Boston Qualifying Training. Sleeping in two days in a row. With Jay traveling it was decided we would hit our tempo run during the lunch hour. The goal was to hit the Greenway, however it has been raining non-stop for the past 12 hours. The closer we get to lunch time, the more I know that the Greenway is out. It is now my hope that we can hit a quick loop around LTF, anything but the treadmill. The hours pass, the rain does not. By lunch it is raining harder than anytime this week. Treadmill.
I think the treadmill has a great place in fitness, I also know my greatest increase in speed was the winter I did speed training on the treadmill, but with marathon training I find it both physically and mentally challenging. Today’s tempo is 7:14 for 3 miles with a 2 mile warm-up and 1 mile cool down.
As I travel the stairs to the rows of treadmills, I take one more hopeful glance outside. It is pouring and I see a guy in the parking lot building a large boat and gathering animals two by two. I give up hope of an outside run and steel myself for what will be a challenging run.
The 2 mile warm up does not go quickly and I determine that there is nothing on the 20 TV’s in front of me that will keep my attention of distract me during this run. The only option I find interesting is ESPN, but it is 15 yards away and I can not reasonably run with my neck craned 90 degrees. I decide at that point to get the most of what I have in front of me. I know this will be boring, I know it is be mentally tough and physically challenging as the treadmill pace never wavers. I embrace the challenge. I think to myself, this is the last few miles of the Marathon.
The tempo miles begin, the pace quickens and I adjust my stride to meet the accelerated pace of the treadmill. My breathing rate is high and so is my heart rate. I focus on the miles and watch them tick away. The sweat pouring from my body is now as steady as the rain outside, I embrace it, I finally start to feel good, I have found a rhythm. It is not easy and I still have to focus, there is no let down. I have passed halfway and the time starts to go by more quickly.
I glance over at Jay, his ipod on he is gliding, a little less of a struggle than myself but I am used to this. Again I think to myself, at some point during the marathon I am going to feel bad, I need to recall these mentally challenging days to pull through and keep moving forward. With that thought, the miles seem just slightly less challenging.
I know that though the miles are short, but work was done and I am better after running this tempo run than before.
Showering off I am happy the workout is done and it went well. I hop on the scale, I expect it to be 177-179. To my great surprise I am 175! Witnessed too, Jeff was walking by and I had him look at the scale. In hindsight, I am certain Jeff had no interest in looking at me standing on the scale naked to verify my weight. Clearly a good friend.
When I started this training, my goal was to hit 175. I figured if it were to happen it would happen on the last 20 mile run, or perhaps the last 13 mile run, it did not, those days were 176 and 177 respectively. I was a little down that I did not hit my goal weight at that time and decided to not worry about it after all I believe it hurt me during my last marathon that I was dieting the last two weeks trying to loose weight, (something I knew better than to do).
Why so hung up on 175. I believe that 175 is a great weight for me, I wrestled in college at 165 and 158 and my natural weight at that time was about 172-175. To consider the fact that I am at near college weight is great. Obviously there was a lot more muscle mass at that time and my waste was 32 inches where today I am at 34, still I take this as one more victory on the road to this the Marathon. Another goal achieved, with 4 more runs to go, I hope to knock off another goal. A few days after that I hope to complete my main goal.