It started at 5:30 a.m. when my alarm went off and ended on my couch in my jammies at 9 p.m. If I could have toothpicks to prop my eyeballs open, well, they probably wouldn’t work for very long.
Today started with my weekly long run as I prepare for the ING Miami half marathon. With the winter storms that hit Western New York, the roads were a bit icy for early morning outdoor running. Instead of risking injury, and the likelihood of having a bad run, the long run was transferred to the treadmill.
Yes, nine miles on the treadmill. It sounds enticing, doesn’t it?
In actuality, the run was not all that bad. My body is starting to acclimate to treadmill running and the heat and humidity of the gym will (hopefully) be helpful training for Miami in January. My coach created a long run for me based in heart rate zones, and this one was to be easy. Staying in my prescribed heart rate zone meant running a bit slower on the treadmill. I’ve run faster at the same heart rate outside. And I tried really hard to not get caught up in the numbers.
“This is just for our amusement,” my friend Sue said, waving her hand over the treadmill screen, scrolling my average pace, average speed and time. “The important thing is your heart rate zone and your cadence, because that’s your workout.”
I did my best to forget about the numbers and just run. And suddenly, the time passed by and those nine miles, well, they came and went quickly.
To refuel after the run, Sue along with our friend Herm, went to the Original Pancake House. It took me just a few minutes to inhale my pancakes, scrambled eggs and chocolate milk. I then had half an hour to shower, change and hit the road for Olean.
Back in my car at 11 a.m., I headed down to Olean to cover a doubleheader of St. Bonaventure basketball. First came the women’s game — the highlight of the afternoon. The Bonnies defeated Bowling Green — a quality win and improved to 10-0. This is an impressive team, one in which each individual completely buys into her role. When they’re good, they’re very good. And when they’re not good, well, they’re still pretty good. What impresses me, too, is their ability to manage the emotion of the game. They don’t get too high when things go well nor get too low when things go wrong. When they have a chance to close out a team, they do. It’s a team that not only has good athletes and talented basketball players but a roster which seems to have the psychological part of the game figured out.
If only I could bottle that wisdom for my own training.
That historic win was followed by a men’s tilt with the Bonnies blowing out Savannah State in, well, a quite boring game frankly. An easy game story about solid defense and it was time to hit Tim Hortons, throw some gas in the car and head back to Buffalo.
Time now to relax and prepare for tomorrow. It’s testing day with my Train-This team at Tri-Spot. It’s a day that is exciting and bit nerve wracking, where I get to see where I’m at in my bike and swim (and perhaps body fat). It’s where I have to remember these numbers mean nothing. They are merely baselines for me to chart my growth as I prepare to plan out my 2010 season.