Friday, October 17, 2014

Detroit Marathon Preview

As I type this I'm on a plane headed to Detroit for the Detroit Marathon!!  Hooray!  The only issue right now is that I have to pee really bad and the guy next to me is snoring so loud I think he just swallowed his face.  I guess that  means I am drinking enough water! Anyway, I'm super excited to not only be traveling again but also putting it all out there and racing. Since qualifying for Boston I have taken the same approach to racing as I have with personal hygiene - less is more.  So, instead of the 3-4 marathons a year I've been doing 1-2.  The goal there is instead of having a bunch of so/so races, I have a few complete disasters.  Eggs in one basket!

The good of this training cycle: My training for the race didn't go TOO bad, but it wasn't completely perfect. I essentially had a 16 week cycle where by I maxed out at 60 miles and ran three 20 mile runs. During the last half of the training plan I ran one "quality" day and tried to get at least one "pace" day in - although I can admit that I wasn't as successful with that as I would have liked. I probably got both in about half the time.

My buddy Jeff emailed me asking about this  last week's lack of online run entries
Yeah, that wasn't an omission. BLAH
The bad: I didn't run nearly enough speed and I was about 20% short on miles.  In a perfect world, I would have ran another speed day a week and would have pushed the miles into the 70s - mostly extending my mid week long run upwards of 14 or 15 miles. Not only would that have allowed me to eat a lot more food it would have helped my running.....okay, this one was mostly about eating the food part.

Update: seriously, if I don't pee soon this is all going to get....interesting....

The ugly: Well, I tweaked my knee about a week and a half ago and haven't really had a good run since. In fact, I haven't ran at all this week to try to get it completely back in action. [Insert completely irrational marathon freakout here.]  Thus far it hasn't worked and it is still very achy.  But, I'm still hopeful that resting and icing was the right call and I'll perform some sort of miraculous recovery.  To be doubly sure, I'm picking up as many pennies as I can and have been double checking all horses I see for unicorn horn nubs. (Everyone knows that true knee healing comes from unicorns.)

Pants off. Ice on. 

In all seriousness, I don't think my knee is THAT bad, but it certainly isn't 100% which is a bit frustrating. Oh well. I knew that I wasn't going to run a PR race so I just plan to take it easy and go with the flow.  I think that on a perfect day I could run a 3:08ish, so I plan to go out a bit slower than that and see what happens.  So, that would make my A goal sub 3:10, my B goal sub 3:15 and my C goal don't get hurt, dummy.

The race weather looks to be perfect at around 45 degrees and the race is mostly flat with the only 'real' hills being a bridge into Canada (eh?) at the start and an overpass after the tunnel coming back from Canada.  So, other than my knee, I really don't a GOOD reason to not run at least moderately well this weekend.  Dang.

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Also, since I know it is Friday and I haven't done it in ages, here is a Funny Foto Friday Pic.

Halloween is great. Snickers are better.



Finally, I did a Breast Cancer walk with my son last weekend, more on that soon!  Happy Friday!




Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Taper time, world records, and concentrated beer

The hay is in the barn so I need to not sweat the small stuff but we all know that it takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a town to raise a barn.  Doctor Phil would be proud with my use of colloquialism.  With a 59 mile week last week, my official training for the Detroit Marathon is done!!  Now I’m on the painful reduction in volume called taper. Some people enjoy the taper period.  I am not one of those people.  I get anxious and antsy about miles not ran and too many calories ate. BUT, my last long run of 20 miles was one of my best averaging in the 7:20s/mile, so after a series of sucky runs I’m finally feeling good about my chances in Detroit.

HOWEVER…..  My knee hurts. Not an ache but instead sharp pains when I flex it backwards. Solution? I’m not flexing it backwards! Easy peasy.  While it doesn’t actually hurt while I’m running, since I’m in taper I might actually take a day or two off and get some extra sleep. Getting more sleep during taper is a lot like having only 1 drink at happy hour.  I always say I’m going to do it, but usually I end up dancing on the bar pretending to ride my (by this point taken off) shirt like a pony.

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Since I’m blogging a bit less, I miss posting a few things that I see around the interwebs.  Anyway, a month or two ago a lady ran a block with the leaders of the USA 20K championship. It was AMAZING and very awesome. These guys had to be running around a 4:50-5:00 pace (sprinting for the rest of us).  Suffice to say, I think a picture is worth a thousand words on this one:

So. Awesome.


Speaking of seemly super human running, the world record in the marathon was broken a few weeks ago in Berlin. For the first time on a world record eligible course, Dennis Kimetto ran faster than 2:03 which is also the first time that a marathon was ran at a pace faster than 70 seconds / 400m. In fact, the top TWO runners beat the world record. Of course, most people will start to talk about going faster than 2 hours, but I can’t help but feel sorry for the second place guy (whose name is barely mentioned because….well…second place). In literally every single other marathon in the history of the world he would have won and set a world record.  Not today, buddy. 2nd place is first loser.  Ouch.
Not pictured, second place


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Finally, beer. Specifically, beer concentrate. (I had actually seen this one nearly a year ago.) As a single guy looking to maximize my time, this is something that aligns with my interests! A company put concentrated (and alcoholic) beer into energy gel sized containers for easy transport.  Thrillist recently did a review where they did exactly what you would think to do: drink the gel.  The thought here is that you carry them while hiking, rehydrate, and “fuel” your hike. (read: get drunk and hug trees, I presume) I’m super interested to try it and actually just put it on my todo list to buy a pack.  Hopefully I don’t mix them up with regular GU in my 4am pre-run stooper.  Then again, maybe a bit of liquid courage is exactly what I need on a hard run. Ehh, actually maybe not.

"Beer gel works great!  I'm going so....ooops...nope."