Three Things Thursday: PRE, Beach Runs, and Where I'm at

Three #running random thoughts for this Thursday from the confines of the Montecito Inn in Montecito, CA.

PRE Motivation

I had a recent blog post (Hump Day) that talked about my OCD obsession with running on the brain.  Just like Haley Joel Osment sees dead people everywhere, I see running everywhere I go.  I hit one of my nutrition gurus this week in Boulder and had to make a pit stop in a coffee shop to deal with my day job ( day job is not running or writing about it...wouldn't that be nice?)  On the table was Life Magazine's "Year in Pictures" issue from 1972.

Coffee shop mag speaking to me

Browsing the issue, I came across none other than running icon, Steve Prefontaine from that year's Olympics.  I remember the '72 Olympics as a kid notably the US vs. USSR in basketball, Mark Spitz gold sweep, and the drama played out on T.V. as Jim McKay talked about the Israeli hostage crisis.  At the time, I had no idea who PRE was nor do I remember his race.

In the 5000 meter race, PRE disregarded his race strategy and came out way too fast.  Expected to podium, he "bonked" one of the few times in his career and came in a disappointing fourth place.  A lesson we have all encountered at one time or another in a race.  Poignant with the Boston Marathon coming up next month with it's downhill start that lulls you into overconfidence.  Also important to keep in the back of my mind as my next race also starts out screaming downhill.  "Patience Grasshopper."

Nearly 40 years later, PRE is speaking to me through a tattered magazine in a coffee shop.  Don't burn through your energy in the first 15-20 miles and save some for the finish.  Kind of like an Obi Wan hologram talking to Luke.

Son of a Beach
Santa Barbara views on my morning run

I've decided that this week's cold will be the LAST time I get sick.  I've also decided that Santa Barbara remains one of the places I will retire should the Powerball come my way.  Timing could not have been better for a vacation as work and stress have piled up recently so the family took Spring Break in California.  My nose ran non-stop on the flight out yesterday, and I woke up in paradise with a throbbing headache.  

I hadn't run since Monday and with a 20 miler looming this weekend, I had an eight mile marathon pace run scheduled.  Despite better judgement, I took off for a run--how can I be blocks from the ocean and NOT run?  Screw the cold and the headache, I ran.  Surprisingly, I felt great.  Perhaps motivated by the scenery, I held to a 7:27 pace (slightly faster than planned,) and more importantly held a respectably low average heart rate of 140.

If I can run that well being sick...well, let's just say that was a confidence boost at this point in the training plan.

Where I'm At

My route today from Montecito to Santa Barbara
That leads me to "where I'm at."  I already told you I'm at the incredibly awesome Montecito Inn, but this is about where I'm at in the training plan.  After this morning's run, I am 74% of the way through my 16 week training plan for the Colorado Marathon.  388.3 miles logged with a mere 151 to go.  Three 20 milers out of the way with two more to go--one this weekend. The first time I've run that many 20+ training runs, and my first time using the FIRST Training Plan.  I am now looking forward to the taper and getting that last 20 miler out of the way.  Unlike others, I cherish the taper.  I consider it a reward and much needed rest right before the big race.

So where am I?  I have absolutely no idea.  I have had some ups and downs with my health during this plan, but (knock on wood,) no major ailments.  My energy seems improved from last year's over training malaise.  But seriously, I have no idea.  I won't know until mile 20 of the Colorado Marathon if the new plan I'm using will pay off.  If I listen to PRE, (may the force be with you Luke) and stick to my plan, I like my chances.


  1. That's all sorts of awesome you randomly found that mag!

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