Monday, November 30, 2009

Marathon Training By The Numbers

or... Doing The Math on Four Months of Training For The Memphis Full.
A guest blog by ... Vivian R.

Memphis is marathon #3.

Number of double digit runs in official training. I kept up my 10 mile weekend long runs all summer, so that when I hit September 6th (first “official” double digit, that distance had been programmed in for awhile.

Gels (a guess). Orange, vanilla bean, expresso, chocolate outrage are my choice as the lesser of the gooey evils.  By the way, 30 X 100 = 3000 calories.

Hills.  7 weeks at Garbage Hill.  4+5+6+7+8+9+10 = 49.

Minutes under the miracle hands of massage therapist Elanna Greene. Weekly sessions starting late September.  By m-day #1 and #2, everything on the left had been cranky, from my glutes and hamstrings down to my Achilles, from my quads to my shins. This time, my body complained, but it was whispers not shouts.

Mochaccinos (another guess).  Jay at Timothy’s World Coffee keeps his runner clientele happy. Jay knows my post long run order by heart: Medium - decaf - skim milk – half sweet – extra hot – no whip. How does he remember all those orders from week to week?

Mad Men, Season One on DVD.  I try to nap in the afternoon after 16 or more miles but I can never actually fall asleep.  The Mad Men addiction started around Thanksgiving. An episode is good for 45 minutes horizontal and icing both legs.

David. Partner, amazing runner, math nerd. 110% support. 110% enthusiasm. An optimist 110% of the time.  This morning he made me an Excel spreadsheet with 8 alternative race plans.  He’ll be shivering and waiting for me at the finish line, having completed his full 30 – 45 minutes before.

Really brainy 23 year olds who heard me insist that Italy does not border Switzerland.  This one’s a long story.  I’ve been giving these health law lectures to medical students, and … well anyway, it has to do with runner’s brain.  We talk about runner’s brain a lot on our long runs. Then there’s the story about me getting the measurements mixed up for cayenne and paprika in my orzo salad.  A famous example, according to Wikepedia: “Dorando Pietri in the 1908 Summer Olympic men’s marathon ran the wrong way and collapsed several times.”

What you pay for a chunk of good Romano cheese at the supermarket.  Every Saturday night, the same dinner: pasta with marinara sauce, sometimes some salmon, or shrimp. A salad.  I figure I have 3 more pasta dinners between me and the Memphis finish line.  I am so tired of carbs.  Bring on the post-race protein.

Mike’s speed workout. 1 mile to Kelvin High School (warm up), then hit the outdoor track. 5 minutes speed, 1 minute recovery, 1 minute sprint, 4 minutes recovery. Repeat until your legs are jello. Then run another mile home. Last week I did 5 repeats for a total of 7 miles. 4 Thursdays. Never saw another runner, but I think last week was parent teacher night. I think some of them were scratching their heads. Who is this crazy woman running laps in the dark?

Grains of Epsom Salts added to post long run baths. Also known as Magnesium Sulfate – MgSO4.  I have no idea whether Epsom Salts actually have restorative properties to the joints but runner extraordinaire Bill D-J swears by post long run E.S. baths.

Pearl Harbor Day. Fifty years later to the day, my youngest came into this world, one week late. This year, he turns 18 on Monday December 7th. Races usually fall on Sunday. And there’s another important birthday the next weekend, then there’s Chanukah, Christmas…  In August we checked for December marathons held on Saturday December 5th. What about the St. Jude Memphis Marathon? We run Saturday, fly home Sunday, birthday celebration on Monday. Perfect.

2 amazing kids. “Go ahead, go for your run.” “I’ll make a curry and we’ll eat when you get back.” “How many miles today?” “That’s impressive.”  Sometimes a bit of “you’re kind of crazy, you know.” But always supportive. Thanks, you two. Also running partners. Special thanks to Bernie.  Every long run, every mile, for the entire program.  Also awesome long runs with your host Michael, Sandra, Laurie, Lorie, Darcie, Gaston, Ed … and many others.  The running community is a special group. It’s a great day to be alive.

Editor's note... you rock V!  Yes indeed, it is a great day to be alive.  Now run like the wind!  M

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1000 Miles

I logged mile 1000 for 2009 this morning on the return from The Forks.  When the Garmin rolled over I announced to my group "That's a thousand." and kept on running.  Another milestone achieved; sort of like life.  We aspire for one goal after another, reach it (or not), and keep moving forward.  No big deal.  The trick is to keep setting those goals and persevere even if all seems helpless.  Keep moving forward.  Never stop.  I logged 1260 miles in 2008 so I've got a ways to go to improve on that... not that it matters.
This morning's run with Vivian, Bernie, Darcy, Gaston, and Ed was purely serene.  The weather continues to be unseasonably warm with a bright sun, blue sky and little wind. Running with this group is a pleasure and indeed, an honour.  We even discovered a new trail, Bernie's Zag.  Next time we're running I'll point it out, better yet, we'll run it together.
By the way, if you've ever woken up during a run, overwhelmed with the beauty of the moment I suggest you read In My Mind's Eye   from Run Direct.  The writer paints a beautiful image with words of this blissful moment.  I suppose of all the reasons why I continue to run, it's the fluidity of movement and slow endorphin release that keeps me coming back... 1000 miles of it to be precise! 
Cheers all,
It's a good day to be alive.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Back at 'er

Wounds licked, ego healed, feeling good, moving forward.  

I've been back at 'er for a couple of weeks and I've logged about 35 miles since that fateful day back in October (see race report below).  I had a couple of enjoyable runs with V and company, logged about 1.5 hours on the tread mill,  and I've run home from work twice.  All is good.

My current annual mileage -not that I'm a geek or anything- is 991 miles.  I'll break the 1000 mile barrier this weekend and I think I'm on track for coming close to last year's 1260.2 miles ... not that I'm a geek or anything; egads, a geek would log their mileage by two decimal points (I only go one decimal point)... sheesh, running geeks, such LOSERS!

I've registered for three races for early 2010; Hypothermic Half, Cops For Cancer Half, and Air Force Half.  I haven't decided on which full marathons I'll be doing, but I've got my eye on Fargo for a Spring marathon and Chicago for the Fall.  Time will decide.  I'm also communicating with the kindest gentleman in all of Ireland, John Culane (left) of Run Direct Ireland.  Visit his blog, Running in Munster Ireland.

John is trying to locate a race close to Dingel Bay for me while I'm on vacation next July in Ireland.  He signs off his email with  a folksy "Don't worry , we will sort you out.".  

I'm also involved with a group planning a new race for next September.  I can't go into details just yet, but it'll be the finest 10 k race this city has ever seen.  More on this later.  

Stay tuned, stay positive, and always'_   _  g_ _d   d_y   t_  b_  a_i v_!

Cheers,  M