Thought for the Day

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Catch Up Blogging

I have nothing but admiration for those bloggers who keep their blogs humming along. Obviously, I'm not one of them. So here are a few topics I should have brought up one at a time over the past couple of weeks.

Desert Classic Marathon

The Arizona Road Racers Desert Classic was a milestone race for me, my 50th lifetime race of marathon or ultra-marathon distance.
I had set a goal for myself of beating my time at Carlsbad, 3:56. At Carlsbad, I said I never had to push it to make it under 4 hours.
Well, I did have to push at the Desert Classic, but it didn't help. The best my poor little legs could do that day was 4:04:19.
Somehow, that was good enough for third in my age group. Third marathon in 14 days and third in my age group. I can't be unhappy with that, even if first and second in my age group were an hour ahead of me.
All of the races out there on Bell Rd. west of the Riverboat Village are the closest thing to running on a treadmill. It just seems like miles and miles that look pretty much the same. And it usually feels like it's uphill both ways.
I don't think it's a terribly difficult course, but some runners will say that a road like that with its sameness wears out the same muscles for the whole race, while something with more variety gives you a chance to use other muscles, and ends up feeling easier.
The headwind on the way back definitely affected me. It wasn't a killer, but it was one more thing to contend with.
Diabetes was never an issue. I did everything as planned, and everything worked as planned.
It's been 11 days since I ran the Desert Classic, so of course, the next big race(s) are already looming large over the coming weekend.

Don't Try This at Home

I've been wondering if doing these marathons the way I have actually has any benefit. I'm sure that it would be beneficial if I seriously trained to do these races and ran them as well as I was capable. But that's not what I did.
Here's a graph from of my running over the past 6 months.
What you see on the left side is the trailing off of some running getting ready for a marathon in October. The plans for that marathon fell apart, so I didn't go.
I got lazy and discouraged and missed some running. Then I did a couple of half marathons and got motivated again.
Then I just up and did the Just Another Mad Dog 50K. That's the longest red spike in the graph.
That was fun, but I got sick soon after, and hardly ran at all while battling bronchitis. That's the big blank area in the middle of the graph.
Once I started to get better, I ran the Desert Classic 30K. I started running again consistently, but not really doing any marathon training, no long runs. But I did three marathons in three weeks anyway.
This graph is a picture of how NOT to train for and run long distances.
What I'm wondering about is whether there is any benefit at all in doing this. Does it really promote any mental or physical toughness to go out and run a marathon on little training, or does it just teach your body and mind that marathons are slow, painful ordeals, to be endured, not enjoyed, to plod, not run?
I don't know.
But there's no time to train before the next race is here.


The first crop of Triabetes athletes, the 2008 team, paired up with diabetic children, IronKiDz, and involved them in their training. They mentored the kids and told them about their experiences as diabetic athletes.
The IronKiDz also participated in a team river-canoeing adventure, learning about diabetes management in the wilderness and having a positive attitude.
At Ironman Wisconsin, the IronKiDz got to finish with their Triabetes athletes. The Ironman triathletes and the kids said this was a fantastic experience. Many of the triathletes said this was the best, most profoundly important part of the whole Ironman experience.
This year, Triabetes is recruiting a new bunch of kids, the Triabuddies, for the 2009 Ironman Arizona. The kids will take a three day sailing and kayaking journey to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California.
If you know a diabetic child, 9 to 12 years old, who might like to participate, please see:

The Double

This weekend I run my first double. To Marathon Maniacs, a double is two marathon or ultra-marathon races in two days. It's done more often than some might think... often enough that it has a name.
I'll run the Pemberton Trail 50K on Saturday, and the Lost Dutchman Marathon on Sunday.
I know what you're thinking, and you're right. My wife is disappointed that I signed up for this on Valentines Day weekend.
But she's a very patient and understanding woman, so I'll be all right.


Sean said...

You're one of a kind! AND, I mean that in the best way!

Mike Fraser said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mike Fraser said...

Jerry you're a monster. I can't imagine doing what you are right now. Good luck this weekend.