Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Great 8

Next week I head back to Michigan for some good times at the Great Lakes Relay. It will be a down week for mileage but the intensity will be high for three straight days. Although I'm anticipating some good fun in the great lake state there is part of my mind that is nervously anticipating the eight weeks from 7/19-9/12. They will undoubtedly be the most challenging eight weeks of training in my life.

My planned weekly average for that period will be just over 105 miles per week - with a high of 120. I'll run 83 miles at tempo pace, 28 miles (in just two runs) at marathon pace, and six runs over 20 miles. I'm not going to lie - it seems a little daunting at this point.

This week provided me some practical lessons of what I need to do (and not do) to make it through those two months. Last weekend my parents were in town and I ate and drank a lot of junk and then I scorched myself in the sun for 3-4 hours going tubing on Monday. The result was that I was in no shape to run my workout on Wednesday morning. It was the worst workout I've had in a long time. I cleaned up my act the rest of the week and the result was a strong 20 miler including 4 miles of good tempo running on Saturday with Brennan.

Right after I'm done writing this I'm going to e-mail Melissa Majumdar to set up a nutrition counseling session. She really helped me in my preparation for Boston and if I have any chance of making it through my big 8 weeks I'll have to make a plan and stick to it. Other important parts of recovery that I've so far neglected are ice baths, massage, and yoga. It will be time to get back to those after I return from Michigan.

Part of me does ask why - why would I plan an unrelenting, unforgiving two months for myself in the dog days of summer? The answer is in part found in all of those things I outlined above. There is no cushion - there is no going through the motions. Many people think of goals as burdens, but in reality they are opportunities to experience life in the extreme - to push past assumed limitations and make the extraordinary seem mundane.

Last Week
Monday morning: 10.5 miles
Monday evening: 4 miles
Tuesday morning: 7.5 miles
Tuesday evening: 6 miles
Wednesday morning: 9 miles 2X1 mi 800 rest 2X1200m 400 rest (5:08.1, 5:07.2, 3:49.5, 3:53.3)
Wednesday evening: 10 miles
Thursday: 14 miles
Friday: 13 miles
Saturday: 20 mi 2X2 mi @ T pace 2 min rest (10:40, 10:55)
Sunday: 10.5 miles
Total: 104.5 miles

Next Week
Monday: 12 miles
Tuesday: 10.5 miles
Wednesday: 13 miles
Thursday: 6.5 miles
Friday: GLR 12 miles
Saturday: GLR 13 miles
Sunday: GLR 17 miles
Total: 84 miles

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