimated to the heat -- it came early this year, as the temperature is 15 degrees above average for this time of year, I'm told. Two, I need to remember how to breathe. My oxygen depletion has been very noticeable for any run beyond three miles. I feel like a 400-lb man stuck in a 170-lb body.

That Barefoot Guy? 
Last night, while standing barefoot outside with Dobson, our Old English Sheepdog, who just got his annual sheering, one of my neighbors walked by. He looked over at us, kept walking, paused, turned and said, "Is that the furry dog?"

Dobson, enjoying the heat with a cooler, new hairdo. 
I had never met this neighbor before, but I had seen him around and knew that he was a runner. He was shocked at how different Dobson looks shaved down.

"It took me a minute to recognize you, too, without the beard," he said. "But then I saw the bare feet and was like, 'Oh, yeah, the barefoot runner guy.'"

Really? Me? That's the first time I've ever been labeled as a barefoot runner. It felt a little awkward. Does this mean I have to call myself "Barefoot Viper" now? That's stupid. Vipers don't have feet.


Jamoosh said...

And Vipers don't drink beer, but...

Nitmos said...

I think the key is in the medium distance run. Build those "middle" miles and the long run will feel so much easier!

B.o.B. said...

I like what Nitmos said and may need to do that more myself. I've been in a 5 mile during the week rut. Let me know how that goes for you as it interests me and well, you can be the guinea pig, er, barefoot Viper. ;)

Vava said...

Good to be known as the "barefoot runner guy". Better than the "bare ass runner guy" I suppose...

Good luck with the program. Sounds like a good one.

Xenia said...

Dobson looks naked. Still adorable though.

BarefootJosh said...

Another vote in favor of the mid-distances.

Only take on the "barefoot" moniker if you plan on acting like a smug barefoot know-it-all.

Ironman By Thirty said...

He was just being polite. He really meant, "That hippie runner"

Poor Dobson. He looks ashamed to be stuck outside naked.

misszippy said...

Ah, Dobson looks so summertime fresh!

I like the training program!