Saturday, April 01, 2006

Starting Point

Ok - so let's get serious about this marathon gig. 2 years ago I decided to run the San Jose marathon. My first ever long run, even though I once surprised a few, including myself, especially my mother, by finishing seventh in the school steeplechase. If you never went to a high brow, private English boys school then you probably don't even know what that is - which might be for the best. No point in rummaging through any more of my childhood memories:) Anyhow, after school I ran for the occasional taxi, and president of the company social club, but that was about it. Then in summer 2004 I figured it was time to join the legion of California outdoorsey-types and commit to doing some real exercise. Long story short, I ran through a couple of injuries, a bout of the flu, and countless crates of Guinness, to actually finish a somewhat surprising 67th in 3hrs and 25mins. Seeing as that included a pit stop after only 5 minutes (must get the bladder control sorted this year), and three text messages to the missus, I figured I could go faster still and told myself that 2005 would see me break the 3hr 15 barrier. Trained for '05 , but perhaps somewhat naively assumed that I could also plan on getting married the week before. Turned out that it was all a little too much - I crossed the start line with Naomi, but never made it to the marathon. 2006, and it's April 1st. I'm up for the marathon again this year, although for some dumb-ass reason I have the notion that the 3hr barrier can be broken. Right now I'm probably 10lbs over [last year's] weight, eat more chocolate than Charlie, travel (on business) too much, drink too much and have too many other interests to give this goal the attention that it deserves. I've got two dodgy knees, a sore left achilles, and the same old songs on my ipod. My shoes need upgrading, my diet needs improving and my head needs some shaking. But there's a marathon going down in October, and 3 hours remains the elusive goal. Gentlemen, start your engines.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Thinking outside the box(ing)

Seems as though March is more about trying to maintain some kind of shape than developing a new one. Waiting for baby is making it a tad difficult to keep any kind of workout regime. Then again, the marathon's not until October, so peaking in April won't exactly help. Good news is, I'm boxing again - which is unequivaocably the best workout I've ever experienced. It'll help my stamina for sure - although it's going to take time to get through the initial sore stage. Last week I got through an entire tub of icy hot in 2 nights - prior to that, it had been in the medicine cabinet, untouched, for 2 years!

Friday, March 10, 2006

Pissing down

Again. Apparently it's 74 degrees in Washington DC, but 43 here in the Bay Area. Go figure. Still, that's why we pay so much for the houses in Silicon Valley right? To enjoy this fine Spring weather. There was snow on the hills again today, and gallons of water just gushing down the streets. By all accounts, we're wetter than an otter's pocket. Which, of course, means that another night of training has been washed out. Still, the baby will be happy. Not that she's here yet, but she will be soon. And another night locked up inside means that her room finally looks like something other than a storage cupboard. She'll be happy. As will the many who pass this British lump of lard when October comes around. Perhaps it'll have stopped raining by then.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Fit/Weight Challenge

So here's the logic. I reckon that to run the marathon in under 3 hours I'm going to need to be 100% fit, and weigh no more than 150. I'm 5' 9" by the way - which might surprise the many friends that always thought I'm 6' 2" ;) Carrying any extra weight on race day is a major impediment to a fast time. A pound or two might not sound a lot, but you imagine running 26 miles with a bag of sugar in your hand. Or belly. Hence, my not so thorough analysis has concluded that for every additional 1lb in weight, I increase my marathon time by 5 extra minutes. Likewise, for every 10% below my target peak fitness level, I'll give up another 5 minutes huffing and puffing around San Jose.

Today - I'm weighing 157 and I felt something pop in my calf after a light 40 minute jog this morning. So comparing this with previous weight and fitness levels, I'm estimating that I'm at 35% of peak fitness, and 7lbs off my target weight. Add that up and I'd expect to run a 4:07 if the race was on tomorrow. Think I'll plot this graph every Thursday and see where it leads.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

When the red, red robin...

...comes bob, bob, bobbin' along, there can be no running - that's for sure. A few pints of coors light, half a chicken burger, couple of nachos and bottomless fries means that it's a night in with American Idol and an extra few pounds. Apparently, it's going to rain tomorrow as well. And the day after. Marathon in under 4 hours anyone?

Life in the not so fast lane

I had a run tonight - 35 minutes worth; faster than normal, precipitated by the fact that it was a) through the rain, and b) through the dodgy neighborhood the other side of Lafayette.

Bad Shape

Roughly 7 months to go now until the marathon, and I'm at the bottom of the fitness curve. Right now, I clould barely run a bath! Still wearing that winter coat - about 10 extra pounds of blubber, courtesy of the UK chocolate industry and California's micro breweries. Oh, and the rain hasn't helped either. Not to worry - at least I realize where I'm at. Question is, can I get to where I'm going to? San Jose marathon , 2006, in under 3 hours. Time, and diet, will tell.