Tuesday, April 9, 2013

50ish miles a week and a full time job


I love working hard and it is great to have a challenging job.  But that leaves very little time for blogging.

By ways of catching up know these things: I am still running and my ankle still hurts.

But that isn't the point of today's post. The point is how to train for a marathon properly and be stupid busy.

The short story is you sleep less.  The long story is, longer.
#SeenOnMyRun - Darkness

I was reading a real running blogger's post about "how she does it all" at some point last week when I was waiting for another shoe to drop, I realized, as I didn't get to read the end of the post due to a an incoming phone call, that we all do this.  And by "we all" I mean crazy runner types.

We all try to pack more into everyday than should be pack into any day.  While Emily's day is significantly more impressive -- with mid-day workouts and walking to and from work and double days -- I want to share a few stories from my recent training.  While I admire those who can execute extremely well planed and regimented programs, with little control over my schedule, the flexibility in a structured program has proven difficult.

At this point in my schedule I am running very long on the weekends but as you know, work, family and other such "life things" got in the way of running.
  • Four weekends back I had to run 20 miles on Saturday but due to work travel, I ran on Friday morning before starting heading to the office. In this case, I knew I could get my run in and then be at my computer by 8:45 or 9am as long as I checked my email and had my phone for the early morning hours. So off I went into the darkness, with my phone.
  • Three weekends ago was a 16 miler with MGP+10 seconds that was cut short due to being wasted after being on a 5:50am flight to LA to see the family for Passover.  I got 15 miles in at a pretty good pace through a hilly course in noon heat.   
  • Two weekends ago due to work commitments in the afternoon and helping an out of tower get in some long distance, I started running at 5:50am on Saturday for a VERY HILLY 23 miles. 
  • This past weekend I had 20 miles with 15 @ MGP + 10 that needed to be completed on Friday morning prior to an 8:30am conference call. This necessitated a 4:45am wake up and being on the road by 5:15am.  I finished well before 8am.  I DESTROYED THIS RUN. I ended up running the entire thing at an average of one second per mile faster than a 3:45 marathon pace.
And this doesn't take into account the pre-dawn treadmill miles at the conference hotel, the speed work around a square block in a strange city, or any of the other stuff that needs to get done in life, like laundry. These super early weekday long runs also take a bit of the fun out it.  For example, why did I run 20 miles at MGP? Well it wasn't to see if I could, but rather I was worried about missing my conference call.

These kinds of changes aren't great for your training and lead to pain and injuries thanks to insufficient time to rest, or your rest coming in the form of a cross-country flight. I am not sure if my hard work, which wasn't as to the schedule as it has been in the past, will yield dividends on May 5 in Tacoma.  You got to believe it will, but at this point in a messed up schedule, one that I will mess with again this Friday at 4:45am for 24 mile run prior to attending and presenting at a conference, I have to question it just a bit.  But not enough to stay in bed and miss my longest pre-race run.

In short those of us who want* to do this well as amateurs are forced to drag ourselves out of bed at ungodly o'clock and get working, make changes on the fly that might not work, and just deal with 9pm be our bed time.  I am not complaining, because I really love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from stuffing 10lbs of it into a 5lb bag.  But sometimes you just need to vent.

Also you get to see sunrises like this, which is nice.
Lake Merced and the Sun (Mile 11 of 20)


*Ok fine, I am not getting multimillion dollar sponsorship deals anytime soon...but you never know.

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