Despite the fact that my cold is still hanging on and has developed into a cough, I still managed to hold onto the majority of my training schedule this week. This week was also the first week of the half marathon training group that I started at the school where I work.
The week started with a shorter 2.4 mile run with the group on Tuesday. It was a nice and easy 30-minute run. It was warm enough that I was able to do this run barefoot. It's so much fun training with a group. There were 7 of us, including myself running along a creek-side bike path. While the group is not running barefoot, they all participated in a short 50-yard barefoot run along the sidewalk prior to our 30 minute run. My goal is not to turn them all into barefoot runners. However, I do try to emphasize the importance of good running form for reduced risk of injury. I was proud that they all stripped off their shoes despite their misgivings and enjoyed the short jaunt down the block.
By Wednesday, my cold had really taken hold. Congestion and an overall feeling of lethargy kept me in that morning as well as that evening. Last winter, I developed quite a cold and cough that caused me to tear an intercostal muscle (rib muscle). That put me out of commission for a good month. Not wanting a repeat of that situation, I've been struggling with trying to balance running with some rest.
Thursday night, I decided that I was up for the planned 6-mile run. While on the return leg, I was feeling pretty tired (probably due to the cold). My hope was that by putting myself through a good sweaty workout I might be able to break through the cold's grip. Also, I had just received a new pair of minimalist shoes to review and I wanted to take them for a spin. I won't mention the name of these shoes just yet (they have not been released). I will have my review up on www.barefoot-running.us at the end of the month or early February. (The review will be reposted here on my blog afterwards.)
Saturday was the second day of training for my group. For me, I was scheduled to run 18 miles. The group was running 50 minutes. I arrived early and did a quick 4-mile along the route the group would take. Upon my return, the runners had begun to arrive. It was a brisk 31 degrees out, so we didn't hang around too long to chat. I was very proud to see all of my group make the 3.7 mile trip.
After the group run, I headed out to the Cosumnes River Preserve where I like to do my "trail" running. It's basically flat, but it allows me to get my feet on the dirt, leaves, and twigs. I did the first 2 miles or so in my new minimalist shoes. By that point, my feet were screaming for me to let them have at the trail. I had to cram the shoes into my small Camelbak
hydration pack (not easy to do) by putting one inside the bladder pouch and the other tucked behind the pocket webbing. Basically the shoes were sticking out all over the place with the flap bouncing along the remainder of the 2 miles.
I had made the mistake earlier that morning not to eat too much breakfast. I paid for it by mile 11 (for the day). I was pretty spent and didn't have any gels or Clif Shot Bloks
to munch on. I made it back to my truck to finish the day with 12.25 miles.
Sunday turned out to be a crazy day of events to attend. So, being that today (Monday) was a holiday, I went out to the delta island for a second round of wind. I'm a stubborn one, you can say. My Chinese zodiac, after all, is the Ox. Apparently the last trip out to the island of the wind wasn't enough to deter me. This time I planned to go in the opposite direction around the island. First of all, the wind was about half what it was the last time. However, what it lacked in strength, it made up for in chill. The temperature for the day was 45 degrees, it felt like it was in the 30s with the wind-chill - stubborn me wore shorts and a short-sleeved running shirt.
I cut across the center of the island (almost 2 miles). I headed around the northern half of the island before turning around and backtracking (about 9 miles). When I reached the midpoint of the island I continued on along the western edge of the island and down around the southern edge back to my truck. Total for the day 12.75 miles. A little short of the 16-miles I was hoping for. However, I did get lots of opportunity to practice the true runner's skill of "snot rockets". I read someone's blog once about skills or qualifications to be labeled a true runner. One was something about pissing in the woods on a run and another was the snot rocket. I can't recall the other 2, but I know that I had done them. So, I guess I'm qualified as a true runner now =)
Total miles for this week: 33.4
Plan for the coming week: T/W/TH 6 miles apiece, S/Sun 20/10.
Have a great week!