Monday, November 15, 2010

You Gotta Wanna!

Today is one of those days. It looks cold, snow is falling and the wind is blowing it parallel to the ground. I don't wanna run. But when I finish these paragraphs. I will head upstairs, properly layer and head out for 7 or 8 miles. Why you ask? I'll tell you.... I wanna more than I don't wanna.

George Carlin once said that Catholic priests made wanna a sin, "Thou shalt not wanna!" But somehow I don't think this dilemma was the wanna to which they were referring. In fact, I think wanna is a good thing.

Behind every tough decisions are two extreme positions: wanna or don't wanna. And on any given day we make a multitude of decisions based on how much we wanna or how much we don't wanna. We look at the upside, the downside, our motivation and goals, contemplate fallout, examine the big picture and potential results, then decide.

For me, as a delayed gratification sort of guy, I'm looking at the long term upside of today's run in relation to my overall goals AND ensuing guilt if I choose to decline (the positive AND the negative, huh?). Nonetheless, it's my goals, objectives and motivation that win out.

I'd love to go into greater detail on this topic but, as they saying goes, I gotta run.

Why? Cuz I wanna!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Road Less Traveled???

It turned as it does every year, abruptly. One day you're running in shorts and a T-Shirt and the next it's tights, long sleeves and a vest.

I could have gone either way this morning. After 11 miles yesterday, I could have easily ignored that The Plan called for an easy 6 today and substituted with 3 or 4 OR even a treadmill run. But nope, not today. When the weather said 18 degrees this morning I coolly and calmly strolled to the basement and retrieved a box called "winter running gear." Then it was off to the six mile loop.

Noticing it was much chillier INTO the wind, I tried my best to slightly alter the route to finish with a "warm" tailwind. The run was easy and lonely. I like those runs: the ones where no one else is out. First, I feel somewhat macho being the lone cruiser in the cold (although actually it was beautiful). Mostly I know that then times when the weather is changing is when I set my attitude for real winter training and it is only through a good winter, will there be good spring marathons.

Commitment when it gets tough is real commitment and while I know there will be many tests of my will to train this winter, I like having passed the first.

Run happy, run warm!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Run Log 2

I'm suitably jazzed. Ran 48 miles last week, had a fantastic 12 mile run Saturday and watched hours and hours of the New York City Marathon yesterday.

I've run 15 marathons in my day and ran New York in 1993, 94 and 98. I have to admit, it's an incredible experience AND a logistical masterpiece. How Mary Wittenberg and her team can orchestrate such an event is beyond what I can imagine, even on my most imaginative day.

My recollection is that every part of the course has its own special feelings. The Bridge was awesome (and it's true, you can actually feel it shaking from the people running on it), Brooklyn an amazing cross section of this country of ours, Queens was where the marathon begins to make itself noticed, First Avenue is absolutely WILD, Harlem and the Bronx were very cool and Central Park is the perfect ending to the course.

I have several great NYC memories. My first year (1993) I was loosening up in Central Park the day before the race. Bill Rodgers ran by. I said HI, he said HI and we started yacking. We ran and yacked quite a ways (I'm guessing a few miles at least). Unfortunately Boston Billy ran and yacked much faster than I should have the day before the marathon - oh well. In 1994 I started the race very close to a HUGE Canadian flag. I have a picture of me and that flag on the Bridge somewhere in a box in the basement. Better than that though, the next year that shot of the runners starting the race and that big flag were captured on a Seinfeld episode (that means I was on Seinfeld, right?).

I also met my friend Cathy Troisi at New York, used the race to bring my Mom to the Big Apple for the first time, and generally had a great time every time I ran there.

Today the NY Road Runners opened registration for the 2011 race (on my birthday) and created the opportunity for a few people to actually be chosen today. I'm hoping for the best.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Me Dat!

I've been in New Orleans for less than 24 hours and I received my first "who dat?"

I was running down St. Peter near Royal Street and some random guy cleaning in front of an establishment of questionable morals (the establishment not the guy. not judging, though), said "Yo, who dat, man?" I returned proudly with, "me dat!"

And I speak for a living....... Oh well, I have the rest of the day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Boston 2012 or Bust!

At the ripe old age of 48, roughly ten and a half years ago, I qualified for the Boston Marathon. In ran 3:10:33 at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati and proceeded to lose my focus and run WELL over that in Boston 2001. Over a decade later, it's time for redemption.

Last night, after much deliberation, I committed to the Napa Valley Marathon on March 6, 2011 - eighteen weeks away. My decision was clouded by my desire to run the Livestrong Austin Marathon two weeks earlier. Practicality won over desire, so NorCal, here I come. While the decision was challenging enough, now comes the tougher part: committing to what has to be done to effectively run a marathon.

As mentioned, I have eighteen weeks. To me, that is the perfect lead time. My training will be divided in to three 6 week blocks, each containing three 2 week microcycles. I will engage my thirty years of coaching experience as well as duplicating many of the things that worked nearly eleven years ago to design each and every detail of the plan.

The goals are threefold. First, I simply want to get back in the marathon lifestyle. Having finished fifteen in my life, it bothers me that the last one seems like a very distant memory. Second, I want to re qualify for Boston. I have unfinished business in Beantown. I'll need to run 3:45, which while not just a stroll in the park, should be attainable. Last, I am seeking the healthy lifestyle and fitness level that comes from focused training.

So, this morning's run was step one in the Commitment to Boston. So far, so good.