Monday, November 30, 2009

To win without risk is to triumph without glory.

Bite off more than you can chew;
Then chew it.
Plan more than you can do,
Then do it.
~ Anonymous

The Challenge - Run at least 1 mile for 30 days consecutively
Doesn't sound so hard, right? Why did I decided to partake? I wanted a goal that challenged my mental and physical state but that took away any competitive aspect.

"Some of the greatest feats are accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible." ~ Doug Larson
This guy had me in mind. Stupid is as stupid does.

I plan to run my age on my birthday. I didn't really think about combining the two challenges when I agreed to them. Not thinking before doing I up'd the ante and added in "train for your first ultra within 6 weeks" to the bet. What was the up for stake? Pride and accomplishment.

Week 1 - Nov 1st-Nov 7th - Weekly Run avg 27.2 miles/ Max weekly run 7.45 miles/Miles to date 27.2 miles
Day 1 - Started of with the swine flu. I could only run 1.5 miles without keeling over. Frankly I thought I was going to die. As the days went by I could add a mile here and a mile there. I'd spit my lungs up on the city streets, only to pick them up and run forward. 30 second rule on dropping food applied to vital organs, no?

Week 2 - Nov 8th - Nov 14th - Weekly Run avg 50.4 miles/ Max weekly run 17.25 miles/Miles to date 77.6 miles
Week 2 was better on my cardiovascular system. Instead of dropping my lungs on the dirty streets I could hold out until I hit home. I'd having coughing fits that would last 10-20 minutes post runs. I'd spit up everything I had in me in the kitchen sink. At the end of week two I strained my back on one of those coughing fits = backache for 5-6 days. This week brought muscular challenge. I had never ran more than 4 days a week before. My weekly mileage never exceed 40. My energy level was another area affected. I had tried to keep up with power building swim and bikes. Please hold while I go laugh at myself.
This was a pathetic attempt. My watts on the bike suffered. When I could hit goal watts it would strain my legs on my daily run. Trying to do speed sets in the pool also sucked major tail. Hitting failure on the swim and bike sucked. BUT it was better swim and bike than run. Swim and bike were NOT my focus. I quickly learned I had to back off.

Week 3 - Nov 15th - Nov 21st - Weekly Run avg 47.8 miles/ Max weekly run 18.25 miles/Miles to date 125.4 miles
My health finally hit 100%. I could run effortlessly. In fact, it was the 3rd week in from a cardiovascular stand point that running felt easy. This could be due from numerous reasons
1. I had no muscular power to push myself to go fast
2. Maybe I was adapting and becoming more efficient?

My legs were tired daily. I grew to HATE our staircase but fell in love with the railing. Most mornings I'd wake up and stumble my way down the stairs. My legs were stiff. Getting up was no cake walk either. I'd pull on the railing, just hoping it would support my carb loading buddha belly.
I relied on Pilates daily to lubricate my joints and keep my muscles flexible. Massage would come in the form of a foam roller, a stick, a wooden roller and when the big dogs were need the mother of all - The MARBLE rolling pin. I wrapped my calves in ice on the daily. Any run over 3 hrs or 15 miles would result in a mind numbing ice bath.

Week 4 - Nov 22nd - Nov 28th - Weekly Run avg 55.97 miles/ Max weekly run 23.5 miles/Miles to date 181.37 miles
Alas, the rain was clearing (not literally as it was this week that I was pissed upon for 4 hrs straight!) and the rainbow came out through the glorious sun.....yes, I maybe delusional at this point. Running was no longer that difficult. My legs grew accustom to the fatigue, as did the rest of my mind, body and soul. It was no longer can I. Now it was just "DO IT" and that's all it took.

Week 5 - Nov 29- Nov 30th - Weekly Run avg 20 miles (2 days)/ Max weekly run 11.5 miles/Miles to date 201.37 miles
Mission accomplished - The END.
30 days of consecutive running....with LSD runs 1-2 days a week to build up the long endurance for my up and coming 30.2 miler.

At the end I'll leave you with what I took from this little adventure.
*I can go loooooong, alone
*I can rely on myself and only myself
*I can run for 4 hours in solid ran
*I will NOT quit, not now, not ever
*I have an amazing supportive room mate who helped me with endless ICE and friendship
*I freaking LOVE my Newtons
*When it was hard to move forward a had a friend from afar *run with me* fueling my desire to run.
*Running is a therapeutic solution to life
*Pain does a body good....along with a smile

*Longest 7 consecutive day run mileage - 69.5 miles
*Longest consecutive days running - 30

"Without passion, you don’t have energy; without energy, you have nothing. Nothing great in the world has been accomplished without passion" ~ Donald Trump

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