Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Rampage Begins!

If there ever were a time when my dedication to training for this marathon would come into question, we're entering it right...now. As you can see (hopefully, pending image resolution), this weekend starts a string of 4 straight weekends where my long runs will be done "on the road," including one in a city I've never visited.

I have a friend- let's call him.....Seven - who loves to ski. His passion for the slopes, free-wheeling nature, "out west" connections, and disposable income led him for several winters to go on an annual skiing "rampage," wherein he would head to Colorado or Montana some 4 or 5 long weekends in a row and nobody would hear from him for a month or two.

I feel like this is my running Rampage coming in August. This weekend, we'll go back up north just for the weekend, and then the following week we head up for another full week's vacation, this time with my whole family. The vacation will be filled with beach picnics, cocktail parties, golf outings, sailing excursions, and my anniversary, so what time I do find to run will be slim and quick. This is definitely a test of what it means to be "in training" as opposed to "working out." I'll have to make time for other things to fit into my running, and not the other way around.

To top off the 3 straight weekends in Petoskey/Harbor Springs, I'm then headed to a Bachelor Party in Kansas City. I have another friend- let's call him....Petey Raindrops....who is marrying the love of his life in September. Before that, we need to give his bachelorhood a proper sendoff in the best way we can- by traveling to see his beloved Red Sox visit the Royals. Unfortunately, I also need to do 16 miles that weekend. Um, yeah. We'll see how that goes.

The way I see it, if I can get to Tuesday, 8/23 still alive, uninjured, and on track, then there's nothing stopping me from hitting my goal (beating my 2009 time of 4:29:45) in October. Until then, we'll see how the Rampage goes.

Lest anyone think I'm not grateful for the ability to spend so much time up north, let me make it clear that I LOVE it up there. If running along the lakefront is the hardest part of my day, I don't really have much room for complaint. Being 3 hours' drive from Little Traverse Bay is a big reason we decided to move to Pure Michigan, and we haven't regretted it for a minute.

But back to the running. Looks like Heat Dome '011 has finally moved on to the east coast. Even though it'll be hot this weekend again, it's always cooler by the lake, so I'm not too worried. My hip pain seems a bit better after more stretching and some rest, so I'm encouraged there. My 12 miler last weekend was done at a 9:40/mile pace including a little bit of walking (I equate it to walking through crowded water stations on race day), so I'm pretty happy with that.

That's all I've got from Camp BYT. I'll have another update probably next week. Till then, keep on runnin'


PS- I actually do have more than 2 friends, but Seven and Petey Raindrops are particularly cool guys!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Heat Wave!!!!!

Remember when I said vacation was awesome? This Heat Dome '011 (pronounced "Oh-Leven")is like the complete opposite of awesome. It's like when Awesome clocks out and goes on break, Heat Dome '011 clocks in and answers the phones while Awesome is gone. And let me tell ya gang- Awesome just went on a week's vacation, so Heat Dome '011 ain't going anywhere any time soon. Ugh.

The last 2 days I've had to go to the gym to do my runs (6m Wed and 3m today). I planned on the gym for the 6 miler, but this morning after I got all geared up and headed out the door, I didn't even make it to the end of our block...and we live at the TOP of a hill! There was no way I was going out any further when the Heat Index was already 90 degrees- I simply wasn't going to make it. Ugh.

I'm lucky enough that I can slip over to the YMCA on a lunch break and do a quick 3 or 4 miles, shower, and be back at my desk in a little over an hour. The only problem today was that after showering, the walk back to the car induced an entirely new sweating event, and getting into the car only magnified the effect. It was 2pm before I could show my face back in the office without fear of my shirt clinging visibly to my back sweat. Ugh.

I'm struggling with what to do about the 12 miler scheduled for this weekend. Apparently Sunday is going to be better than Saturday, so I'm tentatively planning on a pre-church run on Sunday morning, starting well before sunrise so that I can leverage the coolest part of the day. Let's cross our fingers...

Dealing with some minor hip pain lately. I'll have more after I consult with the resident Physical Therapist in Camp BYT. Okay, he's a friend from Chicago, but he's a DrPT nonetheless, so this could get interesting.

Till then, keep on runnin'

Monday, July 11, 2011

And We're Back...

...From Vacation. FYI- vacation is awesome. We got back last night from 9 straight days in Pure Michigan, and aside from the nightly booze-fest that comes along with being on vacation with a dozen or so friends in town, I actually stayed pretty much on the straight and narrow. I did my runs on the assigned days, and largely stayed a little ahead of the pace I require of myself (10min/mile). On Wednesday, I actually only ran 4 miles instead of the 5 on the schedule, but I didn't actually have the schedule with me, so I'm chalking that one up to a brain fart.

My long runs were good, and this was the first double-digit weekend run of the program. As I mentioned in my last post, I did my long runs on the Little Traverse Wheelway, a continuous trail that runs all the way north from Charlevoix, through Petoskey, and up to Harbor Springs. My wife's grandmother lives right in front of the path, so it was nice and easy to park at Grandma's house and hit the trail. Here's a stock photo (from trailscouncil.org) from a couple years ago, but the scenery hasn't changed much- and hopefully it never does! This week is a step-back week, so Saturday's run is only 7 miles, but the 3-5-3 schedule is a slight step up for the mid-week activity. This week's rule is no booze. I think I drank enough for two weeks while we were up north.

Side note, I did get in 3 rounds of golf and a tennis match against the lovely Mrs. I won, and she had to buy the ice cream afterwards. It tasted like victory.

All is well in Camp BYT. We booked the hotel for the night before the Marathon last weekend. I'm very excited we'll be staying right across the street from Grant Park, so I'll be able to walk directly over on race day. This will eliminate my pre-5am wake-up call I needed when I lived on Chicago's north side in 2009 (breakfast, "natural break," CTA trains at ungodly hours of a Sunday morning, etc). I'll check in again later this week.

Till then, keep on runnin'