Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Really Stepping In It

This has not been my month.

I've lost track of my training program, injured myself, overstressed feet constantly, and been run ragged by the army.

This morning I was made into an example.

I had my rank taken, my job removed, and my position as a future army officer questioned.

Overreaction? Yes.

I now have to plead my case in front the of the ROTC cadre in a few days time to decide if I get to stay in the program.

If I am kicked out of ROTC, I have to report for enlistment in no less than a month. Instead of becoming a leader I become a follower, a private, an E-1.

Needless to say, I am pissed.

And worse, I'm down.

I haven't been training properly, which would help alleviate the stress. I've run some pretty nice fivers and an easy six, but no long distances.

This isn't good for my goal in the marathon, but real life has decided to take a dirty ol' dump on me and it looks like it had milk the night before.

I didn't mean for this blog to become something of a livejournal, but sometimes you need to get this stuff off your chest.

Anyway, stay sharp out there.

Run fasterest.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Pee Cubed

Poor Planning=Piss Poor Performance

Today was supposed to be my long run, long overdue since my injury.

I didn't plan out my route the night before, mainly because I spent my time writing up timelines and packing lists for field exercises for ROTC, but also because I don't manage time very effectively.

So this morning comes, I get dressed in my IPFU (the Army physical fitness uniform) and head out to the Esplanade to train the company.

We do an easy four mile run, which warms my legs and makes me feel all sorts of speedy.

Then, after all that, I decide there is only one way to get in a proper 16 mile run without blowing my pace.

I will go to the Fitness Recreation Center and jog on a treadmill.

Another mile later, I'm at the FitRec stretching out. I notice my stomach is a little rumbly, but I figure it's just eagerness.

I forget that I ate a half-a-pizza last night.

About two miles in, running at an 8:40 pace (6 seconds faster than my marathon pace) I run into a hurdle: IBS.

I don't suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrom (which is the most aptly named malady ever), but rather my own special brand of intestinal discomfort I like to call Inopportune Big Shits.

I rush to the bathroom and drop off my excess baggage, swearing at myself for missing the key step in a long run: the pre-run download.

At this time, I'd like to ask a question: When you spend twenty million dollars on a sports facility, why do you spend forty cents a roll on tissue paper for the toilets?

After running six cumulative miles, one can only assume my "regions" will be moist, and any fool can understand the problems this creates when tissue-thin TP is applied to the mix.

Anyway, I get back on the treadmill, but my legs are now cramping something awful and my stomach is giving me warning shots. I figure I've blown the long run, so I can at least get my cross-training in.

I hit the weights, working arms and back, chest and biceps. After a half hour, I bike until sweat drips down my collar and forms a fine half-moon. Basically a fifteen minute burnout.

Then I jog the 3/4 miles home and shower. And stretch.

Oh did I stretch.

I think I invented a new one called the "Oh wow, that hurts more than I intended."

I'm going to use Google Earth to map out my route on the Esplanade, and tomorrow I will go out and run a decent milage. There are no excuses anymore.

As always, Run fasterest.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Need for Speed

My training schedule has been thrown off a bit, due mainly to my ROTC obligations.

This doesn't mean I haven't been training.

On Friday, for a bit of sport I led the Alpha ability group in a four mile run.

In the Army, we divide soldiers into groups based on ability for physical training. The fastest group, Alpha, usually runs a two mile course in 13 minutes or less.

Most of my guys ran the two mile in 12 or less.

For those of you who missed my last post, I only ran in 13:49.

Needless to say, these guys were booking it.

We maintained a pace of 6:50 for all four miles, which for me meant a solid run at 80% speed for nearly a half hour. When we finished, I felt great, despite the pain in my chest and legs.

My ankle still works, which is even better.

Tomorrow I will strap water to my back and tape to my nips and run 16 miles at a pace of 9 minutes per mile. This will get me back into the workout proper, though I have some catching up to do.

Until then...

Run fasterest.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Fitness Time

The Army Physical Fitness test is a combination of three events employed to evaluate the general physical strength and endurance of a soldier.

The three events are:

The push-up event.

The sit-up event.

The two-mile run.

For the first two events, each soldier has two minutes to complete the workout and must maintain good form throughout.

The third event is excatly what it sounds like.

The maximum score you can reach is 300, with 100 in each event. For three years I have been trying to get there, but my run has always held me back.

This year will be different.

I say "will" because today's PT test did not go so differently. That isn't to say I didn't do well.

I scored 100% in the push-up event with a score of 79, 100% in the sit-up event with a score of 89, and my overall run time was 13:49, 88%.

A score of 288/300 ain't too shabby, considering I haven't been practicing for real speed with my workouts.

What this test taught me is a change I will employ in my own training.

My target pace for the speed workouts has been 3:33 per 800m, or about a 7:06 mile.

From now on, I shoot for a 6:20 mile or faster.

School calls, and I have sushi waiting for me to eat it.

Run fasterest.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Guess Who's Back

I woke up today and had a mission.

I was going to run.

It has been nearly a week and a half since an injury left me unable to run my key workouts. My ankle has since started to heal, and I have been itching to try it out.

Today was the day I scratched.

I didn't want to overdo anything, so this was an experimental lactica threshold run.

I ran a mile at an 8:55 pace, making sure my form was perfect. I sped up and ran two and a half miles at an 8:00 pace, pushing myself to maintain form. Finally, I jogged home (about another mile) and stretched out.

The verdict?

My ankle feels fine, the foot is working properly, and I am officially back in this thing.

I want to thank all of you for the words of support on my first (and b''h last) injury during training. I'm going to be taking an Army Physical Fitness Test on Monday, so I'll let ya'll know how I do. Part of the test is a two mile run (I'm aiming for 13:30).

As always, run fasterest.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Adding Hurdles to a Marathon

It would appear I have a stress fracture.

These are minor inconveniences compared to traumatic fractures, and can heal relatively quickly giving enough time and space. Sure, they hurt as though someone ran a hot iron through my foot, but I can still walk.

I will say that it takes an awful lot to bring me down. I have a stubborn will and often go past the point of physical safety when it comes to injuries.

This is something I won't play with.

About two years ago I had the same injury, and I tried to keep running. I nearly turned a semi-serious injury into a really serious one. Surgery was the option had I continued to pester the finicky appendage.

So I'm taking some time off from running, doing cross training and weight exercises instead. I've been moving into my new place for the past week (yes, it takes that long) so I haven't been able to post anything, but I will get back on the horse soon enough.

I am a little more apprehensive about the martahon now, as I am missing key workouts. I will still fly to Vegas in December--the tickets are already in the mail--and I will have no other way to get from the start to the finish.

I'll just have to run.

In the army, they say that you can plan for months and months and have it all go to hell in the span of two seconds, just enough time to say "Oh" and "crap." When that happens, you use your training, get flexible, and continue driving on.

The battle doesn't stop because your plan didn't work.

I'm still gonna run a marathon iinside of 15 weeks. The mission ain't over yet.

Run fasterest, ya'll, and thanks for the support.