Sunday, May 08, 2005

Training Base

This week, I started working on my marathon training base. I think I have between 7 and 8 weeks before I have to really start training (i.e. following a specific program) so I'm just trying to get back into the swing of regular running. With winter, the move, and the nasty cold I got shortly after my arrival in Dublin, I haven't been the best running kid.

Starting off easy, I decided to follow the same pattern I would if I were in real training - running on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and a long run on the weekend. Since I don't have mileages worked out, I'm going off of time. 22 minutes on Tuesday, 30 minutes on Wednesday, 22 minutes on Thursday and an hour for the long run. Depending on my pace, it's about 2 miles on Tuesday and Thursday, 3 on Wednesday and between 5 and 6 for the long run.

My mid-week runs were fine and today I did my long run. For the first time ever, I decided to use my I-Pod instead of my watch to keep time. I loaded up the Shuffle with an hour of songs, plus a couple of cool-down songs and then set off.

It was a fantastic morning for running. The sun was out (a minor miracle in Ireland these days), the sky was a happy blue with fluffy clouds, the water in the canal looked like it was dancing. It was probably about 50 degrees, which is perfect for running.

Running using the I-Pod as my timekeeper was great. I had a rough idea, from the playlist, how much longer I had to go, but I couldn't obsess about it the way you can when you're looking at the cold, hard numbers on a stopwatch. I was able to forget about the goal and focus on the present. The music helped me set my pace and I had a couple of mental landmarks in the playlist.

The first part of the playlist contained happy, poppy, zippy songs that gradually got a little more driving, but not too much. The middle part had slower songs with insistent beats, just to keep me moving along but not too quickly. I didn't want to be like those horse in the Kentucky Derby and burn out too soon. Then, the end part had the rocking songs with very fast tempos to push me to a strong finish.

It worked well, for the most part. I think I'm going to have to take out some of the poppy, zippy songs and a put a few more slower tempo songs. It also didn't help that I had the wind in my face on the way back. I know, I should always start out going into the wind, but I was doing a loop and I had the route mapped out in my head. I was perfect on the distance, since I finished up about 2 blocks from where I'm staying.

I know the training run was a success because in the middle of it, I started getting crazy ideas - like running the Marathon of the Sands by the time I'm 35. You know you're on a good runner's high when a six-day, 145 mile run through the Sahara sounds like a fabulous idea. The Shuffle was definitely a success - it was an excellent coach, stopwatch and cheerleader. How could I ask for anything more from an electronic device the size of a stick of gum.

In case you're curious, here's my playlist:
Part One
"Such Great Heights" - The Postal Service
"1985" - Bowling for Soup
"Caterpillar" - The Cure
"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" - The Beatles
"Amsterdam" - Guster
"I Predict a Riot" - Kaiser Chiefs
"The Middle" - Jimmy Eat World
"Valerie Loves Me" - Material Issue
"The Kilburn High Road" - Flogging Molly
Part Two
"She's Lost Control" - Joy Division
"More Than This" - Bryan Ferry
"Thank You" - Dido
"Float On" - Modest Mouse
Part Three
"10 AM Automatic" - The Black Keys
"Mr. Brightside" - The Killers
"What's Left of the Flag" - Flogging Molly
"Do What You Want" - Bad Religion
"Dark of the Matinee" - Franz Ferdinand
"Welcome to the Jungle" - Guns and Roses


At 9 May 2005 at 18:30, Anonymous Anonymous said...

about your playlist, GEES! It took you a REALLY long time to actually start liking good music! And thank you fro your honesty and bravary, not everyone would have the guts to admit to having Guns n' Roses.

At 9 May 2005 at 18:31, Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh and that was me just now,

- Shane

At 9 May 2005 at 21:49, Blogger -Ann said...

It's a really good song for running. Except near the end when Axel gets all screechy. And what do you mean about taking a long time to like good music?

At 9 May 2005 at 23:06, Anonymous dave p said...

the next time i see you, you're getting punched in the head for liking the black keys.

otherwise, nice list. ;-)

At 15 May 2005 at 01:40, Blogger Career Guy said...

I think I only know two of those songs. I should probably investigate Modest Mouse--it's such an intriguing name.

At 20 May 2005 at 19:17, Blogger Louis said...

Which marathon are you planning to run? I'm just starting to train for NYC, which is in November. This will be my eighth marathon (7 NYC, 1 Chicago). Try NYC - it's the best!

Anyway, good luck.

At 21 May 2005 at 12:07, Blogger -Ann said...

Thanks, Louis. I've done Chicago twice and was going to do it a third time, but then I moved to Dublin. So, I'm going to do the Dublin Marathon, even though I'm a little worried about the hills. Although, living here (instead of in Chicago where I used to live), at least I'll be able to train on hills.


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