4/21 – Training & BOSTON!

2014-04-21 06.01.59What a race! Boston this year was thrilling from the start all the way to the finish. I was pounding the table begging Meb to kick down Boylston and break the tape.

Come hell or high water, I’m going to BQ and cross that finish line myself someday soon. My time won’t ever rival Meb’s, but knowing that we ran the same course and crossed the same finish line will be pretty cool.

In the mean time, Meb is going to be the Guest of Honor at this year’s RunFest so if I’m really lucky I might be able to get a picture. Fingers crossed.

Again…. just wow.

But before I get to Boston, I have to finish Glass City (and graduate law school, find a job, and BQ). This past week has reinforced to me just how bad I am at tapering. It is likely the type-A, competitive side of me coming out, but even running alone I have trouble not running at race pace or tempo pace.

This is something I will definitely need to address before I injure myself through overtraining. Both in terms of pace & mileage, I need to learn to dial it back when needed.

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4/16 – Half Marathon Training

gcm[This post was originally written yesterday, but the ‘net hiccuped and either AT&T or WordPress ate the submission. I’ll post again later with today’s run and thoughts. – BSR]

Another day closer to both graduation and the Glass City Marathon! At this point, the two events have sort of merged to me. This is partially due to my last day of law school being the Thursday before the race, so Glass City will be my first weekend in three years without law school. .

I definitely think I’ll be taking my finisher’s beer to celebrate finishing both the race and my juris doctor. Heck, I might steal Stacy’s drink ticket!

Sometimes I think that running may have saved my sanity with everything that has happened in the last three years. I wasn’t a runner for my 1L year and I was a complete mess. If I hadn’t rediscovered running I likely would have continued down that spiral.

The funny thing is that when I did my student visit day to Capital Law before I decided where I would attend, there was a student there that said that running kept her from getting over her head with law school stress. If only I had listened, but the old, fat version of me wasn’t that wise.

I sometimes wonder if my interviews would have gone differently in 1L if I had been fit and running instead of obese and lazy. No way to change the past, but it is something that haunts me occasionally.

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4/14 – Training Updates

habit

It has been several days since my last post, but it hasn’t been a vacation. With the light at the end of the tunnel that is law school graduation, I have several papers, projects, and assignments that are coming due. One of them, a legal research project I have been working on looking into the intellectual property right of publicity & the internet, consumed my entire weekend.

This semester is an anomaly for law school – no finals, but several projects. It is odd having my classes structured this way right at the end, but I’ll take it. Not the least reason is that completing all the assignments means I should have no questions about graduating successfully.

But all of the this work means that something else has to give. I’m still completing my runs, but it seemed all weekend like I just never had the time to upload everything and get it on BSR. Hell, right now I should be working on a different project for another legal writing class but I feel the need to update this site.

And the running is still going reasonably well. It is taper time for Glass City, so its time once again to try to find that setting between ‘off’ and ‘ludicrous speed‘. I’ve never been very good at that, honestly.

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4/10 – Half Marathon Training

easy-run

Thursdays are rough.

With an advanced legal research class early, it squeezes my time for running in the mornings. But I am a creature of habit and don’t like it if I skip a day, even Thursdays. So, knowing that I’m already behind the 8-ball timewise, I went out to the Rec Center for my training run.

After the more intense training runs this week, I knew an easy run was on the horizon. Even though the time issue was going to be a factor (and it was), today’s run was a slow 5 miler.

Before setting out on the track, I played around on my shiny iPod and made a fun new playlist for today. Since the run didn’t need to stay at a quick pace I just threw together a list of songs I like and hadn’t heard in a long time (hello, Ask DNA).

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4/8 – Training Updates

i ran today

The blame for the lack of recent updates rests completely with law school, I swear. I haven’t missed any training days, but I had a major analysis due yesterday so I had to devote all my time to completing that.

Trust me, 24 pages critiquing my own negotiating preparation & performance is not my idea of a enjoyable weekend. But I want to graduate, so I need to…

2012-10-09 14.38.08

So while I have stressing over contractual clauses for insurance and negotiating a landlord/tenant agreement, I still managed to get my training sessions in. The key has been to do my runs first thing in the morning. When I get out the door for a run at 6:30am, that cements it as a priority and ensures that I don’t just skip it. That is simply too easy to do when I train later in the day.

It is a coincidence that Glass City is the weekend that law school ends, but I want to have a good race to cap off the three years I’ve spent at UT. There is a lot of pent-up anxiety with law school and a 13.1 mile race should take care of a good bit of that.

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4/5 – Half Marathon Training

mental high five

Sometimes all it takes to accomplish something is to trust that you can do it and just get started. Jump in the ocean – sink or swim. That’s precisely how today’s run went.

Spring flirted with us then ran away, returning us to Winter’s frigid hug of death. Even so, I had to get out and do some longer runs. Facebook is exploding with reminders that Glass City is less than a month away and I haven’t done a run longer than ~6 miles in waaaay too long.

Deciding that “brave or grave” was the proper response, I pun on my tights, packed a spare GU, and went out to attempt the full 12 mile out-and-back on the UT Uni/Park trail. The first time I did this run, I got out to King Road and had absolutely nothing left. My body was spent and I had no phone, no food, no water, and no wife available to pick me up. It was a long, long 6 mile trek back to the car. I had to trust that today would go better than that ignoble effort.

And, hoo-boy, it became obvious that my legs, knees, and back are no longer accustomed to either long runs or hard surfaces. There are old aches creeping back and I’m pretty damn exhausted. But, hell, I made it! Self high-five!

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4/3 – Half Marathon Training

Selfie!

Selfie!

Apparently, this morning was full battalion PT day for the University of Toledo ROTC at the Rec Center. They were so cute with their shiny new IPFUs and their olive drab canteens. The future butter bars of the Army… some NCO is going to have their hands full, based on my observation. I know the ROTC cadets we got in my platoons and companies were in need of coddling.

For some reason, I got a wild hair this morning and decided to do a HMP run. Based on yesterday’s success, I knew I could do ~6.5mi at an easy pace, so today I went for 5 miles at HMP. Perhaps not wise, but I make no claims to wisdom.

This also gave me the chance to fully test my hypothesis that my pace is driven by the tempo of my music to a ludicrous degree. I put my iPod back on my 180bpm playlist for this run to put it to the test. The results were dramatic now that I knew to pay attention to my response. I could feel the desire to match my pace to the 180bpm and just run.

I was a little worried about pushing the pace, but I wanted to see what I had in me now. Turns out, I’m recovering quite nicely from whatever the hell was wrong with me.

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4/2 – Half Marathon Training

Believe

Today’s quote is a little maudlin, but it is very appropriate for where I’m at with my training. This 3 mile wall came out of nowhere, seemingly, and it is becoming obvious that I’ll never break it down until I get my mind right.

Since I have set aside the Break-1:30 training plan, I am back to making my own workouts based on what I feel I need at the moment. This morning, that meant increasing my non-stop mileage but trying to decrease my pace. An easy run, hopefully.

Since the Rec Center opens at 6:30am, there is not a lot of traffic on the track at 7:00am. College kids still like to sleep, it seems. But that makes for a very peaceful setting to get running. It reminded me of why I enjoyed hitting up the Rec Center when the weather kept me out of the metroparks last year.

Plus, with the track being elevated, I could watch both a basketball and a volleyball game at different points during each lap until the games ended. No idea who was playing or why, but I was cheering for one random side just to be partisan.

Plus, I had a minor epiphany. I have been using my 180bpm playlist exclusively for my runs the last two months. That has been driving my pace since I am so apt to match my speed to a audible tempo. While that keeps my pace even… it makes me too fast for easy and LSD run days. Ahhhhh…. it all comes together.

As an experiment, I switched back to the old, miscellaneous running playlist I used to use in the gym this morning. And, indeed, my pace is all over the place on the graph, but my pace was also easier to maintain at an appropriate speed.

That’s the BSR way: simple solutions to complex problems.

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3/31 – Half Marathon Training

Madness? THIS. IS. RUNNING!

Madness? THIS. IS. RUNNING!

Okay, so maybe the Leonidas meme is a little over the top. But after the last several days of having my training runs feel like running through water, having a decent run felt like Sir Edmond Hillary conquering Everest.

One thing I noticed is that I am running at a pretty good clip when I do trail & track running, even on my long and easy runs. In itself, that is unsurprising – my inability to pace myself is nearing mythic status (at least in my mind). But I am consistently running at what was my HMP from the 2013 Columbus Half. That’s probably a little too quick.

So, to judge if my pacing is at least part of the issue with my poor training, I went to the treadmill again. The goal was an LSD run with an enforced consistent pace. No running too fast when the belt is moving under you!

And, in part, it seemed to work. While not a effortless, podium-style run, it felt better than I expected.

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3/28 – Half Marathon Training (ugh…)

like running

Days like this, I wish I could afford to have a coach.

The weather finally cooperated (50s and dry, no ice on the trails), so I jumped on the chance to run outside again. It did mean changing up my schedule (breakfast before run, no GU), but it seemed a small price to pay.

And it was a joy to get off the treadmill and back onto the trails. While it was pretty damn windy, particularly the crosswinds, the temperature was warm enough and the rain stayed away. All said, the best running conditions we’ve seen for months and months.

If only the same could be said for my running capability. The two weeks I had to take off for illness & injury has seemingly killed my endurance. My speed is still there, I just can’t maintain it for as long. And wouldn’t you know, two weeks is how long it takes to lose your running edge.

Of course, running three times in 24 hours could have had something to do with my epic bonk…

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