Wednesday, January 11, 2006

One was Johnny...

"One was Johnny who lived by himSELF!
Two was the rat who jumped on a SHELF!
Three was the cat who chased the rat...
Four was the dog who came in and sat."

This was the soundtrack to my run this morning, courtesey of daughter Haiden's crooning from the jogging stroller. It's from Maurice Sendak's "Really Rosie-Nutshell Kids" books, which were put to music by Carol King. It's very different from Duncan's recent playlist of 80's faves. I remember the Sendak songs distinctly from my childhood, and hearing Haiden shout/sing them on our muffin run is always bittersweet.

They are only young once, just like we all were. I want to give Finn (our 6-month-old boy) and Haiden (3 and a half) the best of me, and at times like these it's easy. Not so last night.

Kiera was at her class last night, so getting the gang off to bed was my job. Finn cried from the second I got home at 5:15 until he was in bed asleep at 7:15. Then, just for good measure he awoke crying again at 8. I fed him more and finally got him back down. Haiden somehow tracked chocolate pudding onto our comforter but went to bed without complaint. Of course, she awoke at 8:45 screaming because she had lost her Angelina Ballerina stuffed mouse. Midnight had Finn up again for two hours or so, I took the first shift and Kiera the second and third. He awoke again sometime in the 5's, and we were all up not too long after.

I was exhausted this morning, but for some reason we decided to re-arrange all the furniture in the house before my run with the extra time we had. This is what happens during a taper if you don't have any other productive hobbies. By the time I was able to get out the door I was cutting things desperately close for getting to work on time. What does this mean? Of course it means Haiden demands to come along and make it a muffin run with dad, two miles of marathon pace be damned. We compromise, I take her out two miles, get the muffin to go, and bring it back home for her to eat, all at sub-7 pace. I let her inside, then head back out for 2 miles at marathon pace alone, which turned out to be 5:59 today (I should be so lucky).

Fastest shower ever, a handful of cereal and two spoons of yogurt at the counter, a thermos of coffee and a Trader Joe's pop-tart in the car and I'm at work 5 minutes late. Thus begins another restful race-week taper day.

Arthur Lydiard's athletes were so successful in part because of the extreme attention he paid to the "small things". In Peter Snell's case in the 1960 Rome Olympics, Lydiard knew how all of the runners competing against his athlete were training, and where their weaknesses were. In my case the "small things" I'm paying attention to are usually our small children. Still, I'm doing my best to keep the attention I can spare on the race this Sunday, and I will be ready.

Training: Today, 6 miles, 40:20, 6:41 pace. 4 miles with Haiden in the jog-stroller, 2 miles at 5:59 (marathon pace)
Yesterday, 8 miles, 54:32, 6:49 pace


olga said...

Hey, and why are you running 6 miles today if you have a marathon on Sunday? Is it time to relax even by Lydiard? You'll do great, enjoy, fly and suck it up at mile 23 - granted, those post-wall pre-barn miles are the toughest:)

Hunter said...

Mike, all the hard work has been done, now it's time to enjoy the race!

Good luck!

I also started my blog on my training in Lydiard's way. I decided to put it in Chinese, and hope more Chinese runners will follow this legend.

Scooter said...

All the broken focus in training will suddenly become meaningless with the good focus on race day. Moving the furniture was probably not an ideal taper activity.

Mike said...

Don't worry Olgav, I'll only be at 35 miles or so for the week of the marathon (not including the race). The rest of the week will be very easy, 4-6 miles or so. Hunter, I wish I read Chinese! Congrats on the blog and best of luck to you. Scooter, I know you're right, but at least we have tile floors so it was mostly "sliding".

Thomas Sørensen said...

Mike I hitnk you get the award for most disciplined runner. With that kind of nights I would just be a puddle on the floor in the morning.
By the way - are you never hungry in the morning? When you wake up? Or during your run? Hunger during running is sometimes a problem for me. I guess I can get used to it.

Thomas said...

You’re doing the right thing.

You’re not trying to win the Olympics, and 5 seconds off your marathon time won’t make a difference. You don’t want to be one of those runners who neglect their family in pursuit of a faster time.

You’re commitment to both your running and your family are commendable.

Thomas said...

Btw. Mike, if you want to read hunter's blog, can translate web pages. Just select "Chinese-simp to English" and put ""
into the URL field and you get an English translation. It's not perfect, of course, but you can read it easily enough.

Hunter said...

Mike, sorry about the language thing. We have tons of literatures about Arthur, and people like you to share experience with Arthur's training in English. I just hope that writing in Chinese may bring Arthur to a bit more interested people.

thomas, thanks for sharing that information. This should be an effective way to learn broken English. haha

Hunter said...

thomas, just in case if there is anything you are interested to know better in my blog, I will do the translation. Guaranteed better than that translator.

tb1 said...

Thanks for the encouragement Mike! I didn't see your previous post until this morning. I drove the course on Tuesday. The first 5-6 miles are boring, but there should be spectators. From about 7-15 you run through some nice neighbor hoods and some great views of Camelback Mt. At about mile 18 you cruise into the arts and restaurant area in Scottsdale. There should be a large throng of spectators there and very close to the runners. Just what the competitors will need for the final 8 miles. Then a substantial stretch along Hayden road. This may be significant since there may not be many spectators along this part due to the Indian reservation to the east. I also noticed a stiff easterly breeze making the flags stand out. Once you hit University it is only 2 miles to the finish. The crowd should pick up again at this point giving running lackeys, like me, the push needed to finish. I heard that this is the largest marathon/half marathon in the world. The experts are estimateing 33,000 competitors and 100,000 spectators.

It looks like you will get part of your wish weather-wise. Forcast is for a cold front moving in with a 30% chance of morning showers. High for Sunday is 62 F. (17 C.) with a morning low of 38 F. (3 C.)