So it’s been a while since I last posted on here. I’ve tried to come up with a real solid reason why I haven’t provided new content on this blog – and here are just a few of the excuses I had planned to use:
1) My dog ate my wi-fi router. 2) Someone turned off the wi-fi in New York City in February as a simple protest to the moronic levels of cold that have basically turned my beloved city into an ongoing episode of Frozen meets Taxi Driver. (Harvey Keitel would play the Duke of Weaseltown in this show…) 3) Apple repossessed all of my electronics – including my Playstation 4 – because (and I quote) “…you ain’t cool enough to rock a Mac, with you punk ass self” (and to top it off, they tried to sound gangsta while heisting my gear) (seriously – dudes that work in Apple Genius Bars should NOT try to impersonate Biggie Smalls) (that being said – how much of an asshat am I for having all my electronics swiped by a couple of Apple Geniuses?) (Let me answer that for you: I am an asshat size XXL for even thinking that this one was a solid excuse. Let’s move to #4…) 4) I moved to Idaho. Idaho has no wi-fi. It’s against their religion. 5) I closed all of my social media outlets and consolidated my on-line existence on a Prodigy account. 6) I found my old Commodore 64 computer in the attic, and decided to rock the internet “old school” 7) I went on a one week sabbatical to Colonial Williamsburg, where I was brainwashed by the locals. I became Amish for about three days. Then I showed some Amish dudes my IPhone 6…and I was shunned for being a “warlock”. 8) It took 30 days to re-boot my router. ( use this one only if the “my dog ate my wi-fi router" is determined to be a bit outside the boundaries of believability) 9) Eight dumb excuses are all you get. I mean, look at numbers 1-8. Seriously. There is NO GOOD REASON FOR LISTING ANY MORE OF THEM, IF THESE ARE THE BEST I COULD DO.
After a long and hard discussion with my entourage (I am a self-diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, so I AM my own entourage), we all decided that I should not use deception – as clever as my documented excuses might be – in a vain attempt to basically distract my readers (all 3 of them) from the fact that I have simply been extremely lazy over the past month.
There you go. And the truth shall set you free.
Ever since I came back from the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, my training has been unfocused. I have gotten some decent work in – logging the miles on the dreadmill and the stationary bike, lifting weights, and watching what I eat. I had a training plan and I stuck to it…mostly. Now normally, this is the point where I would simply “mail in” my training and wing it all the way to San Francisco in August. But this summer means way too much to me to risk screwing it up. So I actually did something remotely mature and intelligent: I admitted that I needed help.
ENTER THE BAD MAN.
I asked my friend Brian “Bad Man” Johnson take my training plan and juice it up so that I am ready for the pain 166 days from now. When I called him, he had one sentence as a response: “Well it’s about FRACKIN’ time.”
It took him a week to develop this plan. He asked tons of questions about my training regimen, diet, recovery, stretching, sleep quality – he collected as much data as he could. Then he took this data, went into his laboratory, and one week later he presented me with…the training plan equivalent of Mr. Holland’s Opus. Let’s face it: it is a challenge for any coach / trainer to put together a plan for an athlete that plans to run an ultra a day for 15 straight days. Not exactly like tweaking a Couch to 5k plan. Not at all.
He emailed me the training program one evening, and I excitedly opened it up. I probably looked as excited as that blonde-haired kid on A Christmas Story when he opened the Red Rider BB Gun box. I began eyeballing the calendar and the corresponding work to be done. Within 30 seconds, I realized why his nickname is “Bad Man”. This plan is incredible. How incredible? It was so incredible that I threw out every curse in the English dictionary, 6 from the Spanish vocabulary, and I absolutely WENT OFF in Italian. To myself. Aloud. In front of my dog..who seemed to smile as I stomped around like a raving idiot – her canine expression clearly evoked the “you had me neutered, so revenge is a dish best served cold, freckle-faced walking pooper-scooper”. (I watched Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan the other night, so her quote was timely). I must have looked like Lewis Black talk when he talks about politics during one of his stand-up gigs. In between F-bombs, I read my dog some of the weekend excursions in store:
This coming weekend: run 13 on Saturday and run the NYC Half on Sunday. Weekend runs in May and June: 22-28 on Saturday, 14-18 on Sunday. First two weekends in August: 33 miles on Saturday, 22 on Sunday.
Brain, you are a bad man. A very, very BAD MAN.
He was right: this plan was his Opus. Tons of cross – training. Long runs that should get me used to the physical demands of the 500 miler. Weight training that should build me up so I can withstand the daily long grind. I set the goal. He developed what seems like a fantastic plan to get me there in the shape I’ll need to be in come the 20th of August.
So here are a couple of nuggets to take away from this page and a half of lunacy:
• If you have an athletic goal, and you are not sure how to get there, find someone with the experience and knowledge to help get you there. Don’t be a loner when you train, if your goals are a bit aggressive. • Balance is key. While my daily challenge in August is running, Brian has me lifting free weights, cross-training, using a foam roller (I hate you for that one, Brian – foam rollers are fascist), stretching, making sure I take things that help me recover post-workout…and above all, he provides a level of oversight. Which brings me to my last point: • Coaches will bring out the best in you. Why? They set a high bar and challenge you to achieve it. They provide motivation when needed, and a swift kick in the ass when you are shirking off.
So going forward, I’ll update this blog a bit more often…as long as my dog stops eating my wi-fi. And I get my stuff back from those Apple Genius dudes.