Sunday, February 15, 2015

Momentum Recovered

I came into 2014 desperate to get back momentum in my running life.  In retrospect my running life started falling apart following my career change in August 2012.  My new job took two hours of daily free time away from me in comparison to my former career in social work [commute and mandatory lunch].  It is amazing how fast fitness can deteriorate.  I got a taste of this reality when I participated in the Dogwood 50k with Scott Griffith on October 21st, 2012.  My mile consumption for the few weeks prior was pitiful and I paid the price.  I was super proud of Scott getting his first 50k finish whereas I experienced my first 50k DNF [I am registered for the 2015 Dogwood 50k with plans of redeeming myself].

I did manage to complete the Memphis marathon in December 2012 but it was super rough.  I ran the first half with my wife and then battled through a few waves of fatigue to barely put a marathon completion and a marathon state in the log.

In March of 2013 I experienced another 50k DNF at the Chicago Lakefront 50k.  It was one of those events that I put on the schedule hoping that it would provide the motivation for me to get out the door on a regular basis.  I arrived at the event knowing that I would need to employ plenty of walking to get a completion.  An impending snowstorm took away the option of me walking it in when the run went out of the legs after twenty miles [we needed to get on the road before the storm destroyed the roads]  My bro Scott Griffith got his second 50k finish that day and I logged another discouraging DNF.

The remainder of 2013 included the ongoing battle to recover consistency.  Following a solid month of logging decent miles in July including a 38 mile long run on the Frisco Highline Trail I signed up for the nine hour and 11 minute Patriots Run and started dreaming of participating in another 100 mile event.  

On September 7th I successfully got registered for the 2014 Umstead 100 [an April 2014 event].  The Patriots Run, a few days after my registration, turned out to be another dud performance.  It was 93 Degrees and I quickly opted out of unnecessary suffering and merely logged a 15 mile training run.

I basically had seven months to train for the 2014 Umstead 100.  I would throw together a good week and then take a day off and before I knew it I had taken three days off and my progress seemed to reset.  I arrived at the Umstead 100 with great fear and trembling - knowing that my fitness was seriously lacking for such a huge endeavor.  Looking back it is actually impressive that I covered the 50 miles I did on that day.  That was my longest run since completing the Mother Road 100 on November 14, 2010.

Driving home from North Carolina I resolved that it was time to employ a daily running streak.  If I got myself out the door everyday it seemed likely I could recover the momentum that was absent from my running life over the last couple of years.   I started the daily running streak officially on April 10th, 2014.

Today, February 15th, 2015, my daily running streak is still alive at 312 consecutive days.  And I am happy to confess that I have recovered my running momentum.  During the streak I completed a double marathon weekend and I did it with solid evidence of fitness [October 11th, 2014 - Hartford, CT: 3h:51m:10s and October 12th, 2014 - Newport, RI: 4h:10m:04s].

I am coming into Spring marathons chomping at the bit to be let loose on my scheduled marathons: (1) Tobacco Road in Raleigh, NC on March 15th, and (2) Kentucky Derby in Louisville, KY on April 25th.
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