Friday, August 18, 2006

Bring Back Cap'n Caveman

While my caveman beard is long gone (sorry Eric), I feel more pangs of loss over Duncan's decision to put his daily training diatribes on indefinite hold. This news is akin to me wandering out to the driveway in my bathrobe (I don't actually have a bathrobe but I wanted to spare you the vision of me in boxer shorts) one morning and finding no newspaper waiting for me. Actually, it's worse than that. It's more like finding no newspaper, then hearing from your neighbor that the paperboy was mauled by a puma and as a result the delivery of my daily dose of sunshine has been cancelled indefinitely. The letter writing campaign starts tomorrow as this will not stand. That's right, it's all about my needs.

At 4:47am this morning I made my decision to run the California International Marathon on December 3rd. It was either this race or the Rock and Roll marathon in Phoenix a month later. I'm drawn to the California race by the promise of that elusive "hometown feel" that some marathons can pull off with ease. I'm a low key guy, and low key races like this appeal to me. The clincher was the informal tone of the information page on their website.

1. Get to the start on time. Duh.

No, I didn't add that last part. While I have nothing against the massive Rock and Roll empire, I feel we vote with our feet as runners, and the races we participate in are bigger than our individual performances. Duh. Vermont City marathon, where I broke 2:50 for the first time, was a fantastic experience. I have so many fond memories of that race, and my experience there left a more permanent impression on me than all but the last mile of my PR in Phoenix. Now if John Bingham would just send me that voucher he promised...

I painted more last night, ran this morning, then painted again before work. This is getting old. Finn and Haiden agree with me on this, as I apparently I spoke too soon about their newfound camaraderie as temporary roommates. Finn had a freak out around 11:30pm, which in our sleep-deprived state made moving Haiden into our room seem like a plausible solution, with Kiera on the couch. H wouldn't fall asleep and Finn still wouldn't calm down, so I made the command decision of moving him back into his mostly painted room and returning H to her bed. Since I'm only painting a door and some trim at this point I couldn't smell any fumes, though the ceiling fan, open window and open door hopefully kept him from suffering any permanent damage. He got further revenge by waking up one minute after I decided to run the California marathon.

Oh, the run. I made it out for 10 miles this morning, and I worked on relaxing as much as possible in an effort to save up for tomorrow's workout. I was set to do another 2-3 mile time trial, but Lucas had an interesting workout scheduled by his masochist coaches that I just couldn't pass up. Apparently it's a 5K time trial, followed by some sort of recovery (probably not much), then another 5K time trial at marathon pace. Who could resist such tom-foolery?

Training: 10 miles, 1:08:48, 6:53 pace


Mark said...

Good luck at California IM. Why do they call it International when it's all in CA?
The profile looks like all downhill.
Isn't that Sasha's specialty? I could use a few lessons as the first sixteen of Boston are downhill also.

Mike said...

Good question Mark, maybe it's like the International House of Pancakes. It does lose 400 feet or so, which certainly makes it an "aided" course, but the scheduling and proximity, plus Duncan's recommendation make it seem like a good choice. I guess I'll have to do an uphill one next as penance.

edinburghrunner said...

Since Duncan has turned off his comments, I guess I'll have to post here that I too am a bit hacked off that he has reduced by 1 the already small number of running blogs I read on a regular basis.

Looking forward to reading about your training cycle in the run up to California Mike. Going to predict a time?

Sasha Pachev said...

Mark - the best way to become a good downhill runner I know of is to move to Utah. Within 10-15 minutes of driving from my house I can find a downhill of almost any runnable length or description - 1% grade, 2% grade, even 7% grade. You get some uphill practice too if you start and finish at the same place.
Downhill is a big helper in up to half-marathon. After that, it can still be a helper but it takes a lot of practice. I've seen many runners come to our courses thinking the downhill will help them rock. They ended up 5 or more minutes off their sea-level PR. I believe this is the reason they take downhill course times for a trials qualifier.
Mike - don't know about you, but not having to travel makes a big difference for me. That is why I rarely travel outside of Utah to race.