Saturday, July 16, 2011

Week 16

Well the first week of marathon training is in the books. Only 15 weeks or 106 days to go to the Marine Corps Marathon.

I had been fairly indecisive on using a marathon plan this time, and honestly I'm probably not 100% committed to using one religiously this time. A friend of mine last week recommended the Pfitzinger 55 mile Marathon Plan, so I looked it over and it looks pretty good.

It doesn't seem to have any track workouts...and my last marathon plan had a third of all of the workouts done at the track...so it should be an interesting experiment. Basically I topped out at about 32 miles per week on my last plan. I'll nearly be doubling the miles on this plan, in the hopes that I don't fade in the final 10K like I did at Charlotte. (cross your fingers). I will have some weeks that I'll have to run 5 days per week during this plan, so that should be interesting to say the least.

This week included an 8 mile run on Tuesday, a 10 mile on Wednesday a 5 mile on Thursday (oops) and a 13 mile on Saturday for a total of 36 miles this week (31 if you don't get out of bed) and will max out at 55 miles at the peak. Somebody thought he heard rain on Thursday and decided to sleep in....when he awoke at 8:30 it was dry as a bone outside. On Friday it was actually raining, so I actually did sleep in that day. I might still do the 5 miler tomorrow, but I wouldn't hold your breath.

Lessons from week 1:

1) I hate the heat/humidity. Who's idea was it to sign up for an early fall race again?
2) Nutrition strategies apparently don't carry over from year to year. Gatorade and GU aren't doing the trick this year..maybe its the heat, but something is definitely amiss. Not only will I be preparing by running, the next 15 weeks will be spent finding the very best pre and during race foods that sit well with me.
3) I turned my ankle on a raised piece of sidewalk this morning about 8 miles in. Its a bit sore, but not too bad..I finished the 13 miles on it today. So weird that I've turned more ankles running on concrete than I have in two trail races. I'll RICE today and see how it feels for next week.
4) Get up, out of bed and check the weather ya lazy bones.

How about you guys? Anybody got a fall marathon coming up you're just starting to train for? What plans are you using?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Badwater dreams

Do you remember as a kid when you were out playing in the yard, you'd come up with all these wild scenarios of glory? I remember imagining hitting the game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th in a tied game 7 of the World Series or imagining a last second touchdown toss, while you're being tackled as time expires in the Super Bowl.

To my female readers, if you never did this, believe me...every man you know did. Maybe girls do it too, but I don't often see my little 6 year old daughter pretending these things...I think she's probably dreaming about big weddings and prince charming and going to the ball. Maybe the Prom and Weddings are like the Super Bowl to little girls? I dunno, but I'm off topic..

You don't normally hear of a lot of American males dreaming about endurance running as a kid. Oh I'm sure it happens, but probably not much. Today, I found myself using this age old mind trick to get myself through my run.

As you know I've started my 16 week death march towards the Marine Corps Marathon. Today's run called for a 10 miler (yes...a 10 mile midweek run). Let me tell you that I cannot understate just how hot it was today. I know...everyone's dealing with it, but I think I wasn't ready mentally for it today. I snoozed twice and took my time getting out the door, meaning the sun was on its way up when I got outside.

The first five was misery, I just felt bad all over. By the time I looped back around to the house and got a little Gatorade, I was dragging.

Here's where the imagination kicks in.

I said to myself, "Imagine you are on mile 130 of the Badwater Ultra Marathon* and you're at the last aid station...you've got five miles to dig deep and get this done."

*Badwater is a 135 mile trek through Death Valley in the middle of July, and ends over 8000 feet up Mount Whitney. The race was held this week...hey if you're going to dream, dream big right?

A bit dramatic for an ordinary Wednesday run? Perhaps...but I really needed something today to get me through it. I kept saying this over and over in my mind through the last five miles..eagerly counting each one down as the sun beat down on me. I kept thinking that runners were going through 120+ degree temps at Badwater, and I was having trouble with 80 and 100% humidity. Thankfully I finished, but I wondered...do these kind of dreams/visualizations occur to other runners?  Maybe I just never grew up.

How about you...did you win the World Series today?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Vacation

Where in the world have I been? All has been too quiet on the blogosphere for Coffee on the Run. Well friends, I took some time off for the Independence Day Holiday. You know what that means, right?
  • No work
  • No housework
  • No yardwork
  • No blogging
  • No Running
Wait...what? I know what you're thinking...you took a vacation from running? Youbetcha.

It started out innocent enough, I made all my runs for the last week of July. I was off work on July 1st, with plans to go to the lake for the weekend for the 4th, so I would miss my Saturday group run. After a fun weekend of the lake, and water skiing for the first time in a couple of years, I woke up on Monday morning with the inability to move any of my upper extremities. You'll be happy to know that my legs felt great as I shredded the water...
My daughter (6) said "I had no idea Daddy could do that."
...but my arms were a different story. Seems like someone needs to work out. I hear you Crossfitters, Boot Campers and Gym Rats out there looking at this blog with scorn. Maybe one day I'll do that stuff...but it won't be today.

Soooo....I made the executive decision to shut down the engines, and make it truly a rest week. Hardcore runners just don't do this kind of thing, right? I might even get my runner card taken away from me after this heretical move.

Why did I do it? Two reasons...

1.) After a bit of an IT Band injury in February, I have been doing nothing but base building for months. To the goal I wanted...30 miles per week. I had begun to feel the early stages of drudgery and burnout with it, so I thought that taking some time off would allow me to clear my head, and enjoy it more.

2.) On July 12th, I begin a 16 week training program to prepare for the Marine Corps Marathon. I will need to have laser like focus to meet my goals for the race, and I do not want to have any regrets with regards to my training for MCM.

So I hope you'll all forgive me for about 8 days off from running, and allow me to remain in the runner's club. You'll be happy to know I did meet my group for a 12 miler on Saturday, and other than some GI troubles, I felt really good in my legs and cardio, and I have re-acquainted myself with my old friend "El Diablo" the foam roller after a couple of weeks off. He'll be a constant companion from here on in.

My lesson/advice to you...take some time off from time to time. We can often get so mired in mile splits and daily workouts that running no longer becomes fun...and really, that's why we're doing this, right?

Rest well friends.