So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nice... Problems To Have

Every time I hit the road for a race/trip it seems the desk clerk or the concierge assumes everyone who is a runner wants pasta the night before the race. Personally, I'm not in the mood for pasta; I'd rather have Chinese...then I can have rice, and veggies and chicken.
We had some fantastic pasta in the past, I dare admit. One place near Dayton, OH, had some good stuff. But the most memorable thing had to be the abundance of garlic...Chef Emeril Lagasse was asked during one of his shows, 'how do you know when there's too much garlic?' His response almost broke the seatbelt on my couch and risked having me roll on the floor, laughing my @$$ off: 'I don't know. I haven't gotten there yet.' Okay, we were warned about the garlic content of this place's house dressing, so we went with ranch on top of our salad. HOWEVER, the chef must have caught on to our plan to avoid the bulb, because the fried calamari must have been marinated in the stuff. Yes, it was delicious, but (exhale, wrinkle nose) I think I'm still detoxifying five months after the fact.
...sounds like someone in need of a Toastmasters intervention.
My swimming coach and I were chatting after this morning's workout (once I regained consciousness/normal heart rate/normal breathing) about what easily could have been considered the match race for this local running community. Two of the area's strongest runners finally went head-to-head during a 15-mile race at Fort Pickens, on the Gulf Islands National Seashore. One specializes at racing the half-marathon and under, the other races the half-marathon and up. Both are quiet, unassuming, and modest gentlemen; coaching and inspiring many of the area's young adult runners. It's almost funny to see the running community line up behind one or the other when the (inevitable) debate arises each year. The runner who took second place has won his share of marathons. He was the first American male to win the Disney Marathon, and he's won Pensacola's marathon on at least two occasions, I believe. His comment about what happened during the race, 'I still got (sic) a little marathon in me.'
Steve was planning to ask Marathon Matt about his recovery regimen; seems an interesting topic, given the (painfully obvious) fact he raced (okay, ran - his winning time was ten minutes slower than his winning time the previous year) Pensacola two weeks before and Disney several weeks before that.
I think there's probably two or three points Matt would mention:
1. Train to peak at the right time. Know the races for which you want to be the most fit and the most ready, then walk backward as you're planning your training cycle.
2. Follow the hard/easy principle of training. If you train full-bore all year long the odds are high you will incur an injury.
3. Listen to the times when your body says it needs rest. Complete rest, active rest, and regeneration is as important as tempo runs, interval work and overdistance.
I'm certain the races Matt's run this early spring have been signposts on the way to his ultimate goal; a strong finish on Boylston Street come mid-April. You don't see him racing throughout the year. In fact, a long, steady training progression (with a single-peak period) ensures the highest and longest peak he - and most well-trained athletes - can possibly achieve.
Fatigue. Starting to see the possible benefits of massage therapists and "bone benders," especially as there are more miles on the ol' odometer. Funny, running will beat you from the behind down (unless you've got old shoes, and then it can beat up you lower back, too) takes that swimming and cycling we use for cross-training to beat up the rest of the musculoskeletal system. I don't get it...yet. But I will soon.
Four days so far, and I've been good on my vow to steer clear from french fried potatoes. I'm not certain whether I'll be able to hold off the entire month, but I'm going to try. I think if I see a couple of extra pounds drop off this frame it'll be the motivation to keep at it. It's an interesting paradox; while fat stores in the body are beneficial to swimming (buoyancy) they are useless excess baggage once you get on the bicycle or out on the run. Get too thin and you might be able to climb or ride strongly, but you then lack on the run...and swimming is a nightmare.
So where do we draw the line? My wife says a little more to the right than I say. There's a happy medium all over the place.
Res Ipsa Loquitur, NSPS.

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