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Runner's Diary: Joe Bell


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Joe Bell
Joe Bell


I actually got a little more done than I thought I would last week. I ran 110 miles and ran a decent 5K race as part of my workout.

On the 5K race that I ran last Saturday, I added another 3 miles at marathon pace to the workout I had done the previous week when I ran a 5K. So I ran 5 miles from home, ran the 5K, then ran three more 5Ks at marathon pace, and then ran home.

That was my highest weekly mileage that I ever have run. I felt really good about it being my highest mileage. I do know that I have to keep it in check and make sure I’m not getting hurt along the way. Everything just kind of worked out for me when I was doing my longer runs.

For me, it’s about doing well in the Mill Race Marathon, but also about looking beyond that race because I am doing two more marathons this year. The longer mileage is, hopefully, preparing me for all that. And I do enjoy putting the numbers up there on my blog board.

I think it all is a matter of the body adapting. It takes time to adapt and I am much better now than I was last year. There is a noticeable difference. I am not dragging my butt at the end of the week to get those miles.

I am doing slightly more miles and I am a little bit faster in everything. I’m not feeling it so much and my body can handle it and is not breaking down.

I do feel that genetics does play a part as well. Not everyone can knock the ball out of Fenway or paint a masterpiece, so it does involve some natural ability. I gave up that dream (of being an elite runner) long ago.

It has been very humid and when it is like that, I don’t even look at my watch. It is harder and you’ve got to slow down. It is the same whether you are running a training run or a race. You have to base things on effort instead of time. You have to take it for what it is.

I am a person who always looks at time, but you have to mentally say, “Hey, you are going slower and struggling because it is 90 degrees with 90 percent humidity.” When it’s like that, it’s pretty brutal.

Training schedule

MONDAY: Easy 4-mile run in morning; easy 8-mile run in evening; 20-minute core workout.

TUESDAY: Five 2-mile runs at 10K pace.

WEDNESDAY: Easy 4-mile run in morning; easy 8-mile run in evening; 20-minute core workout.

THURSDAY: Easy 4-mile run in morning, then 8 more miles in evening with half-miles alternating between marathon and half-marathon pace.

FRIDAY: Easy 4-mile run in morning; easy 8-mile run in evening; 20-minute core workout.

SATURDAY: Easy 8-mile run in morning; easy 8-mile run in evening.

SUNDAY: 18 miles at marathon pace.

One of the first things I always put in my notes is the weather conditions. It tells you why your times are affected and what you went through.

I know the heat and humidity probably is good for training, but I could have done without it. When it does happen, you have to make sure you are hydrated.

I make sure I carry something with me, and I slow it down. If I know it’s going to be hot before a long training run or a marathon, I start two days before hydrating. My general rule of thumb is that your urine should look like lemonade. If it is clear, you are over-hydrating.

In the morning before the run, I will eat a lighter breakfast and I will carry a sports drink mix that I can mix with a bottle of water. I drink as I get thirsty. I play it to how I feel.

You have to understand that you can get overheated pretty quickly. I always wear a hat on longer runs because one of my pet peeves with running is that sweat always finds its way into my eyes. That can ruin a race because it starts stinging. A hat soaks it up.

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