Sunday, January 31, 2010

This Week in Running

Another solid week of building and training. I'm in just about good enough shape to race. Good thing b/c I hope to be doing that a couple times in February.

Coldest weekend of the year. I was out the door relatively early both days and needed to wear max protect gear to stay warm. It worked relatively well. My sis was down in Miami running the half marathon. She said it was warm and humid. My heart just bled for her.

Numbers for the Week
61 3/4 miles in 6 runs
63 minutes on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

The details on how the week ended:

Thursday 1.28.10
AM: core
PM: 11 miles in 79:52
Reading Kevin Beck's book and it persuaded me to try some neuromuscular stuff. I did 9 x 30 seconds hard w/ 60 seconds recovery in the middle of an 11 miler. I ran the first half easy and after the pickups I ran at a solid tempo pace for the rest of the way. During the 30 second bursts I focused on form, foot strike driving and propulsion, and efficiency. They felt pretty good. The 30 seconds went by quickly. I could've done more but this is the first time I've done something like this so didn't want to push it. Just feeling it out. I know I need to do more NMT (neuromuscular training), so this was a good start...Once the sun went down and the temperature dipped the roads became real, real icy. I was skating at times and had to slow my pace down at points during the tempo. Disappointing but didn't want to take a header.

Friday 1.29.10
AM: some core
PM: lifting sequence
It took a month but the gym is no longer crowded. Back to normal. So much for those resolutions, people!

Saturday 1.30.10
AM: 17.75 miles in 2:16.38
Cold. Second half was better than the first half b/c I got warm and the wind wasn't in my face. Did about half the run on trails that were lightly covered w/ snow. This slowed the pace down. The objective here was only to get in a medium-long run.

Sunday 1.31.10
AM: core and 7.5 miles in 55:10
Cold again. About 12 degrees which is 4 warmer than yesterday, so I shouldn't complain. Easy day. No set route. I felt particularly slow in the beginning before my body acclimated to the temperature. Capped it off with a couple of strides.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Oh the Threshold

Monday 1.25.10
AM: core
PM: 13.25 miles in 83:06
Threshold run. Comfortably hard. After a 4 mile warm-up, I brought it down to sub 6:00 pace and for the next 7.5 miles and ran between 5:55 and 5:46 pace. I didn't want to go faster than 5:46 b/c I didn't want to turn this run into a different type of workout. Finished w/ a 1.75 mile cooldown. Overall, I felt good but not great. Post run I was fatigued. Some days come easier than others and this was not one of those days.

Tuesday 1.26.10
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 72:02
It's staying lighter longer. Managed just about half of the run on trails. All the rain on Monday did a funny thing to the trails. Formerly, the trail was hard packed w/ snow which allowed the foot to get a good grip. Now, post rain, the snow is gone but thick sheets of ice w/ puddles on top remain on the paths. Fortunately, this phenomenon only occurs on the most used trails. It's slippery, though, so you have to slow down your pace.

Wednesday 1.27.10
AM: 63 minutes of bike on the indoor trainer
PM: 2.25 miles in 17:35
Easy day. Ran in the pm to shake it out a bit and pick up the car from the mechanic.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

This Week in Running

A pretty good week of training that ended this way:

Weekly Numbers
58 miles in 5 runs
111 mins on the bike (indoor trainer)in 2 sessions
4 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Friday 1.22.10
PM: lifting routine

Saturday 1.23.10
AM: 13.5 miles in 96:34
Did 6 hard miles. Ran over to WHS to do the Labor Day 10k course. I did a 3 -2 -1. 3 miles hard then 2 minutes rest, 2 miles hard then 2 minutes rest, 1 mile hard. I thought that I'd be able to use the mile markers to help me out. Wrong. I either missed the markers or they were washed away with all the winter snow/rain/salt/plowing. I kinda knew where the markers were supposed to be from memory but I ended up using time more than anything for a gauge. About halfway through the workout, I began to regret eating massive amounts of pizza on Friday night. It got a bit ugly but I finished. I did 1.2 instead of just a mile for the last repeat. The last mile is uphill and I managed the 1.2 in 7:04. At first I thought that was good, but on the jog home I realized that it really wasn't.

Sunday 1.24.10
AM: core and 8 miles in 57:05
PM: 41 minutes on the bike
Easy day at Adams Farm. The trails are a tiny bit slippery. Ended the run w/ 4 good striders. I may permanently incorporate strides into my Sunday program.
In the pm, I put the tv on and watched the 4th quarter of the game. Anti-climatic. After, I did some stretching, used the foam roller, and put some ice on the body.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Troika of 4

Tuesday 1.19.10
AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in 78:33
Did a progression run. I broke it into thirds, or troikas. Four miles easy, four miles pretty good, four miles pretty hard. I didn't keep splits for the first troika, but I did for the final two.

5 - 6:21
6 - 6:10
7 - 6:06
8 - 5:59
9 - 5:48
10 - 5:38
11 - 5:31
12 - 5:25

Working hard and feeling good for that last deuce. Achieved exactly what I wanted to in this workout. It was one of those runs where you really feel like you're getting fit.

Wednesday 1.20.10
AM: chiropractor appt
PM: indoor trainer 70 mins (bike)
The good doctor said that things were looking just fine. Be careful w/ the increased intensity. Ice and stretch but don't stretch too much. He pointed out a couple of areas to keep on the radar.

Thursday 1.21.10
AM: core
PM: 10 miles in 73:06
I'm calling this one ten even though it wasn't measured. Out the door late for this one. Darkness got me off the trails earlier than I wanted, but it was probably for the best. Ate lunch late and could feel it a little bit. I was moving best at the end after a sluggish start. Ended w/ a 6:37 split and it felt like a cupcake. A good sign.

Monday, January 18, 2010

14 x 1/4

Cutting shapes on a linear plane? Well, that's kinda what I did today. Due to the snow/rain storm and slushy/icy roads, I ran my repeat quarters on the treadmill. I was going to do 12 of them but I was feeling so good that I did two more. I was in a solid groove today. The treadmill maxes out at 12 mph so I did them all in 75. I was thinking that if I had a 14 mph treadmill that the splits would have been near 70. Lots of recovery on this one: a full quarter mile after each one. With a five mile wakeup and a two mile cooldown that makes an even 14 for the day. I felt in shape today. A strong and powerful day that makes me think the training will pay off when I race. Time will tell.

The recap:

14 x 1/4 mile in 75 seconds (first one was 76) w/ equal recovery (length not time)

AM: 14 miles in 87:39
PM: leg core

I was thinking of doing an afternoon cardio session but w/ the shoveling and late afternoon errands it just didn't happen.

And a congrats to Nuke for finishing the Houston Marathon in sub 3:00 and taking home 3rd in his division.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

This Week in Running

An uptick in temperature over the last couple days resulted in some good runs. Here are the last 4 days followed by the weekly data:

Thursday 1.14.10
AM: core
PM: 12.5 miles in 76:30
4 x 800, 400
I did this on the treadmill b/c I wanted to run the repeats on distance as opposed to time. The last several speed sessions have been on time due to all the area tracks being snow covered. So, I changed it up for this one. The workout was actually

4 x 1/2 mile w/ 1/4 mile recovery then 1/4 mile w/ 1/4 mile recovery

1/2 - 2:32 1/4 - 75
1/2 - 2:30 1/4 - 75
1/2 - 2:30 1/4 - 75
1/2 - 2:30 1/4 - 75

The repeats came pretty easily. I was working hard while doing them but I wasn't dead. Actually was wishing that the t'mill didn't top out at 12 mph. I might've been able to go a bit faster. I stole this workout from J Fyffe and the Keenyans.

Friday 1.15.10
PM: lifting routine
January is always the most crowded month at a gym.

Saturday 1.16.10
AM: 16 miles in 1:55.56
Started this run in the dark and watched the sun rise. Everyone should watch a sun rise once a year. Bluegray to purple to maroon to orange. Cool. My thinking is evolving: prior I always thought that a long or semi-long day was a hard day. Now, I'm thinking a longer run can be an easy, "recovery" day. I need to hash this out and think about it some more.

Sunday 1.17.10
AM: core and 8.25 miles in 60:08
Another easy day but a little longer than my Sunday usual at Adams Farm. Did a few striders post run. Am looking to increase my focus on neuromuscular training. We'll see what happens there.

Weekly Numbers
60 1/4 miles in 6 runs
60 minutes on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting routine

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Official

I contacted USATF over the weekend and had my designation changed from unattached to Central Mass Striders. The affiliation change was confirmed and I'm good to go for all USATF events. Bring on the New England Grand Prix.

Here are the last three days:

Monday 1.11.10
AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 75:17
The main part of this one was a 40 minute threshold run. I started the 40 minute effort w/ a 6:06 mile in the beginning and by the middle I ran a 5:50 mile (although most of it was downhill). Those were the only two splits I got. I felt strong but I was hoping I'd manage a little faster of a clip. Maybe I need to push myself harder. This run was 10 times better than the 40 minute threshold run I did last Monday.

Tuesday 1.12.10
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 72:48
Slow first half, better second half. Some of the first half was on snow packed trail which kept the pace on the slower side. Once the darkness settled in, I got back on the roads and picked up the pace. A quasi-progression run. No splits but after about 40 minutes I felt like I was in the low to mid 6:00s with the last 10 to 15 minutes feeling like 6:00 pace. It was nice to end the run in a solid groove.

Wednesday 1.13.10
AM: core
PM: 60 minutes indoor trainer (bike) then 2 miles in 15:00
Recovery day. 'Nuff said.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

2009 Highlights and This Week in Running

A bit late but here are highlights from 2009:

1. By far and beyond all else, the birth of KJ. She rocks. Everything else is a distant second.

2. Setting a PR in the marathon. In dramatic fashion I joined the sub 2:40 club w/ a 2:39.57 at Clarence DeMar. One of the best running moments in my life. For a long time thereafter, I was in awe that I did it.

3. Grabbing the Stu's 30k sweatshirt. Ever since I first ran the race in 2001 and saw that they gave sweatshirts to top performers I wanted one. I got one for 3rd overall in 2009. I love that hoodie.

4. Coming sort of close to a 5k PR. This is proof that you can still have a very good race and be happy w/ a performance even if it isn't a PR. I ran 16:05 at the Canton Fall Classic. I surprised myself w/ this one. It was my first race after DeMar and my legs were snapping and popping in my strides before the race. I actually went out sub 5:00. A good day.

5. Swagging it up at the Larry Robinson 10 Miler. For my efforts I won a coffee cake, a pair of New Balance sneakers, and a $50 gift certificate to Whirlaway Sports. That's pretty good in my book.

Now on to "This Week in Running:"

On Saturday, I did 3 x 2 miles w/ 2:00 recovery. It was cold and this workout did not come easy. I did the repeats on a back and forth mile on the road and had to cross a busy intersection. The pace averaged around 5:50 for all three, maybe a little under. The last time I did something similar, I did 2 x 2 miles w/ 400 meter recovery and averaged sub 11:00.

Saturday's Numbers
13.5 miles in 96:36

On Sunday, I did the easy Adams Farm route. Trail was snow covered but packed hard enough to run on as long as the pace was easy. Nine degrees. Did core prerun.

Sunday's Numbers
7 miles in 53:33

Weekly Numbers
53 1/2 miles in 5 runs
75 minutes on the bike
5 core workouts
1 lifting sequence

My miles are a little lower but I'm doing more intense miles than in the fall/summer. I'm not really doing a long run on the weekend, although I hope to do 15+ this upcoming weekend.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Easy Not Always Slow; Slow Not Always Easy

The above aphorism is nothing new, but every once in a while you need to remind yourself of it. I can distinctly remember an October run a couple of weeks after the Clarence DeMar Marathon when I was going at a good clip and it felt so easy. I realized then/there that easy doesn't always mean slow. My brain sometimes thinks that for a run to be easy it has to be slow. This is not the case. Easy can be fast--but not that fast b/c to be very very fast you have to reach some level of discomfort.

The inverse of "easy not always slow" also works b/c we all know that slow is not always easy. These are the dead legs runs every runner experiences from time to time. I can be jogging very very slowy, doing the skeleton dance, and it by no means feels easy. When I ran Boston several years ago, I schlepped through the last 10k at a horribly slow pace and finishing that marathon was no easy task.

Hence, easy is not always slow and slow isn't always easy.

Wednesday 1.6.10
AM: core
PM: 11.25 miles in 81:52
8 x "800"
800 in quotation marks b/c there were no clear tracks to run on and I did this workout on a sidestreet. I didn't measure the loop. What I actually did was 8 x 2:45 seconds hard w/ 1:15 recovery. It went well. The loop timed out to be just about 4 minutes long, which was exactly what I was looking for. The first four were easier than the second four. I was working hard and laboring for the last couple. I still finished the workout, however, without totally falling off the pace I established in the first four. With warmup and cooldown, I put in over 11 miles. This was a continuous run. I did not stop before/after/during the repeats.

Thursday 1.7.10
AM: core
PM: 10.25 miles in 71:40
A smooth and steady 70+ minutes. In a nice groove. I wasn't even cold.

Friday 1.8.10
PM: lifting sequence
Missed the gym last Friday due to the New Year holiday, so getting back at it today felt good.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Nothing As It Seems

Monday 1.4.10
AM: core
PM: 11.5 miles in 76:28
Guessing on the miles, it might've been longer. This was supposed to be a 40 minute threshold run, but I don't think I ever got going that fast. Felt lethargic prerun but still managed a pretty aggressive 30 minute warmup. The air was chilly but not cold and after 20 mins I was plenty warm. Could've done w/out the hat and gloves. Once the watch hit 30 mins, I picked it up to threshold pace, which for me is ~5:40 at this point in my training. I didn't have miles marked so the pace was all on feel. After a few minutes I started cramping and the pace suffered. I was still working it, but it wasn't threshold pace. I did the whole 40 mins at a good clip; some of it, however, probably hovered above 6:00 pace.

Tuesday 1.5.09
AM: core
PM: 75 mins on bike (indoor trainer)
Felt tired all day at work. Getting on the bike actually revived me. The exercise was the best part of the day.

(Post Title is also the name of a Pearl Jam song.)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

This Year in Running

Before the numbers for the year, this week.

Sunday 1.3.10
AM: core and 7.25 miles in 51:31
Again on the treadmill as it was snowy and the roads were slippery. My sister, who does not own a treadmill, did 10.5 miles in the snow and now reports having very tight calves. With my calf issues of the past I'm glad I hit the t'mill.

Weekly Numbers
60 1/2 miles in 6 runs
5 core workouts
104 mins on the bike (2 times)

I also compiled my miles for the year.

Miles Logged in 2009 = 2,358.10

I thought the total might be a little higher, but in compiling I noticed/remembered that I spend two different parts of the year w/ ailments that either prohibited or severely limited my running for 7 to 8 weeks.

Just for fun, here are other yearly totals:

2008 - 2523.85
2007 - 1890.65
2006 - 651.55

I spent a good deal of 07 and 06 on the dl. I hope to be off it for good now.

I have every mile I have run recorded since my freshman year of high school. Over the next few months I plan to add them up and see how far I have to go if I want to join DD in the six digit club.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

No B.U. Mini Meet for Me So 8 x 1200 Instead

I was going to race at the BU Mini Meet today but didn't. Last time I traveled to a race in the snow it took me 4x longer than it should've and when I finally arrived, the director was announcing that the race was cancelled. I think I still had sour grapes about that experience when I decided not to travel to BU. I regret it now. Perhaps I should have more fully considered the severity of the snow before making my final decision. There were really fast runners at the meet. Some CMS guys-- Justin Fyffe, Alan Bernier, Greg Hammett to name a few-- ran real well. Loads of fast times at the meet today. It would've been nice to be a part of it. Damn. Next time no hemming and hawing-- just get in the car and drive.

Cool Running has the official results.

Although I didn't race, I still got in a good workout. Discovered some interesting conversions today:

3/4 mile = .75 mile = 1320 yards = 1207 meters

I did out the math b/c when I was doing the repeats I actually felt like they were off just by a second or a second and a half. Turns out I was right. This is a bit freakish but it tells me I'm in tune w/ my body right now and that's a nice alignment to have.

The workout was 8 x 1320 yds w/ 440 yds recovery. Basically I did 3/4 of a mile hard w/ 1/4 of a mile recovery.

1- ? 5- 3:56
2- 3:56 6- 3:56
3- 3:56 7- 3:57
4- 3:56 8- 3:55

I did a 4.75 mile warmup and a 2.75 mile cooldown to give me an even 15 for the day. It was a good way to put in 15.

Today's Numbers: 15 miles in 92:09

Now to Friday:
AM: recumbent bike 32 mins.
PM: 2.25 miles in ~19 mins.
Iced and did the stick massage after each mini-piece of exercise. I did the light jog in the evening b/c I wanted to loosen up a bit in preparation for the BU Mini Meet which didn't happen (see above for explanation/excuse).