Monday, January 09, 2006

What a Slacker!

First off, I respect anyone who laces them up and heads out the door. Whether it's one mile a day or 26, as Lydiard says, "As long as you get out there you're still winning." When I say 58 miles a week is slacking, it's only because for the past 25 weeks I've averaged over 90. Most people cutting back a third of their average mileage in a week would probably be a bit stir-crazy too.

That being said, I do feel like a real slacker after logging 58 miles last week, down from 80 the week before. Still, this is the taper for the marathon this weekend, and a year ago I would have been happy with this total as my peak mileage. All the energy saved by not running as much has unfortunately been channeled into nervous thoughts of all the fitness I'm losing. I know this isn't how it works, I know the taper is designed to soak up all the work I've done to this point, to rid myself of any lingering aches and pains, and to maximize my glycogen stores. But I feel like I'm wasting away. I know I'm not the only runner who has felt this way during a taper.

Sunday's long run was a nice jaunt through Sabino Canyon and the surrounding hilly areas courtesey of my tourguide Lucas. He showed me a new route that traced southeast out of the National Forest property and through some rural horse properties. Finally we cut into Canyon Ranch, an elite spa and a "drying-out" spot for celebrities. The run ended with a few mean hills before circling back to my house, and we ended up with 13 quality miles.

Today was the usual 6 mile jaunt, with 6x100 of "fast, relaxed running". The legs were a little thick at first, but by four miles in I wanted to stay out another hour. Don't worry, I didn't.

Training: Sunday, 13 miles, 1:35:51, 7:23 pace
Today, 6 miles, 41:39, 6:56 pace w/6x100 "fast, relaxed running"
Total miles for the week: 58 in 7 sessions

12 comments:

tb1 said...

Mike,
Your second paragraph sums up my feelings entirely and I'm not even close to the mileage your doing and I've never done a marathon.

My way of getting through this week is telling myself to attack the course on Sunday, trust my conditioning, and let the chips fall where they may.

I look forward to reading the good news of your race. Good luck.

Thomas Sørensen said...

Mike, don't do crazy. Untill Sunday that is - then you hammer the course.

Zeke said...

It's amazing how fast SOMEONE ELSE'S training goes. It feels like I just started following your blog at the end of your base-phase and now you're a week away from "The Main Event".

Mike said...

tb1, you are quite wise in the ways of running for someone tackling their first marathon. I guarantee it will be an incredible experience, and I wish you the best of luck. Thomas, thanks for the words, and keep up the running. Zeke, it's flown by for me too, I'm looking forward to the next one before even finishing this race!

Thomas Sørensen said...

Mike, let's see if you are looking forward to the next one at mile 23 on Sunday. :-) I'm sure you will. I am back to running home from work with ht e backpack. Not optimal, but at least I get out there. Today I do my long run of 30km. When do we start training for the Spartathlon? :-)

The Last Runner said...

Bannister went through this when he freshened up for his sub 4 minute mile attempt. He didn't run a lick for 6 days. He was so nervous the day of the race he tried to talk himself out of running.

Of course in the end he did run and as soon as the gun went off all was fine.

Evan said...

Good luck for Sunday, Mike. It's been interesting following your training, and I'm looking forward to hearing how the race went.

Tapers are hard to enjoy, but it is possible. I think the key is finding some activity that is not tiring yet still keeps your mind off the marathon to fill in the suddenly free hours that one spent running in previous weeks! I try to only think about the upcoming race while I'm running, or in a structured way (making a pace chart, for example).

robtherunner said...

I understand your point of feeling like a slacker, but knowing that other people would consider your slacker mileage pretty impressive.

Duncan Larkin said...

Mike, sorry for being behind on your nice comments on my poopy screed space. Good luck and all the best Sunday. Predictions are dangerous, but all roads are leading to some serious Lydiard worship on my behalf once I see your results. I know the 'taper sucks' mentality all too well even though my training is nowhere as methodical,learned, and smart as yours. Other stuff...ah yes, The Cure how could I forget them? I still have their original Disintegration tape. And Sedaris is my hero. I love his stuff. By the way... I'm coming back to Arizona...barring smogland, I fell in love with it.

D said...

The taper phase is mentally challenging. I look forward to seeing your results after having followed your training throughout. The last runner made a great point, once the gun goes off, you'll be fine. Good luck and I'll be cheering for you Mike!

peugeotman said...

Cross training is the answer. Get the speedos out of the drawer and go for a swim or jump on the bike and turn the pedals. If you're worried about not doing the miles do something that will give you a good cardio workout but rest the main muscle groups that you use when running. Now you're a triathlete and a whole new vista of competition will open up for you. Good luck!

Mike said...

Thanks everyone. Last Runner, I hope you're right, you too DGC. Evan, great post today on your mileage pursuit, I'll be linking to that after the race (if not sooner). Rob, again good job this past weekend, surely it was character-building (not that you need it). Duncan, I had a feeling you were a Sedaris man too. Luckily Kiera stays at home with the kids and my job (usually) doesn't eat up too much time, so that gives me enough time to keep to get the runs in. I don't know how you manage it. Come to Tucson next time, you can couch surf with us.