Monday, November 6, 2017

This Week in Running 10/29 - 11/5

Me post run enjoying the fall weather

DayMileage / WorkoutComments
Tuesday4Medium / easy paced run
Wednesday5Repeat of Tuesday
Thursday5Windy day for a run
Friday4All easy
Saturday8Final long run at 9:30 pace.
Total miles for the week: 26; YTD: 1521

Week's Summary

Well week 2 of taper went off about as planned.  I really wanted to get a little bit of quality work.  The problem, however, is I am battling a bit of a calf strain.  Calf strains can be debilitating and seem to have a mind of their own.  Usually they come on like a heart attack -- and they hurt.

This one, I think, came about from stretching.  I have a favorite tree root in the park that I love to put  my toes on and my heel on the ground, forcing a nice calf stretch.  It usually feels good. However, whenever I start getting into the habit of doing this I inevitably run into calf problems.  I should know better by now, but I seem to have a short memory.  I suspect this minor setback was caused by that.

So suddenly, my annual trip down to the Las Vegas marathon was in jeopardy.  So I really dialed it back this week.  I kept my mileage to a minimum, did some walking and tried to at least do what I could to treat my injury -- which is foam roll and take an occasional anti-inflamatory.

On the plus side, it doesn't hurt -- at all -- to run. However, occasionally at work or around the house as I am poking around, I can feel a twinge of discomfort.  Hills also seem to set it off.  As I sit here and write this, though, I am feeling better.

My 8 mile long run on Saturday morning went about as expected.  I hate to say it though I ran it too fast.  I meant to just mail it in and do 10 min+ miles but of course, I kept testing myself.  And I started to panic anytime my pace slipped.  Am I that out of shape?  Is my time off because I am running into the wind? Should I just turn it into a speed work out?  Those are the insane thoughts that run through my head.  I wind up doing more damage to myself with self-doubt than good.

Thoughts on my Taper

I used to hate tapering -- the process of letting your training take effect and letting your body recover from all the hard work you've put in.  It always messed with my routine.  Instead of just running whatever, I had to dial it back.  Also what it makes it tough is that this time this year it is very difficult to hold back.  The weather is absolutely perfect the scenery just stellar, as you can tell from the pictures I have added.  

Fall in Utah is just so great, but it tends to be short.  It seems like summer ends, we get a week or two of true "fall" and then snow forecasts start to happen.  Thanks to changing weather patterns and warmer climes, it would appear we have a long fall.

These days, I look forward to my taper.  I used to go crazy during my marathon taper with anxiety and wanting to pound the pavement. I sort of saw it as a sign of weakness.

Now, I enjoy it and know that whatever training I have done will now work its way into my "system" and allow me to run stronger on race day.  Plus, I know on race day that I'll want as much energy as I can have.  Running on dead legs and being on mile 16 and knowing you still have 10 more to go is an absolute buzzkill.  The taper process can help prevent that.

Las Vegas Marathon

This coming weekend I am doing my 9th Las Vegas marathon.  This will also be my 27th marathon.

This is the first marathon that I really feel under trained for.  Sure, I've done some long runs, but my base mileage hasn't been that high and I've gotten in one 19 miler and a bunch of 16's.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is about a normal training regime but I prefer to hit about 25% more miles and at least one more 19 - 20 mile run.

My knee injury held me back and just sometimes life got in the way.

On the plus side, I am going in not feeling burned out and other than a calf ache, I feel pretty good.  The weather looks decent -- but it will be a little warmer than I'd like (mid 70's for a high). Also, it is a night race, so temperatures will drop as the race progresses.

I'll be tickled pink if I can run a 4:15.  I suspect my time will be slower.  I just need to remember the following:

1) No buffets.  I have ALWAYS overeaten before this race and I ALWAYS pay the price.  I am limiting myself on Saturday morning's buffet (I have a 2 for 1 that I cannot pass up).  With the race on Sunday night, I should be fine.  But I need to dial it back, including the Saturday morning one.

2) Go out slow.  I need to try and hit the half way at about 2:10 or so.  Every marathon I've done that I've felt like I've done well, I have started out slow.  With me being undertrained and it likely to be warm, I need to hold back -- a lot.  I may experiment with a run / walk as well.

3) Stay off my feet. Vegas is a walking town.  Don't over do it hustling from one casino to another.

4) Stay hydrated.  There are no shortage of bathrooms in Vegas, so I shouldn't be afraid to hydrate.

5) Remember, I am there to have fun.  Try not to get down on myself when the going gets tough.  Marathons are tough. If they weren't, everyone would've done one.

I was tossing around the idea of doing the half, but I do have a streak going (every year since 2009 I've done the marathon) and to be honest, I have done a bit of work to get to where I am at.  But the marathon of late -- to be honest -- has felt like a distance that is just too far for me.  Physically they are draining and tough.  I get about half way through and the fatigue starts to set in despite doing a fair amount of training.  And usually the last 8 miles are drudgery and frustrating, because I remember being so much faster.

I'd like to make it to 10 years for the Vegas marathon.  After that, I may write them off.  I hope to have a "good" marathon, like I did in Ogden in 2015.  Maybe I'll luck out and have a good weekend, or it might be another reminder that my days of running marathons are numbered.

Upcoming Races

11/12: Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)
11/23: South Davis Recreation Center  Turkey Trot 5K - Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
11/25: Lamoille Canyon 5K Turkey Trot - Lamoille, NV (Probable - Weather Pending)
03/03: March Madness Half Marathon - West Bountiful, UT (Confirmed)
03/18: St Patrick's Day Half Marathon (6 Tunnels Half Marathon) - Las Vegas, NV (Maybe)
04/21: Salt Lake City Marathon - Salt Lake City, UT (Confirmed (2018))
11/11: 2018 Las Vegas Marathon - Las Vegas, NV (Confirmed)

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