Today the weather regally sucked. I was going to get my Lance Armstrong on and tackle the Hills of Wolcott, Terryville, Thomaston and Litchfield, but opted instead for a long run, so as to save the Bitch Stomper potential road damage.
As I ran my usual cross town loop, I decided to experiment with orange GU2O. It surprisingly wasn't bad although my mom commented that it looked like "rusty well water." My run was 12 miles of basically hill work. Claire once asked me on a training ride how I did it on the run. How can a guy whom my track coach stated " had no natural ability" ( let's face it my parents were 2 pack a day smokers before I was a twinkle in my father's eye. So yes I would huff and puff even on my training runs desperately trying to keep pace.)crank out sub 2 hour half marathons and a sub 4 hour marathon in the Ironman. We talked about hill repeats and no lie when I started I used to run up and down the steepest hill in my general area 10 times frightening the Hell out of my neighbors. As I became a distance whore I had to find a way to combine hills along with high volume training...I discovered one of the only good things about living in the rough rocky area that is New England, there are no shortages of hills. So my long runs have also become my hill work...and are actually, at least for me, a better simulation of climbing than hill repeats. Afterall anyone can tackle hills knowing they've got their car parked next to the track/ball field but to run 20 miles and know you've got a mountain between you and home and it makes the experience of knowing you've got a hill at mile 25 of the marathon more realistic...I could go on about this for eons but I'll save it for another post.
On my 12 miler today, thoughts of Ken Glah and his epic Ironman Marathons of the early 90's popped into my head. Now some crazy shit started going through my head as I was racing, at just how remarkable some of those races were. I mean guys like Glah, Scott Tinley, Paul Kiru, Scott Molina....these guys were running on coca-cola, gatorade and half a banana, also their sun glasses could serve as a wind shield for a compact car. The other thing that popped into my head was his nickname.." The Beast From the East" sadly in this sport not too many of us from the East Coast really go far..Glah, Karen Smyers, maybe a few others Jordan Rapp, Some of us defect to the better weather and training culture of the West Coast...but again back to Glah, when he started in the 80's he would do IM New Zealand and he would train for it in PA, which meant he was training in a New England/ Mid-Atlantic Winter, before fancy things such as computrainers and spintervals ( granted life got easier when he married an Aussie and his in-laws moved to NZ and he could spend two months on the island preparing.) But anyway, I started thinking, if he started similar to me, just a guy going out there and cranking this shit out, could I be following in famous footsteps? Alright maybe that's dellusional grandeur, I haven't run anything near a 2:40 marathon, my cycling.....well...it's improving...and my swim forget it, I've left half the field in the last zip code...and I'm usually in no man's land waiting to get caught by the faster cyclists, who should just be tearing out of T-1 as I approach the 2 mile mark.....hubris aside...that was what was running through my head as I set down the miles. Does a stressed out , heavily indebted, no talent bum like me stand a shot of going pro? I have often been told I'm a better triathlete than I was a one sport athlete...I was an ok swimmer, an ok runner, and competent cyclist. The thing was I had a knack at being consistent ( granted my bike really needs improvement). I guess at the end of the day...it doesn't matter...the sport for me holds sort of a freedom, that for a few hours I can escape the office, the classes, the being a good wage slave/ son/ studying machine. That for at least a few miles, the man I am and the man I want to be meet up. Alright this is getting way to stream of conciousness on me.
I got the run in 1:50 not too bad, granted I want to get my mileage back up...I want to have Ironman style base and speed for my "Hell Week" in the beginning of July...because if I'm not going to Kona, I want a slot at Clearwater and damn it if I am going to either I would really like some of the prize money from the Patriot, to offset my travel, or a nice set of areo wheels.
The next " Beast From the East" ?