Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Third Trimester: 12 weeks until my marathon

As I sit here, I'm 12 weeks away from my next marathon.  The beginning of the third trimester!! As you might imagine, I sleep a lot, my feet are swollen, the hemorrhoids are back, and my body aches all the time. It will all be worth it in the end, but right now brewing my marathon baby sure is a lot of work.

Just like when someone is not growing a baby, when I'm not specifically training for a marathon, I still take pretty good care of myself - but not all that horribly good.  I'll indulge in the occasional six pack of beer, eat copious amounts of dairy before bedtime, and run a lot but not all that focused and certainly no speedwork.  It is a blast! I still get the benefits of being healthy with all of the running I do without all of the hassle of actually being healthy.  I have seen the light, life balance be thy name!

But let me tell you, when that marathon seed is in me? Things get serious.  Prenatal vitamins? CHECK! Soft cheeses!?  NO WAY! Jumping on trampolines!!?  ARE YOU KIDDING I'LL have my marathon baby premature! TWIST AN ANKLE!!! I'm drinking more water than I thought possible (babies need water) and I am always on the lookout for foods that could make my stomach uncomfortable or give me heartburn. My veggie and fiber intake goes WAY up and my french fry intake goes way down.

Having put in a few solid months of base building right around the 12 week mark, I start to incorporate speedwork into my plan. This training cycle I did it a week earlier than normal during week 13 (last week) - my marathon baby always was head of the class.  He is going to be president.... congressman.... something better than those two.

Last week I logged 58 miles.  I had been hovering in the mid 40s for the longest time but finally pulled the trigger on the 6th day of running which pushed me over the edge. The speed session I did last week was a 5 mile tempo run on Friday (8 miles total) with the tempo miles at half marathon pace or 6:30/mile.  Let me tell you, it.was.hard.  I did it on a treadmill at work which helped a bit.  Nothing like all of your work people watching you grunt and sweat to keep you going!!!  (Edit: I forgot that I also did 5x800 @ 6:00 the week before that. So, I guess I started doubly early)  The miles are adding up on my legs for sure. By the time my long run rolls around, I'm pretty trashed, but it is a good kind of hurt.... all 50 shades of it.

This week I hope to log 61 or 62 miles.  I'm going to do another round of 800s, this time hoping to get 7 of them. I had planned to do a 10 mile marathon pace run today, but the weather was NOT cooperating with a low temp of 92 degrees. So, I did 7 miles at whatever pace I could muster and called it a day. (7 @ 7:29/mile which felt like running sub 5:00)

So, if the heat doesn't kill me, that is the plan for the next 2-3 weeks. But, rest assured, the heat WILL kill me.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Is Meb cashing in his running cred chips?

American elite distance running is interesting to follow.  With so few athletes to root for, we latch on to anyone who has the faintest glimmer of success or triumph over adversity. Or, in the absence of either of those, is marketable enough (Let’s be honest…. read: has a pretty face) to put on a magazine cover.  While Americans only have a handful of men and women that could come close to challenging the highest levels of world-class elite marathon times (I won’t dare list them here at risk of forgetting one), one has been doing it rather consistently for the last 4-6 years: Meb Keflezighi. He isn’t the fastest, he certainly isn’t the youngest, but he is a workhorse of the “difficult” Major Marathons.

As such, it came as a bit of a surprise yesterday when I heard that Meb was hired as the “VP of Running” of competitor group who puts on the Rock and Roll marathon series of races.

Elite running is BUSY. Meb posted a YouTube of an average day for him. Spoiler: IT IS NON STOPPED. How can he have time to consistently train like he needs to stay at the top of his game?  Every article I read had Meb quoted with saying that he is laser focused on the 2016 Olympics. But, I can’t help but be a bit cautious that he is bending his focus away from running and more towards whatever it is that will pay the bills AFTER running.  In fact, he had previously flirted with retirement prior to his Boston win.

Really Meb? No way do I believe you ride this...
Now, I certainly can’t fault him for making a big money grab after his massive win at Boston (if that is what this is) or starting to set himself up for a post running career.  At 39 years old, he is easily 5 years older than any of his “real” competitive peers, so thinking about his twilight years has to be top of mind.  Additionally, as a friend Lauren pointed out, Meb is currently juggling seemingly 15 sponsors (giving most healthy living bloggers a run for their money... zing!!!) so adding one more iron in the fire isn’t THAT big of a deal? Maybe?

I personally really hope that Meb keeps his foot on the running gas pedal. Granted, I do realize that he isn’t a robot and can’t do this forever. Unless he IS a robot. In that case, all hail robot overlord Meb. But, part of the reason I’m somewhat bummed to hear about the new “job” is that I’m a big fan of his and would hate to see him hang up his Sketchers. Having met him a few times he really is as genuine as everyone says – so I just hate to see one of the good guys go. That said, hopefully he is able to do a bit of good work with the Rock and Roll races and swap out a few high school garage bands with more water stops or better beer at the finish line.

Thoughts? Am I blowing this out of proportion or is this the beginning of the end?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Blogging Off-season is OVER!

Just like herpies, just when you think you’re rid of me, I’m back! Although, I suppose I haven’t really gone anywhere (also like herpies) – just took a little technology break for a few weeks.  You know, except for my phone, twitter, facebook, Instagram, Buzzfeed, online news….. okay, so maybe I just took a break from blogging.  Triathletes get their “off season”, so let’s call the last 3 weeks my Blogging Offseason. So, now that I’m all bloated up on hot dogs (read: beer), apple pie (also beer), and fruit salad (fruit beer) I’m ready to get back into the swing of things!  Here is what I’ve been up to:

At the beginning of the month I made my annual trip to my dad’s lake house. I not only took an internet break, but also took a bit of a running break. The logistics of running and taking care of my son were just too great to overcome. I did get to see all kinds of family, did some swimming, boating, but of course didn’t take that family picture that my dad INSISTED that we take.  Oops.  My son absolutely loves going back so that he can drive all of the heavy machinery.
 So, the lake on the 4th was.....busy

I was thinking the other day… the President can’t really have more than a beer or two, huh?  I mean, he could be in the middle of a keg-stand, Joe Biden holding Obama’s legs in the air (come on, you KNOW uncle Joe is up for a keg stand), and a nuclear war could start. Nothing says “leader of the free world” like telling the national security advisor to “shut his face” and “stop being so dramatic” while slipping Bud Light Biden a $20 for another beer run.
Crazy Joe Biden...

Fortunately, in spite of the time off while I was in Iowa, I have still been running! It hasn’t been as much as I would like and it hasn’t been quite as fast, but I’m getting out there. In fact, I did my first speed session (5x800 @ 6:00/mile) in months that went really well. That said, the humidity in Phoenix (read: like 50%) has been miserable. For the last week it has averaged 83 with 70%+ humidity while I’ve been running. Well, and that brought out the bugs (which are quite rare for Phoenix)!

Yes, that is one on my tongue. 

I haven’t locked in on a race for this fall but I am eyeing either the Detroit Marathon or the Columbus, OH marathon. That means that I need to find 10-12 miles extra per week FAST.  The 53 miles I’m running this week isn’t going to cut it.

Finally, today is my last day as a 32 year old that has a 12 year old mind. In that time I’ve ran 3 marathons (well, one last year was the weekend before my bday), started a new job, bought a house, had a few ups and downs, but most importantly kept my son alive. I’m not a huge birthday celebrator, so I’m going for a run, having some coffee with a buddy, and maybe a motorcycle ride.  That is, unless Joe Biden comes over – then it is keg stands all day long!

Of course, another work week gone slaving away at the factory wouldn’t be complete without at least a little chuckle.  Happy Friday!