Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fools who leave too soon

It's true what they say about fools who leave too soon, they don't ever really move on.
-Mike Kinsella (Owen) in the song "Gazebo"

Four Weeks Until CIM

The California International Marathon is four weeks from today. I'm really hoping to set a significant personal record there. However, to be honest, I'm beginning to doubt my training. I could write endlessly about what I'm struggling with, so to be more concise I'll try to sum up my struggles in a few bullet points.

  • I have no one left in Mammoth to run with. It would really help to have people to push me through difficult intervals, long runs, and even easy 45 minute jogs.
  • I'm doing my runs as early as 5am, several days a week, because that is the only time available to me away from work.
  • Its VERY cold at 7,800 ft at 5am during this time of the year.
  • I have no social life at the moment, and laying in bed on a Saturday night at 7:45pm watching COPS has to be the lowest of the low. I don't mind such sacrifices when it means I'm meeting several friends the next morning for a run and breakfast, but when it means I'm rising at 4:30 to eat a bagel and drink coffee before running 20 miles in 16 degree pre-dawn weather, its not fun.
  • My workouts are inconsistent, and I haven't put together a decent long run in months.
  • My plantar fascia has been very painful. I stretch and ice like crazy trying to keep it manageable.
I'll stop complaining now. The positives are that I've put in more mileage this year than ever before, and in some ways I think I may be similar to a freshman in college who is adjusting to different training from high school, since I got a late start. Its possible that good results will come, but just later than I'd like. Also, big changes are on the way in my life that will improve my career and social lives dramatically. Hopefully, the same can be said for my training as well. More on that in the near future once it has solidified itself.

That's where the title to this post comes from. I think I left Chicago, and my job there, before I should have. Its hard to know for sure, and I hate to carry regret, but time will tell. And I won't lie, a good performance at CIM will probably make me feel differently. I hope I can get there in one piece, and deliver when it counts.

Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon Recap

This race took place two weeks ago in Folsom, CA. I wound up 4th out of 1400 some runners, with a time of 1:17:59.6. A disappointing result, considering I was aiming for a low 1:15. I didn't account for a very difficult 300 ft climb in the last mile, and I made the mistake of trying to stay in the lead (first two miles at 5:20 as a result). I should have definitely run my own race, as opposed to trying to psych two other runners by surging repeatedly, as I think I could have pulled off third, so it was a lesson learned. That being said, if this had been Chicago, and I saw two runners starting the race that I knew were out of my league, I wouldn't have chased them. Little did I know the guy I was leading through the first mile and a half was a participant in the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials. This is a hazard of racing against unknown competitors.

So in summary, I took two things away from the race. Just because its slightly possible for me win local races of this size, its no excuse for poor tactics, and more importantly, my conditioning isn't as strong as I'd hoped it would be.