Do you ever want to just be lazy, even when you’re in the groove and working hard? I feel like I have to fight the urge to do nothing so hard sometimes, even though I know I’ll feel like crap if I sit around all day. I have been so very not lazy over the past month with training, that taking a sick day on Thursday to cut off some cold symptoms, still resulted in a 10 mile run. So, while my running has been far from lazy, my blog posting certainly has been, usually seems to be the case for me. The more I’m running and the better it’s going or the closer to race day I am, the less I post about it. I suppose if I have to be lazy somewhere, I’d rather it be here than in my training. That being said, the aforementioned lack of laziness in my training has resulted in my first couple high 70 mile weeks. My average mileage over the last 5 weeks is 72+. This has resulted in my biggest month yet, 320ish miles in January. My previous high mileage was close to 250, last July. All of those experts out there espousing year over year building and long term plans for distance running progression, they really know their stuff. It’s all about progression with distance running, repetition and slow improvement, also, patient determination. Big breakthrough’s have happened for me, usually once or twice a year a couple workouts or a few solid weeks of training will standout. Last year in February I worked up to a couple 60 mile weeks for the first time and started seeing some big improvements in speed and endurance (c’mon baby, let’s do this again!) I also could not sustain the mileage I was hitting and ended up getting injured by not responding to some nagging pains properly. I feel much stronger than I did last year right now though and have a solid base of eleven weeks of about 60/week average overall, progressing from low 50’s to high 70’s. With Monday being 11 weeks out from the marathon I will have a solid 22 weeks of training in (barring any unforeseen issues) something I’ve never come close to. My average is only about 16 weeks of good training and another 2-3 of sort of okay training. I’m looking to cut 8+ minutes off my PR so it’s going to take some big work to get there, not to mention all of the shorter distance PR’s I will be looking to accomplish post marathon this year. I know I will never be a really competitive runner at any distance, but I’d like to develop into a good club runner and maybe get close to the winning time in some smaller marathons at some point. I hope to get there by following the words of Meb Keflezighi: “And I believe God has given me this talent — and there have been people who are more talented than me — but no one should out-work me. No one should out-smart me. If they have the talent I can’t do anything about it, but other small things I think I can do and help me be a better runner and a better human being and a better person and hopefully inspire others to get the best out of themselves.”
True words to live by! God has not given me the same talents in running that Meb has, but I mean to use the talents I have in the same manor, striving to work hard and smart, to inspire others if I can.
I thought of that quote from Meb multiple times in a 16 mile race last Sunday. The race was billed as “moderately challenging” but the words were meant as a pun; the course has some serious hills and is more than a moderate challenge for sure! I started out with the lead group of runners and by mile 3 I was somewhere just off the top ten. I was trying to run by effort level and stay somewhere just below marathon goal pace ‘hard but not max’ On the first of the many large hills I shortened my stride and continued at my goal effort level, in so doing I passed a group of 6-8 guys on the 3/10’s of a mile uphill section. I guess my hill sprints really do serve a purpose! Anyhow, I first thought of the quote from Meb, which he gave in a Competitor Magazine article published just before the won the USA Half-Marathon champs a few weeks ago, when I was coasting down that first big uphill. A couple of the guys I had passed went zooming around me on the way down, but I continued at my own pace and resisted the temptation to give chase. After the next couple of uphills I had passed them again and that time for good. I had then one guy left in my sight who was running for a club that always seems to beat me in these local races. I did actually go a little over my planned effort level to eventually pass him (also on a hill) and thought of the Meb quote again as I was trying to consciously plan my move and outwork him. Over miles 8-13 I had a gap of at least a few tenths between me and the 2nd and 3rd place guys, who were trailing a leader by another few tenths. Due to not giving it my all I still had some left in the tank and pushed hard over the last 3 though, closing in a 5:30 mile (That’s close to 5k pace for me!) Long story short; I’m glad the Meb quote came to mind over that run and that I thought of it again now so I could share the story of a race that started as a training run but ended with a 4th place finish!
Top Five Times Were:
With the next post I will go back to my training log format most likely, or I might finally write down these article style posts I’ve had in mind for ages. More than likely I will continue to be blog lazy and go with the former. Stay tuned and thanks for reading, please share a comment with previous race experience or favorite quote of your own!
As I will with most posts in my Boston training, I’m going to finish with a plea for donations to my charity efforts with World Vision. Please take a look on this link and consider donating to a worthy cause. I’ll do all the running and sweating, but I need your help with the fundraising!