Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Long Way to the Marathon (metaphorically, that is...)

The Lake Placid Marathon is next month, almost EXACTLY a month, to be precise. That is, if the weather is cold enough to hold the ice. It could well be the first weekend of ice there. It could also well be my first time on long track skates since last year. I really want to skate long track this year, not that I'd be tremendously better at it than I am at short track, but the few times I've skated at the oval, I have enjoyed it more than short track. I enjoy being outside, I enjoy the longer strokes and glide on the straights. That being said, I thought I'd enjoy skating a marathon on natural ice, and we all know how THAT turned out...
Five weeks ago, I was approaching my fitness goal, and was looking forward to a nice vacation before training on the ice. I had a few ice sessions and was starting to feel like I could do some training. Our trip was relaxing, even though our daughter came down with an ear infection, and then Strep throat. This kid is such a trooper, with lots of sleep and Tylenol, she managed to rally and enjoy herself every day. A quick visit to the urgent care once we got off the plane in Albany, a trip to the pharmacy, and presumably, we'd be back to normal. Our older boys are past the age where they get ear infections, and, since we were back in town, I'd be right on top of any sign of Strep. What I didn't see coming, and really who does, was novel H1N1 for the whole family, followed immediately by a high energy interaction between a 150 lb TV set and a 58 lb 8 yr old. The TV set was undamaged. Not so much with the 8 yr old.

Hmmm... I guess we can cross skis off her Christmas list. The smile was Codeine induced. The first two weeks were rough, but once she got a new, lighter cast on and the xrays this week showed that the bones were beginning to knit together, we were all much happier.
I returned her skates and skin suit to the club this week, so it looks like it's just me skating this season. Which brings me to this week. After some sleepless nights while the kids were fighting 103 degree fevers, I've spent a week sleeping on the floor next to the couch, a week sleeping in the guest bed when we managed to get our daughter moved upstairs, and finally this week sleeping in my own bed. I've been living on coffee, Halloween candy, prepackaged snacks, and pizza. We are so indebted to our family and friends, who came to our rescue with meals, and sitting services so that we could return to work while our daughter is recuperating. Now that our life is a little more calm, I'm thinking about skating.
Five weeks.....I can feel it, pudgy and slow. In one of my last posts, I mentioned needing a goal. I'm very goal oriented. This Marathon would be a great goal. I've never skated more than 9000 meters at a time, and that was on a 111 meter rink, and this season I haven't done more than a few laps at a time while I'm coaching. How to train for the entry event of Marathon skating, the 10K? I think fitness level is the key. I won't be able to get much continuous skating in during our Tues/Thur sessions but perhaps during the more lightly attended Wed sessions. Times for this event range from 15 to 38 minutes. I'm shooting for a 30 minute finish. I think it's much like training for a 5K, which for me used to be slightly more than a 30 minute continuous effort.
With that in mind, I have some very specific things I need to accomplish. First, I have to drop the weight I have put back on in the past five weeks. Second, I need to get back to my pre vacation/flu/medical emergency fitness level. These go hand in hand. I have my bike set up in the basement, waiting for me, and a slide board right next to it, gathering dust. Third, and possibly the hardest, is to get enough ice time and specifically, continuous skate time to be able to skate a 10K. Squeezing in some training while I'm coaching on T/TH and longer sessions on Wednesday nights until the oval opens, then at least 1 session at the oval before the Marathon should allow me to complete the 10K. Skating a 10K would force me to address my issues in the turns. Once I get comfortable doing these long track crossovers and keep my fitness level up, I should be able to skate other events. Participation and completion, that's the goal this year.
Sounds like a plan...