Well, last week I thought I'd jumped in speed, and while my shorter runs this week were slower than last week, my long run was 31 seconds a mile faster than last week. I'd been finding my long runs dropping by a few seconds a mile every week, but this was a big jump, and I actually wound up averaging about 5 seconds faster on the week than I did last week.
This was my final scheduled recovery run. My mileage will fall off by a couple of miles for the rest of the training, and my rest will increase. I will have a week that I'll be moving my training up a day, so I may get a short 1- to 2-mile run in so as not to rest three days, but if I do a lot of walking (likely), I might just skip it.
We're 6 weeks out from the race, and I'm getting excited for it, starting to plan the month leading up and the day. I'm thinking, as I write this, that I should change my long run routine a little bit, so that it mimics race day a bit. Right now, I get up, get dressed, pack a bag, drink some water and coffee and take a pre-workout, drive about a half hour and get out of the car running. Race day will be more like a 5- or 10-minute drive, but I need to be parked 90 minutes before race start.
We're heading into October. I don't know if you noticed, but the Earth keeps spinning, the sun keeps rising and setting, and time keeps on ticking.
Another week, and the year will be three-quarters over. Take that week, look back at your goals, and charge into Q4 with a renewed zeal for what you wanted to accomplish this year.
I've done pretty well. My goals were largely esoteric; here's a look at what they were. But I've started some new things, seen some stuff through to conclusion, and the final three months of 2015 will include a move from the suburbs into the city, my first half marathon, some visitors from different parts of our lives and settling into some new routines.
Something got into my legs this week. I was on the road 24 minutes and change less than last week, while my distance was only down 0.14 miles. And that's while missing a day off.
I did eat a lot more carbs this week than normal. I've started having a peanut butter and banana sandwich (or two!), and I'm eating more rice. I wonder if that had something to do with speed and stamina.
This was the first week that when I finished my long run, I had some muscle cramping. It was the first time I crossed the 11-mile mark, and the first time I crossed the 2-hour mark, and maybe I have to remember to cool down and stretch a little more than I usually do. Normally I just have a Gatorade and get on my way.
Anyway, 11 miles, and I feel like if you told me I had a week, I'd be able to push out another couple of miles. Onward!
While this post will ring a little louder with Masons, I think it's important for everyone. Masonry is, after all, designed to make us better people.
In the first degree, one of the working tools we're given is the common gavel. It is used to trim the excess from our lives. It really is one of the hardest things in our lives: recognizing the stuff that is keeping us from doing the important stuff.
Taking Facebook quizzes instead of turning off the lights and getting to bed early enough for eight hours' sleep before your alarm goes off; binge-watching "Modern Family" instead of opening that biography you've been saying would inspire you to greatness; shopping for shoes on Zappos instead of launching that new business you've been talking about — these are the excesses we face every day, the things that keep us from reaching our potential.
Not to say that those things are bad, nor that sometimes they're a welcome diversion. Sometimes you need to zone out in front of the TV, and sometimes you wear a hole in the sole of your sneakers. Sometimes Facebook is the best way to be in touch with friends and family.
I've been starting to use my gavel more and more. I'm saying no to projects that aren't either fulfilling or worthwhile from a financial standpoint. I'm making progress on some projects that have been on my plate for a long time. I'm making sure I connect with people it's important I stay connected to. I'm writing more.
I feel good. I'm sure there's more I could do, but baby steps are so much better than no steps. Or giant leaps that don't stick.
No video this week. We'll get back to them next week, though!
Happy Monday, friends!
Great week. Now that I've acknowledged my 5-6 miles problem, I made some mental preparations to deal with it. And then I changed my route for my 10-miler at the end of the week and it went really well. I don't know when the last time I ran a sub-9-minute mile, but my recovery run was much faster than normal.
My schedule changes the next few weeks to accommodate work and the holidays, but I'm going to aim to keep a rest day before my long run. It means I lose a rest day this week but gain one back in two weeks.
I used to love mystery novels as a child. I tore through Hardy Boys books, through Agatha Christie novels, and basically whatever I could get my hands on.
I spent much of this year reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes. Complete, as in Arthur Conan Doyle's novels and serials about the detective over a course of 60 years — he wrote about Holmes, mostly from the point of view of the narrator, Watson, a young doctor back from military service in Afghanistan, from 1867 to 1927.
Here are a few lessons, good and bad.
1. Be observant. Holmes gets most of his information from just paying attention to little details — the scuff on a sleeve, the mud on a boot, the ash from a cigar, the shape of a toe on a footprint. We'd all do well to be that observant, though maybe without bragging about it.
2. Do what you love. Holmes rarely takes money, other than expenses, for handling a private case, and typically lets police take credit for crimes solved. He does the work for the love of a challenge.
3. Be better to your friends. Holmes abuses the hell out of Watson. He once let the doctor think he was dead for several years. Other times, he tricked him into playing a part in solving the crime, putting the work above his friend. I can only guess Watson sticks by Holmes because Doyle needs him, and this is fiction, after all.
4. Be better to your readers. One thing I remember loving about mysteries as a child is the whodunit aspect — I got to play along and see if I could solve it. But Holmes often has some crucial piece of information the reader only finds out at the reveal. We never really get to play along; we just get to wait and see how it ends.
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Below is the collection of weekly email newsletter versions of The Bearded Brain. They constitute about a year of links to interesting things and podcasts. This now publishes at a collection of links every Tuesday, available here.
Well, two things have come to my attention this week. One is that I enjoy three-to-four miles and long runs and I really don't like those middle distances — in that 5- and 6-mile range. I think that's even where i started to have to get past it on my 10-miler this week.
The other is that I need to give myself a little more credit. Looking back over the week, I ran a full three miles farther this week than last, and only took five more minutes to do it in.
So, I guess the countdown's really on. Nine weeks until race day. Onward!