Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Off" season navel-gazing: Back to Basics

The Blog's been quiet for a bit, but I've really been enjoying the changing season as much as ever, and thinking (from a training/racing perspective) what's next.  Others have been writing the same thing, so it's that time of year, I guess.

The first rule is not to take anything too seriously.  Mostly, that means, don't spend time doing this stuff if it's not fun, if it makes you injured, and especially if it interferes with more important things.  Again, I had an incredible time seeing and experiencing new things with friends and family, and I can't believe how much beauty is out there both in the wild and in the human spirit.

I still haven't run a trail 100 to the ability that I think I'm capable of.  The upside is, still having memorable lifetime experiences out on the trail, and I surprised myself even with the amount of fun and unabashed joy I still had running down Mt. Werner in September despite being hours behind my anticipated goal.

This stuff is still fun.

From a more analytical perspective, I spent more time running (and hiking) this year than any other. The raw time I spend doing this has been a consistent budget over the last 5 years or so of ~10-20 hours/week.   Contrast that with the 4+ hours per day (my God) of television the average American watches, and I still don't "get" when people say they don't have time for exercise.  (Not to mention the hundreds of dollars you can save by ditching all those channels and the DVR, and how much more efficient it is to read the news or political debate transcripts than to wade through video).

But, I would say this year's running came more at the expense of other leisure activities I used to do.  When I had any extra time, I'd mileage-whore just by grinding out extra, slow miles.  I'm not convinced this helped me run any faster or further, so it's time to mix it up and get back to basics.

Lastly, from a training perspective, I do enjoy the cerebral exercise physiology side of things; however, simply running a pile of miles is a bit brutish.  So I'm going to focus more on the tried-and-true, simple 3 quality runs/week (speedwork, tempo, long run) and make sure I'm rested enough to nail those -- which seems to be the direction others are going as well.   That's basically what I did in previous year's marathon training, so it's time to get back to that.  Yeah, hiking and stuff on the weekends will still be there, just less junk during the week.

In addition, I'd like to return to the old ways of biking, skiing, and traveling.