Friday, September 29, 2006

Team in Training (TnT)

So now I'm a member of Team in Training, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I'm going to raise money to eliminate blood cancers. Please consider supporting me in this attempt at running my first 1/2 marathon at the PF Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon in Phoenix. To date I have run 6.2 miles. It took me 1 hour and 27 minutes. Can I run 13.1 miles? I believe I can and would like you to support me by donating to The Luekemia & Lymphoma Society.

I would like to get at least a $5 donation from every state and a total of $1700. Normally, 25% of this amount would go toward my training, entrance fees and a really cool purple running shirt. However, I will be donating $425 to pay for my fees. All of your donations will go to the society.

Donate Here.


K80K said...

You can definitely do this Pat! You have $5 from Maryland. Only 49 states to go. ;)

Phil said...

Hi Pat ... thanks for stopping by my blog. I always appreciate new readers (especially those that leave comments).

I read through your recent postings and see that you are just starting out, so let me welcome you to the wider community of runners. You'll find that we are generally a congenial group of people and happy to help anyone who asks and occasionally those that haven' t :)

Most of our suggestions (such as the command to SLOW DOWN) are given to ensure that you develop into a healthy, injury free runner. The landscape is littered with those that started jogging, set some massive goal for themselves and end up injured and discouraged, convinced that running isn’t for them. The fact is, unless you’ve got some completely off the wall bio-mechanical problem, you can be a runner; but you need to keep in mind that it takes time.

Fortunately, you’ve got time on your side. You're only 44 (I think), so you are already 3 years ahead of me. I didn't start running until I was 47. You've got a bit of weight to loose (same story with me) and you want to get healthy (great goal … this feeds on itself). I am more than a little concerned that you’ve also set yourself a massively unattainable goal of “running” a ½ marathon in 13 weeks. Running 13.1 miles takes most of us 100 to 130 minutes to complete. This is a lot of minutes spent pounding the pavement. That translates to a tremendous amount of stress on your body, which sets you up for injuries. That said, let’s do what we can do to ensure that you finish the R&R ½ marathon anxious to continue running and improving.

First, you’ve got to figure out your running goals. Your number 1 goal needs to be running 30 minutes non-stop injury and pain free. This is the minimum level of fitness below which it doesn’t make any sense to talk about anything else. It took me 2 months to reach this goal. I literally walked 30 minutes a day for a month before I started running at all.

Notice that I said injury and pain free. Running shouldn’t hurt. You need to give your body time to adjust. The run/walk technique is the best way to get started and it appears that this is the technique you are using. Few agree on the exact best approach to run / walk, but all methods lead to the same result. The one I used was to walk / run in 10 minutes repetitions. Slowly over the weeks I extended the minutes running and decreased the minutes walking in each 10 minute repetition. If my knees started to scream, I backed off. If my ankles were sore, I backed off. You’ve got a lot of connective tissue that is trying to keep up with your new exercise regime, but it needs time to adjust. Listen to your body. Keep repeating to yourself: I’ve got nothing but time.

This brings me to my second point. Make sure that you have a reasonable expectation for the R&R ½ marathon. I see that you are collecting donations for leukemia research … now that’s a great goal. So fashion your goal around collecting as much cash as possible and participating in the ½ marathon. You won’t be a failure if you can’t run 13.1 miles in the next 13 weeks. If you run / walk the whole thing you’ll be a winner because you’ve collected a ton of cash for a worthy cause and participated in a large athletic event. And don’t worry, in time, we’ll not only get you running ½ marathons, but we’ll get you racing ½ marathons. But you need to stay healthy and injury free to achieve that goal.

I wish you the best of luck with running. What sort of runner you turn out to be will depend on your bio-mechanics, personality and life-style. My friends from Tucson are a perfect example. Angie and Mike couldn’t be more different. Angie isn’t the fastest woman on the planet, but she is currently training for a 50 mile race this spring. Mike on the other hand is the fastest person I’ve ever met. He is training to break through the 2:30 marathon barrier (the holy grail of marathons). Angie will probably never run a 2:30 marathon and Mike has little interest in running 50 mile ultra-marathons and I will never do either. Both Mike and Angie are great runners, their just different people. This is a long winded way of saying that you will develop your interests as you slowly improve your generally level of fitness. You may turn into the fastest thing on two feet at 5K or you may develop a passion for running ultras like Angie. Where ever you end up doing, it will be good. You’ll feel great and occasionally kick yourself for waiting until you were 44 to start this journey.

If I haven’t scared you completely off blogging, feel free to drop in at any of our blogs and ask a question or two. We’ll reciprocate and help get you plugged into the larger community. This is a great sport that will last you a life time. You just need to keep your eye on the short term goals and your head focused on your long term objectives.

Phil said...

I'd also suggest that you turn off Comment Moderation. You don't need it on a running blog. It's just annoying. Simply set up your blog to eMail all comments to you. If someone sends something objectionable, delete it.

ravenclawprefect said...

I said it earlier, when you had it moderated but will say it again.

Thank you for running with TnT. I have a 10 year old with leukemia that has gone through 2 bone marrow transplants so this is a cause near and dear to my heart. Thank you for running for him and everyone else who deals with a blood cancer on a daily basis.