Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Final Countdown. Version 2.0

One week until the Great Bay Half in Newmarket, NH. I have not looked at the forecast because it really doesn't matter to me- I will run in anything as long as I can get there! Let's all hope for some sunny warm non-snowy business though- I'd really appreciate it.

One of the perks of being in a Mainer... Ability to be the master of the weather... Or Not...

3 miles of this half is run on a dirt road. Excellent! A new way to add challenge to the already impossible mission of running an absurd distance. No big deal though, I have mud filled, squishy, rather icy and hilly dirt roads to practice on around here. My shoes are officially ready for retirement now...

I was mulling over the past month and how I have prepared for Half Marathon: Round Two. After Half Version One I identified a few issues that I had to address.
1: Lack of outdoor running left me ill prepared to deal with the reality of the roads. Amazing how 6 weeks indoors (even with hill challenge days thrown in) can leave you soft and traumatized by a frost heave. Humph.
2: By mile 8 I had shredded my hip flexor. Lack of terrain training played a big part in this, I am sure. Suspicious that the minimal hill work I had been doing weakened all important parts of my leg and it reflected in the H/F strain. I am hard core. I know that in order to improve, one must actually get on top of things and take responsibility for some serious ass kicking. I have to listen to people's confused feelings all the time about why they plateau for weeks, months, years and really, it is easy. You need to work, harder, better, smarter to improve at anything!! And you need to get the eff out there and work in horrible conditions, rain, muddy roads and big stupid hills so that they don't bother you on race day. This is what I have been shouting at myself lately and it is a solid train of thought for sure.

My goal is not to run a much better time in a week but to finish pain free. Or, with a different pain (OK to make errors, but not the same one twice!) I think with the hill work, long runs, dirt roads and extremely variable terrain that I am oh-so lucky to have around here I'm well prepared. I have felt less and less discomfort in my hip every run- even after 13.1 miles last Monday. (I was sore as s**t, don't get me wrong, but it was much better!)

Miraculously I have yet to throw a screaming fit about anything. Evidently I am a calm and zen like person, filled with remarkable inner poise and having no need of a taper tantrum. Perfection, people... Perfection...

So, we'll see how this week goes. Only a few more runs until I get to see if the hard work has paid off or if I should hang up my muddy shoes in disgust, in favor of a calmer lifestyle. We shall see..


  1. You will do great! Some year I will have to do that half. I have mine in two weeks so today I ran 12. Hard to think I am going to RACE for 13.1 I totally agree that racing without pain will be one of my goals. I'll have to think about my other goals soon. How far up are you in Maine? If there are good races let me know. I am disappointed the All Women etc. one is moving!

  2. Cool, a potential muddy first 3 miles? This I can't wait to hear a recap about.
    You'll do awesome!

  3. I think you've prepared for pretty much anything except running in boots, so you'll be great! Can't wait to hear about the race.

  4. I have quite a few hills around me too and agree that you have to run as many of them during training. They still suck but you gotta do them.
    As far as the practice with mud....I have none....I hate to say it but my poor shoes! They are pretty new and still bright white. I have been checking the forecast daily...I am a little obsessive about that stuff.