Former 2:24 marathoner, now in my late 40s and hoping to maximally flatten the curve of my slide into senescence and mediocrity • Magazine writer, book editor and author, and commentator on the sport of distance running since 1999 • Adviser and confidant of other perambulators • Paradoxical hater of exercise fanatics • Chihuahua whisperer Sentence-fragment impresario

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Training, week of July 10 through July 16 (middle fingers in the air edition)

I ran 57 miles this week. 7/5; 6/4; 7; 10; 6; 7; 5.

I'm not providing a screen shot of my Garmin dashboard for the first time all year, because I'm dismantling the whole "weekly training reports" aspect of this blog, effective immediately, and am only posting this one to announce as much.

Why? Because this is a pain in the ass, but today was the long-overdue final straw. I set out to do some 400s on the road. I never even got close. I've mentioned the issues with my left ankle, both recent and past, a number of times, but today introduced a new bugaboo: Over the course of about 30 minutes at a modest pace, my entire right leg grew more and more achy, that bone-deep, indistinct-yet-almost-crippling sort of pain that I associate with recently having run a marathon or training in excess of 90 to 100 miles a week.

It's been many years since I raced a marathon or ran that much. As it is I'm just an old bastard who trudges around at a series of unremarkable paces and uses the Internet to suggest that this is worth publicly admitting to, which it's not.

I started writing weekly updates at the beginning of 2017 with the same motivations and intentions as most runners who blog about their training, e.g., keeping a few friends outside Boulder updated, maintaining closer contact with other bloggers whose output I enjoy, and keeping myself motivated to re-immerse myself in racing for the first time since Christ was in diapers.

None of those things apply now. My various running friends already know what I'm up to without consulting this electronic puddle of shit. I'm no more or less motivated to train hard by writing about my own running. If anything, since the ebb and flow of my weekly workload is rather unusual and often has me busy on Sunday evenings, writing the weekly recaps is more annoying than enriching. (Failing that, Sunday nights are set aside for <i>Twin Peaks: The Return</i> episodes for another couple of months.)

Mostly, though, it's disgust and ennui that compel me to put paid to this bad habit. It would be one thing if I were training hard and racing fast (or often) and hurting, but seriously, this? Week in and week out of 8 or 9 miles a day at 7:00 pace? Any collegiate rower could take this regimen up without a burp and would be ashamed to call such a thing "training."

Anyway, I've now run for more than 200 days in a row. Maybe that's part of the problem, but I strongly doubt it. Shuffling around in the manner I do is not physically demanding enough to imply the need for rest days. Every day is already a fucking rest day by honorable, meaningful standards.

I'm sure I'll find something impersonal to grumble or even cheer about, and have no plans to either stop running (if my legs aren't too fucked up) or stop writing about it. But if you visit this place mostly for the weekly schadenfreude, I suggest going elsewhere for that.


  1. Man do You put pressure on yourself. Why don't you continue the consecutive streak like you are doing but at 3 or 4 miles a day for a while instead of killing yourself in the heat and provide just a lil, lil detail about your training just to keep people like me informed a little. But if not I totally understand because that sun is darn hot.Thanks