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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Runs

Somewhat related to the last post, I wanted to blog about my half marathon training, since this is the only media where someone could actually publish anything about their experience of "slower than jogging but quite as slow as walking" excruciating race training.  Everything I've read on Runners World mag online is a little intense for my running level - we are talking about people actually recommending to others that they tinkle (or poop...I'm not kidding) in their pants during races in order to shave minutes off their finishing time. Wow - my nephew Julian would be great at marathoning if that's part of the deal.

Like I said in my previous post, someone dropped out of the race so I decided to take their spot and run. That gave me 3 weeks to train. I'm not completely out of shape, but I haven't been running at all. I mean, if I signed up for a 3 hour challenge on the elliptical, I would easily crush it.. No problem -that's the only cardio device at my gym that I can tolerate.  The treadmills are always broken or there is a 5 person line at the one that works and with no A/C it's just too hot for me to deal with running.  I've done some running outside here but it can be a challenge trying to actually run while basically sucking on a muffler and dodging cars flying by jumping into the forest (no sidewalks, no curbs, no nothin besides mud). Oh, and every road seems to be on a steep incline...add that to the fact that you stick out like a sore thumb jogging in your special sport gear, with your expensive tennis shoes, and your IPOD.  You just sort of feel like a freak while everyone you pass on the street is like carrying loads of fruits in vegetables in bags on their backs...or running in their street clothes as a form of transportation to get to their job. 

BUT! I HAVE TO TRAIN - so I did find one treadmill that I like to use at the gym. It's actually on the roof by the gym pool - so it's open air and nice and cool and no one knows it's their so it's always free to use. There are actually two treadmills there, but one has been broken for a full year.
I've been doing 5 or 6 miles 2 times per week and then 3 fast miles 1 time per week and then a long run on Saturday outdoors.  Here's the scenery from the rooftop of the gym where the treadmills are:

It's not a horrible view but running in the same place for an hour is not so stimulating.  On the weekends we (Serg, me, and Scott) have been doing the long runs in an area called Gigiri where the UN and US Embassy are.  It's safe and quiet with nice streets and not a lot of traffic. We have a 2 mile loop that we go around and around.  It has some pretty nasty hills but for those long runs, anything is better than a treadmill. Since we've been running out there for a while now...even before training, we would go there and run during the weekends...many of the house guards and people that work around there have gotten used to us and cheer us on when we pass them.  This one house guard that I pass counts my loops for me - makes it more fun.  Yesterday was a 10 miler - i didn't feel so hot.  Definitely did better the weekend before. I've been really congested and having a hard time pulling in air lately. Hopefully my cold will clear up by this coming weekend - for the race!  I'm doing about a 9:50 mile right now..not awesome, but not walking - which is all that is important to me!

I'll let you know how I do - Unless I have scared you away forever by writing this much about my training runs already. haha. I'm an annoying blogger - I'm aware of that.

If you have any helpful hints for race day - add your comments!

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