Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring unsprung

I have to keep checking my calendar to confirm that it is not, in fact, January. I look outside and see the pouring rain and blustery winds and my confusion is reasonable. The fact that I keep thinking it's October is not reasonable. That's plain old craziness.

After last week's fiasco of a race I had a lovely run on Saturday. The plan was to run 18 miles in Alameda to train for the New Jersey Marathon. At about mile 11 I changed that plan. Saturday early morning was cold and hazy and as we ran the cold wind picked up. I felt good, much better than the past Sunday, for no reason that I could discern. Anita and I chatted our way along the shoreline, running slowly but consistently, and at about mile 9 realized we were getting a little tired. Since we were in no hurry we slowed down even more, changing our intervals from 9:1 to 4:1.

Somewhere around mile 11 I decided that I felt much too good to continue running; I wanted to end the run on a high note instead of beating myself up running 18 miles. I thought that accelerating my training schedule wasn't one of my smarter ideas. Sure, I could do it, but how good would I be feeling at my real goal race in Vermont? My end decision was to not run 18, to not spend about $1,000 running an extra race (even if it would give me another state), not to beat myself up more than I had originally planned. That decision made our last mile much better and in fact, it turned out that it was our fastest mile of the day. Go figure.

I'm very happy with that decision even though it means that next weekend I'll be running that 18 miles. I'm planning on that 18, two weeks later to run 20, two weeks after that 22, then the traditional 3 week taper before the race. That way I can run a half marathon on April 17, which I've been wanting to do. I have 2 months before a marathon instead of one month and my body thanks me for it.

Although I've been bitching and moaning about the rain, at least for several hours afterward the pollen is damped down and not making my allergies so whacked out. Also, the wildflowers are glorious and will remain so for a bit longer. I'm not really pushing for those 98 degree runs, or blazing sun, but it would sure be different!

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