So I've completed a little over a week of training and I thought I'd recap for everyone how things have gone thus far...
Actual Running: Turns out, I'm not as awful as I anticipated. I'm not the fastest by any means, but I'm also not the slowest. This is an unexpected blessing, as I've discovered that in order to compete in and complete the WDW Marathon you have to maintain a minimum 16mph walking pace for the entire event. Now, that doesn't sound like much, but 16mph can seem like Olympic time trial speeds after 26 miles. Right now I'm at something like a 14/15mph, which is sloooooow goings, but when I try to speed up my coach is right there to remind me that I'll be doing this for 6 or so hours, so keep it at a pace that won't cause my lung to burst.
Team Training: The first TnT training was actually pleasant. Not that I expected my teammates to be abominable, but I was worried about how I'd do on the track. Nothing like punking out on the first day. But all went well. Kevin (our coach) had us introduce ourselves to each other and then went over some basic stretches. Then it was onto some quick laps around the high school track we were using that day. 1/2mile of learning to pace myself, which is much easier when you have people to chat with while on the course. A quick break followed by more running - just another 1 1/2 miles - followed by Q&A. Kevin explained some various running methods and techniques (I quickly glommed onto the Galloway method of run/walking the event), as well as basics on hydration, calorie maintenance, and running gear. There's a shoe clinic on Thursday that I'll have to miss because Lina can't take herself to the vet, now can she?
Saturday is the next team workout, and should prove more challenging. We'll be sharing the trail currently used by groups training for the October Baltimore Marathon. It'll definitely be more than 2 miles. Here's hoping I finish some time before Sunday.
Cross Training: Kevin is a big, big, big advocate of cross training at least twice a week to work out muscles that come in handy during endurance events (i.e., knees, back, abs - that sort of thing). I've been mixing it up with a Yoga-lates (it's a Pilates/yoga hybrid) and an exercise bike, which seems to be helping strengthen my knee, thank God. Unfortunately, I'm using the Hopkins gym for many of my workouts. It's not that the gym is sub-par; the gym itself is great. Plenty of workout options, including a climbing wall and an indoor track. Not-so-great are the television options in front of the machines, including the bike. This week I suffered through 4miles' worth of MTV's Next.
Has anyone ever watched this show? Contestants vie for the attention of one guy or gal by performing acts of what I can only politely describe as extreme public humiliation for a brief one-on-one date. It has this whole Roman amphitheater/gladiator v. lion quality to it, but with elements of speed dating thrown in for giggles. The episode I endured included a young man who really likes football, so his initial challenge for the interested ladies (the ones he didn't reject upon first viewing them) was to dress them up in super-padded football uniforms. The girl then had to run as fast as she could to make a touchdown before a K-9 unit police dog (a foaming-at-the-mouth German Shepherd) was released, with the directive to attack and tackle her.
I kid you not. The dog took out the first girl, which made the young man laugh so hard he nearly herniated something. ("That was fun...for me!" he cried out. Charming.) The second girl took one look at the dog and promptly turned around and ran back to the bus/makeshift green room holding the other contestants. The third girl made the touchdown, but was still tackled by the dog who proceeded to maul the back collar of her uniform. While she was still wearing it. Apparently Prince Charming thought this demonstrated her skill and commitment (and her seeming low standards) and they went on a one-on-one date that consisted of feeding each other nachos.
How is this entertaining again? Ladies, I have certainly made my share of questionable relationship decisions in the past, but I think I have enough sense to say that if the man you're interested in thinks that it's hysterical to watch you earn his approval by letting a member of a K-9 unit damn near rip your face off, just let him go, hon. Let him go.
More to update after Sunday. Stay tuned!