The Hobby Jogger Experience: My Best Years Are Still Ahead of Me

Monday, January 29th — Easy Run

5 AM — 3 in 22:10

4:30 PM — 7 in 50:10

My legs basically feel like straight trash today. They are sore from the race but also I think some fatigue is just accumulating. The key is to just get more sleep, roll out constantly, and take it easy when I have to. Thought about cutting the run short, but I don’t think my legs feel that bad that I need to start running less. It takes years to understand and I am not there yet, but you have to know when to run to fatigue and when your fatigue is too great and you need to rest. I think right now my fatigue is at a normal level, possibly a little greater, and it is just one of those things I need to train through. I can still train through this and have good races even if I am feeling fatigued. Sometimes you come out of these little periods of fatigues having reached a new level of fitness (as long as you consistently train through). I am hoping that is what this period will go like.

Tuesday, January 30th — Easy Day

5 AM — 3 in 22:53

4:30 PM — 7.5 in 57:13

Originally my plan was to get in a workout like 12x200 to work on my leg turnover and get some true speed work in. I drove straight to my typical track here in Colorado Springs but it was busy. It is at a high school and a few of the high school’s teams were practicing on the field and the track. It is the school’s track and they take precedence so I just started to warm up and hoped they would be off. I ran 30 minutes, came back around 5 PM and they were still practicing so I decided to scratch the workout and just go explore the surrounding area. I have not explored this area before so I figured that would be a fun way to get my mileage in for the day.

I found a super cool trail system that I definitely need to go back for some more exploring. Perhaps I will go on Sunday or Saturday this weekend. This run was the best I have felt on a run in a while and I think that was because it feels fresh. I run a lot of the same routes every day. This can make the training stale. I think today was a good way to break up the monotony of my training. This is my fourth week of training with school back in session and I think that mentally and physically I am really starting to feel that grind. The fire to train and get better is not really burning very hot right now. I think the problem is the monotony and I also do not have a race scheduled for sure until March 17th. In other words, I have not planned out my February at all and so my training feels like it lacks a little direction right now. I know I am racing March 17th and have a half marathon April 8th but these are a little too far off in the distance to get me feeling really motivated and wanting to train hard. In the coming days I will start to look at a race or two to tackle in February. Perhaps even a 10K!

Anyways, the point of this point is to say that you have to somehow keeps things fresh in your running life. Of course the best way to get good at running is through consistency, but while you are going through your consistency try to find new challenges to keep things interesting and fresh.

Wednesday, January 31st — Easy Run

5 AM — 3 in 22:34

3:45 PM — 4 with running club

6 PM — 3 in 22:13

Solid day of training. For today’s blog, let’s do some photo analysis from my race on Sunday. I received an email in the middle of the day today saying my photos were up and boy was I excited. I love photos of myself at these races. Let’s take a look.

This is a classic “calm before the storm” photo. A bunch of people just dealing with their nerves and demons before the race. We are thinking about the pain that is coming and wrapping our heads around the task we are about to take on. My favorite person in this photo (besides myself of course) is the blonde lady to the left and behind me. Her face just perfectly sums up the misery that is a 5K.

My weird obsession with touching my hair is in full display here. Now that there is photographic evidence I can no longer deny it. I love these starting line photos. All these people with their own aspirations for the race and you can see them deal with their demons at the start line. Props to me for smiling at the starting line.

This is just a dope photo of me charging down the final straight. As you can see (or not see) there is a big separation from me and third place. Everything in this photo just looks super cool.

Shout out to the Yeti Chase for having my favorite set of race photos out of any race I’ve done since graduating. Super cool and bless them for giving them to athletes for free.

Thursday, February 1st — Easy Run

5 AM — 3 in 22:33

3:45 PM — 3 with running club

6:15 PM — 3 in 22:30

With it being the first day of February, I think the feeling of the new year and the start of the school year has worn off. By that, I mean the fresh start feeling to what I am doing has worn off. Teaching and training is back to feeling like a grind again. With a new year and the school starting back up I think there was a lot of excitement for me going into this. Eventually, that excitement has faded away and right now it is just feeling like the grind. My next big break from school is Spring Break in late March and it is way too early to be focusing on getting there. So right now it is just taking things one day at a time and slowly watching the days pass by. Getting in training during these days where they just feel like a slog is super important because it makes me feel like I can accomplish the training whenever.

Friday, February 2nd — Easy Run

5 AM — 2 in 15:02

4:45 PM — 6 w/4x100 strides

My tweet length thought for today:

Running is not really a fun thing to do, but there is something rewarding about seeing how deep in the well you can take your body.

Saturday, February 3rd — Hard Workout

8 AM — 2 mile warm up

2 mile race in 10:48

1 mile cool down

2 PM — 2 mile warm up

10x500 (1:35, 1:32, 1:32, 1:33, 1:33, 1:32, 1:34, 1:33, 1:32, 1:30)

1 mile cool down

Today I got a lot of work in and feel really good about what I did, I think this was a great day of training. Decided to get up and race the Nielson Challenge in the morning and ended up running eight seconds faster than last time I was there and got second place. Got to race my local rival Andy Rinne and I took the win over him today. This was our fifth time going head to head, with this being my third win over him. Always a pleasure to race him. We ran together for basically the whole race, till I kicked with 400 meters left and ended up putting ten seconds on him. I felt great throughout the race and just planned on kicking at 400 and seeing what happens. I flew by him and to put ten seconds on him tells me that I had a really good kick. It felt really good to have a nice kick. I think that tells me I am in really good shape, which I was in doubt of having my past two races not quite be what I wanted them to be. My workout later in the day just further confirmed the fact that I am in really good shape.

I was texting my buddy Ryan after my workout and he said that that workout just shows what I am truly capable of. Which is something I have been thinking about a lot lately because I have a lot of top performances in my road racing career but have yet to get a win and a lot of times it feels like I go to a race and there is always a guy or two that are just on a whole different level than me. And I don’t want to say it is frustrating, but I do want to get to another level and have a chance at winning these races. I want to be a guy who can consistently run under 17 minutes for a 5K and run some low 16s for the 5K. I want to run well under 60 minutes in a ten mile and run well under 1:20 in the half marathon. I feel that these are all right in front of me and if I could just dedicate a little more to training than I could accomplish all these. But I feel that I am committing a lot to training and to do more would put too much on my plate with all that is going on.

I have been feeling impatient with my training because I want to reach another level of running that I have not quite gotten to yet. And I have been training really hard and it is going really well so I am impatient when the races I am doing are not always great. I have yet to have a bad performance racing and have been really solid and good, but nothing spectacular. So I feel impatient but I am trying to switch my view.

I was looking at the results of my ten mile race a few days ago and was reminded that I won the 20–29 age group that day. I was sixth overall and all the guys in front of me were in the 30–39 age group. So I am 22 years old which means the five guys that all beat me are at least eight years older than me. And when I think about that, all I can think about is how much better I can be in eight years with consistent training like I have been doing now. Eight years of training, who says I can’t run ten miles in 57 minutes and some change? I have been trying to remind myself how young I am on the road running scene and that my best days as a runner are still ahead of me. So I need to keep having good training days like today but also just be patient and have faith that my best years in running are still ahead of me.

Sunday, February 4th — Long Run

2 PM — 12 in 86:12

A twelve miler! A great run that I felt good doing. Always feels good to end the week with a really positive long run and this is a positive one. One of my goals for 2018 was to get my long run up and really focus on getting it done and today I accomplished that goal (at least for this week). Also I believe that 12 miles put me at 70 miles for the week, which feels great to hit. I know that mileage is just a number but it feels good to get up in that 70 mile range.

By the way, I have started rereading Again to Carthage, which is the sequel to Once A Runner. Again to Carthage digs deep into the why of running and its beauty so don’t be surprised if my blog next week and the week after become a little more philosophical. It is just the nature of the book and it does such a beautiful job that I am sure it will influence my thinking on running in the coming weeks.

I appreciate you all reading and following along on this journey. I put a lot of work into this every week and to have anyone read it and care about my thoughts is mind blowing and awesome to me so thank you. I love you.

Tucker

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Tucker Horan

Tucker Horan

Just a guy who runs and tries to do some writing