Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Waking Up

I It's summer time; hot days, sleeping in, resting, reading, house work, naps and of course - training. I would like to say sleeping in fits into that category of summer life, but to avoid complete dehydration and death, I don't mind getting up earlier than I would for work and hitting the pavement. This summer has already started off on the right two feet. My mileage has safely been increased from where I was last month, and I've already circled all the races I want to run this year in my imaginary calendar. Those imaginary red circles on the calendar will be a bullseye on gauging my fitness and pushing myself towards a fall marathon. I can talk and write all I want about racing, but we all know injuries lurk around each corner. So, I need to be diligent about injury prevention and building my mileage up slowly. 

I miss the weeks when I could climb from 60 to 80 to 120 miles with ease and carelessness. But, I will triumph in small success, like completing a workout or getting in another long run or running on a new trail in the mountains. New peaks shall be conquered and in that process those bullseye will be hit as the summer ebbs and flows. So, it's time to wake up and continue running. 

Last weeks training:

Mon - 5 mile trail run
Tue - 9 miles 
Wed - 2 mile warm up, 4 mile tempo run (5:41 avg.), 3 mile cool down
Thur - 11 miles
Fri - 8 miles w/strides
Sat - 9.5 miles
Sun - 16 miles

Total: 68.5 miles 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Getting ahead of myself - Injuries

We all tend to do this a lot - start planning for races before you are even ready to run.  Circling those far off race dates in the calendar, in hopes that you will be on the starting line, or just day dreaming about the possibility of crossing off one of your bucket list races.  Well, at least I do.  I tend to do this all too often, especially when I am not running.  The unknown of when I "will be training" seems to make the possibility of any race just a registration click away.  My wife can tell you that, when I am hurt, my race options seems to double throughout the season - "Honey, I want to do this race, oh, and then we can do this race.".  I guess the mind moves way faster than the body, but this seems to help with the mental aspect that I am not running.  The hope that I will be back training again is the light at the end of the dark and torturous tunnel.  And with the thought of races, comes the reality of training and getting stronger; running with your friends, and pushing each other to achieve a goal.  Those are definitely not occurring when you are cross-training by yourself, or sitting around waiting for your injury to heal.  Or thinking, "I'm not a competitive cross-training, why am I do this?".  But the fact of the matter is, that you, or I, will be able to run again, and enjoy all the aspects that it entails.  And know that these auxiliary workouts are going to get you healthy and running again.

As for me, I am still cross training with my trainer - Lawrence, twice a week.  My massage therapist - Laura, is continuously making my muscles and tendons feel like rubber, and I have seen a Dry Needling guy/Doctor, named Nick Speegle who will stab me a few more times this week while sending electrodes through those wonderful metal needles.  The goal of all of this is to heal my left achilles and test it out on Friday.  My achilles has been bugging me since forever ago, and it has really flared up recently after the marathon last month.  So I thought, it would be best to fully heal it and start off fresh this year.  I still have plenty of time left (the rest of my life, I guess) to figure out what races I really want to do, and until then, I will focus on the important aspect of recovering and healing.  Once that is accomplished, then I can break out the red marker and start circling all those races dates... or more importantly, all those sunday long run days with the Dukes Track Club.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Post Phoenix Marathon and Onward

After taking a much deserved week off, and this past week of easy trotting around to reflect more clearly on my performance from the 2017 Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon, I've decided I need to jot some things down.  I know my performance of 2:35:37 isn't much to write home about compared to my previous times, but it was an all-out effort and a stride in the right direction as I set my sights on faster times to come this year.  After toeing the line in Arizona and coming across the finish, I was pleased to feel stronger and fitter than the abysmal effort that occurred in Boston last year (I don't even like to mention that marathon).  Honestly, I wasn't ready to run a marathon in Boston, so I set my sights on Arizona as a lower key race to get the wheels back.

As I look back at my training, I know I could have done more... we always think we can do more.  And I feel it was enough for my body at the time.  Now, I know I can start to push the envelope a little more for a spring marathon, and reevaluate the training that proceeds that race.  I am not getting any younger, and perhaps my best marathon days are behind me, but there is still a carrot leading me to accomplish a huge goal, and that would be to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.  Those standards came out earlier this year and they seem within reach, even for this old man.  It's truly a privilege and honor to be able to just run freely.  I never seem to forget how quickly it can disappear, or how we can take it for granted.  All I have to do is step out the door and enjoy the freedom of being outside.  It's a gift, and I don't want to take it for granted.  And with that gift, comes a small personal goal.

Olympic Marathon Trials Standard (rumored):
Men - "B" Standard 2:19:00 Full Marathon

With the right attitude and smarter training, a sub 2:19:00 is within striking distance.  It sure is easy to talk about, or write about, so in the meantime I'll just focus on improving upon my most previous marathon time and strive for something in the 2:20s this spring.  Right now, I feel excited to train more effectively for a spring race, and hopefully I make another step in the right direction.  As for my training for Arizona, I was able to accomplish the following:

- Over the course of 15 weeks, I only averaged 55 miles a week
- Over the course of those 15 weeks, I averaged 6 miles of tempo runs a week
- Longest run was 23 miles
- Cross trained twice a week for the duration of 15 weeks

After looking at that raw data... there's plenty of room for improvement and more importantly, HOPE.