Okay so I didn't follow the training schedule as written this week. But I did it with the best intentions. Knowing that Sunday was scheduled as a rest day, I rearranged my workouts so I could fit in a pre-scheduled cross training. My wife is a youth director and needed my help in chaperoning a group trip to the local ice rink for an outing. I thought I could get in a lot of work with some laps on the ice. But I didn't take into account that this area is still feeling the effects of a Winter Olympics hangover...and for good reason. Our local rink has seen a sharp increase in people wanting to learn how to skate and what better place to learn from some of the best, because the rink is the training home to 2 figure skating pairs teams. The teams of Caydee Denney/Jeremy Barrett and Amanda Evora/Mark Ladwig shocked the figure skating world in taking the top 2 spots at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and went on to represent the U.S. at the Vancouver Olympics.
With all of their success, it's great to see such an interest in people looking to get active. There were lots of little kids out their trying their hardest to follow in the footsteps of these Olympians. A lot of little girls crowded around the middle of the ice trying to master the artistic spins. But more often than not, the triple lutz looked more like the triple clutz! And then there were the boys, in their brand new hockey skates. Watching some of them was like watching the misfits in The Mighty Ducks movies.
Because their were so many people on the ice, it was difficult to call my time on the ice a "workout." I thought I could get a really good cardio workout in but the pace of the crowd was very slow. I would venture to say that I could have gone faster sitting in a tube floating down a lazy river! When I did see some open ice I wanted to just break free from the crowd, but I would just end up catching up to the back of the crowd. And worst of all, I now have some small blisters from the skates I wore. Going into this week's runs, I'm really apprehensive as I don't know how these blisters are going to impact my efforts.
With all the excitement of the Winter Olympics, I've been really excited about training. Yeah, I know a native Floridian of my age and ability has as much of a chance of one day making the Winter Olympics as a snowball's chance in he--, but it certainly helps to motivate when you see people living out their dreams on the world's biggest stage.
I've been running occassionally before the start of this program, but my first run under this program suprised me. I managed to run 2.5 miles in 20:42! I felt a ton of energy and even thought about going a little further. But with the understanding that there's a method to the madness of this training process, I held back.
On Tuesday, the wife treated me to an early birthday present. We went to the specialty running store and I got new shoes! The store experience was incredible. They took a blueprint of my foot to see where I put the most pressure and to look at my arch. Then they put me in a neutral shoe and had me run on the treadmill where they conducted a video-taped gait analysis. Up until now, I always went with the lightweight shoe. I thought that since I was already carrying more body weight than I needed to, the last thing I needed was to lace up with bricks on my feet. But from all the stuff they put me through, I found out that when I run, I pronate- meaning that when my foot lands, it does so on the outside of the foot and rolls inward. The solution was to put me in a shoe that provides stability when my foot strikes the ground.
Thinking that the community pool at my apartment complex was heated, I chose swimming for my cross training. NOT the best idea I've ever had! Turns out the pool isn't heated and central Florida was in the midst of a cold front. So I followed up my polar bear like training with a few minutes of relaxation in the hot tub!
On Wednesday, I learned just how old I am. It was a hectic day with lots of stuff going on. I almost forgot about my training. At 11:30 that night, I laced up my brand new shoes for the first time and headed out. I didn't want to mess with the training schedule in the first week. The results were nothing like the Monday run! I was running into the wind and trying to break in new shoes that weighed significantly more than I'm accustomed to. But at least, I looked good doing it. Near the end, my legs felt like twigs about to snap. Maybe it was the heavier shoe, or running into the wind, or that extra slice of birthday cake, but I was much slower with a time of 20:24 for a total of 2.25 miles.
On Friday, I went up to Tampa to check out the scene of a health and fitness expo for the Gasparilla Distance Classic- Tampa's biggest marathon event. I figured that if I'm going to do one of these one day, I wanted to see what all the excitement was about. I can only imagine what standing at the starting line in April is going to feel like, but if it's anything like the excitement surrounding the anticipation of the event this weekend, I can't wait!
As far as my dieting goes, I'm seeing some great results. A couple of weeks before, my wife and I started on the South Beach Diet. As I weighed in this morning, I am down 24 lbs. from what I weighed in at on New Year's Day!
With all of the temptations and distractions, this week, it's been hard to find consistency with my schedule and diet. I'm sure that over time I will find ways to handle these issues a little better. With that being said, it's hard to find a reason to complain, because the results I've seen so far have been incredible.