Running on the Edge

Missed my fitness-related posts? My sister says nobody cares, but she thought the Cubs were winning a pennant this year. My sister aside, I’m proceeding as if everyone cares. :)

This is the first summer in a decade I didn’t race in a single triathlon. I was supposed to race (on two wheels) up Mount Baker a few weeks ago, but passed after receiving an early race morning email about extreme conditions and a course change. And I was thinking about doing the Hood River Gran Fondo (100 mile bike race) today, but pulled the plug on the cycling season earlier in the month so bagged that too. I should quit calling myself a triathlete. Is it ethical to continue wearing my Timex Ironman watch?

A running friend extraordinaire annually comps me admission to the Seattle Half or Full marathon the Sunday after Thanksgiving. His website advertises it and so they give him a bunch of pre-paid entries. Most years I run the half, which I really enjoy, but this year I signed up for the full since I haven’t gone long for two years. Everyone should do a marathon every other year, don’t you think?

Enter Dan, Dan, the long distance Man. Dan lives down the street and we train together. He’s of Midwestern stock and a stud, but he gets a little loopy when talking about supplements. We ran the Portland Marathon together two years ago. I was having GI issues at mile 21 and told him I was heading into a PortaPit. “Want me to wait?” “No, go ahead, I don’t want to slow you down.” Sixty to ninety seconds later, with my new and improved plumbing, I started chasing after him. SO frustrating, I could see him, but couldn’t close the gap since he was chasing a woman in a yellow bikini. He finished exactly one PortaPit stop ahead of me and I continue to give him grief for refusing to wait for me.

I don’t think Dan wants to race Seattle with me, but he does want to keep me company on my Saturday long runs. We ran 16 miles Saturday. He didn’t know I was marathon training. I explained I had just decided and that the Seattle race peeps allow you to switch from one race to the other up until race morning.

I’m getting a late start, so I’m kicking up my mileage faster than you’re supposed to. The general rule is no more than a 10% increase in mileage per week. I’ve increased it 20% the last two.

Dano, or the Supplement, or the Malamute, is convinced I’m going to injure myself. He thinks I should be running no more than four days a week, five at the most. I’m running six. Two years ago in Portland I ran well for 20 miles and then faded over the last 10k. Just looked at my late summer/early fall 08′ training log and my mileage was surprisingly modest, 35-45/week. This time I’m going all in with increased mileage with the goal of maintaining my pace through the last 10k. One problem. Miles 20-23 in Seattle are damn hilly. So not only am I increasing my mileage too quickly, I’m getting after it, doing one track and one hill workout weekly too. I almost felt a micro-tear in my calf as I typed that.

I told Dano that if he’s right and gets to say “I told you so” I’ll take 10 days off and run the half. No big deal. Saturday’s run started and ended at the “Y” because I had a massage scheduled for right afterwards. Sunday was a true Sabbath. Today, nine weeks from blast off, I feel (almost) as good as new.

In my next life, I hope to be married to a masseuse.

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