The 13 Lb Challenge

I’ve been coaching a group of studs. One of them is shooting for a 3 min PR in the 5k – a lofty but attainable goal. And he has made incredible improvements every week, yet isn’t pleased with his accomplishments thus far. Instead of patting himself on the back for his gains he’s consumed by the pace he aspires to fly through miles in. So, I recommended intermediate goals to escape the expectations of dreamland. He recommended the same for me! Boys got a point, Allieland has been mighty whimsical lately.

I was on a roll before the Belmar 5K, steadily progressing, racing vicariously through the accomplishments of my training partner, and dreaming of an Olympic future. Jersey was a despondent slap to reality – I am 18 lbs over weight, injury prone, and can’t manage a 5k at my 15k PR pace. I walked away from that race bummed to have not broken 17, unappreciative that it was an improvement from where I’d fallen from, and lost faith in the dream. I didn’t finish a workout the next week, spent the 7 year anniversary of my sisters death stuck on a bus crying next to a worried stranger, and still battling the black lung [got sick, had a weird voice for a few weeks]. It wasnt my finest week.

But I am out of the rut and onto the road of acceptance now. This morning I rollerbladed to Modells, bought a heart rate monitor, weighted vest [10 lbs], ankle weights [2.5 lbs on each side], and wrist weights [1.5 lbs on each side]. This afternoon I laced up my shoes, warmed up sin excess weight, and then packed on the pounds for a hard mile. I got about 4 steps and took off the ankle weights. The goal was to get to my normal tempo heart rate of 180 beats per min. I finished the most awkward and uncomfortable mile of my life in 5:50 with a HR of 175. I ran 3 easy miles without the weight, took 3 minutes standing break, drank some water, and then did another mile weighed down only by the excess pounds attached to me. I finished the same course in 5:20 with a HR of 175 again.

That’s a crazy disparity! I doubt the difference would be so extreme if the weight were naturally dispersed across my body, but I would also be exponentially slower over a 5K! Regardless, it took $200 and a wasted day of training for me to finally put the motivation hat back on. Big goals will always keep me excited, but maybe setting intermediate goals will help me along the journey! Bon voyage my friends!

In case my hometown didn't think I was weird before, this was my getup blading through the streets this morning!

5 thoughts on “The 13 Lb Challenge

  1. The guy trying to get a 3 min PR…is he French and extremely good looking?
    Haha you’ve done a great job so far, I think you will do great for yourself too
    Enjoy the journey

    1. Allie, never use the ankle weights again. They are bad news for your future. I wore them back in the mid sixties for basketball. Sure the instant you take them off you feel like you can run faster and jump higher but they totally wreck your muscles for the future. Most guys who wore them to much lost all of their jump later on. Just keep running and you’ll be fine.

      1. Can you elaborate on this more? I am confused how adding resistance (weights) while training would “wreck” your muscles and cause a future loss. In my opinion, as long as correct form is still being used and the weight is not too heavy as to cause injury, then the added weight would be beneficial. Am I wrong?

  2. Allie:

    Love ur openness and the refreshing insight. Being honest and open about not only your accomplishments and good days but also your setbacks and bad days has helped me to understand that even great competitors with years of experience and loads of talent have bad days too. The lesson learned for me is that the key is to push through those moments, that’s what differentiates success from failure. Find the silver lining! Keep pushing forward and remember that you are inspiring and teaching others to be better and more positive. I have a spartan race coming up next Saturday and your inspiration and YouTube video on better running technique is just what I needed!

    Thanks again!

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