Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Return to Training/Racing

The 10 week road trip is over and now it is time for me to return to training/running. If you read my recent entries, you know that I continued to run while on the trip. I also was very good about posting details of our trip, but there came a point when I was having so much fun that it became a chore to take the time to write an entry. Another issue was that we often did not have internet service or electricity so I just kinda gave up on the blog.

Now I am home and am getting back my discipline for training. Before I start the specifics of my plan. I need to give you a bit of background. I'll try to be brief, but I think this is needed s
o that you will understand how important running and competing is to me.

Back in 1969, I was a heavy smoker, heavy drinker with a heavy body. I had always been very athletic, but with the birth of our daughter, I was not as active and I just let myself go. The smoking and drinking really did not concern me as much as the fact that I was about 20 pounds overweight. Hollie (my husband) was a runner and he suggested that I try running as a way to lose weight. I went to a track and ran/walked a mile in 12:45. I was so proud---until I told him my time and he said, "I could walk faster than that."

I was pissed! So, I started going to the track every day and I would sprint as hard as I could and then walk until I could sprint again. I timed every workout. I kept doing that until I could run a mile continuously and then I worked on adding another and then another mile. I did that for several months until I got to where I could run 3 x 1 mile. At that point, I entered my first race---a one mile turkey trot. I was the only female and I won a turkey. I was hooked. The rest of the story is that I have been running and competing since then---nearly 45 years.

I like to tell people that back in my "previous life" meaning when I was much younger, I was quite fast with PRs of 19:52 for the 5K, around 42 for the 10K and 3:20 for the marathon. I trained and raced very hard and after all these years I still enjoy running and racing. I have had my share of injuries, mostly hamstring/piriformis which do sometimes limit my ability to train. As I have aged, I have had to make modification to my training, but I still love competing.

That takes me up to my current return to running/racing. For many reasons, I am not in very good condition. Early this year, I slipped in my daughter's bathtub and fractured 3 ribs. A couple of weeks later, I had severe bronchitis. Just as I was getting back into training, we went on this 10 week/12,000 mile road trip with our travel trailer. It was very nearly impossible to train, so I eventually reached a point where I decided to just enjoy the trip, run when I where I could and get back with my progam when I returned to Hattiesburg.

We got home on Saturday, August 31. knew I was not in race condition, but I went ahead and entered and ran the Labor Your Legs 5K on September 2. My goal was not to walk. I achieved that, but I was very, very slow. That got my attention and made me evaluate my current lifestyle. I am vowing to make some changes which I hope will result in my regaining my speed and being competitive. Mostly, I will be competing with myself. I have reached the age where many of my competition have either quit racing or passed away. I can usually win my AG just by showing up, but that is not good enough. I want to strive to be the best runner possible and that means I have to make some changes.

I don't want to share all the details of my plan. Those will come out as I make this journey. I have no specific goals except to run faster and longer. Some steps in doing that involve losing weight, increasing daily activity level, lifting weights, stretching, and doing Pilates and yoga.

I will try to post each day, but that will probably not always be possible. I would like to ask for your comments and feedback. That makes me accountable and it feels good to know that someone is reading what I am writing.

Here's my summary from the start:

9/2 - Labor Your Legs 5K @ 9:51 pace
9/3 - Pilates class, 3.5 mile Fartlek on treadmill @ 11:58 pace, weights & stretch
9/4 - 5 miles @ 11:14 pace on Longleaf Trace and then I stopped at the Y to do hamstring/piriformis rehab/preventive weights and stretches


Melissa Ravencraft said...

Coach you are too funny. When I'm your age, I want to still be running (if I can stay injury free, geez that's hard for me!). I love your posts, you're such a good writer as well. You have my attention...I'll follow you. Heck, I'll even run behind you 'cause your worst day of running is my best!

Becky Ryder said...

Thanks Melissa. I look forward to reading your comments. BTW, there was a woman at Labor Your Legs who looked like you. Did you run it?