Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Can This Ugly Mug Be Saved!?

I'm slowly going blind as a bat. But I don't have to look square doing it. Vote for my new frames here! If your choice is selected you'll win 20 points and an ice cold Coke.

This Sure Beats Blinding Blizzards

We had marvelous thunderstorms a few nights ago here in Zwingle, IA. First ones of the season. The vantage point from my little house on a hill was perfect for viewing the lightning as the cells swept by. For a few more shots of the deadly bolts go here. Aside from the weather, life has been pretty calm. I've been trying to crank up the marathon training (just under two months to race day) and salvage as much from my decimated winter schedule as possible. The combination of (1) super frigid, windy, snowy weather, (2) lots of traveling, (3) low motivation, and (4) sore knees made for some pathetic weeks. I could handle any one or two of these potential excuses but when all four raise their ugly heads I often caved. So I'm about ten miles below my projected weekly mileage, my long run is three miles under what I would have liked it to be by this point and my pace is still about 20 seconds/mile slower than goal race pace. We'll see how things progress as the weather continues to improve.

Inspired, in part, by Raleigh's decision to practice more, rather than date, I have begun to experiment with cranking my own practice time up. I've always been a believer in the canonical "three well-spaced hours a day" for brass players. However, the odd story of horn players putting up big numbers (I heard JL say she was playing 10 hours a day before winning principal here, and legend has it AU was doing six hours a day before his CSO auditions, though I have it on pretty good authority that some of that time was longtones while watching March madness) coupled with the intense work ethic of string players and pianists makes me a little curious about the 4.5 to 6 hour/day practice regime.

In the spirit of experimentation, then, I am ramping up my daily hours very gradually and will plot my progress here over the coming months. I've known of several players who have suffered from overuse injuries and therefore will be extremely cautious every step of the way. That's all that's going on here. Time to get to bed so I can wake up early and get a jump on my taxes... during practice breaks, of course!