Thursday, May 11, 2006

I Yield the Floor

When I started this blog last fall I searched for other running blogs that mentioned Arthur Lydiard. Downeast Runner Andrew Seeley was the first one I found. Turns out I was lucky. After commenting on one of his posts that mentioned Lydiard, Andrew was kind enough to plug my blog in a post with the title above. Since then we have done a bit of back and forth about Lydiard's training, and I've always come away from our correspondence impressed with the focus and detail of Andrew's analysis of Lydiard's methods and intentions.

Andrew's post today pits his analytical mind against his 18 week preparation for the Holyoke marathon he completed last weekend. He does not go easy on himself, though he does find a good deal of humor in his situation. For anyone who has looked in the mirror after a race and said, "What the hell went wrong?"(myself included), Andrew has the answer-look long and hard in the mirror again. The trail of breadcrumbs starts at the training log, continues past missed runs and the training deals we make with ourselves, through injury, malaise or unavoidable commitments, and ends at the finishing tape.

This post has me cracking open my log, finding the leaks, and figuring out how best to patch them in the time I have remaining before the marathon June 4. Most of us know what we're supposed to do, but it can be humbling to take a look and realize that how we say we train differs from what the logbook says back.


Thomas said...

What leaks? You're running every day, even if it means pushing a double stroller along at breakneck speed for more miles than most of us can handle.

If the tough feeling after 15 miles shook you up a little, keep in mind that it was shortly after a race with a 21 mile run to boot.

Eric said...

Ha. This ought to be an exercise in futility. An answer in search of a problem. Tilting at windmills.

As you are the most thoughtful, well-studied, and balanced runner I know, I expect your search for chinks in the armor to be fruitless.

Not running with ankle weights is not a problem. Just FYI. Cheers.

Scooter said...

Unlike the other posters, I think you're right. A tough self-appaisal under the glare of bright lights makes us recognize the weaknesses. It doesn't make us failures, it simply defines a path to betterment. The past is done, it can't be changed. The future can be changed, and if we understand how we slip, then we can change our plan to minimize that slippage.

I'm not sure if it was you, I think it may have been deep in the Let's Run Lydiard vs. Daniels thread, where someone describe Lydiard's answers to questions, and how they were often enigmatic. They commented on how it made the athlete THINK. This process of self-appraisal is really just an extension of that. I applaud you for making this step.

The path to success is rarely easy, but the commitment to learn along the path is key. It will let each training cycle be the best it can be, given the constraints of life.

Andrew said...


Thanks for the kind words. Nothing motivates one better than knowing it could have been different. Now to make a difference!

I've often commented on your consistency and I continue to be amazed at how well you toe the line. If I can imitate just that tiny part of your training, I'd think I'd do well.