Friday, March 24, 2006

24 days to Boston and I'm tired

I'm worn out...physically and mentally. Except for the 2 week break after the Houston Marathon in January, I've been training non-stop since mid-June 2005.

It's been months and months and months of training.

Running almost every single day.

Logging the runs, counting the miles, loop after loop, workout after workout. The aches and the pains...they're taking their toll.

In other words, I'm tired.

It's now less than four weeks to the start of the Boston Marathon. Actually its exactly 24 days and 25 minutes if you consider CST and if you're lucky enough to start at noon.

What to do?
Time to focus that's what.
It's about closure. Yep, this is the hard part. It's work.

Fortunately, tapering starts next week. There is relief in the taper. The aches and pains will slip away. The mileage will drop and the mind will clear.

A week before the race, I'll start checking weather reports, focusing on my diet, and, of course, staying away from absolutely everyone who might make me sick. Four days before the race, I'll go to work, lock myself in my office and conduct business only through email or conference calls...there will be no face-to-face meetings.

The plane flight from Houston to Boston will arrive earlier than scheduled. It'll be a full flight, of course, but everyone on the plane will be a skinny runner. Planes fly much faster with runners on board. Excitement will be in the air, lots of chatter, and there will even be a line to the toilet during the entire flight.

The plane will land and the Boston experience will officially begin. This what all the work was for. Gosh...I'm getting excited just writing about this stuff!

That said, I can't wait 'til the marathon is over. To sleep past 6am two days in a row will be as good as it gets.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Running: A religion or addiction?

Is running a religion? Is it an addiction? What do you think it is?

Argument for running as religion
We congregate on Saturdays and/or Sundays for long runs and/or races. During this time we join each other in the fellowship of running. We talk running, racing, & training. What sports gel to eat, what sports drink to...well, to drink?

Some of us get together on other days for shorter, ah, workouts.

We talk incessantly about the trials and tribulations of running related aches, pains, injuries. The treatments, the cures, the comraderie of runners with similar ailments.

Then there are the training programs. Do such and such workout on this day and blah blah on another day. And if someone should dare to ask why, the answer is, because in the book of Daniels (aka Running Formula by Jack Daniels), it says to do blah, blah, blah. Or, in the book of Lydiard, it says...blah blah blah. You just have to have faith in these programs.

Argument for running as addiction
We run all the time. We say that if we were hurt we'd stop but we don't. We sneak in early morning runs before the family knows we're gone. Some runners feel they need to run every day...I mean every day.

We enter race after race after race...for what? Many of us have no idea why. However, races give you a runner's high plus post race parties satisfy your munchies.

Some of us run for charities..."I'm running for those that can't," Would someone tell me what that's supposed to mean? Or how about, "I'm running to help raise money for, 'fill in the blank' disease." Are you kidding me? Just give the folks $20 and they won't have to buy t-shirts.

No, running for charity is just an excuse to run because we can't stop...because we're hooked.

I know there are more arguments for either position...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Thinking of Boston...

4 weeks & 5 days to Boston...but who's counting?

We're in the last two, very hard, weeks of training before we start a 3 week taper. This week and next, our mileage will be high and the workouts tough. And, we may just be a bit tired of the whole training thing...physically and mentally.

So I thought of a few things to think about. Of course, there is the standard training rants:
Run easy/slow in all other runs, sleep as much as you can, eat well and often, stay hydrated, cut back on alcohol (it dehydrates you and increases your recovery time between hard workouts), cut back on caffeinated drinks (you need your sleep!), blah, blah, blah.

Here's some other stuff to think about:
  • Check the BAA web-site often...they've got to post your bib number soon!
  • Spend a lot of time wondering if you did the right training. It won't help any but it keeps your mind off your sore legs
  • Around the end of the month, start talking incessantly about the marathon to your co-workers. In a short time, they'll be sick hearing about it and avoid you. You won't want anyone around you during the last week anyway as they might make you sick ;)

Okay...the floor is open. Feel free to comment ;)



Friday, March 03, 2006

Amateur Racing and fun

I raced the Rodeo Run in Houston last Saturday under the name, Chip Tyme. I use the pseudo-name sometimes just for fun....

One of the things I really like about amateur racing is that it really is all about your own personal reasons for running and do your best, to have fun, be with your friends, or just to get a t-shirt. After all, it doesn't really matter. It doesn't put food on the table and there are certainly more things going on in this world that are more serious.

Anyway...that's how I see amateur racing.

Some folks however, take it way too seriously.