Thursday, October 22, 2009

Training Plan

My training is basic; my simple goal is to increase base mileage while keeping the residual healthy. This means being flexible should any irritation or blister show up that could derail my running. I seem to be limited to 3 - 4 consecutive days of training before needing to take a day off to make sure the skin on the residual has time to recover from minor irritation. I remove the blister block and expose the skin to as much air as I can give it, often removing my prosthesis at work and wearing my shrinker sock.

That said, by doing 2x day runs of no more than 4 miles each, I can run 48 mi. a week with one day off by running 2 x 4 mi. every day. As things improve, I will be doing a longer run every week and ease into traditional training as best I can.

Here's what I hope to do this week:

Mon. 3 mi. on treadmill - done
Tues. 4 mi. (2 x 2mi) - done
Weds. 3 mi outside - done
Thurs. 2 mi. treadmill - done (am)
Fri. 4 mi. Ravenel Cooper River Bridge (pm)
Sat. off
Sun. 2 mi. am 3 mi. pm

Total: 21 miles

Most of this (alleged) running is slow, 11+ mi. pace. Now all running is relative; Haile Gebrselassie could be in a coma and run this fast, but it still beats my sweet dead granny. My old (prior to first foot surgery) easy pace was 8 - 9 min./mi.

Any periodized training plan will have you go through several phases: base building, speedwork, sharpening, tapering, and racing. Presently I am in base building, and the fact I've not run in almost 2 years means my current running fitness level is at my dead granny level. My speed is nearly irrelevant...or should be. The little speedwork I do is in the form of fartleks, which allows me some psychological relief from knowing I can - and will - run faster. help get sponsorship for my running foot I need to go faster sooner, and therein lies the rub. I simply cannot hurry what the body will not accept. I have many years of experience and I have learned a few things about my sport: you can have a heart full of courage but without training you are toast. Burnt to a crisp, 2 week old moldy toast. I fully expect it to be fall of 2010 before I am approaching the old running me, but after that I going to be unrelenting in my running pursuits.


I had a good visit - as usual - with my prosthetist on Wednesday. I also met another Floyd Brace employee, Don Gaudette, who asked if I would talk to a veteran amputee about running. Truly, it would be the highest honor possible for me to help someone who put love of country first - we the people - with his very life as barter.

Larry said he was trying to get me an Ossur Flex-Run foot and indicated it would be helpful for Ossur to have an active athlete in this area. This makes me want to push myself to get faster sooner, but as a runner who listens to his body I have learned to ignore a certain amount of screaming. I know I shouldn't.

This brings me to something that happened Wednesday night.


After visiting Larry, I was itching to get out for a run. It was a cooler evening and I was getting home before dark. I took off a little too fast, my HR (heart rate) was damned close to my max at a pace that was, well, ask my dead granny. I lowered my pace and enjoyed the rest of my run, but with about a half mile to go I noticed a car slowing down. For runners this is the sign of someone needing directions, but since I am visually a flashing neon sign I knew it might be something else.

Turned out it was a neighbor. She said how she and her boyfriend had seen me running in the past and then watched as I got slower and then didn't see me altogether. Later they watched as I went from wheelchair to crutches and she said to her boyfriend, "he's going to be running soon!"

And here I was, at the end of my run, talking to my neighbor.

The thing is, she has had back surgery and is still in obvious pain, 5 on the scale of 10. Yet she stopped me to say how inspiring I was and how proud I should be of myself. Jennifer walked up with Baxter and she again gushed about my running.


We talked for a while and it made me realize something I hadn't considered about my new life. I did not have this operation to inspire anyone. I did it to run again, because that is my passion in life. Perhaps on some level it connects me to the child that was me, where running and being were the same.

Or, as Ah-nold might say:



The same.


So here is my neighbor, in terrible pain, making me feel good about my condition. Who inspires whom? I am not dying from cancer; my body is not revolting against itself. I had an unfortunate accident that, in the end, is multiplying joy in my life.

Why me?

Why me.

For a short burst I ran my fastest burst yet, a real stride, around 9 min. pace.

Who inspires whom.

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