Mind, Motion & Matter

Running, Essentially . . .


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Running in February, down by the boardwalk

Marilyn Bell Park on February 2, 2012

Never in the my personal history of thirty years of running in Toronto has there been such an astonishing weather. WooHoo! The photo above is from a run I did the day after returning from our trip to Arizona and New Mexico. Today my eight miler down by the lake was about as good as it gets in the winter. The wind gained force through the day but it was nicely in check in the morning.

Boardwalk near Sunnyside Pool, February 27, 2012

Yesterday I ran 1500 meters at a masters provincial track championship. With many years of racing under my belt, there are rarely surprises when it comes to racing times. However, the injection of speed work over the past month set the stage for a time 10 seconds faster than my stretch goal and a vast improvement on my mile time run a couple of weeks ago. Something akin to going from a 4:10 mile to a 3:58 mile in a couple of weeks.

According to the AGE-GRADED-CALCULATOR the bible of the masters runner my time was equivalent to an open time of 4:41.3. Very encouraging. One of my goals is to get fast enough so to avoid being lapped by my very speedy and younger teammates, one of whom won her age-category this year in the Fifth Avenue Mile. That is world-class running!

1500 meter race - a real high

On the heels of my NYC Marathon disappointment I registered for the Around the Bay 30K however I’m so enjoying the prospect of more track and doing a fast 5K that I’m going to pass on the 30K. As for my training, I’m going to err on the side of speed. Holding back on mileage in favour of good quality speedwork. Although for me, holding back on mileage means not going over 70 miles or 114K. Why do I run so many miles? I’ve always felt that I have more speed than endurance but I think I went over the top on that count and I’m really excited to change my focus.

I’m hoping to be running like a lion in March!


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Running for the two of us

I’m trying to boost my mileage a little but this week had to be satisfied with matching the 45 miles or 72K that I ran two weeks ago. Commuting to Mississauga for a four day in-class session of my four-month course cast a pall on my running ambitions for the week. To make it to my destination meant leaving home around 6:45 a.m. Adding to this were two evening engagements with start times not far off my usual bedtime on days when I leave home for work at 9 or 10 a.m.

Getting lapped in the mile by teammates

I’ve been too busy to write much about my renewed commitment to increased racing fitness but joining a track club was something I finally did in January after nearly two years of thinking about it. My 2012 drive to get fit was set back by turning my ankle and a bad cold over the couple of weeks while I was on holiday and this week’s challenge was to merely maintain my momentum. But I’m excited about applying myself to speed work with the track club and feel confident that I can maintain this momentum alongside my volunteer commitment of organizing the People4Kids Gala to take place on Thursday, May 3rd at C-5 in the ROM.

Part of my confidence is due in part to focusing on quality rather than quantity over the next few months. Last year at this time I was hoping to run a marathon however, the commitment to high mileage was too much to maintain while organizing the gala. I’m also banking on the hope that having a club to train with at regular times will reduce the amount of determination I need to get myself to do interval sessions.

Here is what I did this week:

  • Monday – 10 miles easy (day after 800 meter and mile race)
  • Tuesday – 3 miles easy (left for run at 5:15 a.m. and went to bed at 8:30 p.m.)
  • Wednesday – 7  miles (Decided to stay at a hotel near the course site in Mississauga to facilitate an evening run)
  • Thursday – 4 miles (threshold session on hotel treadmill)
  • Friday – 2 miles (left for run at 5:30 a.m.)
  • Saturday – 14 miles solo
  • Sunday – 5 miles
  • Total / 45 miles

My husband joined me at the hotel in Mississauga and assumed the stress of commuting to his workplace. Thankfully, the week was not as crazy as expected as the two hour commutes back to Toronto did not materialize as I received a lift home on three of the days. This allowed me to nap on Thursday before attending the gala opening of the auto show. This event is very popular as there is a lot of complimentary food and drink. In order to conserve my energy I did not take advantage of the drink offers other than juice and coffee but was extremely happy to enjoy the free oyster bar among other things.

Free oysters courtesy of Lexus

On Friday, I was also able to nap and along with members of the gala committee went to hear Waleed Abdulhamid perform. We were in negotiations to have him play at our gala and were well satisfied by his performance that he is our man.

Fellow talent hunters

Saturday morning brought sludgy snow and overcast skies which made getting out the door, with no company, difficult. But my husband reminded me of how lucky I am to be able to run injury-free and tells me that I have to run for the two of us, thus helping to prod me to hit the roads. Part of the process of getting out the door involved downloading some new music and creating a new playlist called “long run”.

I had fully intended to run to the Athletic Centre at U of T and run indoors but as I left the house it stopped snowing and the sky cleared. So with uncleared sidewalks predominating I decided my best bet was to run along Bloor the whole way, which I did for a very long stretch from St. George to Woodbine. I ran back  the exact same way. Not bad for a winter run but the tips of crocus leaves have been showing for a couple of weeks and wouldn’t it be nice if spring was early this year. Training without the company of my favourite training partner, my husband over these past few years has proven a challenge however his encouragement is at the top of the list of my arsenal of motivational tactics and inducements to get out the door nearly every day of the year.


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Land of grapefruit & trail running

Running in South Mountain Park

Yes, I have escaped for a warmer weather getaway. Not without a bit of guilt for leaving behind two hard-working students at home. Hopefully, they will have a bit of time while parent-free to host some social gatherings in our absence. Thankfully, our two young men are very responsible and sometimes when we return the house is in better shape than when we departed. They are very thorough with their tidying up which we really appreciate.

Breakfast time

We are staying in Atawatukee a neighbourhood of Phoenix at our nephew’s home which backs on to  South Mountain Park the largest urban park in North America with 51 miles of primary trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. My first run in the park was an add-on to three miles run on the road with my husband. The path surfaces are variable particularly the less trodden paths close to our backyard entry and while turning this way and that to find the sign post cactus named Mrs. Boobs (by our grand-nephew and niece) I took a slight turn on my ankle. Not much harm done.

The following day around mile five of my planned twelve mile run I went flying to the ground, scraping knee, hands and elbows. Ouch! I had to call it a day and headed to Target for an ankle brace. For $10 I bought a very streamlined brace by 3M designed for a woman’s ankle in two sizes.

Mrs. Boobs

This morning I realized that it was not realistic to squeeze in a 12 miler in order to get my 40 miles this week. Easy running was the order of the day and I was satisfied with a 5.5 miles run at a very slow place. I felt okay but there was not much propulsion in my right ankle. I iced my ankle after the run and feel that I may be able to run ten miles or more tomorrow. I’m anxious about getting a longish run in for three reasons; 1) I made the commitment to join the masters group at U of T and have started to do track work. 2) We are flying to Albuquerque tomorrow for four days and I’m guessing that running this distance at 1,619.1 meters above sea level might feel fairly difficult. 3) I was planning to run a 5K next Sunday but given the latest development, we shall see.

Before the fall

In addition to having a park in his backyard, my nephew also has a massage chair. Yes, a massage chair and this one is a breed apart from the type you may have seen in malls.  It has options for Swedish, Shiatsu, stretch mode and a quickie massage among others and massages the legs and arms. As I write this my back is remembering how good it feels. I really should go!


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Me versus the Marathon – a TKO

New York City marathon, you knocked me down but I’m not knocked out. Five years ago I entertained hopes of placing in the top three for my age group at NYC but this year I moderated my ambitions and I quietly hoped for a top ten finish.  Sigh, my age-group place was 29th in a time of 3:50:21, a full 40 minutes slower than I ran the Detroit marathon 6 years ago. Now I know what it means to feel like a shadow of my former self. My confidence has taken a beating.

NYC Marathon Bib

The event was a marvel of logistics from the race-kit pick-up, busing to the race start and athlete’s village, not a glitch to be had. Granted, like everything else in NYC the entry was an expensive $273. The day was absolutely perfect, I can only imagine how much slower I might have plodded were there rain and wind. One insight gained was that over the course of my 21 marathons, this is really the only marathon were I did not achieve my minimum goal. So I should count my big picture blessings.

An hour or so after finishing, thoughts that it was time to retire from marathon running floated freely. But, never trust anything a disappointed marathon runner says during the week after the race. My plan had been to run Boston in 2012 and having surpassed the qualifying time by 30 minutes last year in Sacramento, I was guaranteed a spot. However just before New York I realized that I forgot to enter and 2012 is sold out. Now, I see it as a good thing as I want to feel close to top form and confident when I run Boston next.

Over the last miles of the marathon I had to harness my thoughts as I found myself quite distracted from the task-at-hand as I mulled over what might be the cause of this lackluster run. The last mile was a marathon in itself, the longest mile ever. Boy was I happy to hit the finish line.

I never hit the wall hence a TKO versus a KO but from the start my legs never had any pep and the rolling course with a lot of downhill running on concrete took its toll. My thoughts as to the cause are. . .

1) Racing a half-marathon three weeks before the marathon

2) Poor sleep during period of high-stress at work and peak training

3) Age

4) Slacking off with my lower body weight routine

My legs never did recover from my 1:41 half-marathon that suggested a 3:33 time was possible and sleep the wonder drug was not in supplies plentiful enough to ensure that my training was being positively absorbed by my body. As for age, I’m thinking that I have to shorten my training cycle and expect one peak and limit the length of lead-up races to the marathon. I find it hard to accept but I cannot train close to the way I used to. Sometimes one fully realizes that value of an activity when you stop doing it. Such is the case with my lower body weight training. At age 56, everything that makes the lower body tougher is a boost to top performance.

After the marathon I found myself humming Chumbawamba’s famous song.

I get knocked down
But I get up again
You’re never going to keep me down

Stay tuned for my spring racing goal!


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New York City Marathon – What’s in a bib number?

Starting area for NYC Marathon

So much to blog about but so little time.  A couple of weeks ago I ran 80 miles (130K), last week I ran the half-marathon and our Matthew House fundraising team set a personal best for funds raised ($58,000 and still counting) and team size (120). I’ve racked up a month or so of vacation time in the past weeks and have not been as focused on New York as I would have liked.  At the height of this and when I was feeling a bit drained I received this email which was a total pick-me-up. I had applied to be in the Competitive Start Corral with bib numbers from 500-999 and was accepted.

I didn’t know what to expect as I applied just before the deadline for submission and am not part of a team.  Last year over 45,000 runners finished the marathon.  To be in the first wave, just behind the Elite & Sub-Elite groups is a huge thrill.  My bib number is 757.  WooHoo! Price of entry: 80 miles a week 🙂

Dear Lynn,

Congratulations!  You have been accepted into the 2011 ING New York City Marathon Local Competitive Program.  Please access your new registration card by going into your marathon profile after Tuesday, October 25, 2011. You must print out a copy of your registration card and bring it with you to the Expo.  No Blackberry or I Phone versions will be accepted.

Your bib number will now be somewhere between 500-999.  If your bib number is not within this range, please email janetc@nyrr.org.  You can find your bib number information on your registration card.  Once you pick up your bib at the Expo, you should be all set!

Athletes in the Local Competitive Program will have exclusive access to the Local Competitive staging area located near the runner entrance by the Verrazano Bridge Toll Plaza.  Look for the “Local Competitive” sign attached to the fence near the entrances.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP.  Runners will be asked to show their bib number before entering this area.

Amenities in this staging area include:

  • Bottled Water
  • Gatorade                                             NOTE: Limited quantities available.  First come, first serve.
  • PowerBars
  • Coffee
  • Bagels
  • Toilets

The Local Competitive Program is designed to give a preferred starting position to those who meet a time standard based on gender and age.  Your starting position will be at the front of the green start, Wave 1.  This start is at 9:40 a.m.

Your UPS Baggage truck will be the very first truck in a long line of UPS trucks.  CLICK HERE TO VIEW START MAP

Look for the UPS truck that has a green sign .

Keep in mind that your baggage truck is approximately ¼ mile away from the Local Competitive staging area.  Please allow yourself enough time to check your bag and get back to your staging area before your group is moved to the start line.

Timeline:

6:00 am – Baggage Opens

8:10 am – Suggested baggage check

8:20 am – Wave 1 corrals open

8:55 am – Wave 1 corrals close.  Local Competitive athletes move onto the bridge, ahead of the general green start runners.  If you are not in the Local Competitive staging area at this time, you will not be allowed the preferred starting position.

9:40 am – Wave 1 starts, happy 26.2!!!

Thank you,

Ro and Skip on Behalf of NYRR Team Mailing


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Gone running . . . 2 weeks@114K

Nearly two weeks since my last post.  Could it have anything to do with my training for NYC and working twice the number of hours designated to my job, which I love in spite of its busyness.  Perhaps.

Just another early morning run to the lake

I ran 114K or 70 miles each of the last two weeks but my life was not just about work and running, although blogging is taking a big hit. Here are some highlights of the past two weeks.

Cool crisp day by the falls

I was in Niagara Falls for a couple of days although I did put in full days of work, the view from my temporary office was great and I ate well.

Consumed in Niagara Falls

I ran 22 miles/34K on Saturday and my husband did a fantastic job of feeding me over the weekend.

What I ate after running 34K

  • We celebrated my husband’s birthday at our local Scottish pub the Caledonian.
  • I treated a new friend from Venezuala to a latte and left the cafe without paying.

My view from my office in Niagara Falls

  • I got my bike fixed up and it is now rides really well. I was not impressed with the tune-up done at Bike Couture but very impressed with the tune-up after the tune-up at Set Me Free on College at Grace street.
  • Our marriage sharing group reconvened after the summer break.
  • I ran into a new friend when she was in the middle of her longest run ever and we got to run together for a few miles.
  • I had breakfast with my former coach Zeba Crook who now teaches at Carelton.
  • I count my blessings while I make steady progress through Romeo Dallaire’s “Shake Hands with the Devil”.

The brother of one of my Saturday run pals died last week, giving us all pause to consider the fullness of our lives and the gifts sent our way.

Here is a  snippet from a favourite William Blake poem which I read at a friend’s “Celebration of Life” many years ago.

I thought Love lived in the hot sunshine,
But O, he lives in the moony light!
I thought to find Love in the heat of day,
But sweet Love is the comforter of night.

Seek Love in the pity of others’ woe,
In the gentle relief of another’s care,
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!

Thank you for reading . . .


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“The More You Move, the More You See”

I think I first saw this expression on the New Balance website.  Non-runners may not appreciate that using your legs to get you around town can be scenic and entertaining.

My NYC training plan called for 31K or 19 miles on Saturday. I had to be mentally tough going into it as the usual Saturday crowd were not around. I decided to focus on putting in the time on my feet and not worry about quality as that will come in good time. I devised a  scenic and mainly flat route and looked forward to taking my camera along.

Route to High Park

First mile to the west

Rather than the usual due south route down Strachan which is in the throes of  increased traffic caused by the Canadian National Exhibition, I ran west to High Park. Between Lansdowne and Roncesvalles are a few blocks blocks of urban decay, the outcome of a busy and confusing juncture where two streetcars lines intersect.  To enhance the ambience of this strip, leading the way was a man on a large motor scooter driving on the sidewalk whilst leaving a trail of marijuana smoke in his wake. Some people!

Tree that grows in Brooklyn

Urban decay, Ailanthus altissima, that tree that grows in Brooklyn

I entered into High Park by the northeast quadrant, running counter-clockwise on the trails past Grenadier Pond and then south to the lake and the Waterfront Trail.

High park trails

Favourite section of High Park trails

In High Park I was watching out for friends from People to People AID Organization Canada, who were holding a fundraising walk later that morning but did not see a soul as I must have been a bit too early having set out at 7:30 a.m.  That is the group for which my husband and I organized a the fundraising gala, People4Kids last April.

Grenadier Pond

Grenadier Pond 8 a.m.

The fogginess of the morning set the scene for some pretty and atmospheric sights and one rather euw’ish sight which I learned upon examining the photo I took was a tent caterpillar nest.

Tent Caterillar nest

Euw!!

When I hit the lake I went east for 3K and then back west through the Humber Bay Park east and then to a never-before-trod for me, destination of  Humber Bay Parks – Waterfront Trail

Butterfly garden

Twig sculpture in the butterfly garden

Running through the wild flower garden I spotted what I think were American goldfinch, twittering about. In Humber Bay park east, I saw what appeared to be a female cardinal.  The entrance to Humber Bay park east is quite a maze of paths and parking lots and I was on the lookout for the entrance to Humber Bay park west which I had over the course of three decades missed in my occasional forays to this area of the lakeshore.

Lighthouse, Humber Bay park west

To the lighthouse

I was successful in finding the entry point and was rewarded with a pleasant run of about two miles, out and back on this new found route. Waiting for this intrepid runner at the turnaround point were two surprises,  a groundhog and an historic lighthouse.

Grounghog

Twas a groundhog . . .

Along the way I also spotted a photo session with a lean, blond model wearing a black negligee and a large number of scuba divers, in and out of the water.

The run itself was verging on being a “slog” but with the help of some Gatorade, I perked up a bit in the second half.  I made two stops to drink Gatorade using the plastic bag technique mentioned in a PREVIOUS POST.  I’ve refined this method by adding a second chamber, sectioned off with an elastic.

Gatorade in a bag

Low tech fluid replenishing system

This weekend my husband was a model of support in that while I was out running he shopped for meat at Grace Street Meat Market, bought vegies and fruit at the Wychwood Barns farmer’s market, brought me my fatty latte from Starbuck’s (triple-venti-whole-milk-vanilla latte) and cooked me a bacon and egg breakfast.

I felt quite tired today, as though I was coming down with “something” and while I napped he went and did some essential grocery shopping and my son did the dishes after my husband had cooked breakfast again.  He also cooked dinner last night and is cooking dinner while I write. Thank you, thank you my darling.  This felt even more commendable given that he feels that I’m not coming down with  “something” but suffering the effects of two large glasses of wine enjoyed at a  party last night.  Alcohol has greater effect when in hard training, this is true.

I should also mention that getting out the door this morning for a 10K run was easier for having our roommate Alain to run with.  I certainly can’t complain about household support for my training.

So I got my 108KM in for this week and am hoping to hit 116 km or 70 miles for the upcoming week.  I’m sure looking forward to the easy week scheduled after that.  But the fatigue level of this week tells me that I am pushing myself in the way that one must, to get to the next level of fitness.

The more I move, the faster I’ll see that finish line at the New York City Marathon.  Olé!


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62 Miles = 100 Kilometers

Nowadays when I tell people how far I’ve run or my weekly mileage tally most people assume I mean kilometers not miles. So, for the record I ran 100 KM this week.

NYC Marathon

That would be miles, not kilometers

A highlight of the past eight days was that I ran with two new people. The first was our roommate Alain, a friend of my son’s who lives with us. We enjoyed a 10K run at a faster-than-usual easy day pace. A few days later I ran with a 19 year old friend from Afghanistan who hasn’t been running at all but did come second in the city wrestling championships in the 55 kilogram category. He easily ran with me for five miles through High Park including Deer Pen Road, the steepest road in the Park. He did this while wearing his wrestling shoes. We are planning to run again. It feels good to be able to run with fit youngsters who have mothers 10 years my junior.

I enjoyed introducing him to High Park. He lives less than a mile away but had never visited. He really enjoyed the trails and particularly enjoyed the part I dread most, the off-leash dog area of the trail. As it turns out, he had a dog in Afghanistan and as he started to tell me about his large Russian bred dog, said, “Things are different in my country” which was perhaps in my little world, the understatement of the year. I rightly guessed that his dog was an attack dog, trained to protect people and property.

He got quite a kick out the packs of unleashed dogs playing on the trail and encouraged one to run alongside us, to the chagrin of the owner. I do confess as a tending-to-cower runner in the presence of dogs, I rather enjoyed this show of confidence. My friend thought it quite funny that I would be scared of Canadian dogs. I asked a friend from Sierra Leone about the dogs in his country and he confirmed that owning 2-3 dogs trained this way was a necessity.

As for NYC Marathon training, the week went very well and I felt surprisingly good today after my 18 miler yesterday which went a big way in getting me past my minimum target of 60 miles for the week. Mixed in to those miles was 35 minutes of tempo running and 10 x 1 minute hard.

Yesterday I woke at 4:00 a.m. and set out on my 18 miler at 6:40 a.m. The morning grew hotter and more humid and while the run was hard, it was not a slog. I napped for a couple of hours afterward to make up for rising so early.

My goal for next week is to hit 65 miles minimum. I’m going to have to tighten up my time management as I’m heading into a very busy period at work.  Today I learned how to make lists on my BlackBerry which I hope will be one tool to improve my ability to Get Things Done.  One thing I’ve been doing this year to save time is to avoid shopping if at all possible. You would be amazed at how much time you can save if you decide just to get by with what you have and avoid stores.

Best to save that leg power for running not shopping.  Marathon training can save you money 🙂


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Training for NYC – The Plan

Here is the draft of my training plan for the NYC Marathon, committed to paper while flying to Edmonton the other week.  I’ve since transferred the plan to the Excel spreadsheet that I’ve been using as my training log for over a decade.

Marathon Training Plan 2011

Training Plan for NYC Marathon

For all the gadgets in the world, I’ve found that sometimes there is nothing that beats pen and paper for keeping organized.  I’m at my best at Getting Things Done GTD®  à la Dave Allen when I have notepads strategically located around the house, so as to easily download from my mind, all the things that need doing.  CLICK HERE for my earlier post about Dave Allen.

You’ll see in my plan that I’m hoping to do 80 & 85 miles weeks at the peak of my training.  Pulling that off will depend on whether I can both increase the quality of my runs and increase mileage concurrently.  I used to be able to do this easily but with a lapse of a few years from hard training and age, we will have to see.

The “E” stands for Easy Week and as a concession to the aforementioned, I will experiment with two weeks hard, one week easy.  Previously, I would usually do three weeks hard and one week easy. “R” stands for race, the first being the Scotiabank Half-Marathon and then of course NYC.

I hit my target of 50 miles last week and this week got off to a good start with a workout that will segue into a weekly tempo run.  I ran a 4 mile warm-up outdoors and then hit the treadmill for 2 X 10 minutes of marathon-pace and tempo-pace running for a total of 8 miles.

Not all the treadmills at my gym are equipped to read out heart rate data and while fidgeting with the controls of one treadmill, I had to input my age.  By mistake I entered 50 and then my target heart rate which was 145, my marathon-pace heart rate.

Immediately I received in three warnings in quick succession that this was 85% of my maximum heart rate and did I realize the risk involved.  These warnings reminded me of how off-the-mark heart rate zone charts can be.  Normal resting heart rates for the general population differ by up to 20 beats.  Age maximums vary even more depending on fitness level.  If I had entered 172, which would be my target were I planning to run intervals, along with my correct age of 55 perhaps the treadmill would have gone on red alert and shut down.

My best advice to those seeking to improve their marathon times is get a lactate threshold test done.  This will insure that you are doing those important tempo runs at the just the right effort level. Runner know thyself.


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New York City Marathon, A Shot of Adrenalin

Yesterday I enjoyed a longish, leisurely 14.5 mile run on a favourite route. I don’t often run it however as the group I usually connect are oriented to a different part of the city. All the photos from my run were taken with my Blackberry.

Palace Pier bridge

Humber river bridge near Palace Pier

Running west along the lakeshore, past the Boulevard Club, Marilyn Bell Park, the Argonaut Rowing Club and along the Sunnyside beach boardwalk over the Palace Pier bridge and through what I refer to as the Humber river spit.

My favourite view of Lake Ontario

Favourite view of Lake Ontario

When I get to this spit, I go clockwise once and then counter clockwise for a scenic two-mile section.  On the southern shore there comes a point at which you cannot see a single building.  I love that!

Favourite view of Toronto skyline

Favourite view of Toronto skyline

Regular enjoyment of the most scenic parts of urban Toronto is one of the pleasures of running.  All the better when done in the early morning. The final five miles loop back through the Humber River butterfly garden and through the southeast corner of High Park.  It always feels much easier than any route that goes north as it is fairly flat.

Humber river

View at my Humber spit turnaround point

While crossing the Humber River bridge at Palace Pier the image of marathoners crossing the Verrazano bridge during the NYC marathon flashed through my mind.  I felt a surge of adrenalin.  Yes, I am training for the NYC marathon.

Later in the day I received an email from the NYC marathon telling me that the deadline for choosing transportation to the start line is July31st.  Yikes . . . such is the way when you run the mother of mega-city-marathons and I’m already too late for the bus option which loads a block away from my hotel.  So I chose to travel to the start on the 6:15 a.m. Staten Island ferry, followed by a bus to the start. Marathon morning anxiety begins to kick in and I ask myself, though I feel confident I know the answer, is this marathon worth the logistical hassles?

For past marathons and Around the Bay 30K I have printed out tiled route maps as part of my visualization process.  I think its time to print out the large map of the NYC course to be hung in a prominent location. Yesterday I jotted down a 17 week training plan.  The peak training weeks will be the last week of September and the first week of October.  If all goes well, I hope to hit 80 miles or more for those weeks.

A few years ago I would have aspired to place in the top three for my age category of 55-59 however, I’ve had a hard time keeping focused on intensifying my training lately and I think my goal will be to better my 3:42 time at the Sacramento Marathon.  This time was run on a net downhill course and New York is not a fast course so, that in itself will be a challenge.

But I’m feeling fitter with consistent mileage since our vacation and last week I started weight training again, and it feels fantastic.  I’ve done upper body weights for most of the past 30 years and lower body weights for the past decade. My recent lapse of a couple of months from this routine was unusual.  Partly to blame was a vague plan of replacing some of the weight work with plyometrics and circuit training, a plan which never took shape.

I’ve done four sessions of the anatomical adaptation phase for weight training as described in my post:  Weight Training, Love It or Lose It and I’m looking forward to the maximum strength phase when I get to bulk up a bit.  The goal of the lower body weight training is to maximize the the musculoskeletal system in preparation for the heavy mileage that will come later on.  While I won’t be trying to log the 100 mile weeks I once did, the time has come come to run, run, run as much as I can!