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Training Program

Started: 2009-05-22 07:48:03

Submitted: 2009-05-22 17:27:38

Visibility: World-readable

I had an odd existential crisis early last week. While visiting the library, I picked up a copy of Runner's World magazine and amused myself by reading about the things I could do to improve my speed. Instead of being energized by the opportunities I began to feel bogged down by the crushing weight of an aggressive training program. After shattering my 5k personal record, I caught a glimpse of what a serious training program could do. I wondered what goals to set and what training schedule to adopt, and I wondered if I could keep up with it all, given all of my other responsibilities.

The next morning I figured out that it didn't matter, and I had everything backward. I wasn't running for its own sake or to beat an arbitrary number; I'm running because I enjoy it and because it keeps me physically fit, and the fact that I get to indulge in high-tech gear like heartrate monitors (which I do have) and GPS watches (which I don't actually have yet) is a great fringe benefit. I hope that I'll be able to train well enough to have better personal records to prove how well I'm doing, but I'm not running because of the numbers.

Having resolved that crisis, I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing after running the Bolder Boulder on Monday. My explicit goal for 2010 is to beat my father's best-ever time, but I have at least eight months before I ought to begin concerted training for that race. I'm pretty sure I need more distance training, so I should train for something at least as long as 10k. A half-marathon sounds strangely appealing, and it does appear that there are a number of half-marathons in the greater Longmont area in the fall.

(You may have heard that I currently have an eight-week-old baby at home who recently weighed in at 12 pounds, 8 ounces, and you're wondering why I'm not talking more about Calvin and less about running. Calvin has continued to defy our expectations, which has made the past eight weeks at least as interesting as the eight weeks that preceded them. I'm still too wrapped up in the mundane details of feedings and formula and schedules and naptime and daycare, and the nagging feeling that whatever I do I'm doing it all wrong, to talk much about them now. (Maybe the reason I'm focusing on the mundane details of lactate-intensity pace-per-mile is precisely because it's inconsequential.))