Monday, June 9, 2008

Here we go!

There are less than 6 weeks until the Vermont 100, and I’m really getting excited. My training has been going well, and I learn more everyday. I’m grateful for the ability to run and to have the time to train for this event. I’ve put a lot of things “on hold” as I prepare for this race, and now it’s less than 40 days until the big day. The Western States folks are putting the finishing touches on their training and beginning to taper, and I am hitting the biggest mileage weeks of my running life. This past week was almost a 100 mile week for me, and I’m grateful that I was able to make it happen.

Here’s a quick list of other items that I have gained an appreciation for during this training effort:

1. Thanks to my family, friends and co-workers for supporting me in my endeavors to adventure into new territory in body, mind, and spirit.
2. Thanks to Dawn for the support, encouragement, massages, companionship, great food, and overall great coordinator of things. Dawn will be crewing for me this year, and has already been a huge help with the planning.
3. Thanks to all the running partners I’ve had the chance to share the road with this year. Some new partners like Matt Estes, Scott Turco, Mark Buongiorno, and others, and some old partners like The Goat, Ray Wise, Stan the Man, and the Reach the Beach Team. I’m looking forward to connecting with more folks (some old and some new) over the next several weeks as we get ready for this race.

The list could go on forever, and I’m sure I left out some big ones. Anyway, thanks to everyone!

What have I learned recently?

1. Ultrarunning is something special! It allows one to explore the depths of themselves as well as bring folks together. There’s a magic in the air as the race approaches…it’s fun to share the magic!
2. 100 miles (98 actually) in a week is possible despite work and home life. My body did not explode, but my mind is kinda mush. At one time I thought my body could not handle it, and I was wrong. When Matt told me about his 100 mile training weeks, I did not think it was possible while working in a corporate job, etc. Well, it is possible! I did not think it was possible to do speed work with such high mileage. Guess what? It is possible!
3. I learned that I can live on a Vegan diet and run as fast as I have ever run in my life. We’re still tweaking the diet, so I won’t elaborate much more. One thing is certain – my recovery is amazing now.
4. I learned that everyone has fears, hopes, and dreams in these events, and we do better by supporting each other in our efforts to excel! Also, find the humor in all of it. It makes the runs easier and more fun!
5. The race is within ourselves and not with others. It doesn’t matter what place you come in or how fast you go. What’s important is the satisfaction you draw from it and the enjoyment you can bring to others through the sharing of your experience.

I don’t know what the next 6 weeks will bring, but I will be grateful and enjoy the adventure. I will learn and grow, and continue to share the experience with others.

As Bill Bowerman once said, “If you can find meaning in the kind of running you will need to do to be on this team, you may also find meaning in one of our other favorite past times…“Life”.

Bring it on! Let's go!

Weekly recap –

Monday – Rest
Tuesday – 19 miles at the reservoir after work – Sweet Run – a bit too fast
Wednesday – 8.5 mile recovery run on roads near home
Thursday – Speed work – 4x1mile. Total 11.5 miles
Friday – 20 hilly miles at reservoir (sub 8 min pace) – felt very good
Saturday – Easy jog – 3.5 miles
Sunday – 35.5 miles on Northern Nipmuck – very hilly, single track 7:23 very hot
Total – 98 miles

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Awesome job on the week, Steve! And 35 miles in the heat... very impressive. No doubt that will be helpful if it's a steamy one at VT this year.