Wednesday, August 29, 2012

One Run at a Time

Gregor here, half way through our training plan for The City of Oaks Marathon.  Only 67 days left 'til race day!

It's been a fun past two weeks now that the two of us are back training together and school is in full swing once again.  While the training has been great overall for the both of us in the past two weeks, we've had to learn the hard way to approach each training run with an open mind and most importantly, to listen to our bodies over our minds.  This particular lesson was hammered home for the two of us last Thursday during a planned sixteen mile run, a run which would have served as our weekly long run.  Things started ordinarily enough, until a belly ache had Willbie curling over and a side stitch had me clutching for my stomach.  Eventually these woes passed and we carried on with our run.  After meeting up with the club cross country team for some company, our respective stomach troubles returned, at which time we should have just decided that Thursday wasn't our day and headed home.  However, we chose to carry on.  What seemed like eternities later, although it was only about twenty minutes, Willbie and I were slowly trudging along on the track in an effort to "regain our pace".  There was no pace to be regained at this point, however, as the energy in our legs had been long since depleted.  After 11.5 miles, and 1.5 mile from home, with our legs lead laden, we made the tough decision to finally call it quits, a decision that should have been made about four miles before this.

Although it was tough to put a halt to a run 3 miles short of completion, the two of us learned an important lesson, and one that was reinforced by the feeling in our legs the next morning: some days you just don't have it.  And by "it" I mean any bounce to your step.  In a long haul like the build up to a marathon, it's especially important to listen to your body.  Our heavy legs were our bodies' way of telling us that it just wasn't our day.   While it's never something to make a habit of, calling a run short in the interest of quality running is always a good idea, especially considering the fact that there is training to be done the following day, week, month, et cetera.

Overall the past two weeks have been great, despite this slight hiccup in our training.  We've got some quality runs coming up in the next few weeks including a 20k marathon pace run that I'm personally quite excited about.  We'll be sure to let you all know how it goes!

Til next time,


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I LoVermont

It's been a busy but good few weeks! My family and I made our annual trip up north to New England for a family reunion. We spend the majority of the week in beautiful New Hampshire and Vermont. But, we do drive both ways so we get a taste of the better part of the East Coast.

On the running front, the trip was a mix of mundane treadmill runs, consisting of staring at myself in a mirror for over an hour, and some of the most invigorating runs I've been on in my life--the kind that remind your why you run. It's always hard to stay consistent and stick to the plan when traveling, so I always try to allow for a little flexibility. This is a trip I make once a year, where I get to see people I only see once a year, whereas I run almost every day. It's important to keep this in mind and not be too uppity about missing workouts. That being said, I think I only missed one run this time around and genuinely enjoyed the majority of them that I did get in. Vermont and New Hampshire both have extensive networks of dirt road that go through farms, residential areas and remote forests. These roads provided for some true rave runs. Just me and the dirt road. My biggest worry was crossing paths with a moose, which is an experience I would have welcomed. After those runs, I'm thinking of starting a dirt road campaign down south...

My mileage has settled for now in the 50-60 mile range but will take a bump in the coming weeks up into the 70s. I went for my first true long run this passed weekend a bit under the weather. I went out for 16 and some change, running loops in and around Chapel Hill/Carrboro and including as much trail as I could. I held up OK but didn't have much pep in my step by the end. I sported my new American flag running shorts in spirit of the last day of the Olympics and the Men's Marathon that took place that morning. Meb Keflezighi, American runner, took 4th and I have a hard time not considering the fact that those shorts might have had something to do with it...shout out to my cousin for hooking those up.

I'd also like to give a shout out to my partner in crime, Greg Allison, for turning the big 21 this passed week. I'm completely stoked for him to join me down south this coming Friday.

Stay tuned.