Thursday, August 30, 2012

TTT: 20, 20 and 37

Hey now, I've gotten two posts in this week, how about a third?

Well, here goes...

Twenty, Part One

So I'm running 20 miles on Saturday. Fun times. I'm not entirely excited about running 20 miles. I think what I'm most excited about is the chance of having a whole day's worth of doing nothing afterward. I will probably need/want to get a nap in afterward and I will have the chance to do so. Why am I running 20 miles? Well, I'm running the Long Beach Marathon on Oct. 7, so there's that. Plus I need to get more miles in period so this will help kickstart my legs into what will be a busy fall and winter for me. I think I'll do fine. Last time I ran 20 was to prepare for the San Francisco Marathon, and I was more undertrained then and I think I did okay. So wait... this is labeled as Part One.... that means there's a Part Two?

Twenty, Part Two

Indeed. This won't be my last 20-mile run of the month. I will have my last long run on Sept. 16, another 20-miler. Super fun! I know you are jealous.

Far Away But Not Really

It seems like 37 days is a ways away. Yet it also seems like it's right around the corner. Long Beach is 37 days away. I honestly can't believe I'm going to run yet another marathon in such a short amount of time. I know, some people run marathons with a lot less time in between, but this is a bit of unchrated territory for me. I've run marathons in faster succession before but this will be my fourth marathon of the year. I had four all-time through 2011, so that's something new. Plus this will be my first fall marathon. I've run winter (Surf City 2x), spring (LA, Diamond Valley Lake, OC) and summer (San Francisco 2x) but never fall. I don't know what it will all be like but so far it's been a bit tough because of the heat. I'm not gunning for a time so I will just want to survive. I'm fairly certain I can do that. Amyway, number eight will be just for the medal. I've got big plans for 2013, at least from Feb-June, so I just want to get my medal and hang it up on the wall this time around. Then I can relax a bit before diving right back into it, hopefully with a bit more mental energy.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Amassador Again?

Did I enjoy my time as San Francisco Marathon Ambassador?


Is it something I hope to do again?

I actually debated this for a bit. The applications for the 2013 San Francisco Ambassadors are up, and I initially wasn't sure if I'd apply. Part of the problem... if you can call it that... is that I wasn't sure if I'd want to run the race in 2013.

See, the race is usually in late July and my running has suffered terribly the last two Julys. In July 2011, I ran something like 40 miles the entire month. This year was not quite as bad but I was having a hard time finding time for runs. Also, the heat just wore me down. July was brutally hot.

I'd initially decided that I was going to run 4-5 marathons in 2013 - run one in February, March and two in May, and if I felt good gun for another one in June. Then I could take the summer off and not stress about missed runs. Sounds like a good plan, right?

Then, the San Francisco Marathon announced that next year's race would be moved up to June 16. This pretty much changed everything. This race could be my kickoff to summer. I'd have to run my last long run on Memorial Day Weekend and then the following weekend is the Fontana Days Half Marathon, which I could easily run. One 10-12 mile run the following Sunday and then - BAM! - the San Francisco Marathon is right there! In mid-June instead of early July!!

So how did this play into my decision? Well, I submitted my San Francisco Marathon Application. Fingers crossed.

I know that I am not guaranteed of being re-accepted. I know sometimes in situations like these that the company wants some new blood, some fresh participants and of course that's perhaps smart - keeps new ideas rolling along.

But I tossed my hat into the ring anyway. Not sure what my chances are of being selected once more, but I'm hopeful. I felt honored to be an Ambassador and really connected well with my fellow Ambassadors. I really did feel like I contributed to the cause. I helped two close running buddies choose to run the San Francisco Marathon and another I helped persuade to run the half marathon. And I tweeted about it as much as I could have done.

I'm hopeful of this leading to something but even if it doesn't, that's fine. I had my time in the sun, and if it means someone else deserving gets to participate and spread the love of the San Francisco Marathon, so be it.

Either way, I will always consider myself a San Francisco Marathon Ambassador.

Monday, August 27, 2012

It Begins Anew

The Loper season is finally upon us.

On Sunday, I had my first run with my new pace group. I ran a whopping two miles with the group. Next Sunday, we run three.

I know these distances don't seem much to me but they are important nevertheless. And for some of these runners, all they are used to is runs like that, runs that seem short to me but that are standard for them. I used to think 2-3 milers were solid runs, not long runs but distances that were challenging. Those distances now are not as much of a challenge as they once were for me, but for some of these runners they are.

That's just a snippet of what I am faced with as a pace leader. I am there for the newbie and I want to share whatever information I've collected, be it through personal experience or advice from a fellow runner, and share it with the newcomers. I know how difficult it all seemed to me when I first started with Lopers and I want to help others see that it's not all that daunting. It's challenging, yes, but long distance running and marathon training shouldn't be intimidating.

There were about 15 runners in the group. A year ago, we had a bigger group but I actually like this number. I hope the runners continue to come out and continue to stick with it. I will try to keep every runner who came out on Sunday with the group, and if they don't stay with the 10s, fine but as long as they are coming out to Lopers on Sundays I will be happy.

I would love nothing more than to pace these newcomers across the finish line at the LA Marathon in 2013. That's my goal, and even though the newbies don't know it yet that's what I hope to accomplish with each and every one of them.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Still Alive

Loyal reader,

I've not been here very much lately. My life's been busy and my running is only now starting to get back on track. I apologize for the absence and hope to be back with regular posts here soon enough.

I will say that this last week has been a good week of runs. I had a solid six-miler on Monday, had three miles of speedwork on Tuesday, ran nearly six miles up and down Mt. Rubidoux on Wednesday and rested (gasp!) on Thursday before a light three-mile run Friday. Saturday I will run 15 miles and then Sunday is the first day with my new Lopers group.

So yeah, I'm getting back into the groove and with that I hope it means more blog posts. Expect a steady stream of them in the near future.

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a cool new song that I found from a group that I only recently came across. It's a catchy tune. I haven't run to them yet but I can only imagine it being a good run with this streaming in my headphones.

What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

What's Next?

San Francisco is over.

Wow. I can't believe that I just wrote that, and that it actually is.

The San Francisco Marathon is now behind me. I trained for it, I traveled for it, I ran it, I enjoyed it, and now... well, now what?

It actually brings up a song that I adore. The first line of it anyway is appropriate

Arcade Fire - Half Light II

I'm not quite there with the rest of the first part of it but I will sing the first half-sentence over and over, because it's true.

Now that San Francisco's gone,
I guess I'll just pack it in.
Wanna wash away my sins,
In the presence of my friends

So yeah, I can't just "pack it in" right now. In fact, quite the contrary.

Here's why:

Marathon No. 8: If I thought seven marathons was great, I wonder what I'll think on Oct. 7. I'm registered for the Long Beach Marathon and on that day will indeed run 26.2 miles once more. It will be my fourth (and final) marathon of 2012 and of course my eighth overall. I've run the Long Beach Half Marathon before and had a fantastic time, so I'm quite looking forward to running the full there. I'm also looking for a better training cycle, with speedwork and cross-training tossed in.

It's still a ways away but I have been already sort of anxious about it. I wonder how mentally prepared I'll be, mostly for the training, and in what condition I'll be at when the race finally arrives. But time is on my side and how I handle the time between then and now will make all the difference.

School's Back: Wednesday is the first day of school. This is great. I will miss having my daughters around and will miss the lazy care-free mornings but I'm a bit of a slave to my routines. I got into the rhythm of taking my girls to school and then going on a run. That seemed to be the norm for most of the first part of 2012. I'm looking forward to having the time to run 6-8 miles or more. All of me needs those kinds of runs - my mind, my body, my legs, my psyche, everything. I swear there is no better feeling than cranking out an eight-mile run on a Thursday after having run that much or more on Wednesday and Tuesday. That's when I feel like I'm putting in some serious work and that's what I need to get back to. I can't recall the last midweek long-ish run I went on... well, I ran 18 miles on Wednesday June 12 but that was a unique situation. Aside from that, not a whole lot of opportunity to run eight miles in the middle of the week.

Lopers Starts Soon: My second year as a pace leader will begin soon enough, on Aug. 19 to be precise. Thats' when the Loma Linda Lopers begin the next clinic. I will get my group on Aug. 26 and will pace the group to a whopping two miles on that day. But I will need to be in top-top shape by then. Having just run a marathon I'm not that far off but I need those miles in the middle of the week to feel better physically and emotionally for the Sunday runs. I need to prove myself once more in order to better lead the group. I can't be sporadically slogging through runs and expect to be an effective pace leader. Not going to work.

So yeah, San Francisco's gone but that hardly means any down time for me. In fact, it just means it's time to start cranking up the work. But I'm rather looking forward to that.