Monday, April 27, 2009

M-Cubed for 4/27/2009

Monday Morning Musings for April Twenty-Seventh, Two Thousand and Nine. A smattering of thoughts that alone don't constitute a blog post but together end up here on Monday morning.

- So long to a "down" week in my training towards the Kettle Moraine 100 Miler. As of today, I'm T-40 days until race day. My down week, although at 47.5 miles was low for weeks preceding it, still included a 27 miles and only 11.2 of it was on trails. (ugh) Vince and I met up at 4:30am at Lock 29 for the trail portion and met back at 6:30am to meet the VR Group Run. I felt more beat up after that run than after my previous weeks of back-to-back weekend of 50+ miles. I'll chock it up to good training in the heat as temps climbed into the 80s. Who would've thought it would be in the 80s all weekend when my Thursday morning run last week was at 37F?

- Last night, with the sun high in the sky, I got a few brave souls out at 5pm (Tracy & Glenn) for a hot/humid 85 degree trail run. Initial goal was 10 miles but it was shortened to 8 miles because I was pinched for time. I don't have much time left to get used to the heat before the Kettle so I'll take the training whenever I can get it.

- This past Saturday, Marjie had to work and my mom had my oldest daughter so a "Dad Date Day" it was with my youngest who is almost 6. After I sulked, moaned, and groaned about how tired I was after baking in the sun on the Towpath, we headed to Kent and spent some time down by the Cuyahoga River. It was an absolutely picture-perfect day to be down there. After some relaxing on the rocks we had lunch at the Pufferbelly located just above the river. I had my favorite sandwich of all time, the Grouper Reuben and she had HER favorite, PB&J and a side of cinnamon applesauce. Afterwards, we wandered aimlessly throught Earth Day vendors set up just around the corner. We finished our date at Billocks' Ice Cream shop in Rootstown for some ice cream. She got her usual...a chocolate ice cream sundae and I tried out the new Moose Tracks: vanilla ice cream with hot fudge swirled through it and chunks of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup...and then some peanut butter sauce drizzled on top. YUM!!!

- I'll be honest. I'm more than ready for the Kettle to get here. I'm at the point where I feel I'm at my peak in training and am ready to attack the goal. I know....40 days will pass fast but I'm just ready to move on. I also feel that I'm on the brink of getting burned out and/or injured. I need to just stay focused on the goal, run my training (vs. letting it run me), and be smart and listen to my body. For example: I'm totally exhausted so I'm for sure not running today. I may even take tomorrow off. I want....I need this weekend to be the best it can be. It's the last major training weekend so I need it as a mental springboard for the Kettle.

- Last Thursday was a lot of fun. It was the National "Take Your Son/Daughter to Work Day". My oldest daughter who is 8 got to be an employee of the Executive Branch of the federal government for the day at Social Security. It started with a meet-n-greet with the staff, a mock interview where she was "hired," and jobs where she got to do shipping, shredding, recycling, and stocking of workstations. For lunch, we ordered in pizza for the group of 16 youngsters, and late afternoon, I served up my parents' ice cream to the staff with fixins' for sundaes. Last but not least, she got to see my "exciting" job in action, taking a disability claim from a local resident in Stark County. She had a blast, the staff loved her, and she asked if she could come to work once a week! Good times....good times, indeed.

100+ screaming elementary age girls + Hanna Montana + barn-decorated cafeteria = Spring "Hoedown" Father/Daughter Dance. This past Friday after work, I took each one of my girls in an arm, saddled up our horse (aka: my Honda Accord), put on my best cowboy get-up (jeans and a button-up North Face shirt), and headed up to the school for this annual event. I had no idea how many "cowboys" lived in our midst. Talk about feeling out of place! The girls saw their friends, burned off an incredible amount of energy, and I sought out just about anyone in my same situation and caught up on times gone by. By 9pm, I was cooked and ready to head on home since the 2:40am alarm for Saturday's trail run would come quick.

- While growing up, I fondly remember my parents taking us down to the Loudonville area southwest of Wooster to go canoeing. As spring is here and will most likely transition quickly to summer, I think it's time to introduce this great family past-time to my own family and my girls. The Loudonville Canoe Livery is still alive and well. There are multiple distances you can travel from the Livery and I think we're going to do the ~4hr, 14 mile distance. $44 will get us life jackets for all, 2 paddles, the canoe, and transportation back to the Livery. I've gotta find a map, but I remember little pulloff points along the river to get some lunch, ice cream, etc. It should be a blast and a day to remember. Most likely, we'll head down during my taper to the Kettle.

- If anyone wants to join me on Friday or Saturday on the trails, just let me know when you want to run and we'll meet up. The more company, the merrier!

Have a great week and Happy Trails, everyone!


Clara said...

Why is this your last good training weekend? I thought you weren't tapering until 3 weeks before. I'm curious because I'll copy your schedule when it comes close to Mohican. :)

Nick Billock said...

It's my last big back-to-back weekend. It'll be 5 weeks out and at least, my 3rd back-to-back. I feel that at this point, I've learned as much as I want to/need to for the Kettle. With burnout seemingly sitting on my doorstep, I want to be careful not to go over the edge. I've spoken with a few other very accomplished 100-milers and they feel 5-6 weeks out from a 100 is good timing for the last big one. At 3 weeks out, my plan is to run 30-35 very slowly but only on one day. THEN, I'll start my taper. I'm simply not doing a back-to-back 3 weeks out.

One thing I've learned about 100-mile training is that you have to take a ton of feedback from as many sources as possible then craft your own plan based on time available in your schedule, what works for you, what does NOT work for you, then go for it. It is definitely not a "one-size-fits-all" program like marathon training is (for the most part). I know many who never train >60 miles a week for a 100 then I know those who hit 100mi/wk time and time again. I believe you must do what is necessary to not only prepare physically but mentally, you need to KNOW you will cross that finish line when you toe the starting line.