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 Back in the fold
terrysquier

Canon City, CO
Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

Back in the fold Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 6:40 am 

Hi, all - well, it's been awhile since I posted anything here. Guess I've been too busy with other things, negligent, or just plain lazy. The last half marathon I ran was the end of last summer, a race from Georgetown, Colorado, downhill to Idaho Springs, Colorado, a drop from 8,500 feet to around 7,500 feet. I must tell you that that race almost did me in. I was completely exhaused crossing the finish line. I'm sure it was the downhill plodding and the altitude. I've run a couple of shorter races since then but nothing eventful. Right now I've got my sites on a half marathon the end of May and am busy training for that, with a couple of smaller races in between.

Bricks, I saw your article in Runner's World last month. Way to go. I remember talking to a runner at one of the races I did a couple years ago who had lost around 200 pounds and gotten seriously into running. I, too, lost around 65 pounds after I had my heart attack and I took up running after I had lost the weight. I had used my past activity of bicycling to exercise away the pounds. When I started running, I fell in love with it and now I hardly ever do any riding. Unfortunately,at my age and having gone through by-pass surgery, I'll never do a 3-hour marathon, nor even a 4-hour marathon, let alone ever qualify for Boston. In fact, I'm not even sure this old body could withstand the rigors of much more than a half marathon a few times a year. But I haven't lost hope. Maybe a marathon try is in the cards somtime in the future.

Well, that's it for now. This is a great website with some great kind-hearted people involved in it. I'll try to be more dilligent in the future at communicating with the group and letting you know how things are going.

Terry


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Back in the fold Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:24 am 

Wow, that screaming downhill half-marathon at high altitude sounds like a killer. I get tired hiking at 8000 feet; I can't imagine racing up there! Your quads must have been mightily hammered by the downhills. Do you train on downhills normally? It seems that running downhill should be easy, but when it's at all steep, it's anything but easy.

What's the May half marathon you're training for? Another high altitude death march? :-)

I don't think you're missing anything by focusing on half marathons rather than full marathons. I really like the half marathon distance, actually. In many ways, I think it's the ideal race distance, because it's long enough to be a major endurance challenge, but not quite so long that it wipes you out for weeks or months afterwards. So you can race more often, and having one race go poorly isn't such a big deal.

Maybe it gets a bad reputation because it's called a "half marathon", and sounds like a half-way effort for those who can't cut the mustard. If everyone called it a 13.1 mile race, or a "double 10K + 1", or the "23,000-yard dash", it would sound more macho. :-)


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: Back in the fold Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:47 am 

Hey, it's great to hear from you again Terrysquire! Glad to see you've been plodding along like the rest of us.

Every year I tell myself I should try to focus on getting faster and put more effort towards improving my shorter race times (5K, 10K, Half Marathon), but I always seem to be building for my next marathon. I think it would be fun focus more on the Half Marathon for much the same reason's Richshaw pointed out.


terrysquier

Canon City, CO
Joined: 09 Jan 2005
Posts: 44

Re: Back in the fold Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:52 pm 

Seems like I've lost some of my quickness of late, though, probably because of putting on a little extra padding over the winter. "Quickness" is not the proper term, probably. What I mean is that I've gotten slower. I sometimes think that doing weight workouts, especially for my lower body, i.e., leg extensions, squats, leg curls, may be hindering me. I used to really enjoy lifting weights but in recent years I find it harder and harder to do my weight workouts, even though the dumbbells, bench, etc., are only a few feet away from me most of the time. I often make up my mind that I'm going to quit lifting weights and just concentrate on putting in more mileage as far as running is concerned. I really haven't had any problem with injuries over the years and my body probably could stand more miles if I worked up to it gradually. Then I feel guilty that I'm not using my home weight equipment and start working out again.

I guess my point is I'm not sure that the weight training is really necessary, anymore, and perhaps I could keep my weight better in check and become a better runner by concentrating on the running. My doctor doesn't think weight training is all that important. He's more of a bicycling enthusiast but also does a little running. Anybody have any thoughts on this? Will I be hurting myself in the long run by cutting out a sport, weightlifting, that I don't enjoy anymore or should I just "suck it up" and do it anyway, even to a small degree.

How important is it to any of you guys' future health and running aspirations? Especially Bricks. Did he do much strength training to lose all that weight or finally qualify for Boston or did he just cut down on the calories and do alot of running?

Terry


Rustyboy

LA, CA
Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Back in the fold Posted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:34 pm 

Welcome back to the club, Terry!

I find weight training - very light, mind you - to be an intregal part of my personal training. That said, everyone is different, so what I feel benefits me might not be what's right for you. I probably hit the iron 2x/week for about 15 - 20 mns. Not a whole lot.

If you're burned out on it, back off the weight training for a week or two completely, then slowly integrate it back in to your training. As runners, we tend to think we have strong legs (which we do), but as you can imagine, we don't get a full leg workout, and stronger upper body muscles (yes, I'll say the phrase that pays: "core" muscles) help keep us strong on our feet for long distances.

Ah well, that's my 2 pennies.


Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Back in the fold Posted: Wed Apr 05, 2006 12:09 pm 

Personally I don't do any weight training. Recently I started doing some strength exercises a few times a week-- mostly push-ups and sit-ups, but that's about it. From what I've read, some light weight training can help running performance, especially core strength exercises like Rustyboy mentioned, but you don't need to do too much. In fact, building up to bulging biceps is probably counter-productive. But one nice benefit is that weight training will help maintain bone strength as you age.

I'd say that if you enjoy the weight training and the strength gains it give you, then by all means stick with it. But if you're only doing it because you feel guilty about it, and your main goals are weight loss and running speed improvements, you can probably skip it.


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