Sunday, November 22, 2009

stop - taper time

most marathoners don't like tapering. the mental stress, the potential for weight gain, missing the energy of the hard training, etc. i actually love it - tapering is part of training. i don't have the mental stress, i love the break from the hard training, and i don't mind an extra pound or two.

today, i am two weeks out from vegas, two weeks left of tapering. i feel ready, as ready as i can be. yesterday i ran 12 miles and did about what i wanted to do. during last week's 20, i worried that i was hitting my peak that day. i have done that before as i'm sure many marathoners have. two years ago, when i was in the best shape of my life and had great potential marathon day, i peaked too early. the day of my race, nothing. i knew i had a problem one week after the last 22 miler, that should have been my marathon, when i could barely run. i felt good after yesterday when i ran the 12, even though i was tired, i still had something in the tank. i'm hoping, counting in, that i have even more in the tank after these two weeks of tapering.

i will be 37 in about 2 months. it's crazy, and i wonder how i got here so fast. i feel my age more now than ever. like needing more sleep, aches and pains in places i've never had them, etc. for the most part, i'm as strong as i've ever been. i'm not worried about my age yet really as i feel i have lots of running in me. i have lots left to do!

today, i will enjoy my tapering , and hope it provides the recovery i need for my race in two weeks!

viva las vegas!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

training molly

i've had molly about 5 weeks now. when i got her, the lady who i adopted her from told me she was not trained very well on a leash, she had been 'free to roam'. molly is a very smart, well behaved, and well trained dog (she had been through obediance school as a puppy) so she did surprisingly well on the leash. i started taking her out for walks immediately. she adapted very well, in fact, to every aspect of life with me. except for those moments where she wreaked a bit of havoc in my house (a pillow, some mail, and a couple of shoes), and we figured out some solutions to those things. and in her defennse, i felt she was acting out of depression, adjusting to the new place, etc.

being a runner for years now, i've always thought having a dog to run with would be so fun. i loved jack, but he wasn't a running dog. so when i got the lab, i immediately wanted her to be my newest running partner. i also knew that knowing she wasn't trained on the leash, it wouldn't be immediate. so we walked, and she LOVED it. she's the typical curious dog, sniffing at everything, but she has tons of energy. this past week, she seemed a little extra clingy to me a couple of days, and she attacked two pair of shoes, ruining one of each pair. forget the fact i was mad, i decided it was time to get her out running. the next night, we attempted a couple of miles and made it 2 1/2. she had a BLAST. after i brought her home, i went back out to finish my 6 miles. when i got home, she was out cold on the couch. i snapped a phot cause it was priceless. it was like she was meant to run with me. the next night, we went out for two more, and again, loved it. i rested on friday for my big 20 on saturday, and after my 20 on saturday, i was way too tired. today, she accompanied me on a recovery run. i was just going to do 2, but it was such a pretty day and my legs felt oddly good after the hard 20 that we went for one more. yeah, she was tired, but she did very well.

she's getting better and better. still working on her fitness and her focus though. she tends to want to sniff a little, and she also gets distracted by dogs in yards and people sometimes. as we run, i talk to her, tell her she's doing good or tell her no. i also keep the leash short so she has to stay near me. we're getting there, will just take practice! the good thing is she loves it and so do i. i look forward to the day she can go the distance with me. what a great future running partner i've got!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

finally...i'm back...and so is my running

not sure where i've been for the last, what, month? i actually have had a busy fall - work and football season, which the two have gone together for a all but one game this season. anyway, i'm here and hoping to get back to blogging on a regular basis.

so today, i finished the core of my training for vegas. i'm not officially in the taper. let's recap these last 13 weeks. i would describe my training as all over the place. motivated and not motivated. good runs and plenty of bad runs. warm weather and cold weather (not enough cold). as i've blogged many times previously, this marathon is a comeback for the most part. for the good part of a year and a half, i struggled to like running. i felt like i was ready to return with this marathon, and i pretty much was. what i did find was i still struggle with that motivation and liking running. it's amazing what a few good runs will do for that motivation though. but for as much as a good run helps, a bad run is devestating.

those of you that know me know that my body doesn't quite rebound from tough or long runs that quickly. it's not my age, it's just the way it is. i was giving a more aggressive training schedule a try, with more miles per week and longer tempo runs. i kept up with it, but when the schedule really started kicking in with midweek runs of 10-12 miles, i had to keep it more on the 8 mile level. that's still good considering my midweek runs worked up to 6 of 7 in the past, and only in the very end of training. i also did 3 20 mile runs and 2 18 mile runs. i had several weeks at 40 miles per week and a few that went over. i think doing tempo runs at those 8 mile distances is one of the best things i could do, and i had several really good ones. my long runs were what were really all over the place. basically, i had 2 long runs that were good. and 18 about a month ago, and today's 20. the 18 was at an average of 9:14 per mile and today's 20 was 9:08 per mile. both of those runs started out with me hitting around 10 minute miles decreasing to sub 9 minutes miles, in the 8:30 to 8:45 range. i'm all about some negative splits. i feel that's the best way to run a long run or a marathon. since i'm a slow starter, those aren't difficult for me.

so here i am, 3 weeks from the race tomorrow. i've done all i can do. vegas is my return to the marathon, my comeback. i don't expect anything great or a PR, but of course, i'll try my hardest. the plan is to let this training, which has gone well, continue on into new orleans in february. that race, in 2008, was my demise, where i fell apart. so like my good friend jim, who went back to ironman louisville a second year after dropping out the previous, i want redemption. for now, my eyes are on vegas and having a GREAT time!

in my next couple of weeks, i'll taper, continue training on a lesser level and start to prepare mentally. i'll also continue to train molly to run. she has gone with me twice for runs of 2 to 2 1/2 miles. she loves it, and i'm excited about this new running partner.

so, here we go! viva las vegas!!!