Monday, June 25, 2012

Once more unto the breach...

once more unto the breachWell it's not as serious as all that, but I do have a race on Saturday.    The past two times running have not exactly been stellar displays of running prowess.  But then again I've never really displayed running prowess.  Well there was that one time...  The first track race I ever ran in High School was the 800m.  I won.  Never mind that it was a dual meet and I think the guy from the other team (who was the only other person running) must have pulled a Charlie Brown and ran straight off the track.  I was a winner.  Running prowess.  

I told teh wifey that I'm going to finish this crazy North Fork 50 miler this time.  Really my motivation is all about the merch.  I have this rule that I can't wear a race shirt unless I've actually finished the race once.  Since I have a two race DNF streak going here I haven't been able to wear two very nice technical running shirts.  This needs to change.  Yes I know it's not the climb the mountain, seize the day,  or "close the wall up with our English dead." It's a stinking shirt.  But I still want it.

So to add to the usual mountain of evidence against the idea of finishing, I've been struggling through a minor shin splint, the usual patellar tendonitis flaring in my left knee, and on a certain mountain "run" over the weekend I had a crash and burn and slammed my right  knee on to a bunch of pointy rocks.  This pretty much means I am perfectly set to finish this sucker.  I pretty much have called my shot.  I will finish this stinking race in the allotted time.  There ya go.  Totally insane arrogance.  It's a nice artificial alternative to the usual pessimism you find here.  And why not?  It worked for Hal...

'I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'
    - King Henry V
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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Forecast: Pain

Terry Tate Office Linebacker Demotivational
My pain train still thinks 8 minute miles are fast.
 (Photo credit: jasondefra)
Yes, the pain train is coming.  Not in the farm of Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. (Language warning.)

No my pain comes in the form of a new assistant coach.  So teh wifey has been and will forever more serve as my running head coach.  She does the dirty work, the reminding me who it was that signed up for this silly Leadville thing, the formulating the master running plan, and being the crew chief for all the races.  However now I have an additional coach.

With my "win" of D.F.L. at Cheyenne I won a prize!  Two months of professional coaching.  I wasn't really sure about this whole idea, but the head coach insisted I give it a try.  My theory is the great Cheyenne 50k folks are trying to make sure I actually run a little faster next time and I don't blame them.  However with the new coach, there are a few additions to my training regime.

The first is pain.  The second is running fast.  Strangely, these two things are related.  I suppose I had gotten into some comfortably bad habits of running long, running easy, and running slow.  It seems that the new coach (need a nickname) has some other ideas.  So for the last couple of weeks I have been running intervals, running hard hill repeats and still getting about 50 miles / week in.  I am told this is good for me.  I do know that it is good for the frequency of my whining.

Nevertheless it is a fun challenge and I'm giving it my best.  Two months of hard training to Leadville.  Three weeks to North Fork.  All aboard to Painsville.
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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Down to Guildford and Back

"How would you react if I told you that I'm not from Guildford after all, but from a small planet somewhere in the vicinity of Betelgeuse?"

Can you name the source of this quote?

So a couple of weeks ago I was hanging out in Weybridge, England.  It's a nice place, you all should visit there some time.  And of course one of the nice things about travelling is going out and exploring different places via the dreadful slogging I call running.

One of the highlights on this trip was an afternoon dalliance along the river Thames.  Near the village there was a pleasant cow path/trail that meandered along the river.  After running a bit I came across a map which showed that if I went far enough down the trail I would come to the village of Guildford.  Being the Douglas Adams fan that I am Guildford, England is the location that the character Ford Prefect claimed to be from in the novel the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  (Bonus points if you guessed it.) While they never say where exactly the main character Arthur Dent lives I enjoyed imagining that I would turn a corner and see a man lying in the mud, blocking a bulldozer.  

At any rate there was much to enjoy on this day of running, including watching crew practice, seeing some swans, and just enjoying some nice sunny English weather.  (It's always like this right?)

And anyway, who doesn't have a great run when you're powered by this every morning?  Cheers!

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