Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sob Story...It made me weak in the knees

Jonathan Kelley is a Vice President here at Element Bars. He enjoys Russian Literature, cooking and spending time with his new baby boy, Edgar.

Over almost as quickly as it began - my so called "marathon" training has hit a bit of a roadblock.

Two weekends ago, the training began ramping up. I ran 9 miles on Saturday, and followed it up with a set of 3-5-3 mile runs midweek. After that, my knees felt tired. They weren't sore like in the first few weeks, just tired and aching. I'm a sensible guy - this is my body telling me to slow it down. After all, I hadn't really run since high school. As of this past weekend weekend, I'm officially calling it marathon for me this year...better luck next year, as they say.

[Cue the miniature violins] The original plan to run a marathon was a bit of a pipe dream. I hadn't run much in the last ten years or so. My overall endurance was subpar. I was winded after a mile, my legs were wimpy, you know the rest. The first few weeks proceeded surprisingly well. I could run further each week, my endurance made it easier, my experimental endurance fuel tasted better, all according to the Hal Higdon plan....until it wasn't.

I started noticing a strange tired feeling in my knees. The kind of feeling that turns into injury if you press it. It's a bit like taking that last ski run at 4:00 as the lifts close and going full speed. When your body is exhausted beyond its normal capabilities, injury is waiting around the corner. Rather than push for some arbitrary goal in my first season of running, I'm slowing it down. The repetitive impact of running must be one of the primary culprits, so I'm taking up some bicycle riding as an alternative. Where I would run 5-7 miles, I'll bike 10-15. The lessened impact makes a world of difference, and if I really press myself, my body gets a comparable workout. So I guess I'm a biathlete now - not planning to start swimming anytime soon.

The best part of this journey - I really caught the bug. I am energized by a morning run like nothing else. I don't even think I'd bristle if you called me a runner now. Endurance training is an aspect of life I hadn't explored since high school athletics, and I've missed it.

So, until next time - I'll be cross training for a half marathon on my Huffy 18 speed and on foot, working on finding those elusive leg muscles, and maybe playing a game or two of Contra.

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