This web log was created to keep you up to date with the athletic pursuits of Blake Boldon. It will be updated regularly with competition schedules, results, and photos.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

December Frustrations & Progress

"You have to believe in yourself when no one else does. That's what makes you a winner." It's not something that I came up with on my own. I recently came across that Venus Williams quote and this week it has taken on a whole new meaning. Since my last post I've had a hard time getting replies to my emails within the sport. I've emailed meet directors, USATF employees, coaches and potential employers to name a few but it's like I don't exist within the sport. Little things like finding a swimming pool for cross training and getting on the indoor track here in town have presented their own unique challenges. This week my frustrations came to a head when on Tuesday I got a call from the athlete rep at Saucony. Despite discussing 2009 in October with the athlete rep, the company has decided to not renew my contract. It shouldn't be a big surprise since 2008 was such a disappointment but the timing was especially disappointing. I do have a couple of options for 2009 but I hope to find a way to stay with the company if they can offer gear and some incentives. Saucony is a great company full of great people and I really like the direction that company is headed (except dumping me) so hopefully it all gets sorted out in the coming weeks. Needless to say, after a day or two of frustration the recent turn of events has only provided me with more motivation while I continue to pursue my goals.
Training continues to go well and I'm still excited about the progress that I'm making on a weekly basis. Last week I recorded a lifetime high for mileage by running 110 miles. This week I backed it down a little to 105 but within the last two weeks I've had some great work outs (for those of you doing the math at home, that brings me to 628 miles over the last six weeks). The last two Fridays I've done a 6 mile "Predator Run." This is something that I've picked up from Coach Simmons. It's a progressive tempo and I ran 31:15 and 31:05 for each of the last two weeks, which I think is pretty solid since I'm still adapting to altitude. Last Tuesday I did 6 x a mile on a trail near my house and I averaged 4:58 but this Tuesday was much more encouraging. I did 20 x 400 on the indoor track at the Air Force Academy (7000 feet). Alex Vasquez from UCCS did every other rep with me and it was a big help as I managed to average 66.8. The biggest adaptations that I've seen since being at altitude have come during my long runs. Each of the last two weeks I've gone out to the north side of town to run on the Santa Fe Trail. I park near 6300 feet and run eight and a half miles out to about 6800 feet. After making the return trip I do 8 hill strides to finish the 18 miles for the day. The last two weeks I've made the 8.5 mile return trip in 51:30 and 51:28 respectively (6:03 pace). Today I ran with my friend, Tommy Neal (fresh off his 18th place finish at Club XC Championships), and we started back much more conservatively than I did last week. I ended up picking it up from 13.5 miles to 17 and averaging 5:39 over those 3.5 miles. During last week's long run the temperature was below ten degrees and the wind chill was around zero so I came away with a pretty great picture.
Don't worry, I've since trimmed the beard but yes, that is all natural. I'm driving back home to Iowa today (really through the night) so I'll need a day or two to get some rested but I hope that I don't have to miss any training.
I want to end with one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite bands. Before almost all my workouts I like to listen to Rage Against the Machine. Without getting into the politics implied in the song, my favorite line of "New Millennium Homes" is the opening sentence - "Hungry people don't stay hungry for long. They get hope from fire and smoke as the wheat grows strong." I'm not sure what in the heck that has to do with running but it does the trick for me.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blake - You define "loyal to the sport"


8:03 PM

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