Thursday, October 25, 2007

CLEAN SLATE

Man, when did I get so busy? I guess working for a catalog company, I shouldn’t be surprised that things pick up for the holiday season. It seems like fiscal planning during the busiest time of year wouldn’t make sense, but that’s how we do it. Oh well…

It seems like all my runs have been great lately – great weather, great thoughts for future articles and future interviews.

Yesterday I worked in my mid-week, medium-long run – bumping it to 13 miles this week. The “highlight” was getting the crap scared out of me by another runner that I couldn’t see. Even though I run on trails, I still wear a reflective vest and a flashing red light, plus the headlamp. This guy said “hi” and then about 3 seconds later I spotted his reflective shoes. It's a good thing I didn't have on my iPod or we probably would've ran into each other.

This morning I ran 9 miles and added some strides.

I spent much of these runs thinking about what drives us – or, I guess, what drives me. I mean I woke up at 4:30 for this run. Does a 38-year-old father of two, marketing analyst, average runner need to get up so early to run? What’s the performance trade-off between 50 mpw and 75 mpw? A marathon time of 3:00 vs. 2:55? Health reason-wise, I’d probably better off with half the mileage – and some added strength training.

Is it all worth it? Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it.

But why? I suppose that’s a question each one of us has to answer. I guess for me it’s about the challenge of putting in the work and seeing what comes out on the other side. It’s about trying to push myself and improve my results. Hopefully, at the end of it all we’re repaid with satisfying performances that we’re proud of.

If not, we just wipe the slate clean and start all over the following year. That's where I'm at now - sitting here with a clean slate. Anytime I start the base-building process, I'm always amazed at how good I can feel in just 3 weeks. Granted I'm probably not any faster, but the difference between how I feel now and 3 weeks ago is night and day.

At first I just added a quote of the day because I thought it’d be fun and a great way to end each post. However, I’d be lying if I said some of them don’t continue to cross my mind or be used for motivation and inspiration. Today’s QOD definitely comes in handy for those 4:30 AM wakeup calls.

Quote of the day;

“Five minutes of discipline – that’s all it takes when you get up in the morning. Hit the head. Pull on your stuff and get out the door. Everything else just falls into place.” – Paul Fetscher

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Chad,

That was a great post, especially the quote at the end. Maybe you've covered this before but what is your routine in the morning? Do you allow time for breakfast or a snack or "waking up" or is it more or less just get out the door asap?

joseph said...

I have been enjoying this weeks weather with my lunch runs on the trails in Hyland.
Normally I just do laps around Normandale Lake then head back to work.
I gotta say the time just fly’s by on the trails and with easy I have been doing 10 miles a day. I have been freaked out a few times way back in the woods with deer jumping out at me. So I can imagine what it might be like when you run the trails in the dark.

Mike said...

It's interesting your note about dropping from 75-50 MPW only impacting your marathon time by 5 minutes. I don't question the accuracy of that because I'm sure it's different for everyone but I wonder is there a mileage point where you really start to see diminishing returns in a dramatic way? I would think most people would always have at least 5 minutes they could drop/gain from non-running factors such as weather, course/race you choose to run, diet, mental approach, amount of strength training, etc.... To put it another way, could you drop back to 50 MPW and still get down to 2:55 by focusing more on some of the items above (assuming you wanted to do that, which you very well may not want to given there's most likely a lot of enjoyment you're get from putting in the time/miles)

Chad said...

My morning routine is to get up and feed the dog, go #1, brush teeth, get dressed. Then I take the dog out. I used to always run a mile with her because it gave her exercise and allowed me to go #2. Now she's getting older, so I don't run her as much. After that I drive about 20 minutes across town, park and run. Grab coffee and then drive 5 minutes to work and shower there. Sometimes I'll eat something in the car like banana bread, a ceral bar or toast. And I usually drink about 16 oz of water in the car.

Joesph, I would love to be running at lunchtime the last few days. Believe me, in the dark it doesn't take much to be freaked out; birds, rabbits, squirrels, they're all capable of freaking me out.

Mike, I just threw the 50 to 75 and 3:00 to 2:55 out there. I imagine it's a little bigger gap for me, maybe 10 minutes. I'm sure it depends on your history of running too.

I think the only way I could get to 2:55 on 50 mpw were if I had a huge base and then cut back to 50 mpw for the last 8-12 weeks. Even then, 50 mpw may not be enough for me to maintain my aerobic base.