Sunday, June 21, 2009

A New Cycle Starts

Our Saturday morning Cal Coast group is growing again - we had about 30 or so out for the Saturday morning run. Coach Sumner has started a new training cycle for the Long Beach Marathon. This is the third cycle that I've seen. The pattern is similar - the flow and ebb of the marathon hopeful. We start like gangbusters. We end up with a few hardcores. The rest slowly fade away. Some fall to injury. Some over train and burn out. Some start with all the right intentions, but fall by the wayside when the hours and miles lengthen.

One thing for sure - the marathon is a study of patience and endurance. Most undertaking the distance are somewhat aware of that concept - how on race day you need to be prepared for hours of running in the hot sun and pushing your body beyond what it would normally do. But most don't understand that the patience and endurance of the marathon starts weeks prior with their commitment to the plan. The miles (the first half on my current plan is 450 miles, and the miles increase from there). The hours spent running. Most of the time alone. Theboredom of running he same trails over and over. The monotony of the laps around the track. The heat. The cold. The little tweaks and niggles. Sore muscles. Forcing yourself out the door when the bed is so warm and inviting (kind of like the way I feel this morning).

Yes - the marathon is an accomplishment. But, it's not about 26.2 miles. It's not about Boston or sub 4:00. It' about making it. To the starting line. Making the commitment is easy. Having the patience and endurance to make it to the starting line deserves recognition. (I think I just made up my mind ....)

Yesterday's run - 11 miles at a 10:30 pace. Average heart rate 77% MHR.Looks like it's time to make an adjustment or two. That heart rate is a little high for that slow a pace. More rest and more fuel! Out for a 5 mile recovery run a little later this morning.


  1. My heart rate is always pretty high, too. I keep waiting for the day I'm in such good shape that it doesn't get so high. Heh.

  2. Glenn,

    My thoughts have been on the same subject this week. The training for a marathon is just as grueling as the race itself. A lot of people get too gung ho in beginning, then get burned out or injured. It's a lot like going out too fast in the race itself.

  3. Very good! I am assuming you are going to do the marathon?!! You are right though, a marathon involves a big commitment...I am still on the fence if I will ever do one.

  4. was it hotter/more humid? i think that impacts the hr (at the same, normal "easy" pace), and sounds like a valid excuse to me :)

    i usually suffer post-marathon depression. you spend months training for it, run a good race, and then it's like - now what? i have to rest? the journey to race day just may beat out the actual race itself in my opinion!

  5. Glenn- I really liked your post. What a metaphor for life. Gosh I liked this alot! So you're choosing the marathon eh? Cool! Christine

  6. Yippee for the LB Full! Rock on!! I know you can easily do it!! How exciting!

    I need to run long runs with people but it seems everyone does them on saturdays which SUCK for me!!! I guess I'll just have to get out there next sunday on my own!!

    I'm so glad you have decided on running the full in Long beach!

  7. Its all about the training. The race is just the reward at the end of it all.

  8. I agree -- the race is just icing on the cake.