Friday, February 10, 2012

Actually Running (true pain) and a "guest" blog!

2/5/12 - Red Top Mountain 11.5 mile trail race!


Quick "Rami" blog, followed by a first time ever, "guest" blog!


This past Sunday I competed (I guess you could call it that) in an 11.5 mile trail race at Red Top Mountain.  This race was actually my 2nd ever trail race in 2008 and it one of my favorite places to run off road in Atlanta - if you get a chance to run out there, do not hesitate:  groomed trails, easy to navigate and not that hilly at all (when you train there, racing, a different story).  So, this year was a complete question mark to me - as I mentioned in previous blogs, I seriously hurt my back in November and had to take a lot of time off, I have only had about 4 weeks of limited mileage before this race - I was hoping "muscle memory" would kick in!    Traveled up to the race with 2 buddies, one old friend and one new.  Too funny, two middle aged dudes in the front seat, listening to the typical rantings and stories that a 25 year old tends to tell - seemed like every story began with "so, there was this girl", had in the middle "so, I was drunk as sh*t....." and finished with, "then, I was so damn hung over and I had to explain all my drunk calls and text messages".  Felt a bit old but it was fun to listen to him (side note, I beat him by 13 minutes in the race so that felt pretty good - he is 24 years my junior).  Felt really good all morning, especially warming up so I figured I would take it out hard and see if my body still was able to run.    Man, a 8:03 mile hurts like HE*L when you have been training at a 12 minute mile pace!  Somehow I was able to maintain this pace for the whole flat section, then make up for my ridiculously slow uphill pace (gotta work on this before Pinhoti) with my lack of fear and HUGE body weight that allows me to make up a ton of time on the downhills - averaged about 9 minute miles which, for where I am now and how much I have been training, was a happy moment for me! 

It was really cool to be at a race where 4 years ago I knew only one person and having a bunch of new friends there to hang out with after the race - the best part of any race, especially trail races!

Side note on consistency and how we tend to gravitate towards a specific pace in racing. In 2008 I had no idea what to expect and walked a lot of it, had a great time and finished in 1:48.  Lets not count that race cause it doesn't emphasize my crazy consistency I have in racing.....  The next year I walked all the hills but with more trail running experience, ran the downhills and flats hard and finished in 1:44:07. In 2010, I decided to push the whole race, never walked once and ended up running 1:44:08.  Yes, I didn't walk and LOST one second - shows you how much time you lose by going totally anaerobic on the hills and taking too much time to recover on the downhills and flats.  This year, under-trained, coming off a major injury - I pushed as hard as I could, walked most of the hills and ended up finishing in.......1:44:09!!!!! At this rate of speed decline, it will take me 51 more years to go over 1:45 :-)  Goes to show you how effective FormWell workouts are:  Strength Training for Endurance Athletes (the class I teach) and the new Crossfit Endurance classes we just started offering in December are amazing additions to a very low mileage training week - at least for this 200+lb runner!

Until next time, God bless!

Rami


Guest Blog!


Please enjoy a "guest blog" from my good friend and coach, Matthew Rose of Dynamo Multisport.  It is written with competitive triathletes in mind, but I think it really applies to all of us in some way or another.

The Rising

by Matthew on February 7, 2012
Magic Kingdom
The self-portrait above is of L and me on our first pilgrimage to the Magic Kingdom.  It’s a “Pantheon” shot – an all-timer that captures the bliss of a father-daughter moment on a beautiful day in a special place.  And for the title of this one, well, The Boss starts us up with one of his better commercial successes in recent years.
I was having a conversation with one of my athletes about this time of year and finding the motivation to get out the door and going.  It seems as if Q1 of each year is the hardest to get through.  We’re coming off the after-glow of the holidays into the kick-off of the season.  The days are still short.  The temps are cooler.  Fatigue levels are greater as we adjust to new workloads  For most of us, our early season ‘A’ race is far enough away that the rationalization engine is going wild:
I’ll cut this workout short
I’ll make this one up later in the week
I can afford to take this one off
I’m too tired and need some rest

I know the rationalization engine because I’ve been there more often than I would like to admit.  And it’s a function of all of the above and particularly of our inability to see tangible payoffs for the investments we’re making now in our early season fitness.   As my college swim coach said: “Often the hardest part of the workout is putting two feet on the floor and walking out the door”.  There’s a lot of truth in that statement.  And it applies to everything we do – triathlon, work and relationships.  Getting started is too often the biggest obstacle of any task.  Once we get going, we often find that the gorilla that we made the task out to be is really manageable.
Remember this about training.  If you can get started on a workout, even if you know you have to cut it short because of an unforeseen obligation, even if you’re tired, you at least have the opportunity to get something out of it. In short, commit to the beginning.  More often than not, you’ll find you’ll come around and you will be better for it.
So much of our season success is made in Q4 of the past year and Q1 of the current year.  It’s February, the middle of Q1.  Q4 is in the rearview mirror.  Commit to the rest of Q1.  You will be better for it in April and May and especially in Q3 where the big pay days take place for most of us.
This time of year is “The Rising”.  It’s where rationalization and opportunity battle for control over your outlook.  Find inspiration where you can and get started.  Make sure it’s opportunity rising.
Can’t see nothin’ in front of me
Can’t see nothin’ coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can’t feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I’ve gone
How far I’ve gone, how high I’ve climbed
On my back’s a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile line