In all honesty, I’m not much of a gambler…I like to think I know what I’m doing, but it seems that I usually end up sitting across from someone who REALLY knows his or her stuff, and I go home a little poorer than I arrived; over the years I have learned not to bet more than I can afford to lose, which makes the game much more enjoyable! Running is kind of like that, I think…there is a certain element of risk involved, which no amount of skill can ever completely eliminate; and you have to put something out there if you want any chance of receiving a reward – “nothing ventured, nothing gained” is absolutely true!
If this marathon is the game, I have been betting my time and my body, in ever increasing raises as the weeks have passed and the stakes have steadily gone up. We are getting ever closer to showing the cards – laying it all out on the table, and may the best man win! The pot is rich – a completed marathon is quite the prize, indeed – and I am feeling confident about the cards I’m holding…let’s take a look at what I drew with this week’s effort:
Sunday 12-22: Long run – 3:24:53, 18.01 miles Better than last week, my new longest run to date! I had thought about doing this week’s long run on the trails, but opted instead to stick with a winning plan and repeated my route from last Sunday, with the addition of one lap around the running loop at Memorial Park to give me the necessary extra mileage. I also tried a new fuel option: 2 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 oz applesauce and a dash of cinnamon for flavor; this was well tolerated and seemed to keep my energy level constant, as I consumed about a mouthful every 4 miles. Much like last week, all went smoothly until the final stretch – somehow the last two miles feel much longer than any others!
Monday 12-23: Recovery/rest – walked 1.05 mile, 16:35 We worked late to get enough done to justify leaving early for Christmas Eve, so it was already dark by the time I got home, and I was pretty tired; another ode to the Streak 🙂
Tuesday 12-24: Maintenance run – 3.1 miles, 31:55 I wanted to see just how well my legs would respond, and I got my answer – not bloody well at all! My quads were the loudest complainers, along with my lower back; this is a clear sign to me that my lack of cross-training is going to exact a toll…how large remains to be seen 😦
Wednesday 12-25: Walked 1 mile, 16:28 Merry Christmas! I hope Santa did better by you than he did me; I woke up to low fever, body aches and a congested head – some “gift”! I spent nearly the entire day in bed, except for a brief visit to watch my grandsons open their presents…and to get out a walk a mile to keep my streak alive; dedication requires dedication, y’know?
Thursday 12-26: Resistance run, 8.9 miles, 1:35:11 Back in the grass today; the fever broke, my body felt stiff and under-used, and I knew JUST the cure! I also found a way across a small bayou that cuts off one end of this trail, and I was able to add more than a mile to the one-way distance – sweet! I didn’t try to push the pace, I simply wanted to run for about 90 minutes; mission accomplished!!
Friday 12-27: Maintenance run – 5.1 miles, 50:50 Nothing fancy today, I wanted some miles, I got some miles; decent pace, consistent from start to finish, no pain – what else can you ask?
Saturday 12-28: Recovery/rest – 1.03 mile, 10:46 I spent most of the day visiting my dad, and running errands, so it didn’t leave me much time to run; I also wanted to save something for tomorrow’s 21-miler, my longest long run of the training cycle…or ever, for that matter!
Total for this week: 7 runs, 38.2 miles
Total for December: 21 runs, 138.2 miles
On other news, things are shaping up nicely for my 14 in 2014 and Half-Fanatic goals! Along with the marathon, and the 5K the day before, I now have a third race confirmed – the Bandera Trail Run, where I am running the 25K. This will be my first “real” trail race, and my first foray into the world of ultras – most of the others in my club are running the 100K, but that is a stake I cannot support…yet! This race takes place one week before Chevron, so I am planning to take it easy, and treat it as a taper run – shorter distance, but high intensity, with plenty of time to rest before I have to turn my cards at the Big Table.
What is the craziest thing you ever did just before a marathon, or other goal race? Any regrets, or would you do it again?
Any gamblers out there? What’s the biggest bet you ever won…or lost?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments!