Wednesday, 18 July 2012

#76 Mean Mr. Mustard

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Here are some random and recent rumblings I thought I'd share with you all.

Thumb update: This coming Friday will be 3 weeks since I had surgery to put the pins and wires in to keep the bone in place. Since I was told they would come out after 3 weeks, I am increasingly anxious to get on with this. My cast is disgusting considering the recent temperatures and my insistance on running everyday since the surgery. Today I was told I may need to wait ANOTHER 2 weeks before I can be seen but I've made some calls and the wheels are in motion to have them out by Sunday. If not, I'm cutting off my cast! Seriously, I will. The smell alone is more than I, and others, can bare.

Run update: I mentioned that I've run everyday since surgery. That's 18 days and 297km. I'm looking forward to a day off on Saturday to rest up and 'taper' for the Lindsay 10k on Sunday. The race is looking to be awesome. Not because it will be hot as hell and thus likely slower than expected, but because we've organized 19 Longboat Roadrunners (LBRs) to go to Lindsay to run this thing. We've also formed 4 teams to compete (mostly against each other) for the team category. The all-you-can-eat ice cream and chocolate milk will also be a nice reward. Look forward to a race recap in a few days.
In other running news, I was recently invited to become part of the Mizuno Mesamashii Project. Thank you Michelle Clarke for this. Not exactly sure what the heck it's all about but it does mean I get a new FREE pair of running shoes and beggars certainly can't be choosers. Some might see this as being a conflict of interest, considering that I work for New Balance (Toronto). Well guess what? New Balance isn't giving me free shoes; Mizuno is! The Mizuno Wave Universe 4 to be exact. It weights 3.8oz! And I'm going to (try to) run in it. Awesome. I also have no current allegiance to one brand of shoe and am still awaiting the day that I get a sponsor (takers, anyone?). I gotta say I still love the Adidas Adios 2, the NB1400's and my current trainer the NB890RC2. But maybe Mizuno will be the brand for me (and hey, it works for Dylan Wykes).

Speaking of Dylan, some Canadian running news:

The London Olympics are almost here (9 days to go) and Athletics Canada has named it's team to represent our country in the 'sport' of Track and Field. Then, they added 5 more athletes to bring the total to 45, our largest in recent history. All I can say is that despite my reservations about the Olympics generally, which I consider to be a corrupt and greedy corporate and media circus with just a sprinkle of sport; I am extremely excited to watch what the Olympics is truly about... a bunch of humanoid, drug-enhanced freaks push the boundaries of what is humanly possible by running fast, jumping high and throwing things! The Olympics are for international peace, unity and solidarity. Give me a break! It's about nationalism, conmsumerism, and corporate greed. But the athletes are awesome and good at what they do.

Some will have heard by now that 'Oh so close, and yet so far' non-Olympic athletes Lanni Marchant and Krista DuChene are running the STWM on 14 October. They (okay, mostly just Marchant who has a lot to say about the matter) are looking to run sub 2:30 and perhaps even break Sylvia Ruegger's Canadian record (2:28:36 set in 1985) along the way. While I wish them the best of luck in what would surely be an amazing accomplishment not only for themselves but for Canadian women's distance running in general; I feel her (Marchants) desire to prove a point to Athletics Canada for not selecting her (them) for London is misplaced and immature. Argue if you will that the system in place is unjust and unfair, but the fact of the matter is that you did not meet the standard (Canada has an "A' standard of 2:29:55 for the women's marathon) to go to London. End of story.

More news related to STWM. Canadian Running magazine and online blogger Rebecca Gardiner, the women who infamously wrote a blog about/directed at me ('Angry Dan') for being an elitist jerk (which I don't deny), has been chosen to be an 'official' blogger for STWM as well. In doing so she has set the goal of breaking 4:00 hrs for the marathon. Here, I wish Rebecca all the best on her journey to achieve her personal goal and inspire many people along the way. I am not here to bitch or complain about the merits of running a sub 4hr marathon and in fact, I can only imagine how many individuals out there are seeking a similar goal (especially when compared to those who are looking to achieve mine: a sub 2:30 marathon) and so can easily relate to Ms Gardiner's journey. What I will say is this. If you really want to run a sub 4 hour marathon, all you need to do is follow these 3 simple steps: 1. Train for it! Run at least 5 days a week and 75-100km for 12 consecutive weeks before the race including a weekly long run of 28-32km. 2. Don't be fat! Aim to have a race day body mass index (BMI) of no more than 25. Running is NOT a license to eat. 3. Compete, don't complete! It's called a race. That's why there's a clock! The goal is to run 42.2k as fast as possible. Train. Taper. Carboload. Race. Done.

Finally, this week Canadian Running magazine hosted some online chats with some of Canada's London bound track athletes, including Geoff Harris (800m), Nate Brannen (1500m), Mohammed Ahmed (10,000m), Cam Levins (5000 and 10,000m), and finally Reid Coolsaet, Eric Gillis and Dylan Wykes (all Marathon). I highly recommend going back and reading them as they have plenty of useful training tips, Olympic insights, as well as friendly banter...and which comes from the best of the best.

What I found most interesting was when they spoke of their training mileage. Guys like Harris and Brannen who run 'short' track stuff are doing upwards of 90miles (150k) a week while middle distance guys like Ahmed do about 100-120 (160-190km). Perhaps not exactly 'normal,' 'crazy' Cam does 150 or more miles (240km) most weeks! And the marathoners aim for 120 -160 miles (190-240km) per week. Doing some basic math, we find that a guy like Harris is running just 0.5% of his weekly mileage during his goal race. For a 1500m runner, it's 1%, and for the middle distance guys it's between 3 and 6% (although for a guy like Levins, it's only 2-4%). Marathoners 'only' run about 18% of their weekly mileage in their goal race...but remember this only takes place once a cycle and after several months of training!!!

What I find so interesting about this is how it relates to recent debate about the merits and methods of 'ultrarunning.' Rarely do I ever hear about the training for such events which I would naturally assume involve similar although extremely exaggerated patterns of training and mileage. You'd think that in order to run a 50k, 100k or even a 100 mile race, one would need to log hundreds of weekly miles in order to be successful. The time and energy needed to do so is beyond my comprehension. And yet, my suspicion is that we'd be hard pressed to find any ultra runner that exceeds 100 miles or even kilometres of training each week (ultra-rare exceptions surely exist). My issue with ultrarunning, and it has been made many times before, is NOT that it exists and that people do it, but that such an activity is not really all that impressive (say when compared to a sub 4:00 mile or a 2:05 marathon) nor do a majority of its participants deserve the exaggerated praise and elevated recognition they demand for their accomplishments. In many ways (distance, terrain, elevation, timing), ultras are nothing more than extreme and excessive endurance contests (that may or may not involve running) and which often reward the most stubborn, those simply willing to persevere.

Again, I'm not saying don't do it. I'm just saying don't expect to be patted on the back and recognized and rewarded for your largely unspectacular and mostly mediocre endeavour. You want praise? You want recognition? Qualify for Boston! Run a sub-20 5k or a sub-40 10k. Run a sub-6 mile or sub-60s 400! The distance doesn't matter. It's the effort that you give in order to be successful. Having the integrity to do the absolute best that you can and give everything that you've got. Full stop.

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