Grinding Away

The time since my last post has flown by.  Maybe that’s because I’ve flown home to Pennsylvania and back again.  More than likely it’s because I’ve been flying down the trails, bike paths, streets, sidewalks, and tracks.  With the goal clearly the Olympic Trials Marathon on January 14th in Houston, Texas, I ‘competed’ last weekend at the Philadelphia Half-Marathon.  Unfortunately it didn’t go very well simply due to fatigue.  My legs were shot and my rhythm felt off.  After going through 10k in 5:02 pace I knew I had to make a smart decision and start running closer to marathon effort than half-marathon effort.  I practiced taking water and gatorade to continue to get used to water and ingesting calories during the marathon.  Although I feel embarrassed by my time of 1:07:30, it was exactly the effort that I should have put down on the streets of Philadelphia.  Three straight 17 mile double days followed and I completed a 20k specific endurance workout at nearly the same pace as the Philly half.  I’m confident in my fitness, but sometimes you just have to say “Okay, my body is not ready to run that hard today.”  When it’s not, you need to readjust your pace and effort level.  Unfortunately I made the mistake of doing a few too many miles too close to Philadelphia to be able to compete at the front.  That being said, Houston is the focus and running 5:09 pace for 13.1 miles is a great workout.

The week in Pennsylvania was great and I really enjoyed time with my wonderful Mom and Dad.  In addition I spent the weekend with Seth Hasty, an athlete I coach through Hudson Training Systems.  Seth ran a 6+ minute marathon personal best, and although he wasn’t happy with it initially it was a huge improvement.  Seth is one of those guys you just want to surround yourself with… His positive enthusiasm is contagious.  His passion for the sport makes you want to go for a run right then regardless of how tired you are.  Getting out the door the next day for a run was easy and enjoyable because of his attitude as well as other friends I met at the race.  I’m amazed at the friendly people you meet at a race, and the Philadelphia Marathon was no exception!  A big thanks to all the staff and volunteers at the Philadelphia Marathon that put together an excellent race.

This week was another really good week of training.  116 miles in the bank with a 22 mile long run this morning at altitude.  I almost felt like it was a ‘down’ week at 116.  Man how far I’ve come in a year.  I’ve already surpassed my 2010 yearly mileage for 2011.  I’ve been averaging nearly 98 miles per week for the year.  When you consider I took three days off after the USA 15k Championships, a week off after Grandma’s Marathon, and a week off after an attempted Chicago Marathon, I’m averaged over 100 miles for the rest of those weeks.  When you look at it that way, the failed attempt at Chicago and a too-fatigued effort at Philadelphia are only signs I’m giving it 100%, and occasionally more than 100% which comes back to get me.  When I’m done running in (hopefully) well over a decade, I know I’ll have done everything I can to become the best runner I can be.  Can you say that about your job?  Can you say that about your health/fitness/workouts? I hope you can, and if not, I hope you’re inspired to get out the door and run!

-Tyler

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