worst. run. ever. (And travel/training question)

So, the 20 miler on Saturday sucked.

Lesson 1: Make a plan. Stick to the f’n plan. On Friday, I’d checked the forecast. Saturday was supposed to be crappy and rainy. Sunday was supposed to be sunny and dry. No brainer – run on Sunday. Figured I’d repeat the great 18 miler experience and crank it out before Sunday school. However, just after lunch, I conned Missy into letting me take the afternoon and squeeze in the run.

Lesson 2: Fuel pre-run. What you’ve got in your belly is what you’re taking with you on the run. In my case, lunch was beans and rice, and nachos and salsa. Cheese doesn’t digest very quickly. So, the whole run was a bunch of fiber trying to work its way through my system, while at the same time, burbling back up in a series of “burps”, not being able to come up with a better word for small amounts of barf in the back of my mouth.

Lesson 3: Don’t fight the body’s cycles. (TMI after the jump)

Lesson 4: When your instinct says bail, bail. After the genesis of lesson 3, I decided to keep going. Made it out to the point in the Borough, read the memorial to the brave, brave men who fought off the Royal Navy in the War of 1812, and turned around. The combination of intestinal distress and enthusiasm had gotten me to start off too fast, and to alter my stride. I shoulda called Missy and had her come pick me up about mile 12, but I pressed on.

Lesson 5: Walking is slow, slow. Still feeling crampy (not the dehydrated crampy, but the intestinal crampy), I walked most of the last 6 miles to the house.

Lesson 6: Beer makes everything better. Missy fed me pizza and beer, and I feel great today.

Man, if the Marathon is half as bad as this last super-long run was, there’s no way I’m doing it again. But, I didn’t have anything going my way, so it’s hardly surprising that things went so bad.

Due to the lack of effort, I think I’ll extend my last double-digit run next weekend from the planned 12 to somewhere north of 16.

But this begs another question entirely: I’m headed to Sydney on short notice to give a talk next weekend (2 weeks before race day). I’m flying the last Saturday, and landing on Monday. What I’m planning to do is to do:

  • Skip the long run on Saturday (maybe a quick 4 or 5 with the older boy)
  • 2.5 hours Monday so as to sleep off jet lag (Essentially combine Saturday’s long run with Monday’s plan)
  • x-Train on Tuesday (per plan)
  • 1 hour Wednesday (per plan)
  • x-train Thursday(per plan)
  • 1 hour Friday before heading to the airport (per plan)
  • 8-10 miles Saturday (per plan, and about 36 hours after Friday’s run due to time changes)
  • rest of the Taper per plan

If anyone’s been to Australia and can recommend some routes in Sydney, I’d be much obliged.

Continue reading worst. run. ever. (And travel/training question)

Fall, glorious fall

Man, so fall completely rocks. Aside from last week’s gift of sick from the childrens, things are nigh unto wonderful. A week of “rest” seems to not only have fixed my sick, but to have also helped out the wheels.

We went camping last weekend. Had a blast. Bigger kids mean dad has less crap to carry, and kids that love to backpack means no whining on the trail. Weather was spectacular – cool but not cold, clear, and a full moon. Pictures are at Flickr.com/photos/billjank – or go to Flickr and search on “billjank”. We’ll probably get one more trip in before winter. Can’t wait.

Running has been good. Saturday was my last “sick” run. I punted on the 20 miles on the sked, but did get in about 9, even though I was still hacking up a lung. Went to bed immediately afterwards.

Monday and Wednesday were brilliant. Ran up and over Cow Hill both times. Monday, the wheels were great, and I legged out about 7 before supper. Last night, I managed to cram in 5 miles in 40 minutes before soccer practice. Yeah. Soccer was fun, too.

In other news, I’ve got preliminary ok from the wife to run Mooseman Tri in June with the Amazing Hip, the Running Chick with the Orange Hat, and Salty War. Now I just need to make the decision between the half or the Olympic. Probably the half. Ouch.

On the verge of being sick today

So the question is, will I run or won’t I?

Saturday was the Physical readiness test (PRT) – I rocked it (relatively). 10:23 for the 1.5 mile run, which is about 40 seconds faster than in the spring. More situps and pushups, too.

Afterwards, though, I out to do the 6 miles I had left on the training schedule (mile from the gym to the track, 1.5 miles on the track, and 6). THe first 3 were good, but the last three were the most painful I’ve done in a long while. But, I gutted them out.

Sunday morning, it became clear why I’d been hurting so much – the mucus in my nose and the itch in my throat were clearly a gift from my two little disease vectors, and the disease pools that are their schools. Bundles of joy, my a$$ – they’re little ponds of microorganisms.

It hasn’t developed past a cold, so I think I’m good to go to run today, but I’ll probably knock 15 or 20 minutes off of the 60 minutes I’m supposed to do today.


Benefits of running

So, once in a while, there’s just something completely out of the blue that’s nice about being a runner. For Missy and me today, that was not having to worry about transportation when we had to drop the car off at the shop for a periodic tune-up.

Here’s how it went down:

– Fridays are commuter van days. So, I took Melissa’s car (the one that’s up to date on maintenance) to the commuter lot.

– Melissa got Jake off to school, dropped Nate off at preschool, and took my car to the VW shop.

– From the VW shop, Missy did the 4 mile run (Uphill) to the commuter lot to grab her car.

– After the boys were done with school, and my car was all sorts of good again, Missy went and picked it up at the VW shop, leaving her car in the employee lot there.

– After a full day’s work, I left my stuff in the commuter van and ran the 4 miles (downhill) to the dealership’s employee lot (the shop was closed when the van gets back to the lot).

– Picked up Melissa’s car, drove back to the commuter lot, got my satchel out of the vanpool, and headed home to my astounding children and lovely wife, who made a bit of taco salad tonite.

– Played with my new helicopter for a while

– Headed down to the Dutch Tavern in New London for a beer or two, while struggling to remember which plays Eugene O’Neil had written (Long Day’s Journey into Night and Mourning Becomes Electra for the record. I’ve acted in neither).

Anyways, none of this would have been easy without running. We would have had to inconvinience someone. Instead, we both got in the day’s workout, saved some gas, and got even more smug satisfaction than we could from driving Priusii.

Linger on, folks.

Two posts in September

Man, it’s been a good month. New Haven, of course, was 6 hours of perfection, encapsulating everything that makes New England summer enough to get through winter.

Then, and I’m terribly, terribly lax – I spent the better part of 4 great days in Ottawa. Got to run with Warren again. Scratch that – we’d biked together before, so we got to run together for the first time. There were talks of other runners and life, and I got a great tour of a town which I am sure is now buried in snow, not to emerge until spring. Canada rocks.

Other than that , training for San antonio is going well, mostly because I’m actually doing it. Funny how that works.

If I can digress for a moment. Of course I can. What I should have said was “let me digress for a moment.”

I’ve begun to realize that I’m one of those folks whose mind perceives life as a series of stories. (merlin Mann did a great series on “the wire” on his blog if you’re interested) Now that running has become a regular part of my life, the arc is incorporated into the mundane.

Which isn’t to say that I won’t be running – on the contrary, it’s now something akin to sleeping or breathing.

But it is offered as a bit of explaination as to why posting here will be kind of light until I figure out where the next narrative will go.

In the mean time, I’ve got some wonderful threads going on elsewhere -work is increasingly interesting; I started the night program at the War College; Jake is having a blast in soccer and Nate stuns me daily; and I’m increasingly involved at church.

I’m still around – if anyone out there passes through New England, drop me a line and we’ll see if we can mesh schedules to go sweat. Or have beer.

Life is good. I cannot wait for the story to follow.