Gotta keep moving (and that means walking too)!

Usually, I do my runs in the mornings. It is how I trained for most of 2011. While I am not really a morning person, I have become accustomed to waking up early and getting a good run or cross-training workout done before heading to work. And I did most of my runs outside, even as it got colder and colder outside.

This week was different. On Tuesday, I decided to do my run at the club (partly because I wanted to hit the Jacuzzi afterwards). And as I posted in a previous article, it felt great to be moving again. So I was motivated to keep moving. But the next day, I woke up tired (I got to bed late) and decided to get a little more sleep instead of going for my planned walk (Wednesdays are going to be a 'walk' day to start preparing for the AVON Walk).

So I decided to do my walk in the evening on Wednesday instead. So after work, I went to the club and jumped on the Treadmill. I brought my iPad with me so I could watch the documentary "Spirit of the Marathon" while I walked. By the way, if you are a runner, this is a "must see" movie! And if you are thinking about running a marathon sometime, then this will motivate and encourage you to do it.

I started off at a 14:00/mm pace and kept that up for 3 miles. I find that walking feels very different than running in terms of how it affects my quad muscles. I think it has to do with the fact that my cadence drops significantly and my stride lengthens. I will have to figure that out as I continue to walk more. After 3 miles, I really felt like running so I added another mile of running at a 10:40/mm pace. The final result was 4.33 miles in 57 minutes. A solid workout!

Yesterday was another story. Again, I got to bed late so when the alarm went off at 5:30am, I shut it off and went back to sleep. It was going to mean doing another evening run. But this time, I just did not feel "in the groove". I was a bit tired from the workday, and the body just wasn't feeling in tune. My goal was to put in a 4 mile easy run. But I ended up doing 3.5 miles using a 1 mile:1 minute run/walk strategy. I just did not feel like running for more than that -- my heart rate was up a little higher than usual, my right knee was twingy, and I didn't have my usual smiley disposition. But hey, I got 3.5 miles in 45 minutes so I will take it, right?

Today is a Rest Day. I am hoping to put in a Long Run on Saturday morning on the Prairie Path. Don't know how that will feel but hopefully today will recharge the batteries. I am going to shoot for the 6-8 mile range and just see how it feels. I am really beginning to pay more attention to how I "feel" during a run, and not just focus on the sports watch for pacing. I am taking a page out of Coach Jenny's handbook.

So for the week, I will probably log around 18 miles. Not bad. My goal for the short-term is to log close to 20 miles a week and slowly increase that. Next weekend, I will start adding a Long Walk on Sunday mornings before church. At first those will be shorter than my Saturday Long Runs, but by April, they will be longer than my Long Runs so that I can work up to the distance required for the AVON Walk.

I am still working on my training plan for this year. I will likely break it up into three sections: the lead up to my Avon Walk, the lead up to the Chicago Marathon, and the lead up to running the "Dopey" at Disney in January 2013.

It is going to be an interesting journey for this year as I complete these next 8 races, and work to lose my stubborn remaining 50 pounds! But I am looking forward to the challenge!

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