Sunday, October 21, 2007


Three weeks of intensive long course training DONE. It's time to start sharpening up and tapering down.

This past block has been a good one, but I'd be lying if I said that I'm not looking forward to the Clearwater finish line and the 3 week break that lies on the other side of it.

The fitness is there. I capped things off with a 40k pace segment + intensive interval set yesterday splitting 1 hour even for the pace ride under somewhat windy conditions, and then laying down some VO2/Lactate tolerance intervals feeling very in control and powerful throughout.

Today's session was a 16 miler on my favorite course: the "Around the Cape" loop run in reverse so that I get to "enjoy" the hills for miles 9 - 15. I was clicking off 6:30 - 6:10 pace for the entire run and eclipsed my best training time this year by about 45 seconds. Considering that I ran 1:15:18 at Eagleman, that's a good sign. I think that a 1:14 is possible at Clearwater if EVERYTHING goes right...

However... the body is starting to come unglued. I've been dealing with sciatica and a screwed up SI joint since 9/24 (Nutmeg State Half fall out). My knees are starting to ache, the calcium deposit on my right hip is back and hurts from time to time and yes, I'm a bit tired.

No matter, as I'm fully aware that aches and pains, fatigue etc. are all just part of the game. I savor it all and know how lucky I am to be able to do what I do day in, day out.

Yesterday I got word that one of my old High School teachers, who is now the Principal at Marblehead (MA) High School (where Michelle works as a French Teacher), lost his 22 year old daughter to a car crash that happened Friday night on the Mass Pike. Although I'm not really close with the family, I've known them for as long as I can remember, have shared a good conversation or 2 and have run by their house just about every Sunday for years while out on my weekly long run.

As I ran by today, 15 miles into the session, they were all outside standing in a close knit circle, embracing, grieving and trying to make sense of it all. I had been thinking about them during my run today and was torn as to whether or not I should stop and share my condolences. I kept on running however as I didn't want to disrupt what might have been a very important moment for the family. As I choked back the tears and ran on, I could only imagine the pain these people are facing now and will be facing for years to come. I can't think of anything worse than losing one's child or sibling, especially when it's someone so young and full of life.

Athletics, for me at least, are a means of celebrating the gift that we are all given: Life. Good race, bad race, tough workout or new PR; it's really irrelevant in the end. Enjoy it while you can and savor the experience. If you're able to do what you love to do on a daily basis, have your health, family and friends, you're one lucky individual.

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