Sunday, December 18, 2011

Mid-December Update

This Christmas season has been like a roller coaster. I'm enjoying the ride, but I gave up thinking I had any control over it last week sometime. I am managing to get my runs in on schedule, at least so far.

Here's a summary of my running life right now:

After last Wednesday's rest day and some good sleep, I had some great runs. Thursday's was 7 miles with some fartlek stuff thrown in. Friday's was an easy run. And yesterday's 16-mile Fast Finish Long Run......nailed! First I ran ten miles outside at an easy pace, taking in the beautiful fresh air (chilly, but no longer frigid for now) and the clear Colorado sunshine. Then I moved inside and did 6.2 more miles on the treadmill at marathon pace, throwing in three 3-3.5% grade hills of a quarter mile each to mimic the Allen Parkway hills that come in the last push of the Houston Marathon.

Why the treadmill for this part? A wise reader pointed out to me that Houston could feature all kinds of weather, but it's highly unlikely to feature sub-15-degree cold and darkness of the CamelBak-valve-freezing variety, and that perhaps I should prepare for something warmer than I can get outside right now. Seemed sensible to me (especially since I am *not* a warm-weather runner), so I'm going to mix in a bit more treadmill than I usually care for in these last weeks, making sure to play with the incline and the speed so I'm not letting myself off easy.

Those of you who have read this blog for a while might remember that I have a friend in Michael Sandrock, the running columnist for the Daily Camera in Boulder. Mike comes into my library to use the computers, and we often chat about running (he is one of those cool old-school runner dudes, and he's involved with a really good charity, One World Running). Mike will be in Haiti at the time of the Olympic Marathon Trials, which are in Houston the day before my race, so he won't be traveling down there to cover them. He suggested I apply for a media credential to cover the Trials. I figured what the heck, submitted my application....and got the credential!

This means I will get to access the media areas of the trials race on Saturday and will be able to interview at least some of the elite runners after the race! This will be especially cool if any Colorado runners make the Olympic team because my "dispatches" might actually make the paper here. But even if nothing I get ever sees the light of day anywhere but this blog, the inspiration from being around runners of that caliber will be priceless. Maybe it will rub off on me like Tinkerbell's pixie dust and bring me some extra oomph for my own race the following day.

The coming week will feature the hardest runs and the most miles of my Houston ramp-up. It will also be the   first time in several years that I will have exceeded 50 miles/week. The capper? A 24-miler on Christmas Eve. I fully expect to hear about this from my mom, who arrives for the Christmas weekend on Thursday. She thinks I run too much. :^) Does anyone in your family think you run too much????

Four weeks until the Houston Marathon!


  1. That is too cool about the Olympic trials! I can't wait to hear about the whole trip! And that's actually a really good point about mixing in warmer runs. I trained for my half in the winter and then when it was a little warm in May I felt totally lost on the hydrating and appropriate clothing.

  2. Very cool about getting the press pass.

  3. It just keeps getting better and better!!! I'm so excited about the credentialing!! Can I come along as your assistant and carry your stuff? :)

  4. I like the idea of getting into warmer temps for the last part of the run. Smart if you ask me!

    And congrats on the media creds! How fun will that be?

    Yeah, there are definitely folks in my family that just don't get it and think I am over the top w/ running. Does it stop us, though? ; )

  5. I'll be doing a 20 miler on Christmas Eve, so I'll be right there with you. And yes, alot of my family/friends think I run to much and it annoys them, which annoys me. I don't know why it bothers people so much that I try to do something to keep myself healthy and in shape.

  6. Great runs this week! And wow, how exciting to be able to watch and interview elite runners-- can't wait to hear about your experience!
    I am so impressed with the Cmas eve 24-miler... that is def part of the reason I slow down over the holidays, my family (mom in particular) does not understand, and also worries I run too much. Hope she can see it as special grandma time and not give you much of a problem. :)

  7. How cool for you to get the press pass! You are going to love it! I also think you are going to rock the race and doing the TM runs and getting used to the heat is a great idea!

  8. 24 on Christmas Eve? You are AWESOME! I seriously am hoping to get in a 20-miler w/o walking before my race, but that's a whole different story - haha. It will be good, then you can eat lots of yummy festive food after :).

    That is very cool about the media cred and getting to interview the athletes! I have my fingers crossed for some Colorado blood making the team :).

    One can never run too much, can they? NO!!!

    Enjoy your last week leading into the big day!

  9. very cool about the credential! this should be a fun experience...

    all my family think I run too much now..can only imagine how it will be when I train for a full....

    I will have my long run on the 24th but much much shorter than yours....

  10. Four weeks again and a couple of tough workouts before the main event. You are doing a very good job alternating treadmill and road. The "dreadmill" is useful not only for the weather but also because you use, on it, different muscles.
    Glad for the credential, it will be a great experience. I got it to see the Bryan Ferry's concert last summer so I could enter the backstage and sit everywhere.

  11. That is really cool about the press credentials! What a neat opportunity/experience.

    YES. My family, in particular, and my boss think I run/do too much. And if you look at my training (I do race a lot, but mostly without the training to back it up), I don't put in anywhere NEAR the volume that most bloggers I read do. It's just that the people who judge the running aren't doing much of anything like that. It gets a little frustrating, but what do you do. There are also plenty who are picking up their activity level because of me, so I guess eventually it sinks in that it isn't "abnormal" to be active.

  12. so exciting about your press credentials!

    Also sounds like you are so on track for your Houston marathon - glad I found your blog before you do the race so I can follow along your journey. :)

  13. So exciting about the press credentials! 24 miles on Christmas Eve - LOVE it!

    My in-laws are pretty negative on any amount of running. :(

  14. Wow, so many cool things going on in your world!!! Very exciting about your >50 mile week, your impending 24 miler, and your credentials :) Running the marathon will be a rush enough, but to be able to participate and "hang" with the olympic trial crowd....priceless.

    Even though I'm still in a non-running state of mind right now, I love, love, love hearing good, positive running stuff. Thanks for the smile :)

  15. Ok that is SO COOL. As someone who used to be a journalist and a runner I am super jealous! I can't wait to hear about it. :)

    Good luck with the 24 miler. You will rock it! :)

  16. UNREAL! that is going to be an amazing experience! i do hope you will devote a post to it :)

    my mom thinks i run too much too. oh well!

  17. You're smart to prepare for heat. I burned up at last year's Houston marathon - too humid after we had a cold period here!

  18. Sounds like a good December. I too am looking forward to the Olympic Trials. I know someone who will be representing my area.

    I guess now that you pointed it out, Christmas Eve is a Saturday, hence, I'll probably log about 20 miles myself. 24 is some serious mileage for training. Go get it.

    Pre-Congrats on eclipsing the 50 mile week.

  19. That is so exciting about the press credential! Congrats!!