Friday, April 22, 2011

Someone's out to kill me

At least that's what it feels like these days.  I'm tired, so freaking tired.  But then again, what else is new?  This is the hardest part about training for me, the constant fatigue.  Every endurance athlete knows that the harder you train the more sleep you need to recover and rebound from the hard workouts.  Makes perfect sense, right?  All I need to do is add some extra hours to my schedule for sleeping and Bob's your uncle, problem solved.

Two problems with this hypothesis.

1. Where exactly am I supposed to get the extra time from?  As it is I have already had to start apportioning more time during the day just to training, including waking before 4:30AM several days a week to fit in everything.  Then I get home from work between 5 and 6 and it's out for an hour or so workout.  By the time that's all set, shower up, and grab some dinner, it's past 9 and I'm falling asleep on the couch.  Thank FSM for DVRs or I'd never see an entire TV show again.

And that would be a crime
2. Even without any training taking up time I sleep like shit.  This is nothing new.  I can easily knock off 10 hours sleeping and wake up exhausted.  I don't think I have slept through an entire night in over a decade.  This is hard to explain to people but imagine that every day of your life from the moment you get out of bed to the time you fall asleep that night you are tired.  And not just the "oh no, I haven't had my morning coffee yet" type of tired, I mean the "damn, I only got 3 hours of sleep last night" type of tired.  All day.  Every day.

The only good part about being tired all the time is that I have learned to adapt to it and can cope.  The bad part is when I start falling asleep at my desk.  I know making Visio diagrams is widely exciting but it's not exactly stimulating enough to keep me energized.  The big increase in training that I have been doing has certainly added to my sleep debt and has made me a tired old man.  As a matter of fact, it's 8:30 in the morning and I'm ready to call it a day and head back to bed.  Oh well, at least it's Friday and I have the weekend to look forward to.  Yeah!  Saturday's schedule should give me some time to rest after I wake up early, run for 90 minutes, Take Jackson to his baseball pictures/parade/first game, then bang out another 90 minutes, and finally get ready and head out to a soccer game with the boys that night.  I just might be able to squeeze in a three minute nap in there.  Or I can eat lunch, tough call.

Interesting side note: the best sleep I have gotten in years happened a few weeks ago.  I worked overnight from about 10PM to 5AM and arrived home at 6.  Then I went out and did a 40 minute run before finally getting to bed around 8.  Four hours later I awoke feeling better than I have in maybe my entire life.  I had crashed so hard that I never even heard the phone going off right by my ear.  It was the greatest feeling ever and I felt refreshed the entire day.  From only 4 hours of sleep!  I'm thinking I should do that all the time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Marathon time

The greater Boston area is filled with thousands of runners ready to set out tomorrow morning and run another Boston Marathon.  The nerves, the excitement, the anticipation.  All of that hard work has led up to this moment when they finally get the opportunity to set out and challenge themselves over the course of this historic 26.2 miles.

I'm about to crack open another beer.

Gotta work with what you got.

Monday, April 11, 2011

F**k You Boston

Sung by Cee-Lo Green

I see you running 'round town
In the race I love and I'm like,
Fuck you!
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the pace that I rock at
Wasn't enough I'm like,
Fuck you!
Fuck Boston too!
I said, if I was quicker, I'd be racing with ya
Ha, now ain't that some shit? (ain't that some shit?)
And although there's pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a...
Fuck you!
Oo, oo, ooo

Yeah I'm sorry, I can't run like a ferrari,
But that don't mean I don't want to be there.
I guess you're an X Games and I'm more atari,
But the way you play your game ain't fair.

I picture the fool that qualifies for you
(oh shit need five minutes)
(just trying to get quicker)
I've got some news for you
Yeah go on and tell your charity runners


Now I know, if I had to borrow,
Beg and steal and lie and cheat.
Trying to keep ya, trying to reach ya.
'Cause being in love with Boston ain't cheap.

I picture the fool that qualifies for you
(oh shit five more minutes)
(want a finish line picture)
I've got some news for you
I really hate the BAA

Now Boston, Boston, Boston, why d'you wanna wanna make me so mad?

(so mad, so mad, so mad)
I tried to tell my club mates but they told me
"that is too freakin' bad"
(too bad, too bad, too bad)
Uh! Whhhy? Uh! Whhhy? Uh!
Whhhy Boston? Oh! I love you oh!
I still love you. Oooh!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What's Going On?

I haven't posted in a bit; sometimes I'm lazy that way.  Here's what's been going on since we last met:

Crickets chirp. Leaves rustle.

Alright, maybe that is a bit simplistic, after all, I am still running, usually.  After 6 months of glorious injury-free running I hit a down patch and have been treading lightly around two separate injuries in the past three weeks.  First there was some random pain in the top of my foot the day after a long run that had no rhyme or reason.  No big deal, these things happen.  More seriously is the current pain in my posterior heel that happened two Sundays ago.  I attribute it to shoes that were too tight (they were new shoes) and caused either the bursis or the achilles or the actual heel bone to get really inflamed.  I'm still dealing with it over a week later but at least it seems to be getting better.

Enough about that.  What else?  You'll notice that there is no mention of any racing, either have been completed or on my schedule.  This is unusual.  After a long deliberation I have set my schedule for the year.  I know, the whole year!  And it is pretty light, but not at all easy.  My next race will be June 11th at the New England Relay where will be joining Zac and a bunch of his friends in what can only be described as an ill-advised attempt to run an Ultra-relay.  40 miles in one day?  No problem.  40 miles per person in one day?  Ok, now you got my attention.

One week later it's vacation time in the hills of New Hampshire as representatives from the mighty GNRC once again attempt to tackle the Mount Washington Road Race.  7.6 miles straight into the clouds; always a crowd favorite.
If you look closely you can see Valhalla in the background
After that it's time to focus on the Providence Half and then most likely Baystate. And that's where it gets scary.  With the BAA setting the bar for Boston even higher (screw you BAA), qualification has just become even scarier.  3:10, 3:10! Come on.  That's hella-fast.  So the big question is, can I do it?  All indicators say that I should be able to, sort of.  I was able to pull out a 1:30 at the New Bedford Half last year and am looking to do a sub-90 minute at Providence this year (although they stuck the finish at the top of that damn hill in front of Providence Place). That will be a big indicator of whether or not I am ready.

That's the reason for so few races, to focus on the ultimate goal, the fall marathon. I made the decision to look long term and really commit myself to two big races this year. This is a radical change for me and in order to give myself the best possible chance I made one more big decision: I became a Kenyan.  No, not that, I got myself a coach.  It's true, for the first time I have placed my training plans in the hands of someone else.  Perhaps you may know her; blogger-extraordinaire and co-founder of TriMoxie Coaching, our very own Mary, aka, the IronMatron. I realized that it was time to get serious and get some stability and consistency in my routine, both of which have been lacking lately.  This way I can focus on the actual training and let someone with more knowledge than me develop the plan.  

In the few weeks that we have been working together I can definitely tell that the workouts are much more refined and intense than what I would have done on my own and this is exactly what I have been hoping for.
I can't hope to raise my game by doing the same old routine so it's nice to have a challenge again.