Running Days & Miles, Eating Pasta And (For The Moment) Cutting Back On Drinking Beer & Wine
This is not a misleading headline.
Nothing is, quite frankly, on PubClub.com.
So yes it’s true. I got in shape to run a 10K race in just 10 days.
I started from scratch, ran 1 1/2 miles the first day – a Tuesday – and by the following Tuesday had run six miles. I ran another six – including some hills – on the Thursday before the race, the Super Bowl 10K in Redondo Beach, CA, on Super Bowl Sunday.
Here’s how I did it, how many times I ran and how far I ran each time. Crunched for time, I ran seven times in nine days and covered a total of slightly more than 30 miles.
It should be stated that I’ve done several 10Ks in the past and I’m kind of a regular runner,. Tho not regular enough of late, maybe three miles twice a week, and was coming off a long break from running.
• Day 1 – Tuesday
Oh my here I go – I took off down a concrete path to get the blood pumping in the heart and legs. Knowing I could not run very far (I had a touch of the flu for three weeks and had not run in more than six weeks) but I wanted to start off with a good “base.” So I hit a hill. It’s a three-block hill, the last block of which is at a very steep incline. Surprisingly, I made it without stopping to huff-and-puff at the top of it. This gave me the confidence I needed for the rest of my training.
• Day 2 – Wednesday
I decided to see how far I could run without getting truly winded, hoping it would be three miles but thought really it would be more like 2 1/2. To my surprise, I easily made it 3 1/2 miles. Afterward, I did not feel as if I had run at all; that was a good sign.
• Day 3 – Thursday
Okay, now I was kind of in a groove. Hoping to get to four miles, I instead ran 4 1/2. I felt good.
• Day 5 – Saturday
After taking a day off to let the legs and body rest, I hit it big on a nice, sunny Saturday. I ran more than five miles.
• Day 7 – Monday
This was going to be my big day – at least 5/12 miles, maybe even six. However, it wasn’t to be, unfortunately. I just didn’t have “it.” Part of it was the weather; even tho it was January, the sun was out, there were no clouds and it was warm. As I started running, it got hot. I wound up pulling up and stopping after five miles. I was afraid that I had reached that critical “runner’s dilemma” stage, that point where you want to run enough times to be in good enough shape for the 10K but not too much to where you wear out the body and don’t have enough energy to run the 10K.
• Day 8 – Tuesday
I contemplated resting and not running but I was so ticked at myself for pulling up on Day 7, that I charged out the door. It was about 10 degrees cooler – perfect! – and I had a great run. I had set out to do 5 1/2 but instead did six miles. My confidence was back and I started planning my next run.
• Day 9 – Thursday, The Final Pre-Race Run
Now confident that I could comfortably do the distance, this time I wanted to work on some hills. The first two miles of the Redondo 10K are all uphill – a slow and steady block-after-block burn up a seemingly never-ending incline. I HATE this part of the race. So I wanted to run that part so I wouldn’t concern myself with it during the race. The last mile of the race has another three-block incline followed by “The Hill.” I ran the first part of the race, including finding more inclines, then attacked the final legs with that three-block rise. And yes, I even did The Hill. Total run distance for the day was six miles.
Whew! Did it. Felt good and only slightly stiff that evening as I had a few Kona Firerock beers dockside at the 310YP social mixer.
Eating & Drinking: The 10K Physical Preparation
During the week and a half, I ate pasta the night before every run (this is not unusual as I regularly eat pasta but I’ve learned don’t eat, say, rice, before you run because it sticks in your belly), and I also cut down on my drinking. Usually, I’ll have at least a couple of beers or glasses of wine with dinner but I cut that in half and did not even have anything for three days in one stretch and nothing before the final run, despite temptations of a cute blonde calling me out to the local bar telling me there was another cute blonde working as a bartender.
“I admire your discipline,” a friend told me.
I’m not so sure that I did, but I know there’s plenty of beer – and perhaps a blonde or two – after the 10K, because not only is it Super Bowl Sunday, there’s a beer garden at the finish line.