I won 2nd place in the Athena division for the Southwest Challenge Series for 2006, mainly because I'm slow, but tenacious. (Helen, the champion, is tenacious and fast, which is why she, Helen, is Champion and I'm in second place.)
I'm very excited about the 2007 season for two reasons.
First, I think I figured out that for the past year and a half, I've been running completely wrong.
I thought I was running right. Whenever I would ask Sweet Baboo (who, I'm convinced, straps on a jetpack when nobody is looking; his "slow and easy" training runs are the 8 minute range and he's 6'2" and 215 lbs!) he would say, "your legs need to go out behind you" I tried that, sort of. I think I tried it without bending my knees, just kind of kicking my legs straight back.
I felt completely retarded.
I read stuff about proper running form, and that I needed to make sure that my feet hit the ground below my body. The only way I could figure that out was to stretch out my legs and leap forward so that I landed on my feet, with them right below my body.
That just hurt my knees, and boy, I just wasn't getting any faster.
But at the Turkey trek halfway point, for whatever reason, I started running differently. The only way I can describe it is that I started concentrating my effort on my hams pulling my heels up behind me instead of pushing my toes out ahead of me. It felt a little strange at first, but then, suddenly, I started speeding up, and was actually pulling ahead of people. (People who were running, not walking.)
WoW! I tried it again today, and my "slow easy" run was around 45 seconds faster per mile.
Woo-hoo! maybe I can make my age-grouper debut at the Polar Bear a memorable one. Don't know if I'll be calling people out to half irons, like Nytro does, but I do have this fantasy...
I'll share it with you...
Hey, it's my fantasy. Don't mock me.
Second, I figured out that I'm not getting enough protein. I've been getting enough protein for someone who isn't training and doing endurance events, about 30-40 grams a day, but I've read estimates of protein requirements that range from 0.5 to 0.75 grams per pound of bodyweight for endurance athletes. That means for me, at 153 pounds, I need between 77 and 114 grams a day. I'll make a safe estimate of around 90.
So starting this week, each day, I throw a cup of ice, a cup of soymilk, a quarter cup of isolated soy protein powder, a banana and an orange into a blender, and half of it goes into the tummy and half of it into the fridge for my breakfast the next day. This gives me an additional 55 grams of protein each day above what I was already getting.
I'll be my own guinea pig. Time will tell what my self-imposed experiment will do.