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Closer to the Edge

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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave P on Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:03 pm

The thing I hate about taper is that it makes me think about the mistakes I made in training. If I could feel good, really have fresh legs, & not gain weight, then taper would be a whole lot better.

Kill it Sunday Dave!
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:12 pm

Good luck on Sunday, Dave-O. Run smart!
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Matt W on Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:49 am



You're as ready for a marathon as you've ever been. You've put in the miles. Trust your training. You are ready for your moment. Run smart, stay strong, and go get a big PR. You're due for a breakthrough. Sunday is the day. Enjoy it!
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Diego on Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:01 pm

Hey Dave, sorry about the race!!!!

Check out the temp vs % time lost in a marathon on MRT sub-3 hour by Greg TR(who also ran a sick race in the heat in Tyler, Texas). All y'all were doomed to lose anywhere from 4-6 minutes for you and Chris and 10-15 for the slower runners, even though the temps were not terrrible.

Anyway, taller runners lose even more time, I think. Y'all are too close to the sun! Maybe Philly next year?

I also meant to ask, how many more trials and hours billed before we see that AlterG 'Mill?
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave-O on Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:31 pm

So let's see, what did I do last week?

Well, after taking off work on Monday, I basically slept all day. Then I drank 2 bottles of wine while watching the Bears get mauled by the Lions. On Tuesday I enjoyed some Dogfish Head IPA while continuing to plow through season 1 of Breaking Bad (kick ass show). Wednesday I had softball, which meant Tecate, wings and a few more Tecates. Thursday I went back to the wine, but when that ran out, switched back to New Belgium's seasonal Hoptober. Friday was low key, just a few Sam Adam's Octoberfests. Saturday we tailgated for the Illinois Wesleyan-Elmurst game, while IWU won and moved up to #16 in the country. Sunday I chilled at a friends house and watch the Bears dismantle the Vikings...with a smorgasborg of brews. All while eating like absolute crap.

Oh, running? I did 3 different 4 mile untimed runs. All slow, though not very painful. I guess the good thing about a bonk is that it doesn't inflict as much long-term soreness.

On a more serious note, I was offered some feedback on the RW forums about my race and general struggles this year. After some honest reflection, here's what I came up with:

I do think there's something to be said about being a bit of a basket case on race day. Its not the pressure...I like pressure. I deal with pressure every day at work and don't mind it a bit. Pressure in sports is even more fun to me.

What I do think is happening, though, is that I've let a string of bad races (some due to injury, others to poor training, others due to weather) get into my psyche. I've found recently that when things start going wrong in a race, I tend to dwell on the negative instead of having the confidence in my fitness to pull me through. Thoughts like, "here we go again" creep in and its all downhill from there. I used to race with such confidence, but once I started plateauing, that disappeared. I'm almost ashamed to admit that, but it is what it is.

To further that thought: My last PR was at the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in April of 2010. I didn't taper a bit for that race, had 90 miles on my legs in the previous 6 days, had pretty low expectations and ran 53:32. My splits were a nearly perfect 5:26, 5:22, 5:14, 5:15, 5:17, 5:23, 5:21, 5:21, 5:16 and 5:14. To this day I think I could have held onto 5:20 pace for another 5k. So....

Anyone know a good sports psychologist?

I know what I need is to take a good chunk of down time, start a fresh training cycle from scratch, and get momentum heading into the right direction. Anyway, as much as I dislike it, there's my honest assesment. 53:32 fitness seems really far away right now, but I know I can get back there.

Now, what's on tap tonight for Game 1 of the World Series?
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Diego on Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:59 pm

Dave-O, if you are serious about the sports psychologist, Holly Benjamin and Mark Hutchinson may provide some names. You could also call the Cubs front office(seriously) and ask who they use.

And there is that special psychologist up in the sky that Ryan Hall uses.



I almost forgot, Dave-O-- do you drink the night before the marathon. If not, I think you should have a 22oz one. My best two races came after a beer and protein loading(lobster and cheese(tortellini). The stress would be gone and you'd sleep like a baby..


Last edited by Diego on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  John Kilpatrick on Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:38 pm

Not a lot of experience here, but I will pass along that what I consider my best "race" was one that I just decided to do one day on a whim - a 13.1 mile training run less than a year ago - I don't know if I could even repeat that in a race setting today - just felt right that day. I don't even know if that relates to you, but I hope at least you keep having fun with it - my guess is that if you can do that, the rest will eventually take care of itself. I know you follow baseball more closely that I do, but it seems like a lot of great hitters end up in slumps - sometimes for a long time. Your training seems good - as Sammy Sosa once said regarding a slump, "accidentally hit with your practice bat." You've been great for many of us - not advice, just hope you enjoy the ride....

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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Matt W on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:44 am



I hope refreshing your race day outlook gives you the boost you are looking for. I know the way you crank out workouts is jaw-dropping at times and shows you have so much more in the tank for races, so it's a matter of time before your performance catches up. It's worth it to fine tune some things in our approach to get the desired results and I think you are on the right track. I've had to do that before as well. I was in somewhat of the same boat my senior year of XC in college. I was not living up to my training and would just get too disappointed if I fell short of my expectations. Finally, I just told myself one of my goals would be to smile after every race. I'm not saying it instantly made me faster or that I never had bad races again, but I did weather a few storms and finished the year with a PR on a tough course. I hope your mental fine-tuning gives you the results you are looking for.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  GregC on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:50 am

Dave maybe you should check-out the book "Running Within:A Guide to Mastering the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection for Ultimate Training and Racing." Despite it's obnoxiously long title, the book is a pretty light read and while a lot of it is Kenny Baldo-esque (not that there's anything wrong with that!), there are some good take-aways from the book about how to approach racing. There are some pretty heavy hitters who endorse the book, so it's not just me. Anyway, it can only help, and it's a lot cheaper than a sports psychologist. Here's the LetsRun review on it:

http://www.letsrun.com/runningwithin.html
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  GregC on Fri Oct 21, 2011 9:57 am

And one more thing...

One thing that I think you should keep in mind is that pressure in running and pressure in football or work are two different things. In football, you can channel that pressure into intensity and focus. Same holds true for work (I think anyway. I don't know what you lawyers do). However in running, and especially in the marathon, intensity, and possibly even focus, is not what you're looking for. You want to sit at the starting line pressure free and relaxed. Anyway, I don't even know what I'm trying to say, other than maybe there is something to having to learn different ways of dealing with the pressure in running as opposed to other facets in your life.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Jerry on Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:30 am

@Dave-O wrote:

Anyone know a good sports psychologist?


Ask Chris what The Special One is capable of.

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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  mul21 on Fri Oct 21, 2011 10:34 am

To expound on what Greg said, one of the best XC races I ever had in high school, I fell asleep on the bus on the way to the meet. I was totally relaxed and really not concerned about how I was going to do that day and ended up just killing it. So yeah, the pressure thing can certainly be a negative influence and one of the reasons why people tend to have good races when they go into a race off of a less than perfect training cycle and without expectations.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave-O on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:27 am

@Diego wrote:Dave-O, if you are serious about the sports psychologist, Holly Benjamin and Mark Hutchinson may provide some names. You could also call the Cubs front office(seriously) and ask who they use.

I almost forgot, Dave-O-- do you drink the night before the marathon. If not, I think you should have a 22oz one. My best two races came after a beer and protein loading(lobster and cheese(tortellini). The stress would be gone and you'd sleep like a baby..

I'm kidding about the sports pyschologist, but serious about needing to get a few good races under my belt to get my swagger back. Just need to start from scratch.

I don't drink the night before the race. Although now that you mention it, I did have a glass of wine the night before the Cherry Blossom 10. Hmm...

@John Kilpatrick wrote:Not a lot of experience here, but I will pass along that what I consider my best "race" was one that I just decided to do one day on a whim - a 13.1 mile training run less than a year ago - I don't know if I could even repeat that in a race setting today - just felt right that day. I don't even know if that relates to you, but I hope at least you keep having fun with it - my guess is that if you can do that, the rest will eventually take care of itself. I know you follow baseball more closely that I do, but it seems like a lot of great hitters end up in slumps - sometimes for a long time. Your training seems good - as Sammy Sosa once said regarding a slump, "accidentally hit with your practice bat." You've been great for many of us - not advice, just hope you enjoy the ride....

Despite the PR-less year, I am still having fun. I enjoy (the majority of) training; I love races and hanging out afterwards. And even as bad as the Chicago marathon was, it was still an enjoyable experience. So I know I'll get out of this slump.

@Matt W wrote:

I hope refreshing your race day outlook gives you the boost you are looking for. I know the way you crank out workouts is jaw-dropping at times and shows you have so much more in the tank for races, so it's a matter of time before your performance catches up. It's worth it to fine tune some things in our approach to get the desired results and I think you are on the right track. I've had to do that before as well. I was in somewhat of the same boat my senior year of XC in college. I was not living up to my training and would just get too disappointed if I fell short of my expectations. Finally, I just told myself one of my goals would be to smile after every race. I'm not saying it instantly made me faster or that I never had bad races again, but I did weather a few storms and finished the year with a PR on a tough course. I hope your mental fine-tuning gives you the results you are looking for.

Thanks for the feedback Matt. I suspect that this is a sort of thing all runners go through eventually.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave-O on Fri Oct 21, 2011 11:32 am

@GregC wrote:Dave maybe you should check-out the book "Running Within:A Guide to Mastering the Body-Mind-Spirit Connection for Ultimate Training and Racing." Despite it's obnoxiously long title, the book is a pretty light read and while a lot of it is Kenny Baldo-esque (not that there's anything wrong with that!), there are some good take-aways from the book about how to approach racing. There are some pretty heavy hitters who endorse the book, so it's not just me. Anyway, it can only help, and it's a lot cheaper than a sports psychologist. Here's the LetsRun review on it:

http://www.letsrun.com/runningwithin.html

That is an obnoxiously long title. But, its ordered. Thanks. I might save it for the beach in November.

@GregC wrote:And one more thing...

One thing that I think you should keep in mind is that pressure in running and pressure in football or work are two different things. In football, you can channel that pressure into intensity and focus. Same holds true for work (I think anyway. I don't know what you lawyers do). However in running, and especially in the marathon, intensity, and possibly even focus, is not what you're looking for. You want to sit at the starting line pressure free and relaxed. Anyway, I don't even know what I'm trying to say, other than maybe there is something to having to learn different ways of dealing with the pressure in running as opposed to other facets in your life.

True, I see your point.

@mul21 wrote:To expound on what Greg said, one of the best XC races I ever had in high school, I fell asleep on the bus on the way to the meet. I was totally relaxed and really not concerned about how I was going to do that day and ended up just killing it. So yeah, the pressure thing can certainly be a negative influence and one of the reasons why people tend to have good races when they go into a race off of a less than perfect training cycle and without expectations.

So you're saying I should catch a quick nap before XC Nationals in February? Sounds good.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri Oct 21, 2011 2:39 pm

If it makes you feel any better, Dave-O, I have been through your pain at least 2x in my running career: once when I was roughly your age and started to plateau and once about 5 yrs ago when (honest to God) the v-team board put a lot of pressure on me (self induced of course). Back when I was your age, I was lucky enough to be able to talk it out with a wonderful man, Andy Palmer (RIP, Andy) who was the creator of Zap Fitness in Asheville. Andy was a superb runner as well as a psychologist and he worked with many collegiate and elite runners here in Atlanta as well as many of us who are simply good age groupers. He had me focus on the positives as well as try to believe that the race is for me, not any one else. No one really cared (except me) if I ran a 37 min 10K or a 42 min one. He helped tremendously.

Unfortunately, I found myself in a similar but different place about 5 yrs ago after a string of very disappointing marathons (Victoria 2001, Boston, 2002, 2003, Chicago 2003). None of them lived up to my expectations and honestly, I felt like everyone was watching and I couldn't deliver. It was around this time that Andy died (he had a heart attack while running alone in the mountains of NC), and I thought back to the things he had told me, and I realized that I just needed to trust in myself and my training. Not every race is going to be a good or bad as the next one, but I needed to give myself permission to just go with it and not worry about who was watching.

Even though I very disappointed in my race this past weekend, it is what it is, and we move on. I know it is easier said, but that it what we need to do. Take some down time, you need it and deserve it and then come back when you are ready. PRs might be gone for now, but a great race isn't always about the fastest time. It is about the execution and fulfilling your expectations for finish place, AG placing, etc., etc. Do you think the elites run strings of PRs? Do you think Ryan Hall is messed up by his 2:08 in Chicago? Doubtful. Sure Moses ran an awesome race, but hey, maybe it was just his day. Hall, after all, was the top American, and ran a very good time given the conditions. (Of course, it will be interesting to see what NYC brings).

Rest and recover, Dave-O. Enjoy some untimed runs and downtime. Focus on the spring or the fall.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Chris M on Fri Oct 21, 2011 3:05 pm

Nothing to add here except to say that it is a fascinating discussion that I'm very interested in as I struggle with some of the same issues. Some good feedback. But of course I conclude that Dave is simply too good a runner not to eventually have that breakthrough race that fully demonstrates it. Hasn't happened yet and might well not happen next time out. But it will happen if he keeps plugging away and I like some of the ideas about how to increase the chances of it happening.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Jerry on Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:57 am

Ugene and CIM. Very Happy
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave-O on Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:04 pm

Post Marathon, Week 2:

I increased my weekly mileage from 12 to 22. I know I know…I won’t get too crazy. I did do some real thinking this week, though. Again, I know; that can be trouble. But I reached an important conclusion: I’m broken and need to be put back together correctly.

After many months of Britt’s pleading, I finally took the plunge and tried yoga – the P90x routine (more on that soon). Other than confirming that I would completely suck at it, I realized that I am dealing with some serious muscular imbalances. With that fact realized, I paid close attention to my stride the rest of the week, and I think it’s clear that my stride isn’t right. It probably hasn’t been right since my hip injury in the spring. Let me explain.

First, my left hip is incredibly weak. Well actually, both hips are weak, but my left one (i.e. injured one) is incredibly so. There were poses that isolated my left hip/core that I couldn’t come close to getting into. I’m not saying the same pose to the other side was pretty by any means, but there is a noticeable difference. For example, when I’m in the warrior poses with my right leg forward and left leg extended backwards, my left hip hurts. I can’t even open my left hip enough to straighten my back leg.

On the other side, my right hamstring is noticeably tighter and weaker. And it’s not just tight, but it’s painful when I even try to get into a good stretch. I noticed this during yoga and confirmed it in the gym with single leg curls. I put on 30 pounds and did 10 with my left leg easily. I was struggling after 4 with my right leg.

Thus, it didn’t take a $150 gait analysis to figure out what’s going on in my stride. I’m not getting full extension with my left leg on push off (because my hip is too tight/weak) and that’s resulting in overstriding with my right leg, putting an extra strain on my right hammy. I spent 4 miles on a treadmill in front of a mirror paying close attention, and my right foot definitely lands further ahead than my left. In fact, when I focused on maintaining a perfect stride, I felt it in my…wait for it….left hip and right hamstring.

Now, I get that this feeling is exacerbated because I’m sore from the yoga. (As in, really sore.) But that doesn’t change the fact that my stride is slightly off. No, the sky isn’t falling, and I’m certainly not blaming my failure to PR this year on a slight biomechanical flaw. I don’t want this to seem like “paralysis by analysis.”

Rather, it’s just a realization that I never properly addressed my injury from the spring, altered my stride to accommodate the weakness, and ended up losing some efficiency.

I have at least 6 weeks to start correcting the problem. I don’t know for sure what race I want to target in the spring, but whatever it may be, I’ll start training on December 5. That gives me 6 full weeks to: (a) keep my mileage low, easy and unstructured; (b) become semi-proficient in yoga; (c) gain hip strength and hamstring flexibility; and (d) get my stride right. And I said start correcting the problem because the hip and core strength is something I absolutely need to continue even once I start training again.

Between my pathetic attempt at yoga, hip and hamstring issues, and gaining 8.8 pounds since the marathon, I feel like….

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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  mul21 on Tue Oct 25, 2011 6:48 pm

Ha! I told you the yoga would kick your ass!

Good to see you've found something that, with a little effort, is easily correctable.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Admin on Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:35 pm

I'm curious what you saw after typing out your last training cycle log... and what Dreamcrusher will have to say. I think one of the BEST things for you right now is some objective perspective and input. You've had a great streak of improvements, but it seems you are on the razor's edge with sub-2:30. I have no doubt that you CAN run it, but I'm wondering if you need to put the training approach in someone else's hand for a cycle? Just wondering...

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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Chris M on Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:14 pm

I'll send you the P90X PLUS Yoga DVD so that you can switch to that for a change-up once you start getting too used to the first P90X Yoga one. I HATED THE YOGA workouts and skipped them when I did P90X years ago. So hard! But probably very good for you and will help with the imbalance issues you've identified.

You know what else might be good. Come back for CB10 March 31....
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Alex Kubacki on Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:22 am

A pretty good rule of thumb when dealing with strength or flexibility imbalances is to use a 3:1 ratio to correct. So for every set you do on the good side do 3 sets on the weak side.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Diego on Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:05 am

I like the "paralysis by analysis" line. I certainly think that rebuilding your strength is important but don't want you to falsely attribute your races to that one factor. You had too many great tempo runs and felt too good on Thursday before the race.

Get stronger, be more optimistic at the start, middle and end of the race, and find a cooler race in a new area(rehash). 3 keys to success. Oh yeah, you could also "Tebow it"!Smile

I also have similar work to do. I'm trying to get within 26.2 minutes of your time. Lord help me if you run a 2:26.20.



On a side note: Before you and Britt have kids, you should go to Vegas for Halloween. Whenever it falls on a weekend, it's a massive 3 day party. You'd need 2-3 costumes.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Jerry on Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:09 am

Last time Dave started working on his weak ass, Jerry got a BQ....... lol!
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Re: Closer to the Edge

Post  Dave-O on Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:26 pm

@mul21 wrote:Ha! I told you the yoga would kick your ass!

Good to see you've found something that, with a little effort, is easily correctable.

Yes, you did. And you were right.

@Chris M wrote:

You know what else might be good. Come back for CB10 March 31....

Its penciled into my tentative spring racing plan. No joke.

@Alex Kubacki wrote:A pretty good rule of thumb when dealing with strength or flexibility imbalances is to use a 3:1 ratio to correct. So for every set you do on the good side do 3 sets on the weak side.

You think so? My PT said to just do the same reps with the same weight on each side, and it will balance out.

@Jerry wrote:Last time Dave started working on his weak ass, Jerry got a BQ....... lol!

I think I'm worried that you remember the times in which I've worked on my weak ass.
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Re: Closer to the Edge

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