We had a nice crew going to Myrtle Beach this year. The two Pauls were shooting to push Dougherty below his 3:16 needed for Boston, Susi was pacing Jeri in her first race back from her ankle injury, and I was finally trying to break 3 hours.
Jeri and Susi ran a comfortable half, Jeri’s injury thankfully a thing of the past. Being the great supporters they are, I could hear them yelling as I finished right on target in 2:57:40 (top 20!). The last six miles were brutal, the long straightaways of this race a terrible mental test.
In maximum dramatic form, Dougherty finished with three seconds to spare (3:15:56), with Martino not far behind in a season-best 3:19:37.
We all earned our post-race massages (great free massage tent), and I even had my first beer of 2008.
I’m not very fond of Myrtle Beach itself, and the race is too straight and flat to be enjoyable to me, but the crowd was great and the whole atmosphere was nice for a mid-sized race.
I had a wonderful time at the Uwharrie Mountain Run last weekend. The race is very well organized, with good coordination at the start and finish and great support along the course. Very highly recommended.
Showing off 20-miler finisher pottery
I ran the 20 miler as my final long run before a fast attempt at Myrtle Beach next weekend, and was able to avoid any major injuries despite the tricky footing (wet feet, minor blisters, and very sore climbing muscles don’t count). While I tried to remain very conservative and not race (I started mid-pack and cautiously stayed behind traffic for most of the first 8 miles), I was happy I ran every hill except the first. I still finished in 3:28 and some change, good enough for 18th overall. I want to return next year and race it.
Susi deserves congratulations; she finished a very respectable 18th female in her first long trail race. Jeri, out with a big ankle sprain, was great to have there in support.
More photos behind the link
One of my intentions for 2008 was to keep a more diligent log of my exercise. So far, I’m succeeding, and it’s already helping. I suspect most readers of this don’t much care about the daily details of training, so I’ve moved the updates to pages that won’t spill over into the blog. January is here, February here. Feed subscribers rejoice, all three of you.
Why log training activity? This may sound crazy, but my mental window of focus is only a few days wide, and glancing at the past few weeks of training work helps a little in regaining confidence. When I’m not having any trouble with focus or motivation (not-coincidentally, this is usually when I’m mostly group training, but that’s worthy of its own discussion) a training log is little more than a bragging point, and can help a little with a final psyche-up for a big race effort. A daily log is more useful, however, when I’m almost completely distracted, and daily motivation is at a low. Like right now. My past few weeks have been very light, with my ability to get up and motivated in the morning very difficult, due to a mix of some late nights I’ve been putting in and a bit of injury. Due to weekend long runs I’ve still kept overall mileage up around 40 or so, but I don’t feel like I’m doing anything. Why not? I honestly can’t remember what I did just last week unless I write it down, and I get depressed very quickly, panicked that my training base is slipping away.
Are you having trouble staying motivated after setting yet another yearly goal of losing some weight, getting in shape, or just sticking to a plan? Maybe a secret to accomplishing these goals is keeping daily logs.