Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Football and Running (base training)

As the winter weeks dwindle by, the base period for a marathoner seeks the warmer spring months and the hope of track workouts on the horizon. At least, that's what I'm thinking right now. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy getting in twice as many miles than I drive in a week, but some variation in speed could be nice. I'm still holding true to the idea that a massively huge base is good, and that miles are only going to help with the marathon, but that track is looking ever so tasty along with the millions of miles!

Aside from my celebrity appearances into the local Albuquerque school classrooms to substitute "teach", this past week was very uneventful (I guess I shouldn't say that, as I should embellish my week to create more blog readers/followers...so here goes nothing). Well then, to reemphasize how amazing my week was, I'll tell you this: The highlight of my week could be pinpointed to Friday's cross-training session on the field as I was the all-time-quarterback for the 5th graders at S.Y.J Elementary. Yes, I threw 23 touchdowns, only 1 interception, and a coveted hail-mary pass to win the game! It's a good thing for an all-time-quarterback, that I was destined to be on the winning team from the start. Fortunately, no children were hurt diving for my incredible passes. I think I deserve the game ball, a trophy, or a holiday named after me after that display of athleticism!

As for running, I can break it down for you day-by-day in one word. Twenty. Just about twenty miles a day for the entire week. It hasn't been too difficult, and I am feeling incredibly strong. Creating this anabolic state on my body doesn't give it time to worry about injuries or aches and pains, just constant happy stress. This should prove to be helpful once I start my marathon workouts and long run workouts next month. It's getting exciting thinking about Duluth, MN. and I'm praying that the weather will be nice and not a summer meltdown along the lake front. But, if it is, I guess I'll have to run faster than the heat.

Weekly Training:

Mon - am. 11 miles / pm. 10 miles
Tue - am. 6 miles / pm. 14 miles
Wed - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Thur - am. 10 miles / pm. 10 miles
Fri - am. 8 miles / pm. 12 miles
Sat - am. 11 miles med. / pm. 10 miles
Sun - am. 20 miles

Total: 142 miles

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Oval Beckons

Well, I think it's about time I sat down and figured out what exactly I'm going to do this Spring, as far as races go. One thing is for sure, I am hooked on the marathon and have had my eye lids peeled wide after the Olympic Trials. Not only was that a wickedly fast race, but I have fully accepted how I finished, and even if I would have run the same time I qualified with, it still wouldn't have been an impressive finish. But like I said, I'm accepting of it, and truthfully... happy. This brings me great hope for American distance running, as that race was the most stacked field in the history of Olympic Marathon Trials! It also makes me think of all the disappointment that race produced amongst many runners. Hopefully they fell the way I do - reenergized and excited to get back into training and test their limits on this wonderful running quest.

Which brings me back to a spring journey. I've pondered it many times before, and even though it's going to be financially tight, I want to hit the oval and improve on some unfinished business. I've said it before, and feel that it is very true how the track doesn't lie, which is why I want to see where I am at as a runner and how I stack up in the stringent record books that our sport is so desperately based on. The merit of a runner tends to be defined by their ability to conquer the track, and even though I love the roads, I still have a place in my heart for the track. After all, this is where most runners get their first taste of pain. There's no hiding behind how difficult the course is, just pure running. Which is why I'll take my crack at at-least 2 track races.

The elusive 5000 meters hasn't been on my radar for a couple of years, and I feel it's time to dramatically improve on my abysmal 14:35 (or 14:24 as that has been the fastest I've covered the distance in the 2nd half of my 10,000m PR). It should be exciting, and I'm looking forward to toe the line amongst young college kids with all their amped up energy and impatience. And, after I get a few track races out of my system, I shall return to the roads and to the glorious Marathon in the Spring. At this point, it's looking clear that I want to run the Grandma's Marathon in Duluth, MN. If my math is correct I have 17 weeks until the Marathon. Let the countdown begin...

With all these dreams of grandeur aside, my base mileage is coming along, and I will have a nice rust buster race at the Gate River 15k US Championships in Jacksonville, FL., and immediately following that race, I can celebrate a wedding that evening! Cheers to Love! And the love of running!

Here is a taste of my weekly mileage, which I am proud to say I still managed to get a decent amount with a day off:

Mon - Off
Tue - am. 14 miles easy / pm. 10 miles easy
Wed - am. 6 miles easy / pm. 14 miles easy
Thur - am. 12 miles easy / pm. 12 miles easy
Fri - am. 10 miles easy / pm. 12 miles med. w/4x strides
Sat - am. 10 miles easy / pm. 10 miles easy
Sun - am. 20 mile Long Run

Total: 130

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Running Tourist

All I can think of, is how this week is creeping along. I took my first day off since my marathon break, and I still feel the need to put in more miles than ever before. I also can't help but notice what the other runners are doing throughout the country, from breaking American records, to spending their race earnings on meaningless junk, to traveling the globe in search of their perfect PR. It shouldn't get to me, as I keep thinking how our sport is still falling through the cracks (in the US). So, to keep my mind preoccupied, I continue to dream about how exhilarating it would be to race in other countries, to become a running tourist, so-to-speak. Actually, I don't even have to run in another country, I haven't even seen this country in it's entirely. But, across the oceans is where I would like to race one day. Touring the globe in search of; not a perfect PR, but a race that will bring my memories back to that country and to those people who I would hope to meet.

So, where shall I go first...? At this point, I have already scheduled an exotic trip to Michigan, later in the spring. The bird sized mosquitoes, with the thirst of blood as any Twilight movie can produce are sure to await me when I arrive for the USA 25k championships. I know the competition will be excellent, and making the podium is a huge goal of mind, but I think Michigan isn't exactly what I'm looking for as a running tourist. Breaking this term down to its core is what I should focus on first. Well, I got the running thing down, now I just need to dissect the tourist part. I want to visit and tour different avenues of running, but I think as a History buff, I should really focus on the great races that have shaped our running history. I'm thinking Boston, New York and Fukuoka Marathon in Japan. That is one (Fukuoka) that has always been in the back of my mind. The glamor, the excitement, and the people are what make a Japanese marathon come to life! With people shouting at you with every step you take, pushing you to limits you probably had no idea you could reach, and being in another country are all the things I expect from a Japanese marathon. And, from few people that I know that have run over there, it sounds amazing.

Again, the race itself is one aspect that I hope to experience, with many different emotions that come from completing a marathon as fast as you can, but meeting a different culture and then mixing your passion with theirs has to be sensational! Of course, I will never know, unless I take that leap over the Pacific Ocean and embrace the unknown.

I have plenty of time to think about this one adventure, as many, many more races and towns are to be discovered this spring on the roads, and on the track! I definitely do not want to waste any opportunity I have in the near future to experience something of this magnitude (either it be domestic or foreign), so my eyes and ears will be open so that my heart and mind can fully embody a great experience. After all, I love running, not only to run fast, but to travel and meet new people...

Sunday, February 12, 2012

It's Coming...

Spring is almost in the air in Albuquerque... Yet it didn't feel like it this morning for a local 5k race, as the mercury floated around 30 degrees. It was time for me to shed the rust out of my legs and run a road race, and get the feeling of pounding the pavement again. So after a few weeks of just running mileage I was able to cruise a solo 5k at altitude in 15:12. This, by no means is impressive, but since I don't run many 5k's at altitude on the roads, this was actually the fastest I've ever covered the distance at altitude, and I felt pretty good about it.

I have many more weeks ahead, and much, much more work to do, but I feel that this is a decent starting point. The first real test will come on March, 10th in Jacksonville as I toe the line at the USA 15k Championships. There will be no hiding behind altitude times, weather, or the mystery of fitness. It will be a Championships race, where no one cares what your excuses are, and I will have only myself to race against. Sure, they'll be other guys around, but I see it as a chance to push myself even harder and use the competition to gain another pr.

So, with Spring almost here, and track races upon the horizon, there will still be more miles to cover in an attempt to run more PR's. Cheers to everyone getting ready for their own important races!

Mon - pm. 10 easy
Tue - am. 10 easy / pm. 10 easy
Wed - am. 12 easy / pm. 10 easy
Thur - am. 10 easy / pm. 12 easy
Fri - am. 8 easy / pm. 12 med
Sat - am. 11 med / 10 easy
Sun - 5k total: 5 miles

Total: 120 miles