Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Buckets

Until I started marathon training in the Fall of 2007, I had never run with anyone else. I was lucky that my husband met Jenny through a run club and introduced us. She ran a few long runs with me during that training cycle for Fargo 2008. I remember that I was struggling with the higher mileage, and she told me about buckets. She said that running fitness was like a bucket with a little hole at the bottom. It takes a long time and a lot of effort to fill up the bucket the first time. Once the bucket is full, it's about consistently filling the bucket a little at a time to compensate for the little hole at the bottom.

Before the Fargo Marathon 2009, I felt like my Running Bucket was pretty full. After the marathon, my bucket was a little low from the effort, but nothing to worry about. Shortly after, I took my Running Bucket and dumped some fitness into a Swimming Bucket and a Cycling Bucket. My running fitness helped me jump into both of these sports and enjoy them from the start. I feel strong when I am doing them, and am not struggling the way I did when I first started running.

The Running Bucket, however, has paid the price. It is very, very low. It's pitiful. I'm still struggling to run 4 or 5 miles without walking. I was going to run 6 miles today, but needed to walk the last 2 miles. There were moments in the run today, though, that I felt like my old self. For the first time since I started the tri training, I think I'm making headway in filling the Running Bucket. My legs are feeling stronger and my quads and hip flexors are complaining less. I'm starting to feel like my body is adjusting to the increased training hours and the different activities. I'm not there yet, but I think I just need to keep at it and not give up.

The Rochester Triathlon is only 12 days away. On the one hand, I don't think I'll be ready for the Olympic distance in time for the race. The 6.2 mile run after the .9 mile swim and 24 mile bike is going to be a challenge. I'm predicting that I will have to walk some of the run, particularly if it is at all hot or humid on race day. But on the other hand, I know that I wouldn't be pushing myself to get my run back together if I had just signed up for the Sprint.

For now, I'm going to try my best to fill my bucket. I don't know long it will take until it's brimming again, but I feel fortunate that I have the good health and time to find out.

9 comments:

Mark said...

I like the bucket analogy. Marathons seem to really drain mine.

Londell said...

Take a few days off... That always helped me! They say you need 26 days to recover from a marathon and you had very little recovery. So try just kickng back for 3-4 days before the tri, can not hurt?

Velma said...

I love this post! Perfect. I see each workout as money in the bank. Little deposits can really add up.

Love the new wetsuit. I am trying to hold off buying one until next year. I am hoping for warm water :)

Mel-2nd Chances said...

Great post! And we sound a lot alike in the sense that we tend to struggle with running, and have taken to swimming and cycling. I'm hoping that my newfound love of these two sports will help me with my running when i can start refilling that bucket... but we'll see.

Thomas Bussiere said...

I like the bucket analogy also. Just hope the holes don't get bigger then the rate we can fill it up! Thanks for visiting my blog. Looks like your training has been solid! I would like to do an IM some day. – Looks like fun.

runnerinsight said...

Wonderful post indeed! ; ) I love your insights regarding these matters. Keep them coming! Thank you! : )

I Run for Fun said...

That is a great analogy! When you use swimming and biking as cross training, they complement your running well, but if you take more out of one bucket, the others suffer.

Helen said...

Great post Beth!! You'll do great at Rochester - who cares if you have to walk some - as you say the challenge you're taking on vs the sprint makes the extra effort worth it. The transition to multi-sports takes a bit of getting used to but you'll emerge so much stronger and your running will really benefit from it.

Nitmos said...

Usually, I take the bucket and dump it over my head at mile 20 of the marathon. The bucket has Gatorade in it right?