Sunday, October 4, 2009

Sunday 0 miles

Sunday is generally my work day and work is going well so I'm busy. I had a conversation with Steve, one of my long time athletes of 5 years, and he is battling a few niggles caused by imbalances in his strength. He reads my blob and came to the realization that he too is having similar feelings of dissatisfaction in his race goals and training (my neurosis is paying off because I knew exactly how he felt and what I could do to help him). A small part of what he is feeling is due to an inability to 'escape' triathlon. When he's done training he wants to stop thinking about it and he's in a situation where this has become difficult. I've long thought that this could be contributing to why I lost interest in the marathon (and Ironman for that matter). Think about what you do all day at work. Now think about getting up early to think about work and to work. Then after you get off work you come home and think about work and do more work. Running is simultaneously my obsession, hobby, and job. I have a great passion for training, so much so that I have lost interest in racing... all I want to do is train and learn. My job is to plan athlete's training schedules. Now, don't get me wrong, I love coaching and I don't want it to stop or even slow down because I find myself having more passion about my athlete's races than my own! Maybe I live vicariously through them? The point I'm making is that maybe it makes sense that I feel the way I do simply because I can't 'escape' running or triathlon? Often while I am running I am thinking more about my athletes than I am myself.
One solution I have come up with is to choose a race that I am not coaching anyone for and is very far removed from any of my athlete's races. If it's different enough, maybe I can preserve a small slice of interest for myself? So I'm taking any and all runners for coaching... unless you want to run Leadville. I doubt I could coach anyone to a 100 mile run race anyway! Which is partly why I have chosen that race for next year- to be my own experiment of one and learn how to do it, not with another athlete, but with myself. There's no better way to learn than through experience. So after my 2 week recovery from a vasectomy on the 16th, I'll start the experiment. My biggest training week for Ironman was 49 hours which followed 2 weeks of 35 and 40 hours total training- I followed that week up with a 4th place at the Boulder Peak Olympic distance triathlon in which I had the fastest bike split by over 2:00 (1:00:21 for 25 miles) and ran ~34:00 for 10k. I told my best friend- Mike, who will also be my pacer- that I was bagging Chicago and entering Leadville and all he said was "Good. That's what you'll be good at". He thinks my ability to not need to eat (ever) will be my biggest strength. Bonking is a rarity for me and when I do bonk I usually enjoy it and I can run while bonking. I also don't sweat so I don't lose water which I think is partly from building up to being able to sit in a dry sauna at 185 degrees for an hour, or that's why I can do that. I also don't get injured and I seem to only feel better the more mileage I am running. Now that I live in the mountains... everything sort of points me in the direction of Leadville.
I also wanted a goal that scares the sh!t out of me. Running 100 miles seems nearly impossible to me... which makes it interesting.
Disclaimer: I reserve the right to enter the race, train my ass of for it, then not do it.


Peter said...

Wow! That's and awesome goal and will surely give you plenty of material to blob about. Looking forward to reading it!

One question though... Is it still your goal to run the Olympic marathon trials? All my respect for not racing in Chicago - and the Leadville disclaimer put a smile on my face - but if that trials race is still a goal, wouldn't it be better to actually race once in a while to see if you're on the right track?

OK... that's two questions. Sorry.

Brett said...

So what 50m or type race are you going to do as a lead up...or are you just going to go longer in training...or is this all TBD?

Claus Bech said...

Hi Tim, good reflections and a good choice, it seems (from a guy that only knows You through what You choose to display on this blog!). Given Your palmares, age and mental and physiologic profile, You seem to fit this adventurous path well. I'm looking very much forward to follow You and Your reflections along the journey, keep sharing and smiling, Claus Bech, Denmark

Fred (aka ace) said...

Very, interesting logic. But I like the Leadville idea. It does appear to play to all of your strengths. and your love of running and nature. Sometimes that's why we don't find success or solace in one goal because there is a larger challenge for us to discover which resonates more strongly with our true passions and capabilities.

Some friends I know who do the ultra runs say they are completely different from marathons in terms of the spiritual aspect they can take on. Plus, they can make all of your marathon training (or any races you choose to enter from now on ) seem like speed work ;) Train well!

Lucho said...

Peter- I can't see myself wanting to continue with that goal. I've changed a ton in the last 6 months and running fast marathon just isn't interesting to me from a training stand point. But I don't know where the next 2 years will find me.

Brett- I've been scouring the ultra calendar! There is a 50 miler in Huntsville next month but I doubt I'll do it (my in-laws live near there). I ran 40 miles (avg 7:01 pace ;))last year in a workout but still have a ton to learn about my limits and how to go about exploiting my strengths and pin pointing, then correcting, my weaknesses. My strengths are nutrition and durability and environment. My weakness is ignorance in the distance and how my mind will handle it. I think it's somewhat predictable how my body will handle it... it will hurt! I'll certainly explore the distance more and simply find out. Once Spring rolls around I will certainly do a 50 miler or a 100k though. I've already read a ton on training, but we are all an experiment of one so I need to find the groove that works for me. I am interested in pushing a few weeks of sick mileage. I'll be using the bike to balance my strength and also add time to metabolic training with out increasing fatigue. I think cycling hurts foot speed, but can be a huge benefit to aerobic fitness (replace a 2 hour run with a 6 hour bike). I'm completely stoked to find a new challenge that is so far beyond anything I have done! I am feeling that 'fear' again which I haven't felt in a lot of years. I do know that I have a tremendous respect for the distance and won't be taking the challenge lightly, I'll attack with everything I have.

Claus! Haven't heard from you in a while. How are you? Buckling down for Winter? I hope you had a great year.
Thank you for the good word!

Lucho said...

Fred- you leave the best comments. Next time you're out here let me know so we can go for a jog! Thanks

Brandon Fuller said...

So should I be scared since you think LT100 seems impossible? C'mon. I have been psyching myself for a couple years now and am ready to enter this sucker. 2010. You will be great. I hope to be fine. Here's to seeing you on the start line -- and at the finish in Pb.

IronMatron said...

Good choice.
I am a teacher with three young kids. Kids in the morning, kids at noon, kids at night.
It worked for about eight years. Then it didn't work anymore and I had the biggest freaking crisis ever. Couldn't give up my cherubs, so I gave up the job.
Now I am un-employed and totally lost, but that's beside the point.
I need to find my Leadville.
Anyway, hope Leadville is a right answer. Even if it's not, it will probably lead you somewhere.. get it lead---ville.
I know, I'm a dork.

Lucho said...

Brandon- My problem is that I have trained to run hard for a marathon, so the pain after just 15 miles is quite bad! I just have to wrap my head around slowing things down and then suffering for just 50 miles or so :) I'm not going to bring any ego in to Leadville, I'll give it 100% respect. The moment I think I'm hot shit I know it will smack me to the ground.
I was hoping to get a training group together for the winter- run long on Saturday and/ or Sunday. Hopefully we can meet up before the starting line and do some running. Do you know how difficult it is to get in to Leadville? Does it fill in a day? I'm more nervous about just getting an entry.

Lucho said...

Being a dork is MUCH more fun! I'm a pro at it. What do want to do? Whatever that is, it's what you should be doing. Life's too short to not be having fun and doing what we love! Thanks for the good word!

Brandon Fuller said...

2 qualifications for entry:

1) Check that will cash
2) Pulse

(old joke)

Anyway, pretty easy. More people each year but there are no restrictions as of last year.

The MTB race is another story. Lottery, etc. Much harder.

They are also doing a new "24 Hours of Leadville" this July. Nobody knows what it is yet but the rumor is biking and running. Might be right up your alley as a good tune-up.

We will run. I am up for it.

Lucho said...

Cool- thanks! I have a check that will cash and will work on the other one.

Mark Payne said...

Tim - I'm a long-time reader of your blog and absolutely think it's the bomb! It's real, raw, educational and written in a way that is so easy to connect with. Congrats!

Leadville is a sensational goal and you seem to be made for it. All the best as you prepare. I know I'll enjoy reading about your journey.

BTW, which model of Garmin are you using? I've been a Polar guy since can't remember when but want to make the move to Garmin for running.

Lucho said...

Thank you Mark, I appreciate that.
I've used mostly Polar since the mid 90's. I have a Garmin 405 which I would not recommend simply due to the battery life. I figure I would need at least 4 of them to get through Leadville! I've heard the 310xt is pretty cool and water proof with a 20 hour battery life. The 405cx has an 8 hour battery life. Any of those however- will change your running. And in a good way I think. Use it as a tool to learn and monitor training, but don't neglect what I did for years- head out to run just to run! Free up your mind from the constricting thoughts of numbers and just breath the air and think good thoughts.

Wassdoc said...

Spot on in so many ways! I think that we all need variation in our lives, and certainly need breaks from work. I remember reading someone talk about taking time off to train for triathlon only, aka as if they were a pro, and found that it didn't really help them perform much better. Not only do we need our breaks, we need to enjoy what we do. I've always wondered why you hadn't done Pikes Peak, but the Leadville 100 is even better! 40 miles at 7:01 pace! The one thing you'll have to learn is how to go really really slow (for you):) I can't wait to follow the journey, because, no matter what you end up doing, it will be interesting!

Lucho said...

The list is long of the athletes that have quit their jobs to train full time and didn't get better. Work also forces us to rest a bit. Partly why I trained so much in the past is that I had nothing better to do! So I would train 5-9 hours a day. Good point..
I have a VERY loose goal (more of an idea) as to what I would like to run at Leadville so I ran that pace on a run last week... brutal! My Z2 (MAF) pace right now is like 6:00 pace. I had to run with my HR at 100. I have a ton of work to do and a ton to learn which is exciting. Also, that 40 miles was tough! Which scares the cr_p out of me to think about running another 60 miles!?!?!? And I'm pretty sure 60 miles will hurt not matter what. Sitting in a car for 60 miles hurts. That kind of a challenge though is why I want to do it.
St George is your Leadville! You know what I'm talking about.

Matt said...

Go, Lucho. And if I'm in CO next summer, I want in on some pacing!

and porter imbibing.

Can't wait to follow the training
starting with yesterday's monster run.

Lucho said...

Matt- You are allowed to say "I told you so" :) Since January you've been telling me to go where I am heading. Good call my friend. Are you planning on coming out next year? Let me know ahead of time.