23 November 2010

T Minus Seven Days

I believe it was Ben Franklin who once said "Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." As the holidaze slowly approach, I like to head over to my favorite fifteen thousand square foot food, er beer market, and stock up on a couple of—what I like to refer to as—"family tolerators." Now, don't get me wrong, these divinely inspired beverages are as much for my extended family to put up with me, as they are for me to appreciate the unique personality quirks that make the holidaze so joyful.  Purchased this evening:

1) One case of Lion's Stout. If you like stout, this is the quintessential malty stout for you. Okay, listen all you beer aficionados out there ready to jump and declare my ignorance for what I call the loveliest stout known to mankind, save it!  This just happens to be my opinion on this matter. Of course, in the self-titled autobiography by Charles Barkely (edited by Michael Wilbon), "I May Be Wrong, but I Doubt It."

2) One six pack of Sierra Nevada Kellerweis. It is wifey's current favorite beer.

3) One four-pack of Sam Smith's Winter Welcome for my brother-in-law for Christmas. He is a big fan.

Well, amidst all of the chaos, I am managing to stay relatively sane. I have been consistent about getting in workouts, albeit none of them very intense, or extensive. The longest run I have been on since Ironman is an 8-miler. Of course, that is all going to change December 1st, as I set my course for Ironman once again. Along the way, I plan on racing a lot more this summer. I plan on doing a lot of  5 and 10k's to get use to racing. Here I am with my friend Ryan at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning. It was cold and dark outside. How macho are we? Well, as macho as anyone can look with tights on I suppose who is NOT Superman. I still have not been able to shake the ickiness all the way. I have woken up the last week with a scratchy throat and some funkiness. Nothing is worse than not having the energy that you think should be there. Perhaps I am actually getting older and require more rest?!! I shudder to think that my body now requires more rest. I thought that I was fairly invincible. Clearly, the one thing that has dramatically changed for me this year is my new professorship position. My new position requires me driving an hour to work five days a week. So, I lose  ten hours a week in a car. Not good. From a physical perspective, driving leaves me tired, because I drive on the thruway, and I have to be alert all the time. But, for me, driving is more draining from a psychological perspective. After being in a car for an hour on the way home, I really have to talk myself into going out for a run. I think the only way to real combat this is two-fold:

a) move closer

b) workout in the morning

(A) is not an option right now. The children are in school and committed to summer activities already.
(B) is the only viable option. Ugh!  I HAVE to do this. I have to do this. I have to do this. I have to do this! I just need to get my butt in bed at a reasonable hour. Hopefully, I will have the winter break to readjust completely to "Ironman Clock." I also have not been stretching enough. I am back doing some serious weight training—especially legs—and need to keep my hamstrings and quads stretched, so I do not feel like the Tinman.

I am going to run a race Thanksgiving morning. It is an annual 10k. I just feel bad because I am not as prepared to really "compete" as I would like. However, when I brought my self deprecating talk to my friend Alexa, she quickly reminded me that Thanksgiving Day races are for the purpose of eating guilt-free the rest of the day, not to PR. Ah, how I love friends who have the ability to put everything into perspective for me.

One recent development for me that I am very excited about—other than having an amazing coach this season!!!—is that I can not fudge any workouts. I need to be able to account for all my training, so my coach can figure out why I am the slowest human being they have ever coached and why I seldom make any strides. Okay, there I go being self-deprecating again. Seriously, the best part about having a coach is that I will not have to do ANY of the thinking. The data to the left is from my Saturday morning run with Ryan. He was racing the next morning, so it was good that he went out with me to
pace him. I think I am now addicted to data. How cool is it to see all your splits? I have noticed that I always start feeling good right around mile seven of my run. What does this mean? Should I only race longer distances? Should I warm up for a couple of miles before I run a 10k? Enquiring minds want to know!

OTHER DEVELOPMENT: I am reading the first Harry Potter book with my son Luca. I don't what prompted me to pick up the book and want to start reading it with him, but I we are on chapter seven, and I find myself trying very hard not to pick it up and read it without him. All my friends who have read it told me how wonderful the series is, but I guess I just did not have the motivation to pick it up and start reading. Glad I did.

Good luck to everyone running Thursday. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

More soon! Train Smart!



I feel your pain.
I drive 55 miles to work (1hr 10 min) each way. So I look for reasons to travel and work from home. That works about 50% of the time.
Have a Happy Tday

Kelly said...

You will get up early and train. You will, you will, you will!!

The drive is definitely hard. Do you listen to podcasts or anything like that? I kind of look forward to my drive because it is one of the few quiet times of my day.

Good luck on Thursday?

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Once you get used to training in the morning, you'll wonder why you didn't start earlier. So great to get it our of the way and have the whole day!

Medievalist said...

some of that beer is for me, right? We need to have a drink at some point after Thursday. Will call tomorrow to check in about the race. On the plane right now (free wireless, can you believe it?). Looking forward to seeing you!

Caratunk Girl said...

Morning workouts are key for me, it is so hard to get into the swing, but once you do, it is totally worth it! I have a long drive too, it kills me - the last thing I want to do when I get home is SBR...I started listening to books on tape, helped me tons with the drive (half.com has some better prices)

I picked up the 1st Harry Potter book when I was babysitting for my nephew 5-6 years ago. He wouldn't let me take it with me so I had to buy my own copy. I was one of those people waiting for the next one, and the next one...They are really good. SO cool you are reading it with your son.

Mark said...


Bob, Mandy— the drive is nuts!

Vanessa— We shall break bread, and ... um, well, beer?

Mark said...

Kovas—you are SO right! Whenever I can get my butt out of bed early, I can not believe how much more time I have to do things during the day. I hate breaking up my morning. More time with the kiddies this way!

Anonymous said...

Remember: no one needs you at 4am, unless it's an emergency or unless your kids are sneaking into the house after a late night.

In both cases it's okay to skip that workout.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

This is my favorite BF quote: "In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria."

I am with ya on the early AM stuff. IM training begins 12/6. I got up at 4am and went to MAsters today. Decided it is like practice - you know how you start to get the kids up early a week before school starts so they are used to it? We should do the same!

Aimee said...

My husband would love that store!

Your friend looks like he could be your brother! Wow!

You are going to love the Harry Potter books! They are awesome! When I taught 4th and 5th grade, I got the books when they were first released and read them so I could connect with my students. What I found though was that I really liked the books too! They are definitely not just for kids!

Julie @ Hotlegs Runner said...

happy thanksgiving!