"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”

- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Marathon #2: Seattle Rock 'n' Roll Preparations

Newport seems like such a long time ago. Three weeks actually, but it seems longer. I spent a few days reflecting my first marathon and knowing I had a quick turnaround before my 2nd, I got right back to work. As I've documented in detail, I was disappointed with my pre-race taper strategy and race-day energy. Prior to Newport, my Seattle prep plan had been to replicate the final three weeks of my 21 Week Training Schedule and treat Newport as just another 20+ mile long Saturday run.

That plan got tossed out the window within 24 hours of finishing in Newport.

Instead, the last three weeks have looked something like this:

1. Lots of miles. Monday afternoon following Newport I was back on the road, beginning a week of 5, 8, 5 and 20 miles (Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, respectively). The following week was 5, 8, 5, 16. This week I ran 12 on on Monday (7 in the morning, 5 more in the evening), 5 on Wednesday and 5 more this morning. Some may question returning to the road so soon, but trust me when I say I woke up Sunday morning after Newport feeling a little bit stiff, but by that afternoon I felt fine and on Monday morning I couldn't wait to get out the door. Zero recovery time. Credit to the fruit diet.

2. Hills. Lots of them. The biggest ones I could find in the general vicinity of my house. Every run, with the exception of Wednesday and Thursday this week have been hills. 2-6% grade, extended hills. Hills I don't like to drive up in my car. And it's been awesome. I loathe running down these same hills and avoid doing so whenever possible, but I've done some good work these last three weeks running mile after mile uphill. Here's a look at part of my long run route the last few weeks (weekday runs have also included significant portions of this route):

3. Re-evaluation of goals. I'm going to sign up with the 3:45 pace team in Seattle. I don't know how many the races I run will have pace leaders, but after feeling so inexperienced in Newport, I want to take advantage of running with someone who knows what they're doing and is running a specific pace. I know I can't let them get too far ahead of me because they are my goal; like in Mario-Kart when you can see the shadow of the best time running along your own race -- you know what you have to do.

4. Mantra of the month: I will not walk. More than anything else, this is what put me so far off of my goal in Newport. There was a moment around mile 21 when I began to walk and the lady I was running with continued on. It didn't take very long, maybe 30 seconds or so, but I remember thinking how far ahead of me she was after just a short time of walking. I will not walk. If I can't hold an 8:30 pace (3:45 finish goal), then I'll run at 9:30, or 10, or 12 if need be. But I will not walk. My Nike+ sensor isn't calibrated to walking, but I estimate I was doing so in Newport at an 18 or 19 minute pace. Time killer. I will not walk.

My family and I will leave for Seattle tomorrow where we'll ride the light rail/monorail systems, check out Pike Place Market, the Seattle Center area and then hit the race expo, including Safeco and Quest Fields, before returning to our hotel a few steps from the starting line. My wife has never been to Seattle (she's from Las Vegas) and my two young kids (almost 5 and almost 2) would ride the light rail all day if we let them, so we're treating it as a mini-vacation (all this means is that I won't cringe quite as much when spending a little bit of money to do/see a few things).

My wife will be running the half-marathon (her first) as will my dad, mom and sister. Based on the corrals we're all starting in, my goal is to beat my sister to the finish line (sorry, Courtney).

The race organizers released a course preview yesterday, which I've posted below. You can go HERE if you want to see the half-marathon course.

So that's it. I'm off to Seattle. Hopefully things will go a little better than a few weeks ago. Whatever happens, though, I will not walk.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good luck!