Thursday, December 5, 2013

A Long Way To Go... (And a possible new member of Crash Burn Racing)

As my heart starts to beat quicker I continue clicking away, zooming in and out, following the path and finally skimming over the finish line at the 26.2 point mark.  Now to be clear scrolling over the finish line on the computer is no where's near as exciting  as it is crossing it in really life, but if my heart rate is any indication, its still pretty powerful.  Looking over the course map of the race now that takes place in 170 days, 13 hours, and 45 minutes might seem a little early to some, but for me its inspiring.  After all I know this city and course very well.  The first 13.1 miles are the same ones that I plodded over 3 years ago in my first half marathon, and the rest of them are in an old neighborhood that I lived in; the exact place I began my training.  I can't help but notice that one leg twists through and does a loop of the park I've run through countless times before, and although its been years since I've ran there, I can still see, smell, and feel the too familiar loop of Delaware park.  Really its such a great course through my old stomping grounds that it should be a sweet mix of nostalgia and closure all at the same time.  The exact relative percentage of each I'm not totally sure of, but I know its going to be:  EPIC.

What is clear is that I'm still a long way from hitting that 20 mile preparatory long run, and even further from this years planned 22 mile long run.  So far my legs are quickly getting back into it, but after a tough run up some of Allegany county's crazy hills and feeling the burn for days later its too obvious how much lays a head of me.

In previous seasons my weekly goals for marathon training have been modest, maybe (or probably depending on who you ask) even too modest.  So this year I broke away from the tedious training I was used to (something like 2 easy 3-5 mile runs, 1 speed day of about 5 miles, and one insane long run per week) and created a newer much more dynamic training plan.  I think my maximum mileage in training for Phili hit maybe 38 miles, this years culminating "hell week" as I so loving refer to it as hits an intimidating 48 miles possibly even necessitating 2 a days.   Last week I could barely walk after a total of 16 miles and my longest run so far has topped out at 5 miles.  But its coming, slow and steady for sure.

Driving home this point early last week I managed my first 3 miles on the treadmill, my longest continual run up to that point.  For me it felt great and nothing could dash my good spirits after a good walking warm down.  In 2010 it had taken me ages to get to this point, and after a year hiatus I was back at it in a little under a week.  I couldn't remember the last time I had been able to run for over 30 minutes at any given time, but it felt amazing as I could feel myself sliding back into my old routine feeling the accomplishment of finishing a run, the aches of a modest distance, and the light headedness bordering on a runner's high.

Finishing up my cool down, my girl friend and newbbie runner Magan hopped on looking to see what she could do on the treadmill.  Now in truth she had ran all summer really getting into it, but had never timed herself, calculated any mileage or really even cared to.  I pulled up a comfy couch and got lost in netflix until quit some time had passed and I realized I was freezing from the dried sweat.  Walking over to see how much time she had left she managed to grunt out the fact that she was almost done.  Not realizing how much time had passed since I got up I casually glanced down at the mileage counter and my jaw dropped:  4.0 miles...

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