CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

domingo, 3 de agosto de 2008

8 weeks to go... 58 seconds away...!


--


Esta semana dei por mim a relatar por email (em inglês), as periécias dos meus treinos para amigos Australianos, Ingleses, Americanos e Canadianos...! Peripécias que assim não ficaram neste Blogue, como deviam. Pois com a permissão do Presidente e a anuência tácita do nosso escriba Bento (apanho-o "a banhos" e lá se vai o Português borda fora!), passo a fazer estes posts na língua de Shakespeare. Assumo que todos entendem, até porque entre o meu inglês e o do Shakespeare vai uma diferençazita! Mas assim posso partilhar o que vai acontecendo nos "workouts" com todos, cá dentro e "lá fora". Sou um gajo muito popular "lá fora", como sabeis! (expressão muito Portuga, por sinal... Bento, esta foi só para ti)... Bom, já estou a ficar com saudades do Português e ainda não o deixei... Mas posso sempre "regressar", se as mesmas apertarem... Mas não poderei escrever "saudades" em inglês...! Ai, que isto vai ser mais duro do que pensava... Mas saudades de quê, afinal?! Isto é um Blogue de corridas, não de Descobrimentos marítimos! Coragem... Vamos a isso...



--

Et voilá! (só para baralhar mais um pouco... e prestar tributo à minha amiga Simone, Québéquoise de gema):

--

Eight weeks to go, indeed, for the Berlin 2008 adventure! Since I've decided to complete the 5 Major Marathons (Boston [done], London [done], Berlin, New York, Chicago), I have set up breaking 3h as the goal for Berlin. Which would imply an upgrade in my training, given the last "close calls" under 3:03 (Rome, Florence, and London). So I had decided that this summer the conditions would be ripe for some (more) serious training, at least for a few weeks, so breaking 3h in Berlin would not not be the last thing I would accomplish in my life!


--


Why this fixation with 3h, I have asked myself lately?? It's not like after this milestone my mood will finally stabilize, all my papers will get accepted for publication at first review, and my morning low-back pain will be gone (this one could actually get worse!). Why 3h, then? I have done 3:00:58 in Rome, for crying out loud! All this suffering for 58 seconds?! It's the time it takes to brush my teeth at night! (ok, I know it should be 2 minutes but in most days it's not! But I floss, that must count...). 58 seconds are worth the pain I went through this morning to run 10k in 40 minutes, my legs feeling like stones? 58 seconds so I can say "I broke 3 hours in the marathon"...? So what?! My grand-mother takes 30 minutes to walk 100m to the Pharmacy, with bad knees, in pain. My house is less than 1 km from my work and I take the car just about every morning! "Yes, but I broke 3h..." Big deal.


--


Why 3h...? why 3h...?


--


Well, the truth is I need these artifical goals, without much intrinsic value, to structure and motivate the day-to-day process, in order to get them. Maybe it's a male thing. "Men do, women are", I read again the other day (women have the better hand, if you ask me!). In many tribes, men become men going out into the wild with elder men, do stuff (running after animals, or from them!... here's the running again...) and when they come back after a series of rituals, they have become "men". In the same tribe, women go into a hut when their time comes, sit down, have their first period, and they come out as "women". They don't DO anything, just bear witness patiently. OK, before my women friends get mad at me for the pretty limited (amateur anthropologist) analogy, I'll stop. But I do like the general idea, and so do some clever people I like to read once in a while. Actually, the whole idea reminds me I should sit down more and just bear witness, patiently. It would do me good... (hopefully, nothing would come out of my body!).


--


Well, I do need these silly goals to structure my process. Maybe I'm not alone. And therein lies the secret - in the process! The question then is NOT why 3h, but why training for marathons in the first place?! For the process, no doubt. The pictures in this post (and other posts in this and other Blogs) tell the story. The process - of joining friends for running sessions and laughing, of getting fitter and noticing as the body adapts, of feeling tired as hell as then recovering, of being outside in beautiful places in this beautiful corner of the world we have, of feeling lighter and stronger (at faster and faster paces) - all of this is worth it and makes running and training intrinsically fun. Meaningful. And to go back to where I started in this by now pretty long rambling, it makes it worth to train even more seriously (this is very relative, of course... Naíde Gomes [sitting in the picture below] trains "seriously"... we just goof around a few times a week, pretending we train a lot!). And SO...


--


Carlos and I decided this month would be a good time for a kind of "training camp". Living the "athlete's life" if you will, for perhaps the last time in our lives. Training "hard", eating well, resting a lot, stressing very little, sleeping well. Yes, we'll skip the "nutricional supplements", the ice-cold leg immersion after practice, and putting up with nagging coaches! (Elvis, you're a cool coach, man - we need you!). Just the good side of training, yes. So we started "warming up" 2 weeks ago... Increased the mileage, stopped working (no more stress, yeaahh!), did our first "longão" (long run) last weekend (25km), did some nice recovery workouts, and this coming week this will continue, and we'll keep at it until Carlos leaves for a break, on the 18th or so. The Olympics will start soon and will be a good source of motivation, as vicarious experiences usually are. Just to prove are not that serious, we don't really have a plan! Well, at least I don't (and I'm usually pretty successful at screwing up Carlos' very precise plans anyway!). The general idea is to train just about every day, including recovery workouts, run 4-5 times a week (may include some twice-a-day session days!), do our schedulled long runs (~28km on Aug 10; ~32km on Aug 24; ~36km on Sep 7), do some nice track (1-2) workouts every week, and do at least one mid-range run during the week (60-90 min), at close to Marathon pace. This should suffice for two laid back "athletes" to improve their times in Berlin, injuries-allowing. By the way, Carlos wants to break 3:30, his Boston-qualifying time. He HAS already qualified with a sub 3:01 time in London, but the man is proud and brave (or silly just like me) and wants to "brake 3:30" clean! And, of course, we have planned to prepare and enjoy many nice meals watching the Olympics!


--


This morning, walking for the training session (a few minutes before the backpack picture below), I had this thought: "Lately, the older I get, the younger I remain" ("ultimamente, os anos passam e mantenho-me cada vez mais novo"). It's of course logical non-sense (impossible to "remain" younger and younger), but it makes sense to me for some reason... The fact is, at the age of 38, I feel as fit as I have ever been ("lean and mean", as the Americans say!) and physically at the top of my game*. A nice feeling. So I'll keep pressing on for just a few more weeks until September 28th!

(*Note: psychologically, one grows a little every day, but the road is steeper and "training" more challenging, anyway. My goal is just not to "miss practice", with my eyes open...!).


--


OK, I'll stop here. More in the next few weeks...


--


1 comentários:

NK disse...

Agora sim,
este blog começa a ganhar estatuto...