Thursday, February 9, 2012

Into The Black

It’s February. Fatigue February! As I have branded it, with the exclamation point at the end like that too. It’s not necessarily a dark month in Colorado, but cold non-the-less, which adds to the aura of Fatigue February!. Since it’s F2 and all, I’ve gone to a solitary Rocky Balboa-style of training in the “Russian Mountains”. Obviously I’m not in Russia right now, though the Flatirons are covered in a foot or two of snow and right out of my front door, which has given me the opportunity to bound up them in the knee-high deep snow while sporting a thick leather jacket and black combat boots and scream “Drago!!!” when I get to the top of Bear Peak. Just another typical day in Boulder…

To catch up a bit (I know, it’s a wHile - emphasize the H). I spent the months of November-January just running, no real structured workouts, just straight up old-school Yogging. I wanted to build a massive aerobic base to carry me into when things really heat up, in late Spring on into Summer. So, in January I ran three unstructured “workouts” (accidental tempo runs), mostly in attempt to change gears so the 4.1 Mile Fast-and Flurrious Cross Country race at the end of the month wouldn’t be too much of a rust buster (even though it was).

Surprisingly enough, the race actually went quite well. Despite not running any faster than 5:20 pace for any “workout” prior to the race, I clicked off 5:08s in the snow and finished just under 21 minutes in 20:59, and felt great. My legs just weren’t 100% ready to go, which was expected. To add to the Cytomax in the glass-half-full, the time was well over a minute faster compared to last year - when I was peaking for the US Half-Marathon Championships. Major progress has been made, off straight aerobic training…

Now, I go Into The Black of Fatigue February. I’ve pumped up the volume even more, and started to loosely plan out my training (tempos, hills, repeat). Given that this is Fatigue February!, I’ve decided to most likely stray away from racing. I fear if I stepped onto a course this tired, I’d be out-kicked by a woman pushing a stroller with four toddlers in it. They’d peek at me, sympathetic of course, through their plastic windows out the back, little curious eyes, “why does that man look like he’s dying?”. I might not be dead yet, but near-death is a good definition. Just close enough to feel ALIVE in a few months (picture Nicolas Cage jostling in the waves after “falling” in City of Angels), yeah, that kind of ALIVE. The contrast is a must.

Well, I’ve got to get my combat boots on and leather jacket so I can run up Bear Peak (in a an all-out-sprint of course) and scream “Drago!” at the top, hopefully I get their before another homeless Boulder guy does…

Stay Classy Colorado!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Getting Back At It

It's been a couple weeks since the Marathon Trials and I'm getting back into training again with some easy running and light workouts. I was really happy with my race in Houston. It was great to set a new PR and to finish as strong as I did. Although...I did come away thinking that I finished so strong that I may have sold myself a little short. I felt great, I got my fuel right, and I never hit the wall! The experience was amazing and I'm so thankful that I got the chance to compete.

Looking forward, I'm heading to the U.S. 15K Championships in Jacksonville, FL in March. I'm considering a 10K on the track at Mt. Sac, but that's a big question mark. The 10K is one of those races that I can't seem to put together for the life of me! I'm also going to head home to Michigan in May for the U.S. 25K Championships.

I spent most of the last year doing marathon training. I'm so excited to change gears and try some of the shorter distances. We'll see how it goes! Until then, I'm trying to get used to the burning feeling that comes with doing workouts at altitude again!