Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a walk... ur... run in the park

Our training is winding down and marathon day is quickly approaching. What seemed like a vast distance to me three months ago is now just a walk in the park. This may not seem like a significant change in perspective, but if I were to contemplate the idea of running 6 miles six months ago I would've considered it a vast and arduous task; now I can't see myself running anything less then 5 miles if I'm going to lace up my running shoes.

The run on Saturday was pretty uneventful. I ran with Elaine and Debbie for the full six miles, and we made no stops... well I take that back we made two quick stops to grab some gatorade from the water stations... but then it was right back at it. The run seemed to blow by, and before I knew it we were done. Jamie went and tackled the bike today at the gym to give her groin a little rest (check her blog for the details on this).

Our post run recovery has also been winding down; ice baths are no longer a necessity, instead we are back to putting packs of peas on the sore spots (remember this pic); and our mid-day nap now is more of a slight snooze. Normality seems to setting in - soon Saturdays will be ours again.

I want to give a HUGE shout out to the Long Beach Marathoners!! This is their weekend to shine... come Sunday they will take off down that marathon trail and achieve greatness. It has been GREAT training with you guys, and I wish you guys unlimited strength and determination! GO TEAM!!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

simmer down now

This week marked the beginning of a gradual decrease in running mileage called the "taper phase" of our marathon training. This decrease in mileage over the next three weeks will give our bodies the opportunity to rest and recover from our previous training, and will culminate with a one mile run the Saturday before our marathon.

Not only will our mileage decrease, but our caloric intake will also wind down; as we do less mileage less calories will be required for recovery, so that means I gotta cut back on those extra helpings. Three days before the marathon however we will begin to carbo-load in preparation for the event; this means tons of pasta, bread, potatoes, rice... well you get the picture.

The run this past Saturday was at our usual Balboa Lake location. We all arrived early and were off running before 7:00. A measly 8 miles was on my plate today, and I was ready to devour it. I took on the first five miles with a moderate pace and then kicked it up significantly for the last three miles. I pushed myself harder then I have before, and tried to invoke a feeling inside of me that might resemble the last three miles of the marathon. I never let my pace slip and kept it strong. It was extremely tough, and I wanted to quit at times, but I pushed my fatigued body past its mental and physical barriers.

The last quarter mile hit me hard and I knew that finishing out at this pace would be a true testament to my will power. I pressed on though and ignored the tormenting thoughts raging in my head. As I neared the finish line my legs began to explode with energy and quiver tirelessly all at once. My feet feverishly consumed the path as I finished out the run forcefully, clocking in a time of 1 hour 6 minutes - that put me at about an 8 min 22 second average mile time!

Jamie put back a good run today too. Although she ran hard today, she ended up bringing in the last half mile at a walking pace so she could hang out with a fellow teammate who sustained an injury. What a team player!

Try and keep up with me!