Saturday, January 3, 2009

Rings, Runs, Resolutions.....and Situps

Steve Spiers, the ridiculously fast Welsh runner who brought us the hundred pushups challenge has just released a new training program - the two hundred situps. The situps are really crunches, and the program is geared to get you to 200 consecutive crunches in 6 weeks. This is an extremely good core workout (though to get a complete ab workout I recommend incorporating reverse and oblique crunches somewhere else in your cross training), and I am a sucker for a challenge so I just did the initial test and managed 80 crunches. This puts me in the "excellent" category (yay me) and starts me off in the third column on week 3. I enjoyed the pushup challenge and was amazed at how much stronger I got in just 6 weeks, so I'm excited to get this going. It's very well thought out, free, and definitely gets the Welshrunner stamp of approval, so why not give it a go?

This morning I was really lacking the motivation to get out of bed and run the 30k with my group, but one of the benefits (kinda) of being a coach is that I had to (especially since I'm missing next week to run Bandera). I took the monster medal with me, and everyone got a good kick out of it (though several asked me why I was running a 30k just 2 days after a marathon - I had no answer that didn't make me sound crazy). It was warm and humid and I was a little stiff for the first few miles, but then I got into it and settled into a nice easy rhythm and finished up in 2:44:37 (8:50 pace). I was pleased with that, especially since it included a good few minutes walking with an injured runner. A lot of my folks struggled though, and I spent a good hour or so after the run talking with several of them about what went right, what went wrong, and how to fix it. That kind of interaction is still the most rewarding part of being a coach.

In other news, I bought a replacement wedding ring - one that fits this time. It feels so good to have something on that finger again, and this ring is definitely in no danger of falling off.

Finally, several people have asked what my New Year's resolution is. I have to admit that I never make one, but if I need something to fall back on, here it is:

This year, I will not take up smoking.

There. Should be able to keep that one.


Ceri Shaw said...

Hi Mark...thanks for the link mate. Anytime you want to join Americymru....please feel free. We'd be happy to help promote your blog in any way we can. I used to run years ago....up to half marathon distance. Never competitively...I always preferred the loneliness of the long distance runner etc. Used to run a lot at night between Cardiff Castle and Castell Coch with a couple of circuits around Pontcanna Fields to make the distance up to ( roughly ) 13 miles. Hoping to get back into it some time next year if I can quit smoking.

Gaabi said...

Hello, I saw your blog while doing a google search for americymru - if you haven't joined already, you should! and have you heard of these guys? I believe they're going through Texas -

Mark said...

Thanks Ceri. I just found your site yesterday and it looked interesting. Castell Coch is one of my favorite castles - the "fairytale" castle of Wales. I always looked out for it when I was driving to Cardiff.

Gaabi - no I hadn't heard of them, but it looks like they're coming through Austin. Thanks for the link.