Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 2 of 20. Now we're rolling.

Week 2 is in the books.  Work has continued to consume a lot of my energy (mental and physical), but the high mileage load has been a great sanity check.  It helps that nothing is too intense yet; just have to tune out and run.

Increased the mileage substantially, up to 47.5 miles for the week.  I did throw in one tempo run, which was basically just a 20-minute pace increase on my midweek 8-miler.  I was able to get some cross-training into the schedule, with a pretty solid 3000-yard swim on Wednesday, core work on M/W/F, and strength work (lunges, pull-ups, push-ups, etc.) on Monday and Friday.  It's amazing how sore you can get from a couple sets of push-ups when you've been doing nothing but swim/bike/run for a long time.

The weekend was definitely the highlight of my week.  I did the Saguaro East loop (8 miles of hills) at sunset on Saturday.  Sunday I flew out to Albuquerque for work.  I walked a mile to my hotel to loosen up after the flight, and then changed straight into running clothes.  Ended up getting in over 15 miles, with most of it along the Rio Grande.  For this river restoration guru, it was great!  Of course I forgot to pack gels, so my nutritional needs were met by 7-eleven branded jelly beans.  Also forgot body glide...and I had nearly forgotten about the chafe that happens with marathon-type long runs.  Won't be forgetting the body glide again for a while.  Here's a shot from the Rio Grande path in Albuquerque.  Very nice!

Long runs are always an adventure.  Long runs in a different town with some missed turns, getting back to the hotel in the dark, and running through some sketchy neighborhoods make it even more...interesting.

The right ankle is feeling much better this week and I thank my swim.  It included a decent amount of kicking.  It ached a lot at the beginning, but by the end of the swim my ankle had really loosened up, and I was probably feeling about 95% by the end of the day.  Weight on Tuesday was 177.8.  This is higher than I expected to be, but not too shocking considering the relatively poor diet lately.  Hoping to race around 165 in January.  With the mileage and some restraint on the calorie intake, I should be able to drop down pretty quickly.

Hoping to keep the mileage about the same this week, just adding in a bit more length to the tempo run.  Just keep on running... milesonmilesonmiles.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 1 of 20, on my way to Rock 'n' Roll

Summer of 2001, I was in the midst of my internship for the Fish and Wildlife Service in the middle of nowhere, North Carolina.  I started running.  I ran with bears, deer, rattlesnakes, and nutria (what exactly is that?).  I ran with the black flies, yellow flies, and mosquitoes in 100% humidity day after day.  Why?  After years of thinking running was a punishment, I found myself enjoying the challenge.  Enjoying chasing the wildlife around and being alone with my thoughts.  It felt great to be fit.  Oh, and Shannon had signed up for the Tucson Marathon.  So, I did too...

That first marathon was painful enough to keep me from training for another one for 2-1/2 years.  But the rewarding feeling of finishing that race (my first running race ever) convinced me to do it again in 2004.  And here I go again 9 years later.  I'm going to take a real shot at one of my athletic goals--qualifying for Boston.  I don't think I'd actually even run Boston (I mean is it really a reward that for finishing a great marathon you have to run another one?).  But I want to see if I can get do it.  It's important because I think it's important, and that's it.

So, to keep myself motivated and give myself something to look back at, I'm going to try to post weekly updates for the next 19 weeks leading up to the Arizona Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on January 19.  Following two weeks of warmup, I'll be following (roughly) Hal Higdon's marathon training plan, with a bunch of extra mileage and a bike and swim or two per week for cross-training.  I should be able to race at about 15 pounds under what I did in 2004.  I'm hoping that lower weight, along with a pretty solid five years of triathlon training and a good training plan will get me below 3:05 for the marathon.  That would be a whopping 22-minute PR.  Yikes...

So, my first week of build is in the books.  36 miles total, with a challenging 11.5-mile long run up Sabino Canyon and back down Phoneline Trail in the heat.  Mostly easy running, with one five-miler at moderate pace.  I have some nagging pain in my right Achilles that comes and goes.  Self-massage seems to be doing the trick, but I'll need to keep tabs on it closely.  One core/stretching session.  No swims, no bike rides.  Diet was only decent...need less sweets, and cutting out beer for a while :(  Nothing else too exciting to report.  A solid start.

Will be upping the mileage a bit this week, adding a tempo run or two, and including more core/stretching/strength work.  More to come!  If nothing else, I have enough shoes to get me through for a month or two I'd say...