After two sick kids wiped out several days of training, I hit the track for a mid-week sort of long run this morning. After pounding out a quick (slow) 10K, I decided to do a bit of strength training in the form of plyometrics.
Now, I'm well aware of the benefits of plyometrics. And I want those benefits. But does it have to be so painful? Really, I did four laps, totalling just under a half-mile. Each lap consisted of two sets of 20 steps of plyometrics. The first four sets were deep knee lunges. The second four sets were bounding.
Now, I can barely walk. Honestly. What is that all about?
The worst part was the final sets of the deep knee lunges. It became a lesson in pushing myself past the "WHY-O-WHY am I doing this? Certainly a 10K run is enough!"
Of course, that's what I find myself saying every time I work on strength training. I really have to stop reading the articles that tout the benefits of strength training and call out those who try to logic their way out of doing it.
Then I could go about my training, happily ignoring strength training.
But Noooooo. I love to read. Even old Triathlete Magazine articles. So, I do the plyometrics and wonder why.
I so better see benefits when I run the marathon in May.
You can call me the Iron Courier. Delivery under three (hours) or it's free. Some background and details, perhaps?
Much like other days of the week, Sundays at our house have a bit of a routine. One key part of that routine involves my kids asking to go to their grandpa's house after church. I typically tell them to ask their grandfather. He typically tells them to check with their dad. Yes, it's a vicious circle. It makes them laugh.
Yesterday was all boys. My daughter went to church with my wife, leaving three generations of males from the Pol family to fend for themselves. Of course, my son wanted to go for lunch at grandpa's.
It worked out well as it gave him the opportunity to read a story to grandpa as part of homework. We ate lunch, watched the first half of the Packer game, and, according to my dad, did all the other things men can't do in mixed company (mostly associated with bodily functions, you know how guys can be).
At half-time, we hurried out the door so we could get home before the second half started. And, of course, left my son's homework packet sitting on my dad's table. He noticed it and called, just as I was pulling into the driveway at my house.
And, also of course, it needed to be turned in, today. That left me with the challenge of juggling the rest of the Packer game, a 12-mile training run, dinner, and returning to my dad's house to get the folder.
Enter MapMyRun. While watching the second half of the game, I mapped out the route I would take to my dad's house, if I were running. Nine miles, one way. A bit much when the plan called for a 12-miler.
Of course, that doesn't consider either the Ironman or the insanity factor. As the Packer game wound down, I changed into my running gear and headed out the door. I told my wife I'd be back in three hours, or the delivery would be free.
Eighteen miles (about four of which were not much fun) and 2:50 later, I walked back in the door, a sweaty pack on my back. Thank goodness for the plastic sleeves they use to send the books/signature sheets home.
Iron Courier Service. You call, we deliver. And who needs the bike?
Getting back into the training thing, I'm pleased to note that my aerobic capacity hasn't suffered TOO badly. After an easy seven mile run at 9:40 pace, I did three miles at 9 min/mile without having to break anything. It's a far cry from 3:40 marathon pace, but not bad for being off six, er eight, okay, nearly 10 weeks.
There, is, however, a noticeable price I am having to pay. My legs have forgotten how indestructible they are supposed to be. After two easy runs, 10 miles total, I was feeling it in my legs. Perhaps not to the extent experienced after my first marathon, but still...
These are the legs that do back to back 30 mile runs on a weekend. These are the legs that did 50 miles under 10 hours. These are iron legs.
Apparently, I need to bust out some rust remover.
One of the things people grow accustom to as they get older is the loss, through death, of friends from school. Sadly, we sometimes have to face that harsh reality far too early in life. Such was the case, this week, when another classmate was lost to cancer. Specifically, renal cell carcinoma. Few of you reading this know Ron. His family maintained a blog of his battle, here. A close friend established a memorial page, which is likely to grow in time. (Picture courtesy of Sam Nail)
To that end, I am turning to the Tri Blog Community. Obviously, I know we all receive dozens (hundreds?) of solicitations each month. Most of those, however, don't come with the opportunity to truly test someone's mettle. In this case, the someone is me. The mettle? An ultramarathon.
First, allow me to say I may have reached the pinnacle of my ultramarathoning career. Having participated in the Fall 50, I have a new and profound respect for ultramarathoners, particularly those who complete extreme endurance events in the 100+ category. Fifty was quite enough for this body, and only time will tell if more events at this distance are likely.
While looking at options for a new clothes dryer (long story, don't ask), I took the time to dig up pictures from the Fox Cities Marathon. As usual, I got a couple decent shots in the midst of lots of brutal pictures. This first ones is actually near the end of the race. For me, it was about 38 miles into the day.
As I neared the finish, I was thinking how it would be nice to show some energy rather than my usual dull plod down the chute. I had "One Step Beyond" by Madness playing, and considered doing the Madness Shuffle across the finish line. Figuring that would look pretty odd WITHOUT the music, I just ran back and forth encouraging the crowd to cheer. There were a lot of people coming after me, and the spectators were pretty lifeless. I'm amazed anyone was able to get a picture of me as I was running back and forth.
Allow me to present "Death Warmed Over." I love the snarl. Oddly enough, this is also in the finish chute. I went from cheerleading the crowd to an apparently whiny "Are we there, yet?" in just a few feet. Oh well, it keeps me humble.
About 10 days ago, my kids started coming down with colds. They had slight fevers followed by lots of congestion and coughing. We spent several days wiping noses, pushing fluids, and occassionally disregarding alarmist warnings by providing medicine. Having two sick kids meant a lot of nights sleeping on one floor or another trying to comfort them, or at least keeping them company when they couldn't sleep.
Okay, I know the saying is usually "WHERE'S a cop when you need one?" Things just worked out differently, this weekend. And it all became clear when I was pulled over while running. (Man am I getting fast!)
Now, for your viewing pleasure, Iron Pol after the second long run of the weekend. To be fair, we wrote the "50 miles" before actually mapping out the course. It was only 48.6 miles. I did 29 miles on Saturday in 4:55 (with 10 minutes in pit stops). That was followed up on Sunday with another 19.6 miles in about 3:45. My son was supposed to be offering me Gatorade. It looks more like he's trying to pour water on my head.
Last night was the final night of our churches vacation Bible school. And, of course, the last night means clean up. After having parents in for a review of the week and a small reception, we attacked all areas of the church with zeal so it would be ready for Sunday's service. That takes time, and it was closing on 10 p.m. when I got home with the kids.
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.