1. Of all things, I am currently addicted to “House of Cards” on Netflix. It’s the strangest thing, and even makes me feel a little grimy. Truthfully it’s everything I dislike about human interaction, but I guess that proves (at least on some level) we (or I) have a little animal left in us.
2. Never eat Taco Bell before a run (or anytime, really). Though, this article points out it may not be as bad as I think. The meat is actually 88% beef and 12% “signature recipe.” I was too scared to look up Caramel Empanadas.
3. I always say I’m gonna wear a Garmin simply to keep my pace “comfortable,” but it’s almost impossible to take an easy run when I wear that demon. I hear that “mile beep” and look down with the anticipation of Christmas morning. Sometimes I get a Chipotle Gift Card, other days it’s a lump of coal.
4. Exhaling on the seven stride is my comfort zone. This is a strange, but important key to my endurance. If I exhale while my left foot hits the ground, then exhale again after right, left, right, left, right, left, I know I can keep that pace for days. Once it creeps inside there, I’m “pushing.” The more relaxed I am, the more I can keep that breath at a faster speed, which led me to this next thought . . .
5. Now, I realize this may sound kind of obvious, but I never take anything for granted in triathlon. In one of my last posts I was talking about the importance of “the catch” and turnover rate in swimming. If we catch and pull the same amount of water, but you turn your stroke quicker, you will be faster. It occurred to me the same theory applies to running. If our strides are equal length but I churn quicker than you, I will be faster. In biking, the catch or stride equivalent would be the gear. If you’re in a bigger gear and we have the same RPM (assuming same weight, bike, etc) you will be moving faster. I’m not sure what this means or if it proves anything, but it seems like the more analogies I hear, the better the chances I will understand and improve.
7. I can’t neglect speed training. While thinking about the above concept, I decided to add 6×30-second sprints toward the end of my run. They weren’t “all-out” blasts, but about 80% with a huge focus on relaxing. I’ve always recognized the key to improvement as breaking thresholds by slowly getting comfortable at faster speeds. If I’m normally an 8:30/min guy and can stay relaxed and in control for a while at a 7 minute pace, holding 8 minutes doesn’t mess with my head as much.
8. Thank goodness for hills. I’ve said it before, but I’m really glad I started running in East Nashville. The “flats” around here are hillier than a lot of places. Just like the speed example, the more hills you run, the more you don’t even notice them. (This one’s for you, Corey).
8. Less coffee, more juice. I could just trade that second coffee for a fresh carrot/celery/parsley juice every morning, I think I’d be a lot better off. The dehydration trade-off alone would be worth the excruciating cleaning process.
9. I couldn’t help thinking about the trail run I missed this morning. My Nashville Running Company training group car-pooled over to Cookville and ran Bear Waller Gap Trail. The pictures everyone posted are incredible and make me cringe in envy (or give me another reason to quit Facebook). I guess that’s what happens when you’re up until 2:30 watching “House of Cards” and the convoy takes off at 7:00.
10. Speaking of guilt, my iPhone text message situation is totally whacked and I am starting to wonder if anyone likes me anymore. Apple has been under fire for this, but it does nothing to soothe my ego when friends don’t respond to my messages. Usually, it goes like this:
Me: Some super-sarcastic remark.
Friend: No Response.
Me (somewhat regretting the message): “Hey, man . . . you there?”
Friend: No Response.
Me: “Come on, you know I was just jacking you.”
Friend (two hours later): No Response.
Me: “Hey, I mean, you’re one of my best friends… I’m sorry!”
Friend (the next day): No Response.
Me: (looks sadly at phone… goes to Taco Bell).