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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No More Closet Training

As mentioned recently, I've been quietly following a training program for a few months that is geared toward a fall marathon.  No mention to family or friends why I had weekly hill training and tempo runs...just somewhat secretly seeing if I could get in good enough shape to make a formal commitment to run my 9th marathon.  By "good enough shape" I mean much better than my lumbering efforts back in 2010.

The back-up goal was a slew of half marathons.  Having run 7 or 8 of those in the past 12 was less appealing than the full distance.

Well, I put my money down.  I picked Rock n Roll San Antonio for my event.  I wanted something close to home that would allow a short and affordable stay.  I narrowed it down to San Antonio (Nov. 11) and Tulsa (Nov. 18).  While doing a race in early December would give me more time and provide a better chance of cooler weather, I simply couldn't bring myself to run Dallas yet again.

San Antonio fit relatively well in my secret training plan too.

Needless to say, I was ultra excited and told my wife that I was back!  That I had found the edge again and the sky was the limit.  Ok, not my personality.  I just told her I registered for the race.  I was pretty excited about it however.  It was certainly nice to have the self-inflicted secrecy removed.

After running a lethargic 16 mile long run this past Saturday, I'm at least on schedule for the training runs.  It is the "lethargic" part of the run that planted the first seed of doubt less than 12 hours after registering.

I'm hoping it was just one of those runs that came on a hot & humid morning after putting in a good amount of hard miles during the week (15).  Around mile two I realized my legs were already tired.  Besides my diet being terrible with family in town, the weather was downright nasty.  I lost three pounds.  Dehydration...I know...this is very unusual for me as I weigh fairly frequently before and after my long runs and seldom lose much weight.  I'm very careful with my hydration and fueling.  As I said, probably just one of those days.

As quoted in Chrissie Wellington's book, A Life Without Limits (credited to her coach early in her career) we get:

“Some sessions are stars and some sessions are stones, but in the end they are all rocks and we build upon them.”

When I read that yesterday, it summarized running week up perfectly and actually prompted this post.

So, off on another week of training.  Easier this week, but still a 14 miler on Saturday.  Should be quite challenging as I'm supposed to crank out the middle 5 miles at race pace.  I'll report back afterwards.

Run in Peace, Rest in Grace