Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Time

I finished off a solid week of training and have another huge week coming up. Christmas has historically been an extremely difficult time for me to train. Most years, I have just been lazy while back at home visiting my parents, only managing to get out on one run a day, but still making sure to hit 110-120 miles for the week. I’m sure this year will be no different, although I will only be home for 4 ½ days, I know it will be a challenge to get myself out and running twice a day.

This past week I hit 116 miles with 5 doubles, which is the most I have done since my injury. We got a lot of snow this past week, so a lot of my running was done out on Lake Mary Road, including Saturday’s 15 mile tempo run. It was a windy day, but we all made the best of it. Brett dominated the rest of us, Steph and Emily looked good, and Danny and I held on strong and fought to the end. Jordan wasn’t so lucky, one of the two casualties of the day but in my experience when training for a marathon you can’t always have great workouts. Just last year I did this same workout with Brett and Martin pre-Houston and I only made it 4 miles. Sometimes that is just the way it goes.

                      Saturday’s Other Casualty: The Lid to Danny’s Fluid Bottle.

Next week, with Christmas being on Sunday, I shouldn’t have too difficult of a time getting all the training in that I want to. I’ll run most of my week in Flagstaff, going 12 and 6 most days, with a 4 x 2 mile workout on Wednesday. Then Thursday afternoon I’ll fly home and get a couple day of sea level training in, which will include a 24-mile long run on Christmas Eve. This will be an exciting run as I’m hoping to get as many of my Southern California friends together for it. So if you are in the Orange County area, give me a call or shoot me an email. Even if you only want to run 4 miles with us, it will be better than nothing.

I hope to hit 120 miles next week. Sunday will be the real test because trying to find time to run on Christmas morning has always been difficult for me. This year I will find a way, and who knows, if I feel good, maybe I’ll even find time to run twice on Christmas! One can only hope.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Response to Scott

My Response to Scott Smith’s Blog;

Dearest Scott,

You have beaten me fair and square in 4 out of 6 races, thus winning the best of 7 series of races that we have competed against each other. It all began when I took a solid lead last year after catching you by surprise at club cross. Yes, I race a hell of a lot better than I work out, let that be a lesson to you. Then we raced again at the US 15k, this time I made the mistake of being unprepared, and you destroyed me and had a phenomenal race. Kudos.

Game 3 was Cardinal: Once again you were annihilating me in workouts, only to get smashed on the track in Palo Alto. That was only my first track race of the season and you had run at least 3 races prior to that. I expected more of a challenge that day. Then came the latest string of race; US 8k, USA 10,000m, Club Cross and you got me each time. Whereas I have no excuse for losing to you, I would say that USAs was a pretty close battle, probably our closest as you only beat me by 3 seconds. So now you lead the lifetime series of races 4-2, in distances ranging from 8k-15k.

I want to now issue a true challenge to you: Scott Smith, do you have the balls to race me over half marathon, 25k or marathon? As we all know, these are my distances, the farther the better I say. I have been giving you the advantage, racing all 6 of our previous races on your home turf. Will you man up and race me on the roads over distances that are not familiar to you? Or are you going to cower away from the challenge?

Think it over.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


Getting back into shape has been a lot tougher than I imagined. November seemed to come and go rather quickly, probably from the excitement of being able to train almost at my full capacity again, as well as, Thanksgiving. In the past 5 weeks I have jumped from running 50 miles to 3 weeks at 99-105 miles. I have only just started doing workouts, and the race in Houston is approaching fast.  With each day that goes by the more nervous I become that I won’t be ready to compete for a top 3 spot.

It has been a frustrating few weeks, even with being able to run more and feeling good on most runs. Then I compare myself to my competitors who are weeks ahead of me in training and much more fit. I also compare myself to my teammates who are beating me significantly on every repeat of every workout that we do together. All this eventually leads to doubt.

Doubt is always creeping into my mind. Was I even good enough when I was healthy to make the team? Will I hurt myself again if I don’t play it safe with my training? If I do play it safe, will I cost myself the race? What am I going to do with my life if I have another bad race on this big of a stage?

Doubt takes over a lot in athletes at any level, there is no denying that. I feel that the toughest part of training for me is to stay positive and focused on the Trials. I know I am gaining tons of fitness each week, and I believe that the training I am doing will get me to the race in Houston ready to run the best that I can on that day. That is until I run my workouts and I realize how much further I have to go to get myself to my best.

My passion is there, I love getting out and running, but my fitness and my fear of reinjuring myself limits my ability to train as recklessly as I used to. I dislike being cautious and limiting how much I run. I’ve always been a guy who has never been satisfied with how much I am running; I never think I am doing enough. This mentality is what got me into trouble with my injury in the first place. So now I am trying to delicately balance my training with my maintenance and rehab of my body.

Hopefully in a week or two I will be able to tell you some more positive details about how I am overcoming my doubt and have had some stellar workout and a great race at Club Cross. But until then, here is my positive self-talk for today: I ran a 12 mile steady state workout this morning, averaging 5:20s per mile, and I kept it steady the entire way. A year and a half ago I did this exact same workout, averaged the exact same pace, and two weeks later I went on to run 2:11:48 in San Diego. So, by using some geometric property (Associative? perhaps) this should mean that I am 2 weeks away from a 2:11 marathon. I just have to let myself gain some momentum over the next 5 weeks and 5 days.