Friday, October 29, 2010

I really wish I could find a way to stop repeating the same mistakes over and over again. It would probably save me a lot of pain. Then again, maybe I just can't be any other way, and I need the worst kind of motivation.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Another miserable Monday morning

I am feeling pretty crappy today, probably because a fairly difficult Sunday afternoon run left me too wound up to fall asleep normally. I wound up going 18 miles, with the first 10 easy, then 3x3200m at threshold pace with 400m recovery on the track. I did not feel too bad running, but I got done at 5:30 in the afternoon, which was late enough to disrupt my sleep cycle by a couple of hours. I probably didn’t fall asleep until 2:00 am, and had to be up at 6:00 to come in to work at 8:00. The end result is that I am feeling pretty stupid and useless today; barely awake, and not very sharp mentally. Sigh.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too much work, once again

Today I was supposed to participate in a 4 hour "Interview Skills Training" session put on by the HR staff at my office. As is typical whenever I am scheduled to participate in any kind of training, I got yanked out of class at the last moment because something "critical" came up. The word "critical" makes me roll my eyes by now, because everything that ever needs to be done is labeled as "critical."

Anyway, I am not sure why I hot so annoyed, because I don't even like interviewing candidates. It takes time out of my day to prepare, and most people that show up are really not very good. I think I am just tired of constantly having to change and postpone my plans because of the dysfunctional nature if my group.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And here we go again ...

For the past few years, the end of October has marked the beginning of a difficult two month stretch for me. With the days getting shorter, it is still dark when I start my morning runs, and I don’t leave work until well after sunset. I do believe the lack of sunlight tends to foul my mood.
Besides the darkness, the end of the year, along with yet another dreaded and inevitably approaching birthday, always seem to force me to reflect on past failures and mistakes. This time of year is a reminder that time stops for no one, and drives me into a pattern of worry and regret that is probably not healthy for a soon to be twenty nine year old. At times, it can get bad enough that I almost think myself into a panic.
The approaching holidays tend to make things even more uncomfortable for me. Seeing people celebrate and appear joyful during a time that I find difficult makes me feel out of place and out of whack. I get irritable and discontent, even more so than usual.
I am hoping this year will be better than last year. I do seem to be more at peace with many things that drove me up the wall last year, but who knows. I just hope I get through the next two months without doing anything I will later regret.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Staten Island Half Marathon

This was in large part a fitness test to gauge my preparation for the Philadelphia Marathon, and it did not go particularly well. I had some strong workouts in recent weeks and felt like I was fit enough for a PR, but over the past couple of weeks I have been feeling fatigued, and it seems that my 6 day taper for this race failed to cure that. I still went in planning to pace for a 1:18, and I tried sticking to that plan. 

My legs were not feeling good early on, and the fatigue only got worse. There was a pretty good downhill toward the end of mile 2, and I remember thinking that it would probably suck on the way back. It did, as evidenced by my mile 12 split.

I had all sorts of problems getting into a good rhythm, and spent the first half of the race trying to force myself into a pace my legs simply did not want to sustain. Toward the end of the race I was just plain too tired to hold my planned pace. The knockdown punch came during mile 8, where an uphill probably around 1/4 mile long put me into a lot of difficulty, and I never really recovered. This sucker was steeper than I am used to running in races, and it hurt.

Mile 9 had a pretty good downhill, which definitely helped postpone my collapse for a bit. I hit 10 miles in 1:01, already behind PR pace. By mile 11, I was exhausted and fading on flat terrain. At this point, I pretty much gave up on the PR and just tried to get this thing over with. After a tough 12th mile I came back a bit on a downhill final mile to finish in 1:20:33, 1:01 off my PR run at Brooklyn this Spring. I think the 2 courses are comparable, though Staten Island subjectively felt harder to me.

Here are splits, recorded at the mile markers.

1    6:02    (6:02)
2    12:01    (5:59)
3    18:00    (5:59)
4    24:04    (6:04)
5    30:20    (6:16)
6    36:11    (5:51)
7    42:20    (6:09)
8    48:53    (6:33)
9    54:53    (6:00)
10    1:01:00    (6:06)
11    1:07:18    (6:18)
12    1:13:52    (6:34)
13    1:19:56    (6:04)
Finish    1:20:33    (:37)

I am thinking about what went wrong. Perhaps my higher mileage marathon training with more tempo running and fewer intervals was not as suited for a half. Perhaps it was because I got fat, showing up for this half 5-6 lbs heavier than I was this spring. Or perhaps I underestimated the recovery I would need from the pretty tough 3 weeks of training that preceded this race.

Anyway, I will be adjusting my marathon goal by 4 minutes and probably reducing my planned workload for the final few weeks before Philly.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

I have a confession to make ...

I may or may not have hid the truth about this in the past, but I did in fact crap my pants while running once. I believe it happened when I was 16, though I do not recall exactly, and most of the details escape me at this point.

I think I was out for a 2 or 4 mile jaunt around the neighborhood, because all my runs back then consisted of one or two circuits around the same 2 mile loop. As was normal for me back then, I was trying to go as fast as I possibly could that day. I was having some problems, but felt like I could hold it. Then, somewhere around a half mile from home, I suddenly lost control and it happened. How embarrassing. Thankfully, it was after dark and I was able to dispose of my soiled clothing shortly thereafter. Oh well, it happens.