Thursday, April 10


“Like a bag of smashed assholes”

I feel fucking shattered. It all started a few days ago when Hicham asked me if I was interested in joining him for the Thursday night 10-miler with
Paul O'Callaghan’s group. As I had originally slated a 50’ tempo, I thought this would be a good opportunity to run with the group (an invitation that had been extended on numerous occasions).

The first two miles were relatively uneventful. I was familiar with that portion of the route, and although it was undulating, I felt controlled and comfortable. It was shortly after the two-mile marker that the road went skyward and I, despite my resolve, went backward.

I had my ass handed to me on a silver platter this evening.

Hicham left me around the 4-mile marker, with Kevin and
Marilyn catching me at the turnaround. I tried to stay with them but without strength in my legs, I lost huge chucks of time over the smallest rises. The run is a mountainous monstrosity.

Being seriously gapped and running only on vapors I decided to shut it down after 50’ and hobbled back to the start. It was during the cool down that I seriously questioned my resolve to continue with the marathon training. My only consolation was Marilyn informing me that it took her three attempts to adjust to the run, and that she questioned whether the workout had any value whatsoever after her first effort. I couldn’t agree more.

Wednesday: easy/hilly 43:08
Thursday: 1:13:38 with 50’ tempo


Anonymous said...

Hi Michael!
You must not quit your marathon training! Who doesn't get their ass handed to them on the first group tempo workout in a while?!? The number of times I have been dropped, shattered, disastrous and cross-eyed on the side of the road, stopping in to a coffee shop and barely able to pour water in to a bottle (I poured it beside the bottle and filled my shoes, not noticing until my feet were sopping..) after joining a new group for a tempo workout...if only you knew how many times. It will only make you stronger and I am confident you will surely find your body will adjust to the discomfort and you will be able to carry on embracing and loving every step of pain. You will probably even crave the pain soon after you finish. Carry on rockstar! Jaymie

Brad Cunningham said...

I thought the whole point of a marathon was for a masochistic thrill - you are lucky because you got yours early! Marathon training is supposed to make you question whether or not your should be doing it. The race is the celebration of having answered that question.

Chris said...

That's a 'meat and potatos' staple that Rod Dixon did every week of his life. He did all the other training but when he was up here, he said, "that weekly hilly 10 miler, we never missed, we stayed the course every bloody week."

Anonymous said...

Hey Mike! I replied on my blog but in case you don't see it, keep coming out to these runs! Once you know the route (and how many freakin' hills there really are) you'll be able to pace it well and then get stronger each time you run it. I felt beaten up for days afterwards on my first go. I still don't love the downhills but I think what you get from this run is worth it...just be kind to yourself on the downhills!! You are definitely super fit!
See you soon!

Grellan said...

That's one hell of a 10 miler. Remember Ottawa is a means to an end, which is Boston next year. You know BQ is a matter of showing up so none of this self doubt.

Thanks for the advice re long tempo runs as I am always looking for ways to improve my marathon ability - those HM pace runs are on the schedule until taper time.(paces at all shorter distances are comparable - I just can't seem to get anywhere near target pace in a marathon).

I heed your advice on overtraining. I am certainly mentally in the game but have had some runs (as recently as this morning) where my legs just were not able to do what they'e soupposed to (not leaving sufficient time for muscle repair perhaps) - checked your blog on London 2007, that was certainly a significant fade in pace (I had something similar in Dublin last year but not as severe). You seem to have figured out the reasons though (if only we could see them in advance).

Kevin said...

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it! Like Mar said,"once you know where the hills are..." Keep coming out, you make for good company.

Love2Run said...

You keep some fast (good) company! If you ran that brute every week imagine where you might be. I've heard of 'crazy like a bag of hammers' but not your version.

Michael said...

Wow, thanks for all the comments. Really!

No, I won't quit with the marathon training, as Grellan said, Ottawa is just a step on the way to Boston.

Mar & Kev, thanks. Much like Arnold said, "I'll be back", next time with more energy.

Anonymous said...