It makes me a little sad to report that I’m not going to be running 100 miles on June 4th. But I’m okay with that.
The reason? No excuses or blaming external circumstances. I honestly just haven’t found the discipline recently to get out there for 20, 30, and 50 mile training runs. It’s not anyone’s fault but my own, and I can handle that.
One ultrarunner friend of mine encouraged me to go down to Virginia and run it anyway. “You just ran a marathon,” he said. “Given that and the fact that you’ve done a few 50’s, you can make it through a hundred.”
Hmm. Crazy as that sounds, it’s how these ultrarunners think, and maybe he’s right. But that’s not how I want to do it. I’ve run a few races without being prepared, and it’s not fun. Not just because it hurts so bad, but because it makes it impossible to really look forward to the race and enjoy all that goes along with it.
Does that make this a failure?
Sure. For now. But it ultimately won’t be.
When I do run my first hundred, which I have zero doubt that I will someday (I still hope to do it within the next year), this will just be the first step I took on the way to doing it. Not a step I’ll be especially proud of, but I’ll be able to say that it got the process started.
Isn’t that the only way to look at failure?
A new training experiment
Some good has come from this, and that’s a renewed interest in running fast. Since I qualified for Boston a year and a half ago, almost all my running has been of the long, slow variety, usually in preparation for 50K’s or 50-milers. But running the Boston Marathon helped me realize that I do want to run fast again to get back there, and that’s been key for my motivation.
So I’ve been hitting the track again, and loving running like I haven’t in a long time. And though the next few races on my schedule are ultras (the Vermont 50 again, for one), I want to see what happens if I do mostly short, fast training — lots of track workouts and tempo runs, under eight miles or so, with just a few longish runs sprinkled in to keep the aerobic system in shape.
So yeah, I could dwell on failure. But instead, I’ll be excited that running is fun again, and to be trying something new. That’s what I’m taking from this.
New Balance winner!
Alright, we have a winner for the New Balance 890’s giveaway. It’s…
“Kim in MD,” who said:
Thanks for a chance to win!As my 60 year-old father has run 50+ marathons & ultras and he refuses to go anywhere near the minimalist running, I’m in the cushioned camp. But I am always interested to hear how others feel about this issue. It’s a pretty big commitment to transition over, if you’re unsure.
The conspiracy theorists will note that Kim is from my home state of Maryland, but I can assure you I don’t know Kim and that the drawing was random. Thanks to everyone who entered and left interesting comments about the minimalist footwear debate, as well as to New Balance for doing the giveaway.
And finally, the links
Here they are, the most interesting articles (well, one’s a video) I found last week. Enjoy.
How to Run a Marathon with (Almost) No Training — Location 180
I didn’t think I was going to like this post. As I alluded to above, so much is missing from the whole race experience when you’re not prepared for the distance, even if you can manage to drag yourself across the finish line.
But as I kept reading, I recognized that the things that kept Sean going (when the furthest he had run in “training” was eight miles) are the same things that keep everyone going when they’re running farther than they ever have before.
Anyway, it’s an interesting read, and that message isn’t “why bother training?” Instead, it’s “you’re capable of way more than you realize,” and I like that.
If you’re still consuming artificial sweeteners, this one’s for you. The hype-y DDT headline is intriguing, but that comparison doesn’t seem too meaningful to me (how about you, chemists?). Still, I’m glad this stuff is making news.
Yes, sugar is probably at the heart of the obesity epidemic, but artificial sweeteners are no “solution.” And that is a really, really bad chemistry joke.
It’s in a few theaters now, with lots more being added in the coming weeks. There’s a ton of buzz around this film, and I believe it’s going to do a lot to change the way people eat.
As you know if you’re a regular No Meat Athlete reader, I don’t write much about ethical issues here. I think they’re important and interesting, but I’m not comfortable preaching about what’s right and wrong. I like writing about running and about feeling great and having the energy to do awesome stuff, and I personally know I can do a lot more good that way than I could with another, guilt-driven approach.
Forks Over Knives appears to take the same tack, focusing on how this diet can improve our health as the reason to go vegan (it doesn’t really even mention veganism in the marketing). So that’s why I’m excited about it. I haven’t seen it yet, but I think they’re going to send me a screener, so look for a review here soon.
Get Started — from Overweight to Healthy — Zen Habits
A lot of times I think about where you possibly start when you are significantly overweight, and how hard it must be to make drastic changes to your eating habits or to start exercising. Especially when exercise itself is so miserable, precisely because the fact that you’re overweight makes it hard to actually do the activity that’s required to change that.
So I suppose you take it on in the same way you take on any overwhelming task, which is by breaking it down and taking some action, no matter how small. That’s the approach here, and it seemed worth sharing to me. I’d love to hear what you think about it, if you’ve dealt with weight issues, either successfully or unsuccessfully.
Alright, that’s all for today. I’m heading into my last week of school, so I’m hoping to be able to write a lot more posts in the coming weeks and months. See you soon!