Monday, November 2, 2009

Slogging along

This wasn't the greatest running week I've ever had. Being sick last weekend left me feeling pretty crappy for the first few runs this week and feeling crappy makes getting motivated to actually go running pretty tough. The good news is that I had planned on cutting back my mileage this week anyhow, so I actually ended up close to my target mileage for the week and showed some signs of life toward the end.

Monday - Rest. Still sick and actually used sick leave because of it for only the 2nd time that I can remember.

Tuesday - 5 miles. Between my throat burning and regular coughing fits and just a general lack of energy, this run pretty much sucked the big one.

Wednesday - 6.3 miles. Throat still burns, still coughing, but not as bad. So it just sucked the little one. I also played basketball at lunchtime, which left me totally winded.

Thursday - 8.5 miles. Felt much better than the last two days, but still not great.

Friday - 9 miles. I woke up at 4 AM to run, said to hell with this and went back to bed. Ended up running after work and had a decent run, although it was tougher than 9 miles really should be.

Saturday - 6 miles. Since I ran Friday afternoon and then got up early on Saturday to do this run (we went to Rapid so Shannon could run a race and then the Grizzly game was in the afternoon, so it was the only time I could do it), it was almost like a double. My legs were still feeling Friday's run.

Sunday - 16 miles. The first two miles went great. Must've still been pumped up from watching Meb win NYC (more on that later). It was all downhill after that. Not precipitously downhill, just a steady decline. I neglected to take a gel with me and I think I paid for it because the last few miles were pretty rough and I felt like I was starting to bonk.

Total - 50.8 miles

Sunday morning was the 40th running of the New York City Marathon. An American hadn't won the men's race since Alberto Salazar did it in 1982. I was 4 years old. Going in, it was expected that an American might have a shot, but if you woulda asked a 100 people who that American would be, I'm guessing at least 95 would've said Ryan Hall (myself included). Instead, it was Meb Keflezighi who shocked the world and claimed the victory. Even better, American men took 6 of the top 10 spots (Hall finished 4th), signaling that the recent east African dominance of the sport might be coming to an end. Meb's story is a great one. He had never won a major marathon before, although he did win a silver medal at the 2004 Olympics. After failing to qualify for the US Olympic team in the marathon and 10,000m in 2008 and then suffering a stress fracture in his hip, many people thought his career was over and he actually considered retiring. But, he fought back and proved everyone wrong. A great win for Meb and a great moment in American running.

I've also gotta brag about my Montana Grizzlies. Their biggest game of the year (so far) was this past weekend against Weber St. Last year, Weber beat Montana in the regular season and the two ended up tied for the Big Sky Conference championship. The Griz got revenge in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and went on to the national championship game. This year, Weber and Montana were again favored to duke it out for the conference title. Montana entered the game ranked #2 in the FCS, Weber was #14. Both have prolific offenses and less than prolific defenses, so it was looking like an old fashioned shootout was in the works. What happened in reality was far from that. The Griz dominated from the start and the defense, which has been suspect all year, finally played up to potential. In the end, the Griz used 4 interceptions (one returned for a TD) and 241 yards from stud running back Chase Reynolds to win easily, 31-10. This basically ensures that the Griz will go to the playoffs for the 17th straight year (an FCS record) and that they'll win their 12th straight Big Sky title (also a record). Of their remaining three games, two are against two of the worst teams in the conference (Idaho St. and Northern Colorado) and the last one is against hated Montana St., who the Griz beat much more often than not. An 11-0 regular season and homefield advantage in the playoffs is looking like a definite possibility. The homefield thing is huge...there's nothing more fun than watching some team from the south come up to Missoula for a playoff game in December. Go GRIZ!!!

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