Sunday, November 10, 2013

First Real Week Back

After some much needed down time from the Twin Cities Marathon and a few weeks of low mileage, I've finally got a real week of training in. Actually, it's not completely real, I could use a bit more miles, bits it's a start. 

I rounded out the week at 91 miles and attempted and completed a solid 6 mile tempo run in. The tempo run went much better than I expected, as I averaged 5:23/mile on dirt. I know it's nothing spectacular, but it's a start. And after finishing up my grades last week, I'll have more time on my hands for some much needed miles. 

With usatf club cross country championships a few weeks away, I think it's time to get in the thick of things. Fartleks, long tempos and Long Runs. More updates to come once some interesting training is occurs. 

Anderson Fields - A great place to Tempo

Friday, October 18, 2013

Twin Cities Marathon/USA Marathon Championships

It's been more than a week since the USA Marathon Championships, and I think it's time to post my thoughts on this wonderful race.  I've spoken to many friends about how the race turned out, and the positives and negatives I took away from the weekend, but haven't quite put it into written context.  One thing I want to touch base on, is how well I felt leading up to this marathon, compared to how busy I was with "life".  This marathon was my second fastest marathon (2:20:57), and as a full time teacher, I can honestly say I was happy with the out come.  My fastest marathon came when I was finishing up Grad School, and student-teaching; nowhere near as stressful as having your own class(es).  Nevertheless, there are many different factors that I took away from this cycle compared to my PR cycle.  And that's what I'll be comparing the most.

So the weekend started off as soon as I got off work the Friday before the race.  I was done with my 2nd grade class at 2:50pm, and Arlene and Loren were in the parking lot ready to go.  Our flight was at 4:10pm, so we were cutting it a little close.  But of course we made it into Minneapolis without incident.  Liz was there at 10:30pm to pick us up, and we in bed at midnight after some chatting and late night snacks.  Arlene, Liz and myself slept in till about 9am, and went on a short 30min shake out run.  A pleasant jog through some Minneapolis parks and some light drills were enough for me.  Once we got ready, the whole group of Turner's (Liz, her mom and dad) took me to the host hotel and let me relax on my own.

I ventured around a little bit on Saturday to the elite hospitality suite and to a local coffee shop for a decaf vanilla latte.  The majority of the afternoon was set aside towards getting my bottles ready, and watching movies in the hotel room.  I had a nice time catching up with John and Ariel Heitzman for lunch, but besides that, I wasn't doing a whole lot.  And once it was time for dinner, Arlene and company came and picked me up for an awesome dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory - one of my favorite places on earth!  John and Ariel were there, along with many other Albuquerqeños.  Dinner was amazing, and then it was time for a long night of nerves and tossing & turning.

Race morning provided us with some perfect weather!  I had my usual breakfast, and boarded the elite bus.  I sat with an old friend of mine; Nick Arciniaga, and we chatted a bit about race nerves and goals.  I knew he was going to race well when he pointed out how nervous he was.  I also had a feeling that I was going to run well too, but things slightly changed.  Once, we got to the staging area, I got in a short warm up and was ready to go.  I knew there would be a solid pack of runners in the front going out in 66:00 for the half, so I didn't want anything to do with that.  I was looking for a 68 minute group.  Well, after about a half a mile, the race looked like a tear drop, with a ton of guys in the front group, and a dwindle of guys stringing out to where I was.  I would guess I was in about 30th place at the mile, which was hit in 5:14.  I wasn't wearing a watch, so after that I had no real idea of where I was at.  Mbarak came up on me just after the mile and I was with him for a bit, but wanted to catch anyone in front of me.  I saw another familiar head up front - Solomon Kandie, so I raced up to his little group of 4 runners.  Once I caught them, I decided to keep the momentum and continue on.  I felt pretty comfortable running by myself and catching a guy or two every mile, but that ended when I reached the halfway point.

When I came up on the clock at 13.1 miles, I had no idea that the clocks were off.  The clock read 66:47 when I passed it, and I was a little freaked out at how fast that could've been.  In reality I came through the half in 68:24, a time I wanted to be at, but I didn't know it at the time.  So, I was thinking that I was going to blow up hard.  Another thought I had was that I might blow up a little and still run a pr or the Olympic Trials Standard.  Either way, the wheels came off at around 20 miles.  I remember two guys coming up on me at 18 miles, one Hansons guy and a BRC guy.  A tried to run with the Hansons guy for about a mile, then faded off of him and attempted to run with the BRC guy.  We ran a few strides together, and I asked him his name.  "Sean", is what he said, and then he wanted us to work together.  I've heard that phrase so many times in the later stages of a marathon, and always believe I can stick with them to the finish.  Well, in this case, I ran another mile with Sean and faded.

I came to the hill at mile 20, and slugged myself up it, and kept on moving until Mbarak and Solomon caught me at mile 22.  Again, I rallied myself to go with them, and faded at mile 24.  The last 2 miles were a struggle, and once I could see the clock, I made out a 2:20 something ticking away.  I wasn't too surprised, and still didn't want that number to tick any higher, so I kicked it in to finish 20th in 2:20:57.

After all the mayhem at the finish, and getting ready to come home to Albuquerque, I started to assess my training.  I figured I had a solid 19 weeks of high mileage, but once I plugged the numbers in, it turned out to average 87 miles a week.  This was a little surprising to me!  I now know that working really takes a ton of time, but if I can squeeze a few more miles in, I know my performance in the marathon will improve.  2:20 is a good start to another training cycle, and a great spring marathon attempt at the standard.  Cheers to many more miles!    

From Instagram user bethholine

Friday, September 27, 2013

8 Days till The USA Marathon Championships

With only 8 days left until the biggest race of 2013 for me, I sit patiently in a city that has given me so many great memories - Houston.  The reason for my trip to Houston starts in the summer, a time when I thought my life would revolve only around running and not teaching. Boy was I wrong. I'm here in Houston for training, but not the running kind; the kind needed for a new teacher who has entered the Independent School system. You can call it Professional Development, and I'll call it a life changing experience. You see, I got hired as a Physical Education teacher at Manzano Day School (private school) and have fully embraced this new lifestyle. Let's rewind...

It's spring time, and I'm actually finishing my first year as a classroom teacher, a day I never thought would happen. 180 days in what you would call a school or learning environment, a safe haven, a place for growth. Well, it was the excact opposite and I was ready to leave and never look back. I was going to "run" away from that place and not have to think about that school again. Well, I did, and I searched for something else. And as luck would have it, a dream position opened at a very impressive school that I applied for a year earlier. MDS was hiring a P.E. teacher and I got it. I was a bit afraid of the expectations and how "perfect" everything seemed, but as time pasted everything is falling into place. 

So back to Houston. I'm here because I needed to see how our school is connected to other successful schools in the Southwest and what learning is suppose to look like. And it looks joyous! 

The school, the kids, the parents, the other teachers and staff all make this job a great environment.  And more importantly make me a better person. You can even ask Arlene (my girlfriend); since signing that contact with my school, I have found NO excuse not to wake up before the sun rises and hit the pavement. I have no reason to sleep in and dream of a better school to be at. I can leap out of bed with a clear focus on making the 2016 trials, while other athletes sleep in and rest all day.  I can gain inspiration from amazing kids that I'm around everyday, and return that favor by accomplishing a goal that I want more than anything - to make the Olympic Trials Standard as a full-time teacher! The only barrier I had was myself, and now I have everyone in my corner helping me along this path.
From Houston Hobby airport after my last day of Professional Development. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Skagit Half Marathon: 19 days from Twin Cities Marathon

After coming back from the Skagit Half Marathon in Burlington, Washington with a 1st place finish and a decent time of 1:06:47, I can honestly say I am ready for Twin Cities.  Granted, I would've liked a quicker performance at Skagit, but nevertheless, I am content to be running pain free and focused on the target at hand.

Just as the title says, we only have 23 days left until the Twin Cities Marathon.  And for marathon training, that's nothing.  "The hay's in the barn" is what my old coach - Steve Scott would always say.  So from this standpoint, there isn't much work to be done, just maintaining fitness and staying healthy.

So I will recap a little bit on the Skagit Flats Half Marathon:

The town of Burlington is about 1 hour north of Seattle, and has a small town charm to it, mixed with strip malls and suburban shopping centers filled with familiar shops such as Starbucks, KFC and your local Albertson's.  The race starts at the High School and heads west, but on race day, there was so much fog in the air you didn't really know which direction you were going, but that was a good thing.  I did my usual early morning shake-out run, then a hot shower, breakfast and headed out to the race with a coffee in hand.  The weather was perfect and I was ready to run fast, but I was a bit worried as the first mile had course arrows along the sidewalk... this made me nervous, as I didn't want to be racing on sidewalks that dipped every 10 feet for a driveway.  However, once the race started we followed a police car that cleared the traffic on the road for about 2 miles.  After that point in the race, it was all farm land with a brief house breaking up the open fields which were being swallowed by the foggy air.  The race heads out for about 6.5 miles, then comes right back.  It was pretty much flat with an ever so slight incline heading out.

Skagit Marathon and Half Marathon Start.  Perfect Conditions
Coming back would have a nice little decent, but nothing too noticeable.  Then once you get within a mile of the high school, you venture through the neighborhood, into the school and finish on the track.  It was pretty straight forward and I didn't really have anyone to run with the entire time.  I was fortunate enough to have 4 people on the lead bike for me, but after the 6.5 mile turnaround, I only had 1 bike, and they weren't really "pacing" me, just leading me throughout the course.

8am was the start time and I took off by myself with an easy 5:02 opening mile.  My second mile was 4:57 and I basically stayed around 4:50's-5:10's till the turn around.  Now, I wasn't quite sure if the turn around was exactly half way, or just the correct distance out to make the round trip equal 13.1 miles, but I hit that point in 32:21, and was attempting to figure the math out...  I thought that I had enough time to be under 65 minutes and hit the qualifying time, but I was wrong in many cases.  All in all, it was a great effort and time trial.  On to Twin Cities and whoever shows up.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

37 More Days and 3 Goals in Mind

Well, it's about 5 weeks until the USA Marathon Championships, and I am getting more and more excited about it.  I know training is going smooth, and I feel confident with each passing week that this race will be one of my best performances.  I don't want to get ahead of myself, but I feel that things are going to go the way I foresee them.  At this point, I am not 100% sure who will be on the starting line.  I have a few guesses towards who will be there, but the full list hasn't been posted yet.  The prize structure is excellent, the course can be a bit challenging, and the competition will be excellent.  With all these factors in mind; I have set 3 separate goals that I would like to accomplish.

Run a PR
Qualify for the Olympic Trials
Top 10 finish

First off, my number one priority is to run a PR.  By running a person record, I would accomplish 2 goals, and quite possibly all 3 goals.  You just never know who'll be in the race, and a 2:17 or 2:16 could be 11th place...  Either way, I would be extremely happy if I ran a marathon faster than I've ever gone before.  So with that said, yes, I want to PR and I feel that I am in PR shape.

The second goal would be great to accomplish if things went south during the race, and would alleviate a lot of pressure when picking other races to get ready for.  If nothing else, this is a huge priority and something I should be able to do.

The third goal should happen if I am as fit as I think I am.  I really want to compete and race well, and by finishing in the top 10 would accomplish that.

When it is all said and done, I am going to approach this race just as it is - a Race!  The only times I've done well are when I race the marathon against those that are in the field.  Every time I calculate the race and pace myself, it doesn't end too well.  I am not going to kill myself and race from the lead thinking I can win it, but I am going to assess the runners and my own fitness, and see how well I do against those that show up to the Twin Cities.  Now I just need to figure out which Brooks shoes to race in...
Which Brooks T-Racer shall I pick...?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A New Chapter

Well it's been a busy 4 weeks since my last post, and life is going swell.  A few key notes to add are as followed; I have a new job teaching the youth of Albuquerque some Physical Education, and that training is still going strong.

Unlike last year; when school started and I fell into a numb state of existence, I actually feel great and energized by the positive atmosphere I am in at my new school.  Manzano Day School is like teacher heaven, at least that's what other teachers have been telling me.  But, it truly feels welcoming and nurturing.  And it doesn't just feel that way for the students, I believe the staff and faculty feel the same way when showing up everyday.  This has been a great change for me, and I think my running is going to improve with this kind of positive environment I'm in.

Now the running - it's good!  Twin Cities is 42 days away (but who's counting), and every week has been getting better and better.  I don't expect a miracle to happen, but I feel confident that something good will matriculate on the streets of Minneapolis/St. Paul.  Since Twin Cities is the USA Marathon Champs, and the bar will be high, I better run my best.  I feel a pr coming...

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Running with your Shadow

As the summer heat has been getting to most of us here in Albuquerque, running in the morning is a must.  The crisp air in the early morning is a delight as the sun is trapped behind the Sandia mountains.  Yet, even at 6am on the river path, the sun will still rise above the mountains and share its light with the Rio Grande Valley.
The Sandia Mountains
Most Friday mornings I find myself running a tempo run along that river path and for the most part, I am by myself.  The only thing I see are oncoming bikers or joggers, bugs, trees, and the occasional Hot Air Ballon floating quietly above.  Every time I get in a good rhythm I notice something running stride for stride with me.  It's obvious that my shadow will be there, but it is only there for a brief amount of time during that one workout, along that one path.  It's shape and movement are perfect at that time of day, a for the second half of my tempo run, I have a partner to run with.  The Shadow doesn't lie or cheat; in fact it helps me keep a decent form and reminds me how important it is to run smooth.  As the direction of the path changes ever-so-slightly, my shadow picks it up and gets a little ahead of me.  I have to remember to maintain an even effort and not try anything stupid - like race your shadow!  That could end in disaster, and still no one would win.  Having it there, at time of day is a great mind pleaser.  So, on tomorrows tempo run, I'll be looking up to the clouds for a clear day, so that down on the ground, I'll have someone there.

With people to run with at Spain


July, 8th - July 14th
Mon - pm. 8 miles
Tue - am. Track: 5x1 mile (4:57, 4:55, 4:54, 4:57, 4:51) total: 10 miles. pm. 6 miles
Wed - am. off pm. 10 miles
Thur - am. 9.5 miles in the Foothills. pm. 6 miles
Fri - am. 6 mile tempo run (5:29, 5:29, 5:25, 5:30, 5:23, 5:09) total: 10.5 miles pm. 10 miles
Sat - am. 11 miles, pm. 8 miles
Sun - am. 22 miles

Total: 111

July, 15th - July 21st
Mon - Off
Tue - am. 5x1000m (3:02, 3:02, 3:01, 3:03, 3:01) total: 8.5 miles, pm. 8 miles
Wed - am. 6 miles, pm. 12 miles
Thur - am. 10 miles, pm. 9 miles
Fri - am. 8 mile tempo on Tramway (5:39, 5:22, 6:07, 5:46, 5:22, 5:25, 5:33, 5:10) total: 12 miles, pm. 8 miles
Sat - am. 11 miles in the Foothills, pm. 6 miles
Sun - am. 22 miles on Route 66, second half (5:57, 5:55, 5:55, 5:51, 5:52, 5:49, 5:48, 5:57, 5:41, 5:58, 6:37)

Total: 112.5


Thursday, June 27, 2013

100 Days Until the race - USA Marathon Championship

It may only be 100 days until the US Marathon Champs, but if been reinvigorated by a lone runner and teacher by the name of Matthew Elliot. To get a better understanding of this individual, check out this flotrack interview.  Yes, a full time teacher living he dream, and finishing 4th at USA's!  A new found hope of someone inspiring others and chasing the dream while doing what you love. I hope you enjoy it.  

So, with 100 days until the race, and 4 weeks of some solid training, I feel great!  This weekend, I'll be racing the USATF New Mexico State 5k championships on the roads.  I'm looking forward to it, and hope to run a pr at altitude for the 5k.  On a certified course, I've run 15:31, so I'm looking for a much faster time than that this Saturday.  A race report and weekly mileage will come soon.  I just thought it would be a good note to mark this day as the marathon approaches...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Twin Cities Marathon Training - Countdown: 117 Days

Another week in the books. And this was a great week of trail runs loaded with a huge group of new runners showing up to train.  I've finally got a good week of miles under my belt, and feel more and more confident about this summers training.  Nothing too exciting to post, other than an array of back to back trail runs of more than 2 hours each.  Something that isn't that much of a feat to most trail runners, but something of a challenge for us roadies.

The first adventure was an easy 10 miler up to the 1955 TWA crash site.  This run had a huge number of Dukes TC runners, and it pleased the majority of them when the crash debris became visible from the long climb through the canyon.  The first thing you see is the tire of the 19 passenger plane, then more and more metal.  Soon enough, this junk pile becomes conceptualized when you read the plaque dedicated to the victims, and realize how awful of an event this was.  As an erie thought, we have the fortune opportunity to this site and take pictures of a horrible accident.  Something must be wrong with us, but death is what makes us live for every moment we have together.

After Saturday's run, we decided to run to another iconic location - South Peak.  I hadn't been to South Peak in over 4 years, so this was going to be a treat.  And it was.  The view and the isolation from other people was well worth the 1:53 minute accent.  I was very pleased and happy to be back running and challenging myself on a run such as that one.  With over 4000' of elevation gain, it honestly felt good to be pushing myself that hard.

South Peak

Relaxing atop South Peak
Now it's on to some "normal" training, which as many of you know, isn't always the most fun.  Which is why I encourage you to try something different, and new when training.  We get stuck in such a rut, that our fitness will stay in that rut.  Pushing yourself in a speed session, or tempo run isn't quite the same as getting lost on a new run.  By just venturing out of your normal routine can really reenergize your spirit and make other aspects of your training more clear.  I remember during college, we'd have more freedom during our base training, and I'd always attempt to run up the tallest known object within sight.  This was usually Twin Oaks Mountain (which isn't much of a mountain in San Marcos compared to what we have in Albuquerque), but it was a physical and metaphoric challenge of climbing something to overcome it.  I didn't really know what I was overcoming, but it felt good to reach the peak.  So, during this marathon cycle, I'll be overcoming a lot to reach the peak of fitness, but as all instances of climbing a mountain, you still have to come down.  And coming down to reality and racing a marathon with the sight of a PR upon the horizon will be just as difficult as the climb.

Week in Training:

Monday - easy 8
Tuesday - am. Track: 4x400, 4x200, 2x800, 2x400 / pm. 8 easy
Wednesday - am. 9 easy / pm. 6 easy
Thursday - am. 8 easy / pm. 7.5 easy
Friday - am. 6 mile tempo - 5:34 average / pm. 6 easy
Saturday - am. 10
Sunday - am. 17 miles on South Peak

Total: 99.5 miles -  I feel like a real runner again!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Summer Scorcher

It's hot out, and this blog has been ice cold for quite a while. I figure it's time to post something worth wild to read, so here goes the summer session of training and reflecting.

To start things off, I've fully committed to the USA Marathon Championships in the fall, which will coincide with the Twin Cities Marathon in Minneapolis.  I got a sweet app that'll count down the days till the race, so as I write this, the count is 123 days. 123 days seems like a lot of time, but most runners always want more time to train and toil away with workouts. Which was exactly what happened last week.  One full week of workouts - track, tempo and a good long run all in the books.  

Aside from running and now enjoying the summer working at Heart and Sole, things are going pretty smoothly.  Our Club is moving along quite well, and we have a few scheduled Adventure runs lined up before the Forest gets shut down for fire danger.  The only important things now are running and performing well in my interviews for a teaching job that's actually in Albuquerque. 

Next week I plan on posting workouts and a recap of the week. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Taking Up Running after a Cancer Diagnosis

This was a great article written by an advocate for Running as a form of recovery after a cancer diagnosis.  Her name is Melanie Bowen and I think you'll find this information helpful:

If individuals have recently received a cancer diagnosis, they should look for ways to keep their spirits up as they go through chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Running is an especially beneficial activity when it comes to both physical and mental health. When cancer patients can get together with other runners for a jog through the woods each weekend, they will surely feel better. In this sense, then, one’s spiritual health and physical health will grow stronger through time. Outdoor running allows access to fresh air and is generally more uplifting than running on a treadmill inside.

Running is an invigorating activity and can actually lead to increased energy levels. In fact, physical fitness will allow people to slowly work on their stamina. Once they are able to run several miles in one session, they might even experience a natural chemical high. When the proper chemicals are released within the brain, people will find themselves in better moods. As a general rule, a positive mindset can be quite important to one’s overall wellbeing, which is especially beneficial for cancer patients.

As a solitary activity, running also allows people to get back to basics. By jogging through the forests and fields of the local wilderness, most individuals will develop a much stronger appreciation for the true beauty of the world. Runners who are less than enthusiastic about rural areas might instead choose to run on busy city streets. Taking in the sights and sounds of a bustling urban metropolis as the sun rises over the hills to the east will set the tone for the day ahead. On a very basic level, this can be a way for cancer patients to clear their minds and relieve some of their stress.

Cancer patients who do not currently have the stamina for long runs or jogs can instead choose to walk, or even try other forms of exercise. Simply getting out into the world and moving around a bit will help with mentally and physically. Some people might choose to listen to music as they make their way around the block while others may jog at night. No matter what level of runner you may be, any level of physical exertion can help improve your immune function as well as your mental state.

The wonderful thing about physical fitness is that it will assist people with all kinds of cancer. Whether patients have been diagnosed with leukemia or mesothelioma, they will undoubtedly benefit from cardiovascular activity. Long runs through the woods and short jaunts around the block will be equally helpful.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

In a Blink of an Eye

Well, we only have about 3 years until the next Olympic Trials, and to many, that'll come around in a blink of an eye.  When attempting to qualify in the marathon, that only means a handful of races.  Two a year, or more like one every 6 months.  Anymore than that, and you could be frying yourself.  As I'm finally feeling better and getting back into the swing of things, I feel that a solid effort this coming fall will be my best shot this year.  Especially since the qualifying window for the Olympic Trials doesn't open until August 1st, it really won't make much sense to cram a marathon in the late spring.  I guess I'm just trying to convince myself to be patient and set my sights on the long term process.

I know qualifying for the Olympic Trials is going to take planning, hard training, and some luck when it comes to race conditions, ergo, not racing in hot climates.  I know there's a smart way in executing a fast marathon, and the last 3 years weren't how you go about it.  I'm not saying I'm an expect at this, but I feel a lot more confident about planning a marathon cycle, and what to do once that marathon approaches.  After all, we don't get to race this event too often.  And as you can tell, I'm chomping at the bit to be training at full force, but, as I have to keep reminding myself, it's a long process and I have plenty of time... or will it really be here before we know it?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Mighty Mustache

I can't quite call the small patch of hair above my lip a full fledged "Mighty Mustache", but I can flirt with the idea that hair is definitely protruding from that area.  At a quick glance from a safe distance, it looks full and established, but the curiosity will gravitate you in and see the realness that is occurring.  The spectrum of uncertainty is mindbogglingly as most men will complement that it looks good with reinsurance, whereas most women will question my sanity and judgement as a modern day human that has access to grooming equipment.  As if asking, "do you know you can shave that off?", or the more common question of, "why?".  Sometimes words don't even have to be expressed when a wondering eye makes contact with the "Mighty Mustache".  The sheer look of disgust is written all over their faces, but as in both incidents, I believe it to be jealousy.  Women can't grow one, and other intelligent men know better than to grow one, unless they too already have a fuller more vibrant Mustache.  And until I can get mine to be in the distinction of a worthy Mustache with a capital "M" I shall do the following to improve my "Manly" Mustache:

1. Smell freshly cut wood
2. Conduct a staring contest with a taxidermy bear
3. Catch a butterfly...... in the middle of winter
4. Play the violin

And most importantly... Not to shave my upper lip.

This madness will be over soon, and I shall not attempt this hideous look until Movember rolls around.  So, as my loving and supportive girlfriend puts up with the itchy and scratchy feeling my mustache provides, I will soon be shaving it all off upon completion of the 2013 Boston Marathon!  Thank you Arlene for always loving me for who I am, as suppose to what grows above my lip.  And for those of you with a more notable and prominent Mustache, I congratulate you.  Well Done!
The sadness and reality.  More to come.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Not Completely Optimistic

With so many things to think about during this time of year, I still feel optimistic about what the rest of the year has to offer.  Just like in all the races I have EVER done; I have never quit, or dropped out of a race, which parallels the teaching predicament I am in, which is not to quit.  Being a first year teacher can have its toll on life, and the things you love the most.  So, just as all the books and people that attempt to prepare you for your first year say, "it's going to be hell, so just get through it!", you never quite believe them... until you're the one being burned alive by all the chaos that chars your soul.

Well, back to the optimistic view I was talking about.  Basically, I don't have much longer at this school and I have greatly narrowed down what avenue of teaching I want to pursue, or more importantly where I don't want to be.  And once my emotional stability comes back to me, and I can breath again, I will set my eyes on a fast fall marathon!  One that will capture the new Olympic Trials Standard (2:15-A, 2:18-B) and boost my love for life.  I know nothing is life is going to be perfect, and that (God forbid) our school doesn't end up as a target for a shooter, or sociopath bent of murder and self glory, but when I hear my students screaming that they hate their life, it just doesn't sit well with me.  It could be worse.  I feel jaded by the tendencies these troubled kids act towards one another, and can't help but accept that we as humans are doomed.  More likely, I am failing as a teacher, and can't direct them to NOT: lie, steal, or cheat.  Their evil nature is too much for me... but I must go on.  No matter how cruel and unsympathetic they are towards each other, I figure, if I can survive the negativity that boils within a young child and just attempt to show them that someone cares and will make an effort to make them better, then a 26.2 mile foot race will be nothing.  Heck, 2:12 for that distance will be nothing!  This is great mental training, and I need to get the best out of it, while hoping to change someone for the good (but that's not really going to happen, since they already have a mom/dad).

Okay, now that I've stated how much I hate some of my students, and can fully understand the criminal system, I can move on.

The Marathon!  One race I have grown to love ever since I ran my first one.  This is such an amazing event, and I can't express how much I wish I could do all the courses in the world!  Since, that will never happen, I will be picky on what courses I run, and how I train for each of those races.  Boston had been on my mind since 2008, and I've wanted to run this race more than any other race (except for the Olympic Trials, and Olympic Games Marathon).  And in only 8 weeks, that dream could come true.  The excitement is killing me!    

Monday, February 4, 2013

An Unfortunate Turn of Events

After having an excellent week of training and a weekend packed with races, I am now feeling the aftermath of over racing.  I only ran a mile on the indoor track, then came back the next day with a 5k on the roads...  which was all too much for this ill-prepared marathon body.    
Indoor mile - I'm in the Orange (photo courteous of Liz Turner)
I have to admit - spiking up was a great feeling.  The nerves, anxiety, and quite-panicness that flows throughout your body could never be replicated unless you toe the line of a mondo track.  And once that gun echos off in your head, you're already instinctively rounding the bend with your eyes fixed on the spikes just inches from your shin.  Yes, it's a great feeling.  Every last bit of the lung scorching, and relatively slow 4:25 mile, felt as if I would benefit from it.  But once the day was over and Sunday came along, I felt a little "off".  I ran a hard and even paced 5k, but once I finished my IT-band had tightened up and I couldn't even walk, let alone cool down.  This was a bad sign, and one that I am too often familiar with, especially during the winters of an odd ending year.  (Example: 2009 - injured with a peroneal tendon issue, 2011 - Patellar tendinitis which took 5 agonizing months of NO RUNNING)  Now this!  

I can only hope the celestial plan of keeping me out of the 2013 Boston Marathon this year will be altered and I will control my own destiny of toeing the line in Hopkinton.  That fate lies in a few days off, some major massage sessions from Laura Bresson, icing, and blah blah blah, all the other things that come with being sidelined.  I shall report back soon.  Also, I'm not growing out this mustache for nothing!