Kicking Off the Chronicles of Summer 2014

IMG_0173Okay, new idea. Stay with me…

I’ve been a sporadic blogger. That stems partly from my innate lack of discipline, but also from the struggle I’ve had about the voice and the through-line of the content for this blog. I’ve wanted to write about fitness-related topics to convey and interpret information, to educate, to motivate. But that doesn’t always flow naturally. I envy bloggers like my friend Dana Wootton, who writes an excellent food and family blog. She’s taking a break in her writing now, but check out–there’s five plus years’ of great entries, vegetarian recipes and cooking wisdom up there to peruse. Dana’s writing flows beautifully and it feels to me that’s because it’s grounded in her own experiences. Another blogger I admire and love reading (and another friend) is Nicole Nazzaro who writes She’s a professional fitness writer, and her work’s a pleasure to read. She’s also writing about her own experiences–in this case, her goal for the year to do a vigorous workout every 48 hours.

With these writers in the back of my mind, this morning I had an insight about the direction of this blog. It came on the day I (somewhat arbitrarily) began my training for the New York Marathon, which I’ll be running on November 2nd. That marathon is the third event in my Year of Isolated Events of the Ironman (aka I.E.I.!). I plan to do a 2.4 mile swim in late August, a 112 mile cycling event in mid September and then cap it all off with the NY marathon. The insight is I’m going to hijack this blog, at least partly, to report on that journey.

I think for some readers this may be a cue to say “sayonara!”, and I’m sorry if that’s the case. But I think it could actually be a better vehicle for some universal fitness and training themes, (hope, fear, tension, release, expectation, surprise, heart rate, pace, lethargy, burn out, etc) all grounded in a personal narrative. What I hope (and time will tell) is that I’ll be publishing more often, but in smaller dollops. And I’ll still post other non-journey related stuff as it strikes me. So, with that big prologue, here’s today’s entry and the start of the Chronicles.

First official marathon training run! I was feeling pretty fresh coming off a week in Hawaii where I had two short hot, hilly runs, several ocean swims, core work, walking, and plenty of rest. My resting heart rate this morning was an astonishingly low 46bpm, with good variability–a sign of recovery. Today’s run – 7 miles at a moderate pace. Actual average pace was 9:08, which I wish I could say felt moderate. It felt fairly hard. My breathing was more of a tempo rhythm, i.e.; inhale two strides/exhale two strides. (I would count breathing every four strides as a moderate pace.) Felt good to run seven uninterrupted miles though. My route was north along the lake from Leschi to Madison Park and back, which is mostly flat. Body felt good, but lower calves feeling a bit stressed.This seems to be a new thing with me lately and I don’t like it. Post run, I’ll stand in the lake, stretch and do some foam rollering.

My head-space: I’m excited to have this goal out in front of me, but it’s a bit intimidating and poignant. Intimidating in the knowledge that so much can happen on the road to a marathon, with a training season that also includes heavy cycling and swimming and lots of travel and social events to boot. Poignant to run on the next-to-longest day of the year knowing that I’m linking myself to an event that will happen when things are dark, cold, and wet. Where I set my mind this morning was in the Here and Now. How exciting to have a big juicy goal. How glorious to be running along a lake on a sunny June Sunday.