Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Terrible Unicorn is Slain! Let the training...continue.

Anis-1 Unicorn-0.  If you'll be in Hopkinton on April 21, 2014, I will see you there, and we'll go for a run to Boylston Street in Boston. Beers to be had somewhere downtown afterward.

For those who enjoy a retelling of a mythical tale(with "historical" reference!):
 Well, while it may not have been written in the history books; it is well known that George Washington was faced with a difficult decision on December 25/26, 1776. Cross the Delaware and attack the Hessian troops qaurtered in Trenton...or find the Great Unicorn of the Delaware River. So, his choice is well known, and perhaps was the best choice for that day. But, the Unicorn has mocked us with it's carefree magical frolicking ever since. Life is hard, and darn it that Unicorn has been just making it seem a bit unfair! That is until, it met the challenge of the bearded one!

Cleverly diguised as a "marathon", the hunt for the Great Unicorn began on the morning of August 18th, 2013. Roughly 130 brave souls lined up armed only with gps watches and energy gels. The Unicorn watched from across the river grazing on local greenery, amused by what appeared to be a bunch of silly wanderers with numbers written up on paper which had been pinned onto their shirts. What a curious sight for this beautiful and terrible Beast!

Once the runners began, in 3 separate waves spread 30 seconds apart; a strategy employed by General Santa Anna in the slaying of the Chupcabra in the days following the battle of the Alamo Feb 23-Mar 6, 1836.  The Strategy might have proven successful, if not for one man's unrelenting surge to the front! Mike Anis! For the first time in its existence, the Unicorn felt the sick pain of fear, and all that it could do was to run for it's life. The Unicorn could never have expected a negative split run, and eventually was caught! Anis' beard reflected the piercing rays of the sun back into the eyes of the Unicorn! Now blinded, it could no longer run. It knew its time was at an end, and thus it accepted its fate and burst into flames! Then handily winning the race, Anis hauled the broiled carcass back to finish line and shared in the bounty with all in attendance!

Ok, so story time is finished. So, for real, recently training has been pretty darn good. I've run more miles in the past 7weeks than at any point since Sept/Oct of 2008. More miles do not always equal gains, but the truth is many faster runners than I have done a lot more mileage than I have. How much faster or stronger can I get? There is surely one way to find out, run more.

Recent Highlights:
Aug 18-Win the "Chasing the Unicorn Marathon" in 2:37:05, got the BQ. 3rd fastest marathon among 8, 1:19:13/1:17:52 splits. Felt good, recovered in a few days.
Sept 4-11-Ran 100miles in 7 days for the first time in 18yrs of competitive running.
Sept 17-Had a great workout, the kind that lets you know a PR is coming and no one can stop you
Sept 22-Newport Liberty HM, finish 10th, time of 1:12:15, this is a PR by 42seconds(Shamrock 08'), my GSTC teammates also produced some impressive performances, inspiring stuff.
Cruisin' on the towpath in PA! Gettin' after the Unicorn and taking home the W!

Supplemental training: standing fearless in the face of a waterborne Rottweiler!

Start of the Newport Liberty HM Sept 22, 2013 pictured all clustered up here: Chuck Schneekloth, Sean Donohue, Kyle Price, Dennie Waite, Jon Lindenauer, Mike Anis, Stephen Comanto, Will Griffin, Ryan Johns, Peter Schaeffing. Sorry if I missed anyone here. All fine competitors!

Winning a marathon is a special thing, a true thrill. I surely didn't look at a calendar on Jan 1st and say to myself "This yr, I will win a marathon. Yup, I'll just go and do that then." I mean really, who wins a marathon? How often does that happen in life? I can always say I won it, and no one can eeevvver take it away from me. The five friends who came to see me race were better support than if I had thousands of screaming maniacs every step of the way. Rob Decarlo, Tiff Schwartz, Erin Higgins, Jeff and Hardina Blough; I can not thank you all enough for being there on that day!

The month between the marathon and the Newport Liberty half was a solid block of patient miles with some ambitious workouts. I can't say what the workouts were in detail, spies could be reading this! Or perhaps I've decided this post should not revolve around "nerd stuff" like workout statistics.
 So I knew this HM would go well. And while I didn't feel terrfic on this particular race-morning, I know I can't complain too much, as runners say, "a PR is a PR"! But I think I'm faster than this race has shown. I'll just have to be patient for the next racing opportunity.

One thing is for sure, after about 4miles of letting us beat him Will Griffin ran away from me like I was going backwards. Also, Sean Donohue is hard to catch, couldn't do it this time, give me another 13.1miles and it could be interesting.  More importantly, I've been very consistent, and I'm excited about running all the time now! About getting together with other dedicated runners that I know, about hard workouts and solid long runs! About the planning and the recovery, and just tuning my body for going far as quickly as I can make it go!

Next up: 5k XC!