Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hit the Ground Running

That was the thought as I returned home from Egypt. As I'd expected, the running there was not what I was used to in terms of running volume or quality. I was OK with this; I'd been due for an easy week or two. But now it was time to get serious once again. Time to get back up to 70 miles per week, with some more quality thrown in. That's where I'd been before the trip. Getting back at it shouldn't be a problem.

But it was a problem. Actually, it was several problems. The first morning I ran for an hour and a half and this went OK. The next day was a twenty-miler with Debbie, Debbie, Frank and Dave. We started slow and then tried to pick it up for the second half. Everything went fine for a while, until I crashed and burned big-time at about mile 17. This was tough to take. I did run alright the next day for the usual Sunday Hinckley run, but the damage had been done: the combination of sitting next to a lady with a bad cold on the plane for 8 hours, along with all that tough running landed me a cold too. A really bad one - the worst in years. This curtailed the running for last week such that I could only get 60 in, and most of that was of poor quality on the mill.

Of course there's the weighty issue of body weight. My racing weight last fall was around 157, give or take a pound. That crept up only a little during the holidays, and I was still under 160 for the Freedom Park 24-Hour Run. After this effort I did put on a couple more and was at about 163 when I left for Egypt. And when I returned, after all those buffets and poor running? 166! That's OK, thought I. After running and eating normally for a couple days, it should come right back down, right? It didn't, and a week later, I'm still at that same lofty (or should I say porky) level.

One other problem is the weather. Late February ought to be a time when things are at least beginning to get a little warmer, and maybe even thaw out a bit. But not THIS late February. We've been getting some snow, cold and wind almost every day, with a foot or so coming yesterday. I decided not to meet my friends this morning because I couldn't see risking my life just to drive to a place to run. Not to mention that the running itself would be less than ideal.

All this has kept me on the mill that much more. As I began to climb out of this bad cold I got in a pretty decent 15-miler on Thursday. And then I decided to make today a combination-type of run, and did 6 outside, fighting snow, slush and snowplows, followed by 14 inside, fighting boredom.

Suffice it to say that I've had better running months than February, 2010. I should add a "NOT!" as a suffix to this post's title. Tomorrow I'll be at Hinckley once again to lead the charge. Maybe things will begin to look better for me running-wise, but we shall see. Should be interesting.

There are a few other things happening. I haven't mentioned it in this blog yet, but Debbie and I are going to be grandparents. Veronica and Barry are due in August. This is exciting news, of course.

Brother Dave is having some health problems and is in the hospital at this time. He's had one major operation, and they're watching him for other problems.

Finally, I should mention that I'm writing a book about fixed-time and multi-day running, along with Lynn Newton. We've only just begun, but already it's been an interesting project.

Sunday Addendum: After cancelling the Hinckley run, I managed to get another twenty in today. This time it was nine outside (slower than ever due to still more snow), followed by eleven inside. The inside run was half-way decent this time. I'll take it.

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