|That's right, baby-steps...|
Here it is in a nutshell:
Week 1: 20 minute work-out running 30 seconds (yes, seconds) at talking-pace and walking 90 seconds consecutively. Do this Monday thru Friday and rest on the weekend.
Week 2: 20 minute work-out running 45 seconds at talking-pace and walking 75 seconds consecutively. Again, do this Monday thru Friday and rest on the weekend.
Week 3: 20 minute work-out running 60 seconds at talking pace and walking 60 seconds consecutively. Once again, M-F off on the weekend.
Week 4: 20 minute work-out running 75 seconds at talking-pace and walking 45 seconds consecutively.
Week 5: 20 minute work-out running 90 seconds at talking pace and walking 30 seconds consecutively.
Week 6: Running 20 minutes consecutively.
The genius of it is that it not only works your body but also creates a sense of momentum that your mind becomes convinced it can indeed run 20 minutes consecutively (obviously some people have no problem in this department but many, many people do). If memory serves me right, I think Weeks 2 and 3 we repeated to build a sense of confidence but by the end of July I was running 20 minutes a day regularly.
By mid-August, I began to build on that 20-minute work-out by running 20 minutes straight and then adding an additional 10 minutes by running 30/90 and so forth until I had worked my way up to 30 minutes consecutively. By mid-October, I was working on moving up to 40 minutes straight. Of that original group, we managed to stick together for only about a couple of weeks before their enthusiasm began to wane but I am very grateful for those first few weeks of my new running-habit. For there were a couple of days in there that the only thing that got me down the track was the fact I knew some people were waiting on me.
|These are considered badges of honor|
I've “bonked” in more than a fair share of my long races but have never (yet) recorded a DNF (Did Not Finish) to my name. Over the years, I've run from dozens of dogs as well as a small flock of sheep that for some reason was intent on following me one spring day a few years back. I've kicked up deer, run with a fair amount of horses and cattle and twice veered to the far side of the road just to stay clear of the skunk that happened to be out for an early morning run himself. Just last week right as dawn was breaking I was startled by a black bear that was running head-long towards the woods (apparently away from me). I've run on days when the temperature was in the 90s as well as being the only fool one wintry morning to be running in -20 degree weather. I've run in Canada, in the Philippines and, most recently, in Uganda. In fact, if I’m going somewhere – anywhere, really – more than likely my gear is going with me.
Great running moments? One early winter morning I was running on 22 ¾ St just outside of town and suddenly a shadow came up on my right and running in stride by the light of the moon was a white stallion in the adjoining field. It was a moment that still gives me shivers when I think of it. The first year I ran Bayfield's Run-On-Water (2003). There I was running out on the ice road connecting Bayfield and Madeleine Island and thinking, “I'm running on Lake Superior!” I know it's just ice but it was an exhilarating thought. And the last time I ran Grandma's Marathon (2007). As usual, I was struggling with the heat and once again my quest to run a sub-5 hour Grandma's had ignominiously failed but in the homestretch, my two youngest kids, Ed and Emma, jumped out of the grandstands and ran the last 50 yards with me. That made all the blood (I usually have a case of the bloody nipples during long, hot runs), sweat and tears worth it. My best 10K has got to be the Amery Fall Festival in 2000 (48:49 – I don’t think I’ll ever see that again) and my worst 4-miler – the Fishy Four (Chetek’s premier running event) was just last year (37:42) (may I not see that again!)
|A special moment for me|
|Steve says it with much more panache|
In honor of my upcoming 50th birthday, a week from Saturday I will run the Chippewa Moraine 50K, an out and back race on the Ice Age Trail. I figure if I can make it to the turn-around in a little more than 3 hours (after all, it is a trail race), that will give me nearly 6 hours to finish the rest of it. My last ultra (the Tuscobia Ultra run in 2009) took me 9:03. Perhaps this time I can run a sub-9? Hope springs eternal. Besides you don’t know unless you put the shoes on and go try, right? What’s the worst thing that can happen? My thoughts exactly.