Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Under the Weather

Phase I - Week Four
06/18/07 - 06/24/07
Week Total: 0 miles

I did not include hiatus in my training. The Zero week was enough. But at the beginning of the week I started to feel under the weather.

I needed seriously to take care of the cold, because if complicates with asthma, by experience, I know where I end: in the ER with pneumonia. Therefore I took it easy.

Did some research and all the running advices were the same: if your cold includes your chest, rest. But certainly no advice was needed. It was just common sense. My shoes stayed in the closet for the whole week, while my respiratory system was challenging me.

In addition, my training mate, my beautiful Alejandra, is also out of the picture. She sprained her ankle. Her hiatus will be definitely longer than mine.

Week 4 - 0w x 0r - Bummer!!!

Lessons Learned:
No matter how much you plan, there'll always be something unexpected.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Running Among Heroes

Phase I - Week Three
06/11/07 - 06/17/07
Week Total: 7 miles

Three weeks in three states. California, Washington, and most importantly Virginia.

The excellent and funny Runner's World July article "Sullivan’s Travels", written by Robert Sullivan, encouraged me to run in the states I visit for business, not at a gym, but on their streets.

My first week of my marathon training occurred in California, the second week in Washington State, and the third in Virginia. From sunny Long Beach, to rainy Seattle, to historic Arlington.

The last city was definitely the best. I had the honor of running among heroes, both dead and alive. Heroes I admire. At 5:15 am, with my shoes on, I headed toward the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial - Iwo Jima, and the Arlington National Cemetery. Fort Myer troops were running at that time. They and the heroes buried at Arlington accompany my run. It was a stunning experience. One I will definitely relive every time I come back to Arlington.

Week 3 - 4 days: 1w x 3r (6) - From coast to coast!

Lessons Learned:
Motivation is the key to wake up, get up, lace'em up and run.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The Last Eyelet of Your Shoe

Phase I - Week Two
06/04/07 - 06/10/07
Week Total: 4 miles

This week was the foot-sock-shoe adaptation week.

I had thought that after Phase I (10 weeks) I would buy the perfect pair of shoes. In the mean time, I was planning to continue with my Saucony Jazz and my Nike. But they were causing me continuous pain here and there, on ankles, shins, Achilles, you name it. I decided to find right away the perfect shoes for me. I went to "Runners High", a specialized running store in Long Beach, CA and told them
"I need the best pair of running shoes, don't care the brand, don't care the look, don't care how much they cost. I only care about having no pain". When Robin saw my severe left foot over-pronation, she brought 3 pairs of shoes designed for that. Asics Gel Kayano 13 were the best, to the point, that my ankle looked almost perpendicular to my foot, and that's a lot to say. I ran around the store block and they felt very light. They felt like a glove. My Saucony and Nike then felt like bricks. Bye-bye Saucony (my favorite brand for more than a decade). I bought the Asics.

After two days of running, they did not feel right. My ankles were fine, but my toes were dancing in the toe-box. I felt they were bigger than they should.

Went back to "Runners High", told them I worn them twice but they feel big. Ben (this time no Robin) gave me a 1/2-size smaller shoe. They felt perfect. Exchanged them. Bought thinner socks.

The following day at the gym, after 5 minutes, my toes were in place but this time my ankles were dancing all over. Then, I remembered Robin's advice, which fixed the dance:
"Always tie the shoelace through the last eyelet of your shoe."

Week 2 - 4 days: 1w x 2r (8) - Over and totally successful. I am running with the best shoes ever.

Lessons Learned:
Gear and Shoes are key resources from the beginning.