The Minutes, Not Miles theory that I'm following actually ensued from an article that I read quoting Jeff Galloway, a well-respected running guru. He was talking about starting to run, a timely article for all of those who use New Year's as a time to get in shape. What he describes is a run/walk combination, and that becoming a runner is as easy as changing the ratio. Run for 15 seconds out of every minute, and gradually increase that distance.
He also talked about how men (in particular) can jump into training too enthusiastically and burn themselves out. I feared that I was nearing that point, so I need to slow down and just get in my miles. I've got to make sure that I can run the marathon. Then I'll worry about going faster.
Today, I was not going faster.
About 2.5 miles into the run, I really felt like I was hitting the proverbial wall. Granted, it was a little more uphill than I usually do that early, but I was dragging like I haven't in a while. My legs felt like lead, and I was having a good deal of trouble forcing them into action.
I've heard about this wall before, and I've never really come across it, at least not that I remember. I probably had some of these issues back in high school, but that was so long ago (he said sadly) that I don't quite remember it. Now it's been so long since I've been in full-fledged training that I haven't had the chance to approach the wall, much less hit it.
But hit it I did. Hard.
And yet there's good news. I kept going. Even when I got lost. Despite the fact that run-mapping websites don't take into account the fact that some of the roads are actually gated communities and are therefore of no use to a runner, I managed to find my way around. It was a fun system of continuing until I found another road and following my shadow. See, I knew I was generally southeast of where I wanted to be, and since it was early morning, my shadow pointed northwest. If I was following my shadow, I was going in the right direction. Celestial navigation.
It ended up being about .6 miles longer due to my detour, but I got back on track relatively easily. It's nice to finally be able to find my way through the city so that a wrong turn isn't the disaster that it once was. There's really no better way to get to know the city than some really long runs.
I finished in an okay time. Not as fast as I'd like to be, but there was some walking in the last couple miles that really slowed down the average. Then I started to think about all the things that might have contributed to my wall issue.
The one thing that I immediately got worried about was the paleo diet. I'm eating a lot less than I normally do. Well, maybe not less overall, but definitely less junk, and a LOT less sugar. These are all good things, of course, but I did wonder if I wasn't getting the calories I needed to complete the workouts I had planned. I've lost some weight already, and I didn't really think I had weight to lose. Apparently, I was wrong.
I guess I'm just going to keep an eye on the whole thing. At several points in the last couple days, I've already felt like giving in on this. I love my pasta, and I've basically been constantly carbo-loading for most of my life. I miss that pretty much every meal, but I promised to give this an honest try, and it takes more than 4 days to be able to pass judgement on something like this.
And so I will continue, at least for a little while longer. We'll see how the weekend goes, and particularly Sunday's run.
I am thrilled to have caffeine out of my system for the first time in over ten years, so that's one great thing to come out of this.
Here's hoping for some more.
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