Drifting like a fire
I brought my mileage back up this week after some downtime last. The most substantial run of the week was 8 miles with some TARC folks at the Fells Saturday morning as a way of starting to prepare for my next race. I started the run with aspirations of doing two laps of the Skyline Trail for something closer to 15/16 miles but two miles in I knocked the contact lens out of my left eye (how, I’m not sure exactly). It turns out it’s very difficult to run trails with one eye in focus and one eye very much out of focus. I tried closing the bad eye but that just made things worse, killing my depth perception. I was also glad to have stopped when I realized I had quickly developed three blisters on my left foot – perhaps new socks or badly tied shoes, I’m not sure. Fortunately with the shorter run I was able to deal with them before they got ugly.
The most exciting running news of the week wasn’t my own but rather YJP’s latest marathon down in Savannah. I know she’d rather I not mention her time but regardless, it was a strong PR and I’m very proud of her. Plus she now has a state I don’t! Until March 23rd, anyway. :)
Song of the week, Moth’s Wings by Passion Pit.
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I got the rooster, I got the crow. I got the ebb, I got the flow
An off mileage week coming off my third marathon of 2014. I’m not too bothered by this as I spent pretty much the entire week on my feet. I’m not sure of the proper way to do a restful vacation but my way tends to be to carry my camera as far as I can before I collapse. A brief recap of my week – last Sunday I ran the Tokyo marathon. Monday I kicked around Tokyo, Tuesday spent the day running & walking in Yokohama, Wednesday took the Shinkansen to Hiroshima, Thursday took a ferry to Miyajima, Friday back to Yokohama for dinner with Keiko’s sister’s family, Saturday did Yokohama again (with company this time) and Sunday flew home. I flirted with the idea of doing a long run Sunday after arriving back in Boston but my internal clock was screwed up enough that the final decision was for an extra rest day. My full set of photos from the trip (were you so inclined) is here.
Next up race wise, one week off then another pair of marathons – Wrightsville Beach in Wilmington, NC on 3/16 followed a week later by the Georgia Marathon in Atlanta on 3/23. When I originally set up the plan for these two races I didn’t realize I’d be going to do Tokyo so now they feel a bit like afterthoughts but I’m excited about them regardless for a few reasons. First off, I’m stoked to see YJP in North Carolina – she’s picking me up in Raleigh & running the half in Wilmington. Second, I haven’t been to Georgia in a good number of years. I’ve had mixed emotions about the state since things fell apart for me there however long ago. I won’t be going to Athens on this trip, but I’m still excited to see Atlanta again. Both trips are structured as quick in & outs, flying down on Saturday and home Sunday after the race, which is good for work purposes but maybe not so good for smelling pretty on the airplane.
Song of the week, Big in Japan by Tom Waits.
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You can’t deny the shore its tide
I’m leaving in 11 days for Japan where I’ll be running in the Tokyo Marathon. Assuming all goes well, this will be my 20th race at this distance. I like that, a nice even number. The pace of preparations has been picking up this past week. More reservations made, more plans finalized, more hotels, more papers and passes bought & sold. We will travel by bus and cab and shinkansen. By freaking Dreamliner! This is the first time I’ve ever run overseas, and while I’m nervous in the same way I’m always nervous before a marathon, I’m nervous in new and different ways. Lots of things are unforeseeable. I am trying my best to guess my way through what will happen based on misunderstandings I’ve had in Japan in the past. I guess we’ll see.
Training this week was pretty good. I got a solid 17 miles in Saturday for the “last long” of any real effort of this cycle. I’ll probably run 13 miles next weekend to come down into my taper. I’ve been trying to do some up-tempo work on the treadmill at the end of a mid-range run – this week that was my Thursday run where I did three sub-7:00 miles after 4 @ 8:00. I wanted to do more by the treadmill kept shutting down on me while running at the higher rate, entering cool-down mode at random times. This has been happening more often at my Longwood gym (the BodyScapes in Coolidge Corner has newer treadmills and I’ve had fewer problems there).
I haven’t discussed it here much as it’s hard to see past this trip, but two weeks after I get home from Japan I’ll be doing the Wrightsville Beach Marathon, and the week after that, to Atlanta for the Georgia Marathon. No need to stress about those two quite yet. But still, they’re coming. Fortunately YJP will be in North Carolina with me.
Song of the week, Tides by Hey Marseilles.
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Get your Moderately on
YJP told me two things of note yesterday: 1) although she accumulated a metric ton of race swag in 2013, she didn’t get any gloves! And 2) she’s taking January 2014 “off”. Both these things are a shame, as the very much enjoyable if frosty frozen Boston Prep 16 is on January 26th! As of today, I’m in for my third shot at that course.
A quick look at my spring long race schedule as it currently stands.
I might try to add another 50K type race in there before the 50M if I can find one that works (the TARC Spring Thaw 6 Hour would have been perfect, but conflicts with Wrightsville).
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Everything’s bitter like sweet things should be.
This week was much better than last. Work went well, I managed to sleep better & with the cooler weather had some good runs after taking Monday off. I have two somewhat new routes – one to the river via Cambridge St, to Mass Ave & return (~6.3 miles) and the new Chandler Pond loop I did today (5.2mi). Trying to mix things up from my normal short options. My long run this week was 17.7 trail miles with TARC on Saturday in the Fells – quite a bit more challenging and mentally engaging than a usual river run of this length. More social as well – the TARC group stopped every loop for a break and to reorganize, no one was left behind. I liked that, and want to do more runs with these guys.
I’m not entirely serious about this at this point but I’ll go ahead and say – I did in fact put an entry into the Tokyo Marathon lottery today. It’s possible to enter the lottery without committing with a credit card, so I just went ahead and did it. The lottery drawing is next month, and the race, if I end up doing it, is near the end of February. The biggest concern is 1) the flight, which is not remotely cheap, and 2) taking the time off from work. The race is just three weeks prior to the start of my current spring racing plan, which was to run the Wrightsville Beach & Georgia Marathons in mid-March, with a week off in the Outer Banks in between. I’m not entirely sure I can afford do both.
My next for-sure race though is two weeks from tomorrow: the TARC Summer Classic 50K. Should be fun. Hopefully the weather will be forgiving.
Song of the week, Sweet Sweet Heartkiller by Say Hi to Your Mom. The lyrics are kinda dumb but the loop has been stuck in my head all week.
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