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Sunday, February 29, 2004

week 2 training summary

ah yes. week two of hal higdon's Intermediate I program is under my belt and i'm feeling pretty good about it. the nine miler today went well, even though it came immediately after the five miler. nine miles is a long distance, it's even longer when it comes less that 24 hours after a five mile run and your muscles haven't had time to repair fully.

it's getting warmer. it has been in the high 40s lately, which makes it tough to decide what to wear. it's not quite shorts and t-shirt weather, but the regular winter legging and long sleave shirts can get toasty. in any case the snow is melting and it might be a little premature, but i swear it seems like there's a hint of spring in the air.

6:38 PM

Sunday, February 22, 2004

the mind of a marathonist

phew. what a week. after figuring out that all the intermediate training programs require a 5 days a week commitment i decided to start off with hal higdon's intermediate I program with an eye towards switching to the intermediate II program after i get a few weeks of conditioning under my belt.

i'll admit it. after taking 3 months off, the intermediate I program kicked my butt all over the place. some of it was physical as my muscles are obviously underconditioned, but mostly it was mental. 3 miles is doable, 5 miles is a stretch and 8 miles seems impossible. so each run starts out with bad mental mojo compounded by icy, slushy running surfaces which takes that much more energy out of you. making matters worse is the knowledge that i have to have to finish the week with a 5 miler followed by the already impossible 8 miler. if you're a "real" runner this probably all seems very amusing, but the fact is that even though i've been training for and running in marathons for the past two years, i still don't consider myself a real runner. rather, i'm a sedentary computer dork who is masquerading as a marathonist and i'll surely be outed sooner or later. so, that's the context for this week. endless ruminations while navigating icy terrain on how exactly i'm ever going to make through this week. i try to visualize ending the week successfully but in reality i'm pretty sure that i'll just "cheat" and maybe drop a run or two or reduce my mileage. who would really know?

but a funny thing happens and i actually complete every run even though i don't really want to. trust me, i'm as amazed as anyone and i become fascinated by the wierdness of the behavior. i'm doing something that's not really "fun" in an empirical sense and while the physical activity is a side benefit, i could probably just run a normal amount regularly and get the same physical benenfit without all the mental judo. and that's when it hits me.

it's all about the mental judo.

as quaint as it may sound, it's all about sleuthing out and squashing those little voices that say you can't. i guess maybe i knew this all along, since i did pick the wonderfully prescient frank zappa quote for the 'rhetoric', but i guess i learned it all over again.

so it was hard week, but i finished it. i ran all the miles and the 8 miler was the strongest run of them all.

7:12 PM

Monday, February 16, 2004

let the training begin!

although i haven't received official notice, it looks like grandma's marathon cashed my check, which means that i should probably start training. i've been meaning to get out and get a few miles under my belt before official training started, but i guess i've succesfully procrastinated for long enough, because the race is now a mere 18 weeks away.

i'm debating between hal higdon's Intermediate II program and dick beardsley's intermediate training program. it's hard to find the time to commit to beardsley's 5-day-a-week training. maybe i'll just jump back and forth between the two.

in any case, i went out for a quick 3 miler today. i can't believe that it's been 3 months since i ran last and 4 since the chicago marathon. taking 3 months off has a way of making 3 miles seem like a long distance and 26.2 miles virtually impossible.

6:05 PM

just in time for summer - look snazzy and support the site at the same time by buying some snowdeal schwag!

"I think you devise your own limits for your own personal convenience. There are some people who wish to have limits, and they'll invent as many boxes for themselves as they want. It's like, you know, men invented armor. They wanted to protect themselves from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and so forth. And people do the same thing psychically and psychologically. They build their own armor. They build their own rathole, whatever it is. And they choose their existence. Whether they do it consciously or whether it is helped along by a government or an education system, somebody is helping to shape this imaginary box you live in, but it doesn't have to be there."

--frank zappa

runner's world / joe henderson / chicago marathon /

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