Saturday, February 16, 2013

Running With The Dogs

I haven't really been inspired to blog much lately. Sometimes I just get sick of myself and my thoughts and I don't feel like listening to the incessant yacking going on in my mind. I've actually been leading a very boring existence the last few weeks. Work, train, dogs, sleep and that's about it. I think I'm becoming a little anti-social. My dogs and the mutts I take care of are kind of spoiling me. No verbal sparring, no complex thought process's and less bullshit. Growl and simple.

With only 4 weeks to go till my first Marathon of 2014, I'm beginning to get nerved up about it. Having missed a solid month of buildup training I'm having to cram in the runs and biking. The last two days were a complete washout. I took Friday off to rest and catch up on some work I had gotten behind on. Today I just didn't have any ambition to even get out of bed. Tomorrow I'm planning on kicking my ass a bit and getting in a long tempo run.
I just finished the book "Hanson's Marathon Method" and I'm becoming a little overwhelmed with different Marathon training methods. It's time to just to settle into a training program that's consistent. Right now I seem to be all over the place. I'm using a lot of my training time on the bike rather than beating up my legs with running.
I have settled on my running shoe of choice. The Brooks Pure Connect. Due to the fact I have an injury from a long time ago. I actually tore my Achilles tendon and had two operations which left a lot of scarring. I had to modify the shoes by cutting away part of the heel to accommodate the scar.
They feel great now. LIGHT! minimal and fast!

The Oakland Marathon will probably be a tough one for me and I'm not completely confident about getting a qualifying time for Boston. There's a bit of altitude to deal with. I'm hopeful and will try as hard as I can to nail my 3:55 time. My fastest Marathon time is 4:04. I should be able to do it if I'm feeling good that day and I stay injury free for the next month.

Valentines Day was the anniversary of my oldest rescue dogs adoption. Since then I've adopted two more dogs and I'm quite sure I could easily turn into one of those crazy dog hoarders like you see on the A&E Channel. I have a thing for black dogs. I love that color and black dogs carry a stigma. Crazy cultural superstitions and black dogs don't look as beautiful on the internet adoptions sites as do other color dogs. Black dogs and cats are the least adopted, and have the highest rate of euthanasia.

It's become a passion over the past few years of photographing my dogs. I think I'm getting pretty good at getting the light right.
I love my dogs and I don't know how I got through most of my life with out them. They are my true friends.

When I'm out killing myself on my bike or running a million miles. I can push through the pain just knowing when I finish I can crawl into bed with my doggies find my peace and comfort.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Official Training Kickoff and Superbowl Kickoff Weekend

  Only a month late on starting my training season. The ankle is feeling tons better now, although still a bit stiff. I'm trying not to over do it and force myself through the pain which I had been doing and that! , really backfired.
I just wanted to get out and focus without any distractions on my game plan for this year. It's critical that I hit all my training goals and get my Boston Marathon qualifying time. I'm relying heavily on by bike this year for valuable cross training and getting my body used to cruising in the fat burning zone. Being conscience of staying injury free is on the top of the list hence utilizing the more forgiving long rides verses long runs.
I'm getting to the point of confusion over the bi-zillions of training plans out there. I now am just working on my own training plan, extrapolating from what I've learned over the past year. More short fast runs, weekly moderate tempo runs and endurance rides.

I have only 5 weeks of building time before the Oakland Marathon. Due to the ankle sprain in December. I'm not quite sure I'll have what it takes to hit my 3:55 BQ time but, I'm going to try my best. 

The ride today was perfect. Nice and cool, slightly overcast but, Sunny riding up over Ridgecrest and the "Seven Sisters". I love that ride up the backside of Tam. I ran into a couple of guys on the climbs that help on the pacing and distracted from the pain with some conversation. It kills me how fast some of these youngsters are on their bikes. I don't let it beat me down anymore. I just except it and I feel good that at my old age I'm still out there going for it. I've really had the great fortune in my life to have my health and the brains to use it. There was a time where I wasn't appreciative of it and let myself slack. I'm back on track now.

So in 2014 the Boston Marathon will be held the day after my 60th birthday. I'm looking forward to getting back there to visit with what's left of my family and some of the old friends that I'm sure will be impressed that this old fart can run 26.2 miles. I think a lot of my friends were surprised that I made it through high school alive. I was very reckless in my youth...Still am to some extent but, I've toned it down a bit.
Tomorrow I'm going out for an early run. Hoping to do a half-marathon at tempo. Afterwards it's the Superbowl with donuts, beer and pizza. I think Monday is going to be a very non-productive workday for many.