Thursday, March 16, 2006


Yesterday I decided to sleep in, so last night I ran an easy 8 miles on the treadmill. I knew more snow was expected over night, so I was “forced” to get up early and beat the traffic. Since I had a stronger aerobic run planned, I decided to just run on the treadmill at work. I woke up to 4 more inches of snow with another 2-4 inches expected before noon. Getting to work took about 10 minutes more than normal. That’s not bad, considering when I turned on the TV, I saw how backed up the roads that I was just on were. My legs were a little tried from Tuesday’s hills, but I still managed 11 miles. I spent the first 6 miles dropping from 9:00 to 7:00 pace and the next 4 miles dropping to 6:30 pace before cooling down for a mile.

There was a comment on Mike’s blog the other day about marathon pace never feeling easy until race day. That’s how I feel. And it’s why I get frustrated when I see someone running 7:30 pace everyday, but running their marathon at 8:00 pace. Something seems out of whack there. Anyway, the 4 miles of 6:30 to 7:00 pace weren’t too bad today. I definitely feel better when I gradually ease into the pace. Then again, I only ran 4 miles near MP, not 8 or 9 like I had been running on Thursdays.

I’ve kind of gotten away from writing about the mental aspects of running. There’s only so much you can write about relaxation exercises. After relaxation, the next step is adding visualization. With a race coming up on Sunday, I’ve been trying to visualize that. The only problem is that relaxing usually puts me to sleep. I tend to do a better job of visualizing while I’m actually out running. I have come up with a couple of more affirmations for the race;

“I’m in a position to strike and get what I like.”
“Expect success, I’m one of the best.”
“Centered and strong, I run right along.”

I particularly like the first one since I tend to run my best when I go out controlled and track people down in the second half. An out-and-back course, like the one on Sunday, is perfect for this strategy.

If you enjoy reading articles on “every day” runners, here’s a good one on a local studette, Kelly Keeler. If only we all could improve so rapidly.

Speaking of Grandma’s marathon, I have a spare bedroom in the apartment I’m staying at on the College of St. Scholastica. So if anyone needs a room or knows of someone that needs a room, let me know.

Quote of the day:
“I also enjoy satirizing the folks that spend money or throw money at running, thinking that the good old American way of paying for things will make you better at a sport that just requires repeating the same thing over and over again.” Duncan Larkin


D said...

Great article. Thanks for posting it.

Duncan Larkin said...

I hardly deserve the marquee since I am no marquee runner, but regardless, thank you for it. Regarding your comments about marathon pace never feeling 'easy' until race day, I can relate to that. For me MP runs are so hard to do in training, and they are clearly a weakness of mine; it's good that you are doing them. You seem well positioned for Grandmas being about 3 months out.

rice said...

great affirmations. They always help.



Mike said...

Hey Zeke- nice many factors to think about with running. I was at the other end of the spectrum doing the bulk of my training at a pace substantially slower then MP(probably why i had to focus so hard during my last mary to maintain pace).
I am working on running closer to MP for the bulk of my running and it seems to be working. Keeping my fingers crossed that it translates to an easier marathon at the next go around!

Chad Austin said...

Duncan, what's that they say; the pen is mightier than the running shoe? I just really like the last sentence. It really is a sport that just requires you to do the same thing over and over. I hate seeing that get lost sometimes.

Thanks Rice. Hopefully they'll come in handy on Sunday.

Mike, there's even more to think about when you add swimming and biking to the mix.

I just read your last marathon report and I think you did better than you gave yourself credit for. Slowing 4 minutes in the second half is fairly normal. I wouldn't consider that a meltdown.

I'm sure the addition of MP runs will come in handy in Boston. 1 month to go!!!