“The Tougher the Journey, the Greater the Joy”

One of the athletes I coach sent me an e-mail with this quote in it.  This quote is absolutely fitting for my current training.  Right now, about 150 other men and I are training for the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials that will take place in Houston, Texas on Jan 14th, 2012.  The month of December is the most challenging month of training for all of us.  I was lucky to be able to travel my parent’s home for Christmas/ my Mom’s birthday for four days.  This was a perfect time to get in two very tough workouts, including a 20 mile tempo.  A 20 mile tempo is about the hardest workout you can do.  On Christmas morning my family had cinnabuns for breakfast.  However, I made my oatmeal and peanut butter with some yogurt.  After opening presents, I took my Dad’s truck to a local bike path and set up gels, cytomax bottles, and water bottles in the bed of the truck.  I went out and back multiple times on the trail and executed the workout as best I could.  It closed out my second consecutive 120+ mile week.

I came back to Boulder tired.  I was a bit aggressive with that workout and my recovery.  I felt very fatigued on Thursday back in Boulder and cut the mileage I was supposed to do in 1/3 that day.  Better safe than sorry 18 days out from the marathon!  I just looked at my running log and I’ve run nearly 5100 miles in 2011.  That’s a remarkable average of over 98 miles per week for the entire year.  What days off did I have?  Only planned ones: 3 days after the USA 15k Championships, 7 days after Grandma’s Marathon, 1 day after the Kauai Marathon, 7 days after the Chicago Marathon, and 1 day after the Dallas White Rock Marathon.  I never missed a day for sickness, injury, or laziness.  In addition, I’m leaner than ever – weighing under 140 for the first time since I was probably a junior in high school.

All of this is great, but the most important thing is racing on Jan 14th.  I could have run 2,000 miles or 10,000 miles this year, but if I’m fatigued on the start line at the beginning of the marathon – the odds of running well are not good.  I feel that I’m in the perfect place right now, fatigued but not excessively fatigued.  In a little over 2 weeks I’ll be toeing the line the fittest and freshest I’ve ever been.  The 5,000+ miles this year will help me over that final 10k.  As I promised the Centaurus High School team/parents – if I don’t average under 5:10/mi for the final 10k Chandler Reid gets to cut my hair.  If you saw how he (a junior on the Centaurus High School team I coach) cut the hair of several of his teammates, you’d know I wouldn’t have said that without knowing I am capable of it!

“The tougher the journey, the greater the joy.”  Can’t wait to make Houston a joyous event 🙂

-Tyler

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