Operation Balboa

Logs are to P90X as Rocky is to Richard Simmons

On the long ride home Thursday night I had a lot of time to ponder things.  The first thing I came to realize about the time I hit the NJ-PA border was if I hear the song “Firework” one more time I was going to poke my eye out.  Had heard it a bunch on the kids radios, but had no idea that mainstream America needed to hear it every 17 minutes to get their fix.  Where was ESPN Radio when I needed it most?!?  The second thing was that with a semi-cooperative work schedule for the next two weeks I was going to make like Rocky Balboa in Rocky IV and rededicate myself for the final push towards nationals.  I think I still had my old Navy bomber jacket, we had plenty of snow, so all I had to find was a big log and I was on my way….

Well, that lasted about a day.  As is usually the case, transition days are always the toughest for me to get going.  Days going to work, and even tougher, the day of return after a long night of flying.  After blowing off Friday morning spin class (Rocky definitely would have set up his bike with the big wooden wheels and conducted his own class in the Siberian barn-gym, no matter how little sleep he’d gotten the night before), I eventually woke up to some sore legs.  Hadn’t done anything that fast in many weeks, and it had taken its toll.  Had no desire to get on the roads for any significant mileage, and I just couldn’t make the pool schedule work.  Ended up taking the day off – Day 1, nothing.  Not the most auspicious start to “Operation Balboa”.

In to Memphis Friday night, worked an easy leg to Atlanta, then caught a Delta flight home.  Arrived in Harrisburg, went straight to daughter’s swim meet to catch the last couple hours.  Home by 1pm – dead man walking.  Grabbed a couple hours of sleep, then finally got up and hit LA Fitness for an elliptical movie-marathon.  Rented “Red” on the kids iTouch (mini-review: 3.5 stars, pretty entertaining), spun the elliptical for 60 minutes then the bike for 30 at a cruise pace while watching the movie.  Beat doing nothing, but again, not exactly running through 3′ deep snow in a leather coat with the KGB chasing after you in black sedans.  Heading in the right direction though (barely)….

Tomorrow I will be rested, the winds will be below ‘gale force’, and I am finally going to get my butt in gear.  I go back to work on Wednesday night for two days – layovers in San Diego and Phoenix.  So between now and Wednesday I hope to get on the track twice, a long trail run, and maybe something tempo in the pool.  I can then bag some good mileage while in the desert, then come home for another decent stretch.  It would be nice to get one workout done tomorrow, if not then definitely on Monday.

I find keeping focused for months on end to be tough – it never seems to end.  Indoor runs into outdoor which culminates in the world championships, then some big road races, then maybe a break in Oct-Nov.  I started last November, so that’s 10-11 months of being somewhat sharp non-stop.  Ugh.  For the time being I’m just going to try to take it one “big” event at a time, so for the next 3 weeks I’m going to try to get sharp for this national championship, then go from there.  If only Charlie Kern or Lance Elliot was some sort of villian like Ivan Drago I would be able to snarl and climb that snowy hill with the plow hitched to my back like ole’ Rock….

10x100m heavy object drag in the snow will be an upcoming workout...

About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
This entry was posted in Competitive Races, Indoor Nationals, Interval Training, Running, Training for Runs and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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