Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Prologue

'Sup Folks,

Just decided to fire this thing up as sort of a motivational tool/ record keeping venture but in case the denizens of the internet happen upon this niche of my mind-closet, I thought I would do a sort of primer of who I am and what the heck you've found.

Who The Hell Are You?

Geeze, already with the swears.  Shit, man.  As it relates to the purposes of the blog (namely, running), here's a quick history:  I ran X/C for 4 years at my California HS (I graduated in '05).  My PR was 16:38 for 3 mi, which works out to about 17:10 for a 5K.  I was a decent 5th runner on varsity type by the end of my senior year.  My academic proclivities surpassed any athletic ones I had and I attended the University of Notre Dame from '05-'09.  My running during those 4 years was sporadic.  Come to find, the life of a college student can be at odds with the running lifestyle.  Among a life of studying, pizza, beer and overall college life, the running got shuttered to the sidelines (God forbid if I had discovered pizza-beer).  I would be consistent for months at a time and something would usually get in the way and derail the momentum.  I had a few bouts of being sick and injury and could never really get back to my high school training regimen (HA, as if most of us do).

After college I lived in Kentucky for 13 months, doing volunteer service work.  We basically brought in groups of HS/ College students for weeks of service so we were generally busy every other week.  Running progress was limited but I managed to stay in decent shape due to the nature of the jobs I was doing.

I then moved to Chicago.  With all of the start-stop training progress I had piled up, when I moved my motivation and discipline was whittled down to nothing.  I didn't start running again for about a year and a half.

Why Are You Talking to Me?

In other words, why the blog, yo?  Well, recently I decided to piggyback on a friend's Chicago Marathon training as a way to have a schedule and some accountability.  It actually worked pretty well and from February to May 2012 I was consistent in putting on mileage and saw some results, bring my average training mile time go from 7:48 to 6:48.

However, I decided to try some speedwork.  I used the Galloway Magic Mile formula to try and figure out what my "race pace" should be during these upcoming speedwork sessions.  I ran mile time trials for 3 weeks, consistently hitting 5:51.  Apparently this prelude was too much because after the third one, my hamstring started feeling a little strained.  At first I thought it was just a little tight and just tried stretching it out and working on it a little more before and after runs.  But during a 9 miler, I had to bow out after 8 miles because I just knew if I kept pushing it, it would only get worse.

"Nor worries", I thought. "I'll just rest and ice for about a week and I'll be good to go".  Well one week turned into two and then almost three before I realized that the start-stop madness was happening again.  So the short answer to the "Why?" question is that I want to prevent the pattern from happening again.  I want a place to record my runs in a long form with some commentary and hopefully give me a little insight as I try and keep up a consistent training regimen.

What's Your Goal?

I started this renewed running training without a real goal in mind since I didn't really know where I was ability-wise.  Now that I've had a decent sample size, I think I'm ready to put some goals down.

As far as time goes, I'd like to be able to crank out 6:00 miles by the end of the year.  I figure if I could drop a minute from February to May, I can drop another minute in 7 months.  I know the drop from 7 to 6 will be much harder than going from 8 to 7.  I envision myself doing another 4 months of mileage and perhaps at that point doing some speedwork to knock off the last bit of time.

As another goal that I've set for myself, I would like to do the Big Sur (April 28) and Chicago (October) Marathons in 2013.      

What Will This Look Like?

Short answer: no clue.  I think it will start as sort of a running journal with times, splits, thoughts on progress etc.  However, I consider my runs (as many do) as a sort of sanctuary for my mind.  It's a place to think without distractions.  Hence the "etc.' in the title.  So I would like to think it will be a blend of running journal and stream of conscious musings eventually.

Where Did The Title Come From?

I wanted a running pun ish theme.  I have been listening to The Head And The Heart lately and the line "How's Your Engine Running" is from their song Lost In My Mind.  I think that works on a few levels as it certainly references my idea of running as a place to get lost in my mind.

 That's it for now.  Any other questions, feel free to ask em.  Or don't.