I’m sure that most felt like we were done with our marathon training and the enduring weekly leaderly words of …, well, let’s just politely leave it at “leaderly words”. After all we’ve been through, it shouldn’t come as a big shock, but I feel compelled (could also possibly be gas related) to get in a few parting shots before calling an official end to our oft agonizing 5 month relationship of mutual dependency.
Before getting to the serial stuff, you need to know that I’m of clear mind and 70% grudge free in my recovery from the extremely embarrassing situation related to this morning’s Easter egg hunt fiasco. Mostly, it was just hurtful. Although the source of the mixed signals remains a mystery, there’s some small comfort taken in my judicious election to appear this morning without the bonnet, floppy ears, powder puff tail, and whiskers.
To start with, I’m truly proud of and impressed with your training accomplishments, particularly with those who are pressing the marathon distance for the first time. I also can honestly and with all sincerity claim that this is the best overall 9 to 10 minute per mile training pace running group that I’ve ever been associated with during the first half of 2011. The success of the first timers also helps validate the practice of “temporarily borrowing”, aka “runnapping”, folks from other training groups in hopes of being able to show them a longer and more mentally punishing path to the finish line.
In our defense, just imagine how you would react if in fact Coach Kathy had approached you and indicated that she wanted you to get as many runners as you could away from Rock Star Ed’s group (NOTE: I’m not saying this happened; rather, directing your attention to what you would have hypothetically done.) I’m trying to not show my feelings, but it is likely apparent to anyone interested in this story line that things between Ed and me have been a little awkward recently. I prefer not to dwell on it or make a big deal about it, ‘cause he knows exactly how and when he pulled away during that certain moment of shared affection. He contends that his recoil was more from surprise than willful rejection, but I think we can all tell the difference. Plus if it was more reflexive than contemplative, then it’s really worse because that provides an unfiltered glimpse of his true feelings. Moving on …..
As mentioned above, today marks the completion of our 2011 Spring training session. With a week to go before the Oklahoma City Marathon, there’s nothing that can be gained from additional training sessions. Although you deservingly have some remorseful thoughts regarding your abusive, albeit justifiable, treatment of certain run leaders over the past few months, please recognize that there is nothing positive that can be done at this point to counteract any missed or distance cutting training sessions. For me, I have historically tried in vain to get in that “one more quality run” during marathon taper week. While each of us responds differently, I’m convinced that hard efforts this close to race day directly add to, not subtract from, the actual marathon finish time.
So my advice, if you’re still reading at this point (and also made in a total serious fashion for a change) is that if you engage in any PG rated activities during the next week, they should be performed at very light effort levels and kept short in distance/time. If you need to get out to enjoy the outdoors, to clear your head, to have some “me time”, to socialize, and/or to stretch out an ache, then that is fine. But if you can tell that you exercised by evidence of shortness of breath, elevated heart rate, or perspiration, then you’re doing too much and it’s going to hurt you next Sunday. You simply don’t need it from a training perspective – it can only hurt you – I promise – no yolking around.
Second serious point: Hydration and carb loading. You need to start now, and not wait until the Friday or Saturday. With hydration, be careful to not just drink water to the point that it flushes away your body salts to excessively low levels. You may consider increasing –Aid beverage intake, along with water or other alternatives to maintain sodium and salt levels. As for carbs, you don’t have to go pasta wild all week long, but just make sure you don’t totally avoid breads, crackers, and other sources. Your body will pull these stored carbs out as fuel during your race, and I believe that it helps to start out fully stocked and to supplement during the race at roughly 5 mile intervals.
I’m planning to use all my richly imagined powers and abilities to favorably influence next Sunday’s Oklahoma City weather conditions. Favorable thoughts directed my way are bound to either increase my imagined powers or to bolster my ego – what we in the biz call a win/win situation. As I’ve disclosed to many, but have reluctantly realized that few have taken note, I will not be running OKC this year. I am, however, very interested in seeing how each of you do during your run. I plan on utilizing this relatively new technology called the “net”, something available to the most powerful and influential people in the world and in fact developed by (or self credited to) a former U.S Vice President. I would appreciate receiving back, with your consent, your bib numbers for internet tracking. For me, it removes a fair amount of the guilt and shame associated with internet creeping if the voyee willingly and knowingly says it’s OK. This is in line with my intense vampire research where the victim invites the vampire in by opening the window or door. It also provides me with an additional layer of coverage in the untimely event of any resultant legal proceedings.
Nearing the end, on behalf of the Dom-N-8RZ Run Leaders, I want to thank each of you. The past few months have been great for us – getting to know new people, and in helping us in our own conditioning and fitness. I’m hopeful that we share many mutual good memories, and that we realized we can have a bit of fun while also working hard. Also, thank you for this morning honoring the recently legislated “No Hitting Run Leaders” rule, although it is hereby recorded that maliciously inflicted mental anguish and suffering can significantly exceed physically rendered pain.
While we’re in our “Happy Place”, please take the time to thank the great folks at Runners World for all the wonderful help and guidance they have and continue to provide to us. Coach Kathy is simply GREAT, while Pretty Boy Brian can be adorable....
....if you give him 5 or 6 chances and assuming you can forgive his lust affair with the megaphone, and they truly care about almost all of us.
Trail Zombie Ken is a rock, and he plays a major part in keeping us abreast of what’s going on in the running community with his blogs, friendship, and guidance.
Tatur Dave is the ingenious map maker and chief route creator.
He makes sure that we always have interesting and challenging routes to impossibly challenge our navigation skills – with hills, of course.
Finally, as we’ve recently discussed, anyone who set a PR in their first marathon will be obliged to return this summer and continue to run with the Runners World group (like there was even another consideration in and around the Tulsa area – please!).
Best Wishes! Have a Great OKC Marathon (the Memorial inspiration is tremendous and should give you at least 168 points of motivation, especially during the later portions of the race).
Hope to see you soon – gotta’ go now – they’re shutting this place down – after all, it was Last Call a while ago.