I know you’ve all been desperately awaiting the return of the world-famous “Ty’s Training” blog posts. Where has he been? Is everything alright? When will the world be back to normal?!
All these are fair questions and I apologize for the great anxiety I must have caused the literally dozens of readers of this fine (usually) weekly publication. Allow me just a moment to provide not an excuse for my departure from this routine, but simply to give you a sense of where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. (And yes, I will post back-logs of all of my training log weeks since my last post around the time of my victory at the Vermont City Marathon back in May; have no fear, loyal reader).
So, I flew to Peru the day after VCM for another summer w/ STRIVE in the Andes at almost 3000m (9700 ft) above sea level. You all probably know what STRIVE is since you’re reading this post on the STRIVE website but in case you don’t, just click the logo at the top left of this page and you can learn all about it; I don’t want this to turn into a sales pitch.
The summer was fantastic. Mariana and I had about 10 days before our students would arrive and we made the most of our “vacation” by traipsing through the mountains and climbing up to over 20,000 ft (6,000m) on Mt. Ausangate. Don’t worry; we also had some time to relax, veg, eat delicious food, etc. Even we need to take some real downtime every once in a while.
Our students arrived and so began the whirlwind that is my June and July each year. We had a fantastic group and I put in by far the best summer of training I ever have, with many thanks to my nearly daily training partner, Calvin Lehn, who logged way too many miles w/ me to still tolerate my company.
I had some great workouts in Peru, like running 46.5km (or 29 miles) in 3h00 at 9,500 ft, breaking the STRIVE Mile Course record (running 4’28, again at 9,700 ft), and even going down to sea level to race in Lima where I won the Surquillo 7km in 20’36 (which is 2’57/km or 14’45 5K pace). Overall, I left Peru feeling the fittest I’d ever been and ready to tackle whatever came next.
What did follow was a tumultuous month of transitions, struggles, occasional flashes of fitness, an enormous amount of sweat, too much travel, and lots of rubbing Richard Parker’s (my cat) tummy.
Mariana and I were moving to Cambridge, MA so that she could being pursuing a masters degree in building technology at MIT and I – like any good partner/stay-at-home-cat-dad -was following along. We moved into a beautiful apartment the day we got back from Peru and quickly began to re-familiarize ourselves w/ the area (we’d both grown up and gone to school in Greater Boston).
Exploring running routes, making friends, finding the closest grocery store, baby birthday parties, running back from Mariana’s parents house in cut-off corduroy shorts (yes, I own those) and a dress shirt, discovering that there’s an Anna’s Taqueria INSIDE the MIT Student Center: these were just a few of the many exciting August events.
I also raced three times in three weeks: The 7-mile Falmouth Road Race, the USATF-New England 10 Mile Championship, and the USATF National 20K Championship (write-up coming w/ next week’s training log).
Part of this was that I simply felt fit coming out of Peru. I wanted to get out and establish myself in the New England scene right away as someone who’s here to not screw around.
What ended up happening was that I ran two pretty good races and one really bad race, but none of them were spectacular or particularly impressive on paper.
Instead, what I did find was that running these races was a great way to (re-)connect w/ local runners. Just running your warm-up or cooldown w/ your fellow athletes is a great way to meet people, learn about their training, and even find some new running partners (hopefully). So, while I went in w/ the intention to really crush these races, what I’ll end up taking away are the relationships formed w/ fellow runners, which relationships will hopefully lead to us pushing each other to higher and higher levels.
And so, but now I’ve finished this first block of training (682km in 28 days or about 106 miles per week for 4 weeks for my Imperial Unit readers) and we’re looking ahead. The great summer I put in is still there and despite a few botched sessions in the last few weeks, I’m excited to move forward, put my head down, and see where we end up.
Stay with us.
(To read all of my back-logs from the past 10 weeks, check out the Ty’s Training page and you should be able to go through all of them. New posts will be published on Mondays unless I’m like really busy or tired or forget or something.)