Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mo' marathons.

I'm reading a book called, "I'm not the New Me" by Wendy McClure, which is so funny it's just about made me snort my Special-K protein water out my nose more than once. If you can get a copy, do, but get the full copy, not the bargain paperback. The commentary on the 60's and 70's weight-watcher recipe cards alone are worth the price. I'm going to buy her second book and put it on my coffee table.

So it's slightly less than 6 weeks to the Black Warrior 50K, one of my two "A" races this year and my first 50K race and the final race that, when I finish it, will alow me to join the Marathon Maniacs. Tonight Sweet Baboo and I started our weekly "speedwalk" training.

So, the idea is that by doing this at least once a week as fast as we can, we will build up the muscles used for walking and also learn to walk really fast. This is good for long distance running because walk breaks, especially on hills, allow the musles a chance to lengthen and recover without devastating slow-down.

According to the experts, effective "recovery" walks use a different set of muscles than running. You kick your legs out front and focus on pushing yourself forward, instead of "side-to-side."

So tonight we headed out on the first one and I have to say, my walking pace is pretty slow. It's pretty weird to be focussed on getting faster and then suddenly get into a training regimen where you deliberately slow down, but that's what you do in ultrarunning: Got a blister? Slow down. Got cramps? Slow down. Nausea? Slow down. In fact, there's nothing for which the prescriptions seems to be, speed up. Now, that's my kinda stuff.

So anyhoo, we did out 2.95 miles in about 45 minutes, so just over a 15 minute pace. I had to laught because I realized, honestly, this is pretty close to my first 5K time back in 2005, and I was running as fast as I could and got my ass kicked by an 11-year-old.

The other thing I noticed about the speedwalk is that I didn't heat up as fast. I had to dress a bit warmer than I would have for a run. I really enjoyed the walk, which we did right after dinner.
I guess I'll get faster and more efficient at walking with time. Most of all, though, I get to do it with Sweet Baboo, and I rarely get to workout with Swifty Sweet Baboo. Usually I just kiss him goodbye, and then see him when it's over.

Also this week we ordered my snow shoes from the REI outlet store for the Sandia Snowshoe race. Now, I honestly have no illusions about being swift in any sense in the word in this race, in which I believe I will have my slowest 5K EVAR, comically shuffling around the top of a mountain in giant clown shoes. I don't even ski.

(This admission "I don't ski" actually causes some of the locals to utter a sharp intake of breath and murmer, Dude! I think I'm the last person on earth who is active and lives near a mountain and doesn't know how to ski. But, I mean, I grew up in ALABAMA and TEXAS. Here's what I know how to do: swim in backyard pools, fan myself, and bitch about the heat. Y'all. I also know how to make my hair and makeup melt-proof. That's about it. )

But back to the race. It's a about a 5K out-and-back on the Sandia Crest trail. Either Pirate talked me into or else she was talking about I said, "Hey, I want to do that," I don't remember. But why not? It's a chance to 1) get new gear, 2) get a cool T-shirt, and 3) wear giant clown shoes and run across the top of a mountain with other people in giant clown shoes. Yay!

Always an adventure. I can't wait!



  1. The Snowshoe race sounds FUN!
    I don't ski either...never have and probably never will.
    Everyone I know who does eventually has a major accident anyway and I have enough accidents when riding my bike!
    Walking is an important part of training for the longer trail races...when a friend of mine was training for Western States he religiously incorporated fast walking into his routine and did very well.
    (I know when I fast walk with my long-legged husband I am really sore as I have worked many more/different muscles than when I am running!)
    Happy training!

  2. Snowshoeing sounds fun. Never done it. Never been on downhill skis before either (and I am born, bred, and raised in Wisconsin, pretty much one of the snow capitals of the country...). Did used to XC ski a long time ago, but that is really more like running with sticks clipped to your toes.
    I looked at a bunch of those recipe cards, and I think I know why people were losing weight on WW back then.... the food was disgusting! I have never seen so many gross food recipes in one place! And what's with all the seafood? Everything was either made with tuna, mackerel, shrimp, or some other lovely finfish. Fishballs? No thanks, I'll pass!

  3. Hey GG, I can't ski either and I grew up here! I'll see you at the top of the mountain! Think I'm just going to rent some shoes for this one.

  4. You are gonna LOVE snowshoeing. I promise! It is like, well, speed walking in thes now..

  5. New frontiers!!! Good for you!


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 I'm no longer involved in multisport or endurance sports. I've started my own business, a psychotherapist specializing in anxiety d...