Monday, September 14, 2009

"I'm Shipping Up to Boston" & Other Nuggets

The Dropkick Murphy's have fueled many a rough patch during my training in the past year or more with their incredibly angry working-man anthem. It's the kind of song that grabs you buy the lapels, shakes you hard and screams in your face for 3 minutes. I must have played that song 50 times as I trained for Sugarloaf. And, now, as of September 10, 2009, I am registered for the 2010 Boston Marathon! The BAA need only verify my results, and I'll have the hard-earned privilege of training through the winter in search of my tiny piece of running history. I'll declare - subject to change as the inevitable vicissitudes of training so decree - my Boston goal: 3:10 (meaning that I would achieve the "open" male qualifying standard). Since there's so much time and mileage between here and there, it's little more than a semi-abstract idea, a formless lump of clay to be chiseled and whittled and shaped by what I hope will be another round of solid, injury-free training.

Incidentally, I hope and expect to follow a nice Boston PR with a new PW (personal worst) six days later at the Big Sur Marathon. Yes, on behalf of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation my first 2010 fundraiser will running 2 marathons on opposite coasts 6 days apart. Many more ambitious people have undertaking far more demanding endeavors, but I don't think Big Sur will be much more than a glorified power-walk, albeit in what by all accounts is a spectacular setting.

I have been doing a lot of thinking this past week, about life, family, work and - yes - running. Several factors seem to have converged to make me feel better about all of these areas, but whatever running rut I felt I was in seems to be passing, or perhaps has already passed. The reasons, in no particular order:
  • Signing up for Boston to Big Sur - 'nuff said
  • Reading Christopher McDougall's master work, "Born to Run"; I plan to review it, but there's so much to celebrate in that book, that I doubt I could it justice
  • Running Wapack - having fun in a new race setting while performing reasonably well was just what I needed
  • Focusing on some tangible goals - After getting shut out of the Bay State half-marathon, I was granted a late entry; I hope to go sub-1:30 on October 18th (or get darned close); also, November 1st is looming , which means I need to focus on leading the Manchester Marathon's 3:50 Pace Group, followed by the extra 11.8 fundraising miles; I started fundraising for that last week (see link at the top right of the blog)
  • Deciding to write a running book - this may be an idea which never gets off the ground, but I'd like to write a book for runner's like me, middle-of-the-pack-ers who are dedicated and passionate; the main point: to try to convey the joy of running and perhaps provide an accessible glimpse into how and why runners are how we are; if it helps somebody train a little better, great; if it provokes a laugh or two, excellent; if it lands me a 6-figure deal, fantastic! :-)

All of that within a training week that looked like this:

  • Monday - 20 minutes easy on the stationary bike; light weights and stretching
  • Tuesday - 5 miles easy (quite sore)
  • Wednesday - 8 easy (still sore)
  • Thursday - 6.2 easy (slightly sore)
  • Friday - 10.5 progression run
  • Saturday - 5.25 on trails, plus 1.25 barefoot on indoor track
  • Sunday - 17.1 miles, very hilly at 8:34 average pace and sub-150 average HR (longest run since Sugarloaf)

Total was about 54 miles, and that was after a 3 1/2-hour race. Suddenly, it feels like I'm getting into shape again and very much enjoying my running.

The plan for this week is to log 55-ish miles, including 20+ at about half-marathon pace at the Reach the Beach relay on Friday and Saturday. More on that later.


1 comment:

screaminzab said...

Sounds like a huge week(ish) for you. I am excited about all of it, especially the book. I'd like to reserve a copy. The only thing you may have to worry about it is that you may not being a mid-packer by the time it's published.

I hope I'll be joining you for Boston to Big Sur, too.

I find it's much easier and more enjoyable to run when there are tangible goals in front of you. Sounds like they are lining up nicely for you.