Sunday, September 30, 2007

Week 37 and Family Update

It's pre-dawn and I'm getting ready for my 18 miler around the ocean drive. Last week, despite feeling the effort of my biggest week of training, I turned in a good time. This week I feel much more rested because I've run two fewer days. However I'll still be posting a total of 38 miles, so not too shabby. Once again I'm interested to see how today's run goes.

It's getting darker as I sit here, actually. We're 2 days past the full moon and the moon was up higher 25 minutes ago when I got up. I expect a 6:15am start again. It's clear and 50 degrees, so it's great conditions for distance running.

Mentally it was a tough week that I think ended well. The tough part had to do with angst over Alexandra and pre-school. The ending well has to do with Leanna and I agreeing on a plan of action that just feels right. We're going to wait until next year to send her to regular pre-school, and then to a different one. She only just turned 3 1/2 and between the uniforms and heavily structured curriculum it seemed liked she wasn't being allowed to be a child. I know we're doing the right thing. It's one of those decisions that you agonize over for a long time, but when you finally make it it is like the weight of the world is lifted.

You see I'm definitely no expert in parenting and early childhood development, but all this training and racing has really clarified some things for me. For example I know that you have to LOVE something first! You don't want it to start as work and then hope it gets better. The love is what gets you through the times when it is work. When Zatopek spoke of "will power [being] no longer a problem" the fact is that he loved running. If you don't love it and it is all work, you may succeed for a while but burn out and loathing usually follow. When you do love it, you are enticed to continue to explore and test boundaries. The love is the catalyst for discovery. I have experienced such amazing feelings and thoughts throughout my athletic endeavors that I know I am a better person for it. In fact part of the reason for this blog is to attempt to share that with people. Maybe someday it will change the life of one person.

Everything was in place for a great run today. The weather was perfect. I was fairly well rested. Family stress was lower. It was just a matter of me putting it all together. I started off strongly and did not have any issues with blood sugar early on. I hit the first checkpoint a bit ahead of last week and was concerned about going to quickly too early. But then I said "What the f---, and made my move." You just don't get these perfect days too often. I kept the pressure on and hit the 1/2 was in 1:01:06. I could feel the strain, but if I blew up, at least I'd know what pace was too much for me to handle. I focused on keeping my tempo high (190 steps per minute) and used my arm swing to help with the leg turnover. I put what felt like just a little forward pressure on with my feet. I made it back from the turn in 1:00:13. My final time was 2:01:20, a new PR by a lot. I've just upped my expectations for the marathon.

Runs: 97
Mileage: 38
YTD Mileage: 665.70