Monday, September 15, 2008

“A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man” / Training week 9/8-9/14

Following up on my previous training week post in which I talked about the importance of family to my life, I was watching “The Godfather: Part I” the other day (for the 563rd time) and one exchange in particular really struck me:

Vito Corleone (speaking to Johnny Fontane, whose character is obviously based on Frank Sinatra): You spend time with your family?
Johnny Fontane: Sure I do.
Corleone: Good, because a man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man.

(While Corleone’s response was to Johnny Fontane, anyone who’s watched “The Godfather: Part I” closely knows that he was really talking to his eldest son, Sonny, or Santino, who was in the room at the time.)

Regardless of how violent and corrupt the Corleone family may be, it never ceases to amaze me how many cautionary tails one can find in the two “Godfather” films (the third installment is dead to me and I refuse to acknowledge that it was ever made). I agree with the Don; any man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man—no matter how many miles he runs, how fast he runs them, how many races he wins, how much smack he talks, how much dirt he throws at others or how tough he thinks he is.


I had a pretty solid training week, logging 92.5 miles. Unfortunately, 4 miles into my tempo run on Friday morning, a major storm blew through and I got soaked and could barely see due to the terrible visibility along Chagrin River Road (the time was 5:30 a.m.). My brand-new Brooks Adrenalines (which I’ve found to be pretty non-responsive) quickly got water-logged and began to feel like cinder blocks. Not wanting to risk injury running fast with heavy shoes, I slowed down and finished my run at the normal 7:30 pace.

Needless to say, I was pretty aggravated that Mother Nature had so rudely interrupted my tempo run, the most important run of the week. I should have stayed indoors and done my tempo run on the treadmill.

Here’s how the week fared:

AM: 6.45 miles easy in University Circle, Cleveland Heights and Little Italy
Went pretty slow and just took it easy. Contrary to what Steve H. recently said to me, on easy days you go easy; on hard days you go hard. There's a time and place for everything--a time to lay it on the line and a time to go slow and smell the roses.

AM: 8.5 miles
Very rainy and visibility was horrible. Shoes got soaked.
PM: 6.07 miles easy down MLK and back
Total miles for day: 14.57

AM: 8.8-mile track workout--comfortably hard
I ran 2x3200 at 11:55 (800-meter recovery) and 11:52, and then capped off my two 2-mile repeats with a 1x1600 at 5:58. I felt in control and had good leg turnover. It was great seeing improvement in my 2x3200 times. This is an excellent marathon-training workout that builds aerobic capacity, improves turnover and strengthens the legs. I carried my 2-lbs. dumbbells to and from the track, but of course did not carry them while running around the track.
PM: 5.25 miles easy on the treadmill
Total miles for day: 14.05

AM: 8.5 miles easy
I woke up with a severely painful left shoulder. Damn, it was very painful in my shoulder and up into my neck (and still is as I write this). It really hurt to move my arm while running, but I gutted it out anyway.
PM: 6.55 miles easy in Shaker Park
The pain in my left shoulder was agonizing.
Total miles for day: 15.05 miles

AM: 9.25-mile tempo run
Four miles into my tempo run (after completing a warm-up mile), the rain picked up and I got soaked. With visibility null and void, I ran through a couple of puddles that were a few inches deep. I may as well have jumped in a pool. Only got to four miles—a real disappointment—when my goal was 8 miles. I was so dejected that just getting home was a challenge.
PM: Had planned an evening run but got in a car accident on the way home from work and didn’t have time for a run. I was traveling down a one-way road in the left lane when a lady in the right lane, thinking the road was two-way, turned left and I crashed into her, not having any opportunity to stop. The police ruled the accident her fault. My car, while not totaled, was pretty banged up on the front end. I’m now driving a bright-red Ford Focus. If it weren’t fully-loaded, I’d be bitching. I hate bright-red. I’m more a gray/ black car-type guy.

AM: 11.1 miles easy in South Chagrin Reservation
Ran with Jeff U., John S., John L. and Tim C. With it being pretty humid and rainy, I was soaked afterward. I would have liked to have gone longer but I had to call it quits at 8:45 to get to a doctor's appointment for Noah at 9:15.

AM: 22-mile long run in Solon with the Southeast Running Club
The weather was very humid and pretty warm--71 degrees when I started. I decided to back off the pace a bit to get in the 22 miles despite the heat and humidity. I definitely didn’t feel my best when I finished, but still managed about 7:45 pace for a solid long run.

Total miles for week: 92.5
Total miles for month: 188
Total miles for year: 2836.96

This week I have a lot going on and may not be able to crack 80 miles. My goals are:
  • 80+ miles with a Sunday long run of 20 miles
  • 3x1600 intervals at balls-to-the-wall pace
  • 8-mile tempo run
Onward and upward!

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