I've picked up a few new followers lately. It always floors me that someone else finds my ramblings interesting enough to read. It floors me even more that people keep reading. Maybe it's insomnia? Maybe my blog is better than Ambien? After all, it's not like I am a 3 hour marathoner, or even a 20 minute 5K'er. I'm just a guy that goes out and tries to pick up a few miles here and a few seconds there. I watch those 4:30 marathoners with envy, wanting to grow up and be like them one day. So to the new folks - thank you for following me! And to the old folks (hmm, that didn't come out quite right) thank you for coming back!
So what's with the title? For those who have been following my babble for a while, it wasn't but a few weeks ago I was suffering from an advanced case of the running blahs. I lacked the motivation necessary to train. I literally had to force myself out the door. I talked myself into running slower and shorter. Every hour on the trails was drudgery. My times weren't improving. My fitness wasn't improving. It was just something I was doing out of habit. I wasn't satisfied. Yes. I was burning out.
It happens to everyone at some point. The trick is figuring out how to freshen things up. If you can inject life into the dead cow, then there might be some hope after all. For me, it's all about answering the question "Why am I doing this?" If I can answer that, then maybe I can recapture the flame.
So, back to the data I went. After all, we have these fancy watches and GPS devices and such. What good is all that if you're not going to look back at the story that the data tells? Basically, a lot of my story is today's title. The first part - "7/9/2007 6.00 13:10" is the first day that I got my butt off the couch and did something about my ever expanding girth. July 9th, 2007. Six miles at an average pace of 13:10 per mile. Slow. I don't have any heart rate data, but I can probably guarantee that the sweat was measured in gallons and the wheezing was audible. The second part - "12/26/2009 9.99 9:43". That's yesterday. 10 easy miles. At a 9:43 pace. Right smack in the middle of my aerobic zone. The last part - "0.99333". That's THE fraction. 1490 miles out of 1500 - the goal I set for myself back in January this year. That's 3 minutes and 30 seconds faster per mile than when I started in 2007 and a 50% increase in mileage from last year. Motivating? Heck ya!
The most motivating thing though is to look back and see how consistent this year has been. 10 months over 100 miles (an injury in January and Mt. Whitney and a mean ass cold in September put those two months in te can). Even in November when my motivation was waning, I still racked up 108 miles. And I was able to do this without breaking down or suffering an injury.
I wish I could give all of you new runners and new followers some magical advice that would instantly make you faster. Heck - I wish *I* could find that magic formula to getting faster. But, it was Coach Sumner a couple of weeks ago who pointed out to the new runners starting the L.A./O.C. Marathon training cycles - "The more you run, the better you get." It's been a lot of more, but I'm starting to see the better.