Boston Qualifying Training. I have had a week of wild dreams. This one was too bizarre to even get into, but clearly I have a lot of things rolling around upstairs. Surely a good run can clear out the mind, and I have just the prescription, a nice 18 mile solo run.
I wake at 4:30 and grab my gear. I did not have time to pick up gels yesterday, but I did a good job at dinner putting in some pasta. Going downstairs, I grab a slice of bread and some peanut butter, a glass of juice and my six-pack of powerade. Jumping in the car, I make the bottle drops and head to LTF.
MY goal a nice steady pace. I fully expect my first mile to be a bit quicker and I am fine with that. I want to feel the pace and lock it in. As expected, my first mile is an even 8:00 minutes. I expected that, it was easy, now time to back it off. My target based on the “plan” is a 45-60 seconds, + planned marathon pace. I dial in an 8:45 and keep the pace. I go purely on “feel”.
Last night I took a Sharpe and marked off 3 key check points at 5 mile intervals. My goal, to be just under the following times, 0:45 at 5 miles, 1:30 at 10 miles and 2:15 at15 miles. I am hitting a time of just over 8:46 per mile, and right in the marging provide.
I feel good especially at mile 10 where I usually get hungry. It believe I would have been better served had I taken Gels with me, however I did not. Need to plan ahead. By not taking the Gels with me, I missed an opportunity to learn something about nutrition. At around mile 15, I start to feel a little fatigue. Likely I am running out of fuel. Taking a gel at miles 6 and 12 would have helped.
The negative thoughts start to creep into my head. Wow, I am feeling it at 15 miles… I’d still have 11 miles to go in the race, how am I going to do it… a trip to Negative Town and I was standing in line waiting for the bus. I catch myself and decide to get out of the ticket line and focus on the positive. First, I am just finishing my 5th week. I still have 11 weeks of training to go including four 20 mile runs. Next, though my legs are a bit worn, everything else is doing great, lungs, body… fluid intake good… and truthfully, I feel I could hammer it right now and finish it up faster. Though I know not to do the last part.
I take a look around me and the sun has come up. People are in their cars making their way to work. I think how lucky I am to be out for a run and the small percentage of people in the world that could actually go out and run 15, 16, 17, 18 miles. I think about how much fun I am having coaching the boys football games. Next thing I know I am hitting the last mile. Everything feels good, I am pulling up to mile 18 and feel confident that I could hit 8 more.
I take a quick dip in the pool and stretch. I need to hit core at lunch. Early this week I was talking to a girl at LTF, she was stretching and I saw her doing an exercise. I asked her, what she was doing, a “Plank” she said. What’s it do, I ask. It builds and strengthens your core. "CORE". I hear the key word. She tells me how to do the Plank, looks pretty simple and besides I am big tough guy, this should be a piece of cake.
How long do you hold it… She tells me she does 3 x 1 minute. Great. No problem I think to myself. I finish my sit-ups and crunches and strike the “Plank” pose. The girl who showed me is still stretching and is watching me out of the corner of her eye. I am now 15 seconds into the exercise and things are starting to get interesting. 20 seconds and I notice that I am sweating again and a bead is rolling down my face. I keep a calm cool look, I did not want that girl to think I was struggling. 35 seconds go by and though I am keeping my composure, the fact that my arms are starting to shake is giving me away. 45 seconds go by and I can not figure out why the clock is moving so slow… is the damn thing broken or what. 55 seconds and I know my face is red, my core is toast, I am doing everything to keep the position. 57,58,59...., 60… thank god.
That may have been the longest minute of my life. The girl walks by me as she is heading downstairs… “ now do two more…” she smiles walking away. Crap.
Weight 177… ahhh a good day!