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Runner's Diary: Joe Bell

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Joe Bell
Joe Bell

It’s another hundred-mile week for me, with three more remaining before I start to taper for the Mill Race Marathon.

Last summer, I had just two hundred-mile weeks going into the marathon. When you start running hundred-mile weeks, and even 90-mile weeks, those nagging injuries get a lot harder to control. But as I have worked at it, I have been able to maintain higher mileage.

A marathon is 99 percent aerobic capacity, so running that much builds that aerobic base. Before this year, physically my legs and muscles couldn’t take that beating. But I have improved a lot. Hopefully, that will translate into a good performance in the later miles.

I feel good because I really have been building on all the hard work that I have done this last year. I can do more now. Two years ago, I had no 100-mile weeks. I would go 80 and I would start getting injuries.

People think of elite athletes in their 20s as reaching their peak, so yeah, being 33, it’s nice that I feel I can continue to improve. I can keep this going.

As I head into the marathon, now I project myself where I will be at the end of the race mentally. I look at how hard I’ve worked. I can say, ‘Hey, you ran this many 100-mile weeks. You can do it.’

Things have been going very well in my training. I am hitting the recovery stuff harder, such as foam rolling and ice every day. I make sure I do a day-to-day evaluation of where I am at. If I need an easy run day, I will take it.


MONDAY: Easy 8-mile run in morning, easy 8-mile run in evening, 20-minute core workout

TUESDAY: 4 X 3 miles at marathon pace

WEDNESDAY: Easy 8-mile run in morning, easy 8-mile run in evening

THURSDAY: 16 X 200 meters at 5K pace

FRIDAY: Easy 8-mile run in morning, easy 8-mile run in evening, 20-minute core workout

SATURDAY: Half-marathon time trial

SUNDAY: Easy 8-mile run in morning, easy 8-mile run in evening

Definitely I am getting more excited. The hardest weeks are going to be my taper weeks. I will be pretty anxious during that time.

I ran a 5K Aug. 16, the Bump and Run around Harrison Lake. I ran a personal best of 17:28, which put me third. It was pretty good. I had been frustrated with my 5K times, but I had kind of accepted it as being part of my higher mileage. This was kind of a surprise. I had run six miles from home, then run the race, then run the course two more times at marathon pace, then ran home. It was a 23-mile day, and I felt comfortable.

I am looking forward to the race. A marathon is a major undertaking, both to run or to put it on. The whole event was run well last year, and that truck giveaway, I’ve never had anything like that anywhere else.

I think running for me is 70 percent fun and 30 percent work. It can be hard at times — you get home from work and you need to run 1½ hours — but mostly it is still fun. If it gets to the point where it is more work than fun, I will stop.

A guy like Tim Proctor, he is awesome. He is a very talented endurance athlete, but he doesn’t want to run more marathons because he primarily likes bicycles. He is a cyclist; that’s what he enjoys. Running is my passion.

We are not doing our Tuesday track workouts with Quaff On! now, so I would love to find a group to do those track workouts with. I am running a half-marathon time trial Aug. 30 and I would love to find anyone who would like to join me.

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