Yesterday I completed what Coach Hudson described as the ‘hardest workout you can do.’ It was a 2 mile warm-up, drills, a few strides, and switch into marathon flats (Mizuno Wave Ronin 3). It was a 20 mile ‘specific endurance fuel run’ at slightly slower than marathon pace. Followed by a 2 mile cool-down for a 24 mile workout. The goal is to run close to marathon pace to work the same fuel system (burning similar rates glycogen/fat) while practice fluid/gel intake. In my first and only marathon so far I averaged 5:14 per mile (2:17:22 at the California International Marathon). Making the next step in training I feel that running 2:15:30 would be a good next step. 2:15:27 is 5:10 per mile, so the goal of the 20 mile fuel run was to average 5:20 per mile. The course is fairly challenging with several long hills, especially after miles 1 and 2. It was a five mile out and back, so there were three U-Turns on the course. The road was the Lorane Highway here in Eugene, Oregon. The splits were perfect as I slowly got faster, running 5:22/mi for the first ten and 5:18/mi for the second ten. It was great to have Brad behind me in the van, but this was a true psychological training test for the marathon to do the 20 miles solo. I went through several phases of feeling good and then feeling bad. I remember a run with Andrew Letherby (Australian Marathoner) in Boulder last fall who gave me some very good advice in my first marathon. He said to expect periods when you feel good and then feel bad because your blood sugar and hydration levels are going to change when you take fluids/gels. A hard twenty miler like this workout definitely reaffirms his advice!
After the workout I saw Eugene Massage Therapist Chris Whetstine. I came into his office expecting a simple flush. First, he wanted to do an evaluation. The evaluation turned into almost three hours of body works and alignments that I never knew I needed. I’ve been very careful to do all the little things to help prevent injury and have mostly avoided injuries. Occasionally my right hamstring is tight and my anterior tibialus muscles are occasional sore/swollen. Chris explained how there were several things misaligned and put them into place. He found multiple misalignments in places where I would get sore or tend to have a ‘knot’ in the muscle. I learned more from Chris about biomechanics and my body in those three hours than I had in my entire running career. He also credited my massage therapist in Boulder, Rob from Peak Integrative Health, who kept my muscles and fascia in very good shape through the weekly sports massage. I could not agree more and I’m lucky to work with Rob in Boulder and now Chris in Eugene for these few weeks.
This is worth mentioning because today’s six mile run felt easy and smooth. I’ve never felt so smooth after such a challenging workout. I highly recommend seeing Chris Whetstine in Eugene because you will not find another man more passionate about biomechanics and track and field.
Lastly, I received an e-mail from a friend in Boulder that I just have to share. Adam is doing the Steamboat Marathon this weekend. It’s Adam’s first marathon and he dedicated a lot of miles of training to this marathon. In his e-mail he said, “I’m sending you all the best vibes and I’ll see you when you get back (after Grandma’s?). All the hardest work is probably done and now its time to let it all settle in. Your love of the journey is so inspiring to me and really motivates me in my running journey and I am pumped to get to see you live out this amazing dream!” I ‘starred’ that e-mail and will always refer back to it when I need a pick-me up. That e-mail was one of, if not the nicest, comment I have ever received. Adam – you make the training much easier and getting out the door on a rainy day is a pleasure when I have friends like you. Thank you Adam and thank you to everyone reading. I’ll keep doing my best in training and I hope you all do too!