Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fast and Flurry-ous Race Review

Thanks to all those who braved blustery conditions at the Fast and Flurry-ous 4.1 Miler!!! Acting as the first race in a series of five against rival team Boulder Track Club, thanks to the efforts of the guys and gals who raced the challenging 4.1 mile cross country course BRC/Adi came away as the victors!

The combined times of the top four runners on both the men's and women's teams on both sides were used to determine who claimed the trophy. The first race of the day was the women's, and Boulder Track Club's studette Laura Thweatt trounced the field by a landslide in 22:24. While her time was undoubtedly quick, BRC put two more ahead of their second with Shannon in 4th with 23:43 and Rachel in 6th with 23:58. Kristen finished 10th in 24:40, followed by Lori in 11th, who rounded out BRC's score, in 24:49. Just behind Lori was Ashley in 12th (25:14) and Sarah in 17th (25:41). All six BRC women finished ahead of BTC's third woman, thus sealing the deal on the women's side.

For the men it was a loaded field and it looked like it would be a close call. BTC's Matt Tebo and Clint Wells took 3rd and 4th respectively, while Loren took 5th behind Wells in 20:16. Just on Loren's heels were two more BTC'ers, Josh Glaab in 6th and Curtis Begley in 7th. Adam snatched 9th in 20:48, followed consecutively by a nice pack of four consisting of Robby (20:49), Jason (20:57), who capped off the score, newcomer Bobby Reyes (20:59), and Jay (21:11), all in 10th-13th places respectively.

While the BRC men took it to them, the BTC guys would have been the victors in that division, thankfully the women tilted the scale in favor of BRC and took home the hardware for Team Champions. Great job ladies and gents!!!

In the five series race, the men are vying for the Mark Plaatjes trophy while the women are in the hunt for the Elva Dryer trophy. So far the BTC men are one up on BRC, while the BRC women are a point ahead of BTC.

Big thanks to BRC-Boulder, New Balance, Naked Pizza and Avery Brewing Co. for putting on a great show!

Next up in the series will be the Bolder Boulder 10k on Memorial Day.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Meno’s Paradox

Plato once theorized that it is impossible to learn anything new. You simply recollect something already known and come to "enhancing" on this previously known knowledge. The same way you discover how that bright red burner on the stove is hot, common sense would tell you that not only the color but the sheer heat radiating from the top is probably near-hot enough to brand a cow. Fortunately for me, I haven't touched the burner in years, keeping my hands in tact to write this blog. Of course, many can dispute Plato's somewhat pessimistic approach to knowledge, though in reference to my training during 2011, and onward into 2012, I have to agree with him...

If 2010 was the upward-swing of my running career, 2011 was undoubtedly the downward-swing. Like the spirals "fictional" legend Bruce Dention talks of in the famed novel "Once A Runner", I'm in the momentum-gathering phase. Whether it be mental (it is now), or physical (it is, even more so now), I've finally come (back) to the simplicity of training required to attack that up-swing with a full force.

What I'm referring to mostly is old-school approach to training. Longer runs, longer workouts, running twice a day, every day, every week, every month, and so on. I had been training under a highly Lydiard-esque style since high school, cruising through longer tempos and thresholds, "strength work" to say the least. This quite literally formed the base work to everything I knew about training, and it worked. Though, during the down-swing of 2011, these simple truths were stored near the back of my mind, tucking themselves in the darkest corner, waiting to be sought out and re-found again.

In 2011, I had replaced what I had known with a much more anaerobic approach to training, consisting of incredibly short, and intense workouts, (which I guess could be considered the “original” old school). I’ll avoid elaborating on the rationale behind straying away from common sense, though, let’s just say that each agonizing black and white result after another begged to be scrutinized, analyzed, and ultimately answered (and yes, that’s a lot of “ed”s). When you’re finishing workouts about ready to empty the two bananas and that Blueberry Powerbar you ate for breakfast on the side of the track, sometimes the question isn’t “Am I running hard enough?”, it’s “Can I really get ‘abs’ in 7 minutes?”. The depressingly real answer is “probably not”. It’s going to takes days, weeks, months, and sadly years of long, hard, training to really get there.

Distance running is an endurance sport. Similarly, longer tempos and thresholds are workouts to be endured. The “Aha!” moment came over me in a Buddhist-like session of mediating while in hot bath of Mr. Bubbles and Epson salt. Anyone can survive 10 minutes of punching the air on the track, but when your race is three times the distance, stamina would be a much more friendly ally. Why not train the heart (literally) before the legs?

And now we have arrived in 2012, where ironically enough I have re-adapted the style of training first handed to me before I could even grow facial hair, well over a decade ago. At this point, I can’t doubt Plato’s theory, as the objectiveness of running and results will always hold as the Truth to where your fitness is, or isn’t. Now that I’ve shared something that everyone either A) Already knows or 2) Will recollect after reading this, I’ll stray to lighter tone to end this blog entry.

As a new member to the BRC-Adidas team, I’m extremely excited for the coming year. With training (finally - again) in tact, and an Adidas Christmas on the way, I look forward to hitting the roads, tracks, and cross country courses alongside the best Club team in the US, outfitted in the most stylish and sleek Adidas gear available. "Come at Me" 2012!

Stay classy Colorado!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Joys of Breaking Bones

As many know, I broke my foot at Club Cross. I'd love to have an exciting story like 'I was practicing my half pipe skills and crashed', but no, I just ran in a race and broke it. I was doing so well and running up front thinking I'd place in the top 10, then I twisted my ankle (like I do in every run and race with no problems) and there was lots of pain. I was brillant and thought it was fine so I finished the last 2 miles with much confusion as I was getting continually passed and just couldn't hang on. As soon as I finished I couldn't walk and then realized I actually did hurt myself. But another dumb runner move...I walked (limped) it off, enjoyed the Club XC party and hoped it would be fine by Monday. The brusing, swelling, and look on Ashley's face (PA) was an indication that it was more than a sore, twisted foot.

Monday the 12th, it was confirmed. Broken foot. Snapped the 3rd metatarcle in half, dumb. I was devastated that I was in the middle of training for the Olympic Trials for the marathon and was finally enjoying the mileage and now I will not be able to compete. At least this was the OT for the marathon and not the track, otherwise I would still be crying.

It's been 6 weeks with the boot and luckily I was able to remove it yesterday. Sadly, I was naive and thought I'd be able to run this week, but the doctor said absolutely no running for at least 2 more weeks. I guess this is a good thing because he tells most patients no running for another 6 weeks...I'm not sure that means I'm healing extra fast, or that he knows I'll go crazy in the next week and come back to find him. Either way, I guess I'm back to cross training for the time being.

Oh the fun of the biking and swimming...and the crazy things I see in the gym. I feel so funny going to the gym with my boot and jumping on the bike. I get the funniest looks, strangest questions, and silly competitive people who do not want to get beat by the lady in the boot.

At first it seemed like a lifetime to ride for more than 30 minutes, but now I'm able to easily do 90-120 minutes. I sometimes just ride steady and other days it's intervals. I can't do too much resistance, but I'll just get the RPM's as high as I can.

In the pool I've been mostly swimming (with just my arms), not much aqua jogging as it seemed to hurt my foot more. I'm not a swimmer, but I'm setting my own personal records of laps per hour or laps without choking on water. The life guards watched me carefully as I unstrap my boot and jump right in. I'm pretty sure everyone at my local gyms thinks I'm crazy, but I'd be more crazy if I don't exercise at all.

On top of the 60-120 minutes of cardio per day, I've been lifting (upper body) and doing core exercises. Another reason I can't wait to run again...this all seems to add up to more time training than I have ever done in one day. Yet, I still don't get the same satisfaction I do from running.

Anyway, the coutdown begins...13 days to go.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Where I'm at, what I'm doing

Banana Hands, checking in. It already feels like a long time since Club Cross, that fun time of year when the entire team comes together for the same race. Since then, I reset and started building from where I left off in the fall. Even though it's an off season for me, I have a clear idea of what I'd like to focus on: lots of miles and a hard effort every week. I ran the first winter series race last week and signed up for the others as well. It should be a good way to get in the harder runs those weeks. Just as important as the running, I'm making sure to do recovery exercises to stay healthy and injury-free. We'll see how it all goes.