Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wherein I get serious about cross-training

Just a running update: The good news, I ran the CHKD 8K Run-Walk for the kids on June 13. I was pretty happy with my time, 48:19, considering the weather was terribly hot and humid, even for the morning. I probably tried a little to hard to keep up with some friends at the beginning when I should've taken it easier all the way through the race.

Which leads to the bad news ... I started feeling some pain just below my knee in the days after the race. Knowing that we were a few days from a long weekend to DC that would mean many miles of walking each day, I stopped running. But lots of walking in DC, most of it with Theo in the backpack, probably helped get my legs stronger and definitely burned a lot of calories.

It seems pretty clear that any increases in my speed or mileage beyond where I'm at now will take quite a bit of time. Runner's World described the problem that fits my knee pain, and it sounds like my weight and lack of quad strength are likely culprits. I've decided that if I'm going to finish the Virginia Beach Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in a time I'm happy with, I have to do two things this summer -- lose a bunch of weight and improve my leg strength, especially my quads.

So my new program is going back to running only three days per week and not pushing the speed work for now, but hitting the bike hard at least three of the other four days. I'm also working on the Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Squats programs of Tidewater local Steve Speirs, in addition to doing sets of planks and other core strength every day or two.

Yesterday I strapped Theo into his bike seat and set off. My first stop was the downtown Norfolk YMCA, just to see how long it would take to bike there -- looks like 10-15 minutes for me to cover the 2-ish miles, even with all the construction going on in that direction. I'd say there's a good chance we'll be joining there soon.

After my test ride to the Y, I set out for Norfolk's 5 Points community farm market. It's absolutely a treasure to have a source of local farm raised food available year-around, but I haven't been going there nearly as often as I'd like -- I don't have the car during the day and I favor destinations I can reach on foot. Now that I know how quickly I can get there and back on the bike, I'm likely to start visiting with Theo a couple times a week.

One more quick stop at Azar's to get Theo some Hummus (OK, I admit Daddy's eating it too) and we were on our way back home.

Of course, it figures...because of a seat malfunction and forgetting to restart my GPS watch after Theo stopped it, I don't have an exact mileage. I know it was at least 7.75, so I'm going to put a guess at 9.5 - 10 miles covered. I'm very happy with that. It made me tight enough this morning that getting started on my run was a challenge, but once I worked out the kinks I ran as well as I normally do for five miles with the stroller.

I figure a week or two of regular bike riding should get my body accustomed to the new work I'm giving it and with any luck, I'll start to show improvements in my run distance and speed as I hit muscles that haven't been working so hard up to this point. Next I have to find out if MacArthur mall has bike parking, anyplace where Theo can run wild in the morning is a prime destination...

1 comment:

Le Sigh of a Fashionista said...

Aww Theo looks adorable in his little backpack! I hope your knee feels better!