Monday, December 19, 2011

Breaking a Wall

It has been a number of weeks since I posted anything about training on this blog, so with only a couple weeks left I figured I should chime in.

One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how quickly someone can lose their conditioning. Equaly amazing is how quickly you can regain endurance if you have not slacked off too long.

Over the past weeks I have been consistently getting in "some" exercise. Mostly I'd been hitting the elliptical and getting in 5 miles at a time 4-5 times a weeks. Certainly not slacking but a week ago on the 10th I came to a surprising revelation.

The weather had finally warmed up to low 40s and I knew I needed to get in a long run in my new shoes. As I began my run I found my breathing was very haggard even when I slowed down my breathing was so choppy that by mile 3 I had to walk and the next 3 miles was a mix of walking and jogging.

Upon reflection I realized that when I was on the elliptical my breathing was steady - so steady in fact, that I could breath through my nose for 65 minutes and never have any difficulties.

The difference being, that when I transferred back to the road, the experience became completly unique. Compared to the machines at the gym, movements are no longer fluid. Every heel strike transfered impacting forces through my core, turning me back into an avid and gasping mouth breather.

So over the course of last week I focused only on getting in treadmill miles when the temps dipped back down into the 20s.

This past weekend temps reached back up into the 50s. Christmas plans kept me off the road on Saturday but Sunday afternoon I was free to run. I think it was around 56 when I went out and the breeze was very light. Shorts and a long sleeve tech shirt were perfect. I kept my pace in check as I started out and it wasn't log before I knew that already the treadmill work had helped greatly. In all I completed 10 miles with a 10:28 averaged pace. At mile seven I did walk for about two tenths of a mile to catch my breath at the top of a hill, but other than that it was a steady jog.

Today I'm a bit sore but its a good kinda sore. Tomorrow I will get back on a treadmill if weather does not permit me to get out on the road.

I want to share one of my favorite movie scenes of all time. In this scene from Run Fatboy Run, Simon Pegg hits the wall at mile 17 of a marathon.

This scene really speaks to me. As Simon's character Dennis Doyle comes to mile 17 he is surrounded by supporters and yet when he hits that wall they all fade away. This puts the focus on his personal struggle. When that brick moves and he sees himself urging himself on, ahh what can I say?

This scene has so much truth in it. To achieve our goals its great to have support, but once you also beleave in yourself, nothing can stop you.

Beleave my friends. Marathon weekend will soon be here!


Rae! said...

I hit that wall a few years ago. E hit it in 2010. But it is so ever true.
Good luck in getting your miles in. Please send me your bib number.

Amanda said...

My gosh - you are just a speed demon these days. I mean seriously - impressive the speed you've gained! Jealous!

That is a great scene. I fear the wall. Yeah, I've hit it before and I totally agree that it's you and the wall. No matter how much support you have, you have to get past the rough spot and move your feet forward.

Chris said...

Wall, shmall! :-).