Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mile Marker: Week 3 -- A Challenge!

Thanks to Linda Jessee Mills' inspirational example of courage and wisdom, training for Week 2 was a breeze. Week 3, in contrast, was tough. The jogging intervals doubled in length from two minutes to four minutes during week three. Also, the number of running days increased from three to four. For some reason, that third of the five jogging intervals was kicking my butt, and I couldn't manage to slog through more than about two of the four minutes. Yet, intervals four and five were not a problem.

I decided to take a close look at the terrain to see if there is any particular reason why that portion of the route was so difficult. After all, I live on the coast, and most of the terrain is flat, flat, flat. I drove down to the area where the third segment usually begins. Sure enough, there is a nearly imperceptible rise in the road, but it stretches along a far distance. This was confirmed by one of my favorite running resources, a handy-dandy little tool on the web called "Map My Run," which revealed that over the course of the last three-quarters of a mile or so, the elevation gradually increases from three feet above sea level at the lowest point on the route, to around thirty-nine feet above sea level. No, it's not a mountain, but the elevation increase certainly explains the difficulty I was experiencing. I do have this modified (but, improved!) ticker issue to address.

With that information in hand, I employed an old trick. When the third segment began on the last running day of the week, I slowed the pace. I mean, I really slowed the pace. Onlookers may have wondered why I bothered to "run" at all. I could have walked as quickly. Then, instead of looking far ahead, I looked up only occasionally, just to be aware of traffic. Mostly though, my eyes were planted on the road just a few feet away. I thought of nothing but Libby Holter, Kaira W., and quite literally, putting one foot in front of the other. With Libby Holter's vision, I imagined a clear view of reaching the desired goal. And, by drawing from Kaira W.'s fortitude, I saw myself accomplishing the task, no matter what was required. Thanks to inspiration from those ladies, not only did I complete that most difficult third segment, but also easily finished the fourth and fifth segments.

Which brings us to the end of Week 3. That ominous old training calendar is filling up with more and more green slashes!

And, in case you're wondering just how much mileage is actually involved, I've done the math. The whole route takes approximately 35 minutes to complete. 20 of those minutes are spent jogging, so that's 57% of the time spent jogging. Map My Run tells me the distance of the route is 1.9 miles. Oh, yeah! I'm jogging 1.083 miles!

Today's cross-training will involve an energizing bike ride, which, to my surprise, I've come to enjoy. I'll also catch up on a little strength training, since I ran out of time on Wednesday. That's an example of the beauty of this particular training schedule. It's very flexible, and if one day's activity is missed, it can be combined with another day's activity.

Then, on to Week 4, where the walking intervals decrease to two minutes, and the jogging intervals increase to five minutes. It's a piece of cake, right?

I'm just lovin' my shoes . . . so, here's to the next mile!


  1. You're doing great, Chris! I'm so proud of you!!! We're cheering you on from the Hills... can you hear us? ;) XOXO.

  2. *L* Thank you for the words of encouragement. I'm just glad I'm not having to train in them thar' hills just yet...

  3. AND, I have to say that I'm really proud that you've kept up with the blog!!! Twenty posts?? That's unheard of for one of your blogging endeavors, isn't it? lol I think you've definitely found one that suits you, and your "talents." :)

  4. *LOL* Yep. I can't seem to do it for me, but I can do it for someone else . . . story of my whole passive-agressive life. *L* The key is just having a focus, I've learned. Thank you for the encouraging words!


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