My training is going pretty well. I'm at about 70 miles a week, which is quite manageable for me. I've been going on killer marathon-pace long runs on Sundays on the Cherry Creek Trail, which provides a flat, paved surface that is perfect for road marathon training. Last Sunday I went so hard that I was sick as a dog afterward. Or maybe it was a virus. Or maybe running hard for 17.5 miles at 6,000 feet got to me. I'm not sure. I took Noah to breakfast after my run (I was feeling a little woozy but OK when we left for breakfast) and, as we were sitting in the restaurant, my stomach started going south fast. It was a long day that left me exhausted.
I registered for the 2012 Western States 100. I hope to get in, but I'm not going to hold my breath. Lots of people have entered and will continue to enter through November. I'll find out in mid-December if I got in...or didn't. If I do get in, it'll be my goal 100 for the year, and then I'll just do the best I can at the Leadville 100.
Right now I'm reading Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance, by Matt Fitzgerald. Why? One of my big goals for 2012 is to set a new personal best in the marathon (which will set me up for virtual automatic entry in the 2013 Boston Marathon). From 2008 to 2009, I had a nice little sub-3-hour streak going but the streak ended in April of this year thanks to 30+ mph winds and hot weather at the Eisenhower Marathon. Anyway, I've registered for the 2012 Georgia Marathon in Atlanta on March 18. Though not an easy course, I'll be looking for a new PR there--especially if the weather cooperates.
Living at nearly 6,200 feet, I've found that I seem to have a huge advantage at sea level when the weather is cool. If it's hot and I'm racing, as was the case at the Eisenhower Marathon in April, I don't feel an advantage. So I'll be pulling for cool weather in Atlanta next March.
Back to the book. I think I need to get down to about 165 pounds to have a shot at a new marathon PR, and to perform well at the Leadville 100. Right now I'm about 170 pounds, so I just need to shed five pounds. Fitzgerald's book has some great information and tips to help you achieve your true racing weight. I need to really be vigilant about the quality of what I'm eating and when I'm eating. I've stuck to three square meals a day and I think it's getting time to start eating more meals but less at each.
The bottom line is that it's hard to run fast for a long distance--and climb mountains--unless you're lean. But there's a difference between skinny and lean. Lean means you have muscle and little fat. Skinny, to me, means you lack muscle. I'm fairly lean but I could be leaner.
Also, I have to get off my ass and start doing some weight training. The more muscle you have, the leaner you'll be. Muscle burns more calories. At 38 years of age, I can't afford to keep avoiding weight training. It has to be part of the mix--high reps, low weight. If only I had the time....
If you're looking to shed a few pounds the right way (read: the healthy way), check out Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald!