Sunday, June 23, 2013

When running has to hurt a little

"Final sale, then," she said as I asked her to ditch the shoe boxes as I slipped a half year's supply of Asics into my canvas bag. "Looks like you've done this before."

I nodded. I took two pairs of Asics GT-1000s to the counter at the sports store yesterday, taking advantage of a buy one, get 50 per cent off the next. I'd need the discount and it was assured I'd blow by them -- 500 miles or so each -- by the time the year was 2014.

I was chatting with a co-worker the other day, telling her how I despised the gym, something about the unfit me of a decade ago felt overwhelmed by the ultra fit. My gym are the roads and my living room floor, my treadmill the miles of waterfront trails that stretch for some eight miles in each direction, with nary a stop light.

This morning, I logged my long run, putting me at 1,006 miles or some 1,600 kilometres for the year. At this pace, I'm set to blow away mileage from the past few years (1,400 miles in 2012, 1,700 in 2011, 1,877 in 2010). 

As I've written before, 2013 is my comeback year. After a stellar 2009 race season, I had two choices: Go farther and faster, or take in the long view, focusing on working at being a lifetime runner after working so hard to get that BQ. So in the past three years, the hard training had been replaced with consistent freestyling training. Haven't stopped running marathons, but I haven't been pushing.

This year, I've realized what I've been missing in those years, and when the bombs hit Boylston, I realized I wanted to again go farther and faster -- if not to get back to the form I know I can get back, but as an impetus to regain all the great things advanced training can get you.

For one thing, I'm eating better, focusing on eating like an athlete (more on that later). I'm bringing back core and upper body work. I'm starting to pound out the miles -- tempos are back, as are striders and these marathon-paced runs. Track work is on the horizon.

Truth this, this is a little hard. I need to get more sleep, I need to focus on eating and hydrating, and I need to nail these runs.

Last night, I was exhausted, and in bed by 9:30 p.m. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. and was out there for a half marathon distance, with 8 miles (13K) at pace. My quality pace: 4:52, 4:52, 4:42, 4:44, 4:41, 4:37, 4:39, 4:36, 4:44, 4:35, 4:34, 4:34, 4:31, 4:35, 4:35, 4:29, 4:42, 4:22, 4:19.

So I ran a trainer half marathon in 1:38:35. Pretty mind blowing, right? Getting back to where I was? Not quite yet.
Two weeks ago, I botched up a four mile tempo run, couldn't quite keep up 4:25 kilometre pace. I sucked it up and went out again the next day, nailing the run -- even having run 19 miles in two days. Last week, I did the first 10x100 striders I've done since the summer of 2009. All that, yes, it hurt, just a little. But in the way that's so good.

Heat is coming but the game face is on. Now that 1,000 miles are down, it's really time to get the work done.


pyrad said...

You're so inspiring Kenny!

macnic said...

Great post! I really can't wait to see how the races shake out for you!