3 Weeks Out

I have been training for my 3rd attempt at a sub 90 minute half marathon for 6 weeks now. I have 3 weeks to go.

At this point I am optimistic. I have stayed with the plan for the most part, but have been somewhat surprised by the volume I have been able to run with only 3 hard days a week. Each of the last 2 weeks I have hit mid-40s for my mileage with only a long run, a tempo run, and a moderate run. With those 3 runs getting me to 28 miles, I only need four runs of 4 miles to hit mid 40s.

A Fond Tingling?

There were a few times during my college career where, at the end of the season when the speed work was taking hold and we were backing off on the mileage, my legs felt like they were itching to run fast. Something inside them just felt like they wanted to be unleashed on the course or track and take on all comers.

The Case For A Coach

I am a running coach.

I spend 10-11 months year working with high school runners. I have worked with several non-high schoolers in various capacities. And, I enjoy giving advice and helping anyone who asks with training ideas.

I feel like I am very knowledgable about running. I read magazines, books, articles, online forums, etc. Undoubtedly there are lots of people out there who know more about running than I do. But, I also have no doubt that I know more than 99% of all runners.

So, why do I struggle so much to have a plan for myself that goes beyond, "run every day"?

Aiming for a Celebration

This article, written by yours truly, appears online at Milesplit Colorado.

Please forgive us if we act a little crazy.

The second week of October means the start of Championship Season for cross country in Colorado.

In The Pool

I personally am not big on cross training.

I think cross training has a purpose, is important, and can be vital for some runners. I, however, prefer to run. And, having been largely injury free, and having run for over 600 days in a row, I have not had any desire or need to do any major cross training.

However, my perspective changed yesterday.

I take my high school runners to the pool once a week for a cross training day. Typically we aqua jog, maybe swim some relays, and have a good time while (maybe) getting in a bit of a workout.

Ready to Run

I am ready to be back.

Having not raced nor run more than 30 miles in a week since the beginning of July, I am ready to get back to it.

Injuries suck. But I am not interested in dealing with this one for any longer. I have felt good for a couple of weeks, but have erred on the side of caution and stuck to the plan.

Today I get to start things up again.

Today I get to regain some focus and work towards some goals.

At this point my goals are relatively modest: stay healthy for the next 2 months and run a half-marathon PR in early December.

A Coach's Extremes

Racing is hard.

Being a coach can be as hard or harder.

A coach has zero control over what his or her athletes do on race day. Their training can be perfect, their taper precise, but if something goes wrong on race day it can all go out the window.

Watching as things go from bad to worse is challenging to say the least.

However, there are the times when everything comes together and one of your runners has an amazing race. Those times are priceless.

Itching?

Yesterday I went to a road race but did not run in it.

I watched my sister and brother-in-law race in the Fans on the Field 10k. They both did very well, and both said my presence and encouragement on the course was helpful.

However, it was an interesting experience for me.

On the one hand, I really wished I was out there racing. Three years ago I finished 8th overall in this race. It is a big race, 1,800 plus runners this year, so placing that high feels like a big deal.

Biding My Time

It has been a long odyssey.

In March I fell down some bleachers and sprained my right ankle. I managed to keep my running streak alive, although it barely qualified as running at times, and recover to the point where I ran a PR at Bolder Boulder and got into the mid 50 miles per week range.

Then something happened.

I have no idea what that something was, but I started to feel pain in the same ankle. This time the pain was higher up. I tried to just run through it, but ultimately faced a day where I realized it wasn't working.

Easy Weeks

There comes a point in a training cycle where all the miles, intensity, and hard efforts start to take their toll. Maybe a runny nose or a cough is the result. Maybe it's sore knees, shin splints, or general aches. Or maybe the result of all the miles and stress is general irritability, lack of focus, and loss of drive.

Whatever the result, there is usually a common fix: an easy week.

Easy weeks are an important part of any training plan for many reasons.

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