Monday, November 24, 2008

Training Starts Today

As of Sunday, November 23rd, there were thirteen weeks to go until the Hyannis Marathon on February 22, 2009. I am psychologically committed to running it, but am waiting to sign up until I know for sure that the 40-mile birthday run does not mark the end of my running days (am I being a tad melodramatic here? perhaps). Seriously, if I feel that my body and/or spirit are essentially crushed in the wake of the 40-miler (and a subsequent trip to Europe for a few days), then I will pick a different marathon goal, and fully, formally and finally renounce any designs on toeing the line at Boston 2009. (By the way, I learned recently that "toeing" the line comes from the introduction of starting blocks to track events, results in the runners starting on their toes for the first time.)

Though I feel pretty good (though my hips are ever-so-slightly nagging me), I have not been enjoying our recent cold weather (i.e., the beginning of 6-month "snap" called w-i-n-t-e-r). In order to make winter training work, I will need to do a combination of two key things: (1) get used to banging out 6-12 miles on a treadmill, or on a treadmill and indoor track in tandem, and (2) wake up early to get some work done, then take longer lunchtime/mid-day runs in order to use the warmest (or least cold) part of the day.

Take today, for instance. I can't remember the last time I ran on a Monday, but my new coach has me starting off with an easy 10-miler today. It was about 13 degrees this morning at 5 am, but will be in the high-30's by noon. Add in the fact that running in the daylight beats running in the dark almost anytime, and that becomes a no-brainer. Of course, being out of the office for 2 hours in the middle of the day is hardly ideal. Maybe it's time to - ugh! - start bringing my phone with me on my runs so that I can still deal with work stuff. That would be a bit soul-crushing, but may end up being a reasonable accommodation of two competing interests.

Since my last post, I ran 5 easy miles on the treadmill on Friday, 15.5 brutally cold windy miles on Saturday and 4.5 recovery miles on the trails on Sunday. Saturday's run marked the first time I've ever seriously considered stopping short and calling for a ride. At about mile 9+, my face felt like it was painfully frozen and the tips of my fingers were very cold despite wearing warm gloves. I put an extra fleece headband over my UnderArmour balaclava (which started to ice up where the moisture was wicking through) and changed the last part of my course to try to get out of the worst of the wind. I managed to bang out the rest of the mileage, averaging about a 9:20 overall pace. I only hope to get more moderate weather conditions on the day of the 40-miler. Anything above mid-20's with little to no wind (and NO PRECIPITATION) would be okay with me.

Now, time to work so that I can be productive before and after today's 10-miler.


1 comment:

Billy said...

Oh my lord man...that sounds brutal. I still have a hard time grasping the harshness of a truly winter season.

Who is your new 'coach' btw?