Saturday, October 1, 2011

Coffee...on the Fam

I think I've got to break out of the "every blog post has to be a literary masterpiece that goes on for about 4 scrolls of the web page." Of course that begs another question...have I produced any literary masterpieces yet? I'm betting Dr. Clairborne, my college English professor would She hated my overuse of commas. You probably do too.

Yesterday marked a significant day in my life. Sixteen years ago I married the love of my life, and by some odd stretch of cosmic fate, she's still stuck around this long. I gotta give her credit, I think her being able to stand my very existence probably says a lot more about her patience and grace as a woman than it does my efforts as a husband. I never did learn to put the seat back down. Most days I still don't pick my clothes up out of the floor. For whatever reason she's hung around this long, I'm forever grateful. Without her, I'd literally only be half a person. Probably a hermit living in a cave somewhere eating bowls of cereal (lots and lots of cereal...and not Kashi either). I know this...I would have NEVER picked up running had she not signed up for a race. She has been, and continues to be an amazing inspiration to me. Maybe I'll have her to a guest blog to let her tell her story on training for MCM. It's been quite a journey. So I guess you can blame her for the running monster that I've become. Happy 16th Anniversary Christy...I love you.

Speaking of her inspiration, my son who is 10 participated in his very first Triathlon last weekend. He's a competitive year-round swimmer, so we knew that wouldn't be much of a chore for him, plus he rides his bike most days.Our only concern was with his running ability. He's run with his mom and I on some slower recovery runs and has struggled at times.

The Triathlon was a 100 yard swim, 3.1 mile bike and 1/2 mile run. He did really well on the swim, and he said he felt really good on the bike as well. He said the run nearly killed him. It was a two lap circle of the soccer fields at the YMCA, so I ran the 2nd lap with him to try to encourage and not allow him to stop and walk pace him in. When he finished, he literally wouldn't talk to us for 10 minutes. Not because he was mad...he was completely wiped out. It was extremely gratifying to see him put so much into something and try his very best.

Ready to hit the water

T1=That's Triathlete lingo for Transition Area One.
On the home stretch on his carbon fiber triathlon bike...oh wait, that's a 40 pound mountain bike. Sorry.

After the race...The half smile and thumbs up were coerced.
He was 18th out of 58 overall, but he was happy that he was 1st in his age group in the swim, and 8th in the swim overall. Much to the chagrin of triathletes everywhere, he said that the swim was the easiest part. I could not be prouder of him. His 7 year old sister wants to do it next year. Maybe instead of a college fund we should start a triathlon bike fund for these kids.

As for me, I got back on track this week. I hit all my workouts and completed a 20 miler this morning. I felt pretty good, with the normal ups and downs, but I felt like I fueled well so I think I've settled on nutrition plan for the marathon, which is now...29 DAYS AWAY!!!!! I am exactly one week away from the taper.

I don't say it enough, but I want to thank everyone who reads and comments (both online and offline) on this blog. I hope its brought motivation, inspiration and humor to your lives. I hope I can continue bringing it...or rather start bringing it at some point in time.*

*not guaranteed to ever bring it

Monday, September 26, 2011

The tale of the Milk Carton Runner

Missing for nearly two weeks.
I'd like to direct your attention to a couple of my most recent blog posts, one called Happy Little Accidents, and the other called Why We Race. These were perhaps the most gratifying and confidence-inspiring moments of my marathon training program. Being able to executed Yasso 800's at sub-goal pace, then followed immediately by a PR at my half-marathon tune up race had me in a great place mentally for the remainder of the marathon training.

Since that half marathon performance however, I've gone missing. Here have been my workouts:

9/13-Run through sickness" on my 12 mile run-only made it 6.5 miles
9/14-Sick with fever-supposed to run 6 miles

9/15-Sick-supposed to run 12 miles

9/17-Ran 17 of 20
9/18-Ran 5 of 5 Recovery
9/20-Up til 4am with a family member facing stage 4 cancer. Missed 8mi run

9/21-Rain (dainty flower) missed 11mi run.
9/ 4:45am? Yes. 9mi missed
9/24-Ran 12 of 17
9/25-Ran 5

In case you went to school in South Carolina, I've run 46 miles over the past two weeks, less than what I should have run in one single week at the PEAK of my marathon training. I am incredibly frustrated and mad at myself. Could I have rescheduled workouts from the morning to the afternoon or evening? Probably. Could I have run on a treadmill? Definitely. Did I? No.

In fact, I started my run on Saturday with all this garbage in my head, and it kept flowing non-stop. It was pitch-black dark outside (darker than normal) and nearly every possible negative thought that a marathoner can think went through my head..

"Why am I doing this?"
"Why am I up so early?"
"I don't have enough time to train for a marathon."
"Maybe I don't have what it takes...."

"Maybe half marathons are all I'm cut out for..."
"You're a fraud."
"What kind of a run blogger doesn't run?"
"You suck at this."

Wash....Rinse....Repeat. For 12 miles.

Is it any wonder I didn't make it any farther? It hit me while I was walking to cool down...

I let my yesterdays define my todays.

Remember the blog where I said that running was 90% mental? Instead of approaching the workout as a new day to start my marathon training, I approached the run encumbered by all this baggage of how much training that I've missed over the past two weeks. Let me tell you that's a lot to carry for a dozen miles. Some of this I couldn't help, some was self inflicted, all of it is real life. You can't help getting sick, you can't help family issues, you can help how you react...and let me tell you I've not reacted well.

I'm not an elite athlete. This is supposed to be FUN.

I completely lost sight of that fact.

So, I have a decision to make. There are 34 days left. What am I going to do with those 34 days? I can keep lugging around the baggage, and keep asking myself all of those negative questions OR I can put the missed workouts behind me, and approach the rest of them with a positive outlook while enjoying the remainder of the journey.

Tomorrow is a brand new day....I choose to treat it as such.