Random thoughts from my cluttered mind ….
• Last week was a scheduled “down week,” with no workouts and a 7-mile run on the schedule for Sunday, which is my long day. I finished the week with 26 miles.
The week prior was a forced “down week” because my hamstring/adductor issues flared up. I cut one workout short, pretty much nailed the other one, then played it safe on my long run (it was also rushed because I had an early trip to Boston planned) and ran 7 instead of 13. I finished with 29 miles.
Now, I guess, it is time to get kind of serious.
I say “kind of” because, while I have three races on the schedule in the next month I’m trying not to place too much importance on any of them. I’d like to put in a hard effort at Trail to Ale on Sept. 17, but I’m not in 10K (or 5K or half marathon or marathon) shape right now. The Maine Half Marathon was always planned to be just a chance to test things out before the MDI Marathon Relay, which hopefully is going to be part of a super-fun weekend. As long as it is super fun, I’ll be OK running an OK 13.1 leg in the relay.
So, I’m trying to focus on the right things, i.e., not getting too worked up about any particular race and just trying to work my way back into shape, while staying healthy.
But I am ramping up my training a bit in the coming weeks, starting tomorrow, when I return to the hills for a 10×1 minute uphill workout. I’m scheduled for 39 miles this week, a number I haven’t come close to since melting down at Sugarloaf.
As good ole J.R. would say, “Business is about to pick up.”
• I’ve written about this before (here and here), but I spend way too much time comparing myself to other people. So today, I did something about it and deleted the Strava app off my phone.
It’s a waste of time and energy to constantly check to see what my friends, or people I don’t even know, are running for miles and how fast they are running those miles. I don’t know why I would feel bad when I’m not “matching up” with other people, but I do, so I’m going to try to put a stop to it. My runs will still upload to Strava, but I have a good ole fashion notebook to track my training in so I’ll use that and my watch, and nothing else.
• At various times this summer I have set about 99 goals for myself. Among them:
- Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim.
- Just have fun with my friends, especially the Runaways.
- Run a bunch of 5Ks and try to get really fast.
I got 99 goals and I ain’t accomplished one (doesn’t have the same flow as that Jay Z song).
Yeah, I’ve pretty failed in my quest to reach any of those goals (well, I have had a lot of fun with the Runaways, but I feels like I haven’t seen them for weeks).
But this summer hasn’t been a total loss because I learned a valuable lesson: I’m too old to be lazy when it comes to taking care of my body.
It took one hard week of racing/training for all those old issues in my hamstring/adductor to flare back up again, and it could have easily been prevented if I had stretched the way I’m supposed to, rolled on a regular basis, warmed up and cool down the right way, and gone in for regular tuneups with my chiropractor.
The same goes for my diet. I had hope to lose 15-20 pounds this summer and have cut out a lot of things that will help me in that quest, but I’m only down about 8 pounds because I eat way too much and I splurge on the wrong things.
- Friday night was the first night of football season, so I had a donut (or two).
- I went to the Sea Dogs game today so I had pizza and fries and a Sea Dogs biscuit.
- There is this new vending machine at work that sells these awesome chips …
My old man metabolism isn’t fast enough for me to burn all those calories.
No excuses, though, I just need to do better. Meal planning and healthier snacks would go along way. Maybe I can add that to my list of goals.
Which brings me to …
• I think I have set about as many goals for myself in 2018 as I did for the summer of 2017. A few of them are:
- Run a 50K trail race.
- Learn to swim and compete in a sprint triathlon.
- Get within 30 seconds of my 5K PR (I ran 21:21 last May and haven’t within a 1:20 since. How the fuck did that happen?)
Yesterday another goal popped into my head and it may push all of those other goals to the side. I really want to go back to the Kennebec River Rail Trail Half Marathon and crush that race.
This year was the first time I missed that race in six years and I still have a bit of a sour taste in my mouth after the 2016 edition. My training for that race went fairly well and I felt ready to crush my PR (set in 2015) and even thought about going sub 1:40. Then I got sick and wasn’t mentally – or physically – tough enough to pull it off.
I love that race and I still want to make a run at my PR. I hate that I placed so much emphasis in the first sixth months of the year on one race and still let it bother me more than a year later, but as I’ve said a million times before, this race and that trail holds a special place in my heart. It’s home (but so is Naples and Portland, so … wait, that’s off topic, sorry).
And the half marathon, especially this half marathon, is a distance I know I am capable of training well for and really getting after. I miss the feeling of having a good training cycle of working hard, putting in both good speed work and long runs. It sounds strange, but that is fun.
I’m not saying I won’t run that ultra or that I won’t learn to swim and do a triathlon (that 5K goal may stay in the background, though). Those things are still very much on the table, but my focus might just be the Rail Trail Half.
Or maybe I’ll change my cluttered mind next week.
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