Posts filed under ‘Weekly Recap’

Weekly recap 1/23 – 1/29

Another week, another slow start. Fortunately, by the end of the week, I was feeling better than a week ago and was a bit happier with how things went in general.

Mon – nothing
Tue – 3 miles very slow on the Duke XC trail in the afternoon
Wed – 7 miles total (3 mi, 39 minutes on treadmill @15% followed by 4 miles, 30ish minutes at Fullsteam group run)
Thu – 21 miles total (am: 3 miles slow on Duke XC trail//pm: 12 miles around Umstead then down Cary Parkway to the Y, did some squats and other lifting, then ran 6 miles back home for an 18 mile evening)
Fri – 20 miles, 2:38, 12+ loops around Duke’s East Campus loop
Sat – 10 miles total (830a: 7 miles, 47ish minutes on the soft side of the American Tobacco trail followed by a slow, relaxing 3 miles at Durham Market Run with some lovely ladies)
Sun – 13 miles, 1:47 along the Black Creek greenway to Umstead and back

Total – 74 miles, a little over 10 hours

Last night I was a little disappointed with myself that I hadn’t run as much as I had originally intended to this weekend. And then I realized I somehow put in 74 miles and over 10 hours this week, despite only running 10 miles through Wednesday. So another week that started off kind of meh and ended up being pretty solid. I experienced some Achilles soreness Thursday toward the end of my 20 miler, but being proactive and diligent about rest and recovery seems to have kept it under control. It’s a miracle I ran at all Tuesday. I had a 45 minute window from the time I worked with my last class and the time I had to be in charge of a bunch of 3rd-5th grade girls so I just jogged across the street to the trail. I needed some me time to break up the 12+ hour workday. Friday was a bit impromptu. I felt good so I kept running. My entire Saturday was spent running, then eating, napping or lying around with my feet up, then more eating, and back to sleep. I must have gotten an extra 3 or so hours of sleep from naps. Sunday was the best I’ve felt since before the 100k. If I didn’t have to be at my 6 year old cousin’s birthday party I would have run for hours.

I would have liked to get a bit more “running” on the treadmill at 15% in throughout the week and that’s a goal for this coming week. I don’t have mountains out my front door and I know it’s not quite the same but it’s better than nothing. I also want to spend more time on the Umstead course, especially some long runs next weekend. Overall, the volume will inch closer to where it was most of last summer and where I’d like it to be most of this year. I actually DID manage to sleep more, drink less, eat more vegetables, continue my once a week squats commitment, and some of the other extraneous crap I beat myself up about on an ongoing basis.

I’m still about 10 pounds too fat and I can clean up the eating some more to help with that (Friday’s lunch was a GIANT slice of cake, cookies, chips, twizzlers, you get the idea). The beard will stay away for the time being because 1- I’d like to get laid again, eventually, and 2- I’m not in shape yet. I’m gonna try to get an extra half hour or so of sleep per night this week, drink less beer (which shouldn’t be hard because I’m running out of the everyday stuff, leaving only the special occasions stuff and while I love the NBC Thursday night lineup, new episodes of 30 Rock, Parks & Rec, and The Office does not qualify as a special occasion), and be less of an outward misanthrope (inwardly, all bets are off). What DOES qualify as a special occasion is the Super Bowl. And the GIANTS in the Super Bowl against the Patriots, again. I will be wearing my makeshift Eli jersey Sunday night and rooting like crazy for New York. And this post has officially gone off the rails from training and whatnot so here’s a good place to end it.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

January 30, 2012 at 10:09 am 2 comments

Weekly recap, first week of January

The first full week of 2012 is in the books. It did not start off particularly auspiciously, which seems to be a recurring theme for me. Last year I didn’t run my first mile until January 24th. After one week of 2011 I had logged a few miles in the pool and a couple hours on the arc trainer. Not exactly thrilling. In 2010 I had no injury excuse at the start of the year but I still only logged 4 miles in the first week, and 17 in the first ten days. In going back and looking at what exactly I WAS doing, two entries from the training log say simply “XT – bowling, pushups/pullups, something awesome” followed the next day by “XT – pushups, more awesomeness”. At least I had a good excuse it seems!

Unlike the previous two years, this one HAS actually gotten off to a pretty good start, at least after the first few days. Now that I’m settled back in NC and sort of into my regular routine, things are going much smoother. To recap:

Mon & Tue – absolutely nothing, though I did get an awesome massage Tuesday evening. And as usual, I really needed it. John worked on my frustrating big toe and, of course, Wednesday night I had my first pain-free run in a week or so. Gotta be voodoo.

Wed – the aforementioned pain-free run, 4 miles, 29 minutes, at the Fullsteam group. A couple new faces and a quickish last two or so miles in just-warm-enough-for-t-shirt (at least to me) temps. Went to the gym and did squats beforehand (as per Katie’s resolution for me to do squats at least once a week). I didn’t overdo it but I was already sore by the time the run started.

Thu – 10 miles, 89 minutes around the Duke XC trail. Ran into Kara early and ran the first 3ish with her, then ran over to the steepest hill on the loop and did that 15 times. It was slow going and my toe was getting a little sore by the end but I was happy with the effort on very sore legs.

Fri – 12 miles, 1:37ish. My legs were toast after two pretty intense days so I took it easy. Ran from the apartment up the Black Creek greenway, detoured onto Lake Crabtree singletrack, then up into Umstead for a bit before coming home. Really nice day for running and despite the soreness, my legs felt great as things went along.

Sat – 24 miles, 3:36. Drove down to Southern Pines and did loops at Weymouth Woods Nature Preserve. I’m running the Weymouth Woods 100k there this coming Saturday so I figured it wouldn’t hurt to do a long run on the course and see what I should expect. Glad I did, more because while driving there my GPS kept trying to take me down these private roads and some roads that didn’t actually exist. Glad I know how to get there now, so I don’t show up an hour late on race day. Each loop here was progressively quicker than the one before, and felt better too. Didn’t have enough water or gels but that won’t be a problem for the actual race.

Sun – 8 miles, 65:30. Watched the Giants beat up on the Falcons (GO BIG BLUE!) and then ran around my cousin’s neighborhood in north Raleigh before the start of the Steelers-Tebow game. Thanks to my fancy new Garmin (by the way, I’m probably ALWAYS going to refer to it as the “fancy new Garmin” even when it’s like 4 years old) I was able to go exploring a bit and ended up finding some sweet little trails that ran for a few miles along some stream near their house. Awesome. It was a wonderful night for a run and my legs, as is often the case it seems, felt BETTER after the long run yesterday than they had all week.

Total for the week – 58 miles

Not bad for only 5 days of running and overcoming some serious sluggishness (mostly of the mental variety) at the start of the week. It’s going to be an interesting week coming up. With the 100k on Saturday that’s 62+ miles for my week already allotted. However, I’m not tapering for the race, not really treating it much like a race at all. For me it’s going to be a long run and an opportunity to get logistical stuff in place for Umstead. Which is why it’s amusing to me that my brother and his friend, and my ultrafriend Ashley are all flying in specifically to see me at this race. Not to mention my cousins are coming down with their two boys. I’m going to feel a bit silly with such a big crew for a race I am probably not going to do particularly well at. Ah well, it’s nice to feel loved. The five days leading up to it I’ll take it somewhat easy but probably log about 50 miles total, more of it front-loaded. The goal is to do the race and not have to take a significant amount of down time after. Gonna be fun at any rate!

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

January 9, 2012 at 10:51 am 4 comments

Weekly recap 12/12 – 12/18

Finally finally FINALLY, after a frustrating few weeks I had one that actually felt like training and not just some jogging for fun and fitness!

Monday – 11 miles, 96 minutes on the treadmill at the Y. Also did some light lifting, mostly squats, before
Tuesday – 9 miles, 76 minutes on treadmill at Y, some steep hill climbs thrown in the middle
Wednesday – 4 miles, 31 minutes at the Fullsteam run and then 2 miles in 30 minutes on the treadmill (15% throughout)
Thursday – 12 miles, 97 minutes around Cary
Friday – got drunk, hooray for Christmas parties
Saturday –  20 miles, 2:54 at Umstead and Black Creek greenway
Sunday – 30 miles, 4:32 at Umstead (two Umstead 100 course loops, 1:51 each, plus some extra after)

Total for week – 88 miles

I was really pleased with this week. It was nearly 13 hours of running, most of it coming on my Saturday/Sunday back-to-back long runs. Although there are a few aches that seem to go and come every few days (currently my left big toe tendon again, the left hamstring earlier in the week but that has abated), I feel mostly fresh and healthy again. On top of that, since Hellgate, I have felt  a renewed energy and enthusiasm to train and improve and compete, something that waned a bit in the weeks following Stone Cat. While yesterday’s 30 slow and I was pretty exhausted, it was good to see that I still have the endurance to do something like a 20/30 back-to-back. Actually, previously my longest back-to-back runs were a 24/20 in July, and those were on pancake flat rail trails, so this is progress.

I’ve got an ambitious week (and really weeks) ahead, with a birthday run redux Friday and another ultra distance run on Christmas. As of now there’s a little less than three weeks til my next race (Weymouth Woods 100k), which will serve primarily as a long run in the build up to Umstead. It’s nice to feel like an actual runner, and eat like one without gaining ten pounds, again!

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

December 19, 2011 at 10:18 am 2 comments

First three weeks of August

I feel like I’ve blinked and August is 3/4ths over already. I’m not surprised really, it’s been a whirlwind here personally. I’ve moved from Baltimore to North Carolina and last week I was flown back up to Baltimore for a full week of pre-school training for work. So I’ve been mucho busy outside of running, but have fortunately managed to get that in too. Of course, I’ve been fighting the feeling of burnout trying to train at the level I want while balancing all the other things going on. Fortunately things should be settling down now and I’ll be able to find a rhythm soon. In the meantime, a brief recap of the last three weeks:

August 1 – 7

Mon – am: 7 miles, 60 minutes around Canton, sunny, hot//pm: 5 miles, ~45 minutes around Kerr Lake in North Carolina
Tue – am: 9 miles, 76 minutes, in the late morning.Some rolling hills around my cousins neighborhood. Temperature when I got finished said 106+ degrees. And sunny. Ouch.
Wed – am: same 9 mile route (75 minutes) as yesterday but a little earlier and sightly cooler//pm: 4 miles (34 minutes) with the Fullsteam ahead! Running club leaving from Fullsteam Brewery and running around Duke’s east campus, then another 5 miles (43 minutes) around mostly the same route solo after eating and having some beers at the brewery.
Thu – pm: 13 miles (1:51) on the American Tobacco Trail, leaving from mile 0 near Durham Bulls Athletic Park and running down to mile 6.5, stopping at Bull City Running for some water. Had some calf cramps from dehydration in the last few miles.
Fri – pm: 18 impromptu miles around DC (~2:30), stopped in Georgetown after driving all day from NC, ran along the Capital Crescent trail for a while, then decided to visit the monuments, ran by Lincoln, then Washington, then made my way to Jefferson before heading back to my car.
Sat – pm: 12 miles on the treadmill at the Y due to thunderstorms (1:36)
Sun – am: 10 miles (83 minutes) down to the Inner Harbor and around Patterson Park mostly

Total for week – 92 miles

Week of August 8 – 14

Mon – MY BIRTHDAY! I’ve already written a whole post about this. 46 miles, ~7:45 all over Long Island basically.
Tue – pm: 5 very slow, very sore miles (47 minutes) along Wantagh Parkway
Wed – pm: 4 miles, 34 minutes, on the James F Hall bikepath in good ol Newark, DE (pit stop on my way back to Baltimore)
Thu – pm: 5 mi, 44 minutes, around Cary, NC after spending the whole day driving to NC and then unloading the moving truck (three runs in three different states in three days separated by some 600 or so miles!)
Fri – pm: 13 miles in just under 2 hours mostly along the greenway behind my apartment into Umstead State Park and along the trails there, then back to my place, lots of hills
Sat – pm: 10 miles, 85 minutes, on the Black Creek greenway behind my apt
Sun – pm: 20 miles, 2:35, along the American Tobacco Trail (south of 40 where it’s gravel/dirt) out and back 10 miles, didn’t bring enough Gatorade fo sho

Total for week – 103 miles

Week of August 15 – 21

Mon – am: 5 miles, 44 minutes, around the neighborhood//pm: 10 miles, 80 minutes back in Baltimore for training til Friday, ran around the Inner Harbor
Tue – pm: 9 miles, 65 minutes around the Inner Harbor and Fed Hill after spending 8+ hours training (which meant playing lots of Four Square and Wallball)
Wed – pm: 8 miles total including a 10 minute jog from training to the hotel and then 7 miles (54 minutes) around the Inner Harbor in a fucking monsoon. At one point on Aliceanna I ran through a “puddle” that went up to my knees. It was amazing. And when I was running around the Harbor as the storm settled down, I saw an awesome rainbow.
Thu – pm: 9 miles total including another 10 minute jog from training to hotel and then 8 miles in 55 minutes on the treadmill at the hotel.
Fri – pm: 5 miles, 44 minutes, around the Inner Harbor before we left for BWI. Last run in Baltimore for some time and I felt like total shit for most of it.
Sat – pm: 10 miles, 88 minutes along Black Creek greenway and a 6 mile loop of Crabtree Lake on the lake trail, felt like garbage, started with a horrible headache, that subsided after about a half hour but my stomach issues got worse. Had to stop at the park for an emergency bathroom break, felt like I needed a few more. All the travel had me out of sorts
Sun – pm: 24 miles, 3:36 at Umstead State Park. Ran mostly the Company Mill trail from the parking lot to the multiuse trail, did one Umstead 100 loop and then more on the side trails. Lots of hills. Wanted to bail really early but pushed on. It was super muggy, went through A LOT of Gatorade and Powerbar gels and energy chews (delicious)

Total for week – 80 miles

So in the first three weeks of August I’ve managed to log another 275 miles, which is already more than last August. Last week I had wanted to run closer to 95-100 miles but training really kicked my ass and didn’t leave much opportunity. I was at work from 7am – 6 pm and then had about an hour and fifteen minute window to get my run in and get showered before we went out to dinner. I guess I could’ve skipped some dinners and socializing in the evening but it was important to me to spend time with the people I’ll be working with this year. Still managed a pretty good week. And I DID run 46 miles on my birthday less than two weeks ago.

In two weeks I have the Rock N Roll Virginia Beach half marathon. I haven’t been doing any workouts or anything even remotely quick really. It’s going to be interesting. My main focus this fall is obviously the Stone Cat 50 in November, the half and the Dogfish Dash 10k are going to be mostly workouts (althought I’d REALLY like to kick ass at the Dogfish Dash). To that end, I WILL be dialing things back a bit after this last full week of August and adding in a workout or two each week, starting off really low key and progressing in duration and intensity. Once the DFH 10k is over, it’ll be time to kick 50 mile training into high gear, although I haven’t really finalized what that’ll look like! Regardless, I’m in love with North Carolina and I’m running and enjoying myself quite a bit and really looking forward to the next few weeks.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

August 23, 2011 at 10:45 pm 4 comments

Weekly training recap(s)

I haven’t done a day-by-day training recap in a while, mostly out of laziness and lack of time. But I’ve had pretty much the best few weeks of training (at least volume-wise, but also in general) that I’ve every had and figure it’d be good to get them down here for future reference.  To wit…

Week of 6/13 – 19

Mon — am: 4 mi, 36 min, treadmill at the Y, super easy//pm: 12 mi, 1:34, NCR from Ashland, originally planned to do 10 but the weather was beautiful and I just wanted to keep going
Tue —  am: 6 mi, 52 min, down to Harbor East and back, nice cool morning//pm: 11 mi total, 2 mi on the NCR super slow looking for a bike (fail) and then 9 mi (74 min) down through the Inner Harbor to Fed Hill and back
Wed — 12p: 5 mi, 38:10, NCR from Ashland, warm & sunny but nice shade on the trail//930p: 10 mi, 78:40, IH/Fed Hill route (40 out/38:40 back, cruising, took the Ghost 3s out for the first time, loved them)
Thu — 2p: 13 mi, 1:42:40, down to Fort McHenry and back (52:20 out/50:20 back), easy effort, warm but cloudy
Fri – 5p: 3 slow miles on the NCR
Sat –   730a: 10 mi, 75 min pacing Baltimore 10 miler, some hills, hour and a half later: 6 mi with a bit of a hill workout (increased 1% every half mile to 8%)
Sun – 1245p: 16 mi, 2:01:40 on the NCR, starting from Ashland (out in 62:30, back in 59:10) , warmer than expected, only had water at Sparks and Monkton going & coming because someone stole the Capri Sun I had stashed.

Total for week — 96 miles, a Monday to Sunday high for me. But I kept rolling right along.

Week of 6/20 – 26

Mon — 5p: 22 mi, 2:52 on NCR, starting at White Hall, ran up to New Freedom, PA and back, then added a mile the other direction before finishing. GUs at 7 & 15, water at New Freedom, GU brew first and last 5 miles, felt pretty damn good for back-to-back long runs
Tue —  130p: 5 mi, 44 min around Harbor East//930p: 11 mi, 90 min to Fed Hill and back, humid!
Wed – 1p: 7 mi, 61 min on treadmill at Y, also some lifting (squats, goodmornings, med ball slams, mobility drills, etc)//945p: 10 mi, 1:25 to Fed Hill and back, SUPER humid
Thu — 830a: 3 mi super slow around Patterson Park//530p: 8 mi, 80 min on the trails of Oregon Ridge park, fell around mile 5 after slipping on a rock and bruised the shit outta my hand, first run in my Cascadia 6s, AMAZING shoe
Fri —  12p: 12 mi, 1:51, including a hill workout at Patterson Park, running the half mile up the Pagoda hill and back, pretty damn hot and sunny out, felt a bit ragged here
Sat — 7a: 16 mi, 1:54 (Out in 58:20, back in 55:55), a little quicker than typical because 1- I had to get to work and 2- I wanted to push a bit and see if my legs still had some turnover. GU at 8, apple juice for first and last 5 mi. Lovely morning for a run.
Sun – 830p: 8 mi, 61:40 including a random 5 in the middle with Dave Ploskonka who I ran into down by the water. That portion was a little quicker than planned but felt pretty comfortable. Nice.

Total for week — 102 miles

So back-to-back Mon-Sun highs, not to mention on Friday and Saturday my 7 day total was 110 miles, another high mark for me. I am definitely taking my own advice. The other thing I think is interesting, and something Dave and I were talking about Sunday night, the higher the mileage, it seems I have LESS issues. When I was running 45-55 miles/week I was constantly dealing with random crap and not feeling too great. Right now, I definitely have aches and pains here and there but for the most part I feel pretty good. Another interesting note, I have now run 37 consecutive days, easily the longest streak I’ve ever had. People ha asked about when I’d take a day off. I continue to maintain I will when I feel I need it. In the meantime, the semi-regular 3-4 mile days run at a shuffle are essentially the same thing as a day off to me.

This current week I’ve already put in another 31 miles (5 in the morning/10 in the evening (with another hill workout) yesterday, 10 this morning/6 this evening) and will likely end up with about 100 miles again but it’s going to look a lot different. Saturday is the Finger Lakes Fifties trail ’25k’ which is actually 16.5 miles. While it’s not an A race by any stretch to me, I would like to be competitive so I’m going to ease up a bit the next few days and try to be relatively fresh and ready to roll Saturday morning. Tomorrow I’ll be running in a BRRC track meet just to give myself a fun change of pace (literally), likely running the 1500 and 2 mile though I’m not expecting anything impressive there. Thursday and Friday I will run the entirety of the race course broken up into those two days. After the race Saturday I’m planning to run the course a second time to get a 33 mile long run in and then Sunday we’ll see how I feel and what I feel up to doing. Like I said, this has easily been my best stretch of training ever but I’m not satisfied to sit back and be happy with what I’ve already done. It’s a good start for sure, but there is a lot of time still between now and the races that are most important to me in the fall. Thus there’s lots of work still to be done!

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

June 29, 2011 at 12:47 am Leave a comment

Last week and what’s next

I guess I more want to talk about the last two weeks. It’s been two weeks since Broad Street. Back a few weeks I considered not doing a damn thing for two weeks following that race, just shutting it down and recuperating. But then I woke up on Monday following the race and while I was sore and all, I was not destroyed. I didn’t feel like I’d been run over. I aquajogged that Monday and by Tuesday I felt up to running. And that’s just what I did. That Monday was actually the last day I HAVEN’T run.

Last week I logged 58 miles. It was all slow but there was a 14 mile long run last Sunday that felt pretty good. This past week I did a bit more. I ran all seven days. I ran 70 miles. I haven’t run 70 miles in a week since early last October. I did a 16 mile long run yesterday. Today I tried to pace my friend Johnny to a sub-40 10k. Alas it was not to be today, humidity conspired against us. But I was pleased at how good I felt running 6:20s for a bit, and about 7 minute miles overall, at the end of a 70 mile week a day after my longest run of the year, while badly sleep deprived.

This may not seem like the smartest idea in terms of what to do immediately following a big race and a race-dense spring. I disagree. I started thinking about the times I’ve been injured and the times I’ve been able to put together consistent healthy training and something jumped out at me. Volume doesn’t injure me. I can DO volume. In the past three or so years I’ve gotten hurt when I’ve been an idiot (see: cutting toe on glass, walking around in a boot when I don’t need it, weekly 9 mile barefoot runs on soft sand without properly building up to it, etc) or when I’ve tried to increase intensity while also trying to increase volume (see: last summer adding workouts AND increasing mileage). Whenever I’ve just run a lot I improve and I can do it without injuring myself, so long as I keep things relatively easy. So that is what I plan on doing for a while. Like, a long while.

And this has to do with what’s next. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about that. Not so much for next week; I know I’ll be doing something very similar to this past week. I more mean what’s next in terms of the second half of the year. I know I had some overarching plan for the whole year laid out a few months ago but lately I’ve been thinking about amending it slightly. Or a lot. Like I said, I’ve been doing A LOT of thinking. About my goals. About what I want out of running. About what I really want to accomplish this year. About what I want to accomplish beyond this year. It’s started to re-shape what I plan on doing going forward. I’m not 100% sure what exactly that will be but one thing IS for sure: the next few weeks will be a lot of easy miles. A LOT. I’d like to be running 70+ miles per week consistently for at least the next couple months. Most of it will be pretty damn slow. There are a handful of races I’ll be doing, just enough to keep me from going insane and keep my legs from forgetting what it’s like to GO. Hopefully this will help me actually set in place a good solid foundation from which to build in speedwork and get faster while also staying healthy.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

May 15, 2011 at 11:00 pm 3 comments

Starting to feel it again

This past week I finally started to feel like a runner again. I mean, obviously I never stopped being a runner. To me, being a runner is all about mindset. Even when a runner is not running, they’re still a runner. They’re probably still thinking about it, reading about it, talking about it, planning, etc. I’ve been doing a lot of those things since January started and not a whole lot of actual RUNNING. This past week, things started to change. I started off the week optimistic, feeling pretty good physically, and ready to continue building. I’m pleased to report that I finished the week feeling BETTER; less sore, less tight, less pained, stronger, and with my fitness beginning to show signs of a full return.

My goal was to add a day of running (so five instead of just four the previous two weeks) and increase the mileage a bit (aiming for high 20s/low 30s). I kind of overachieved on both fronts. I ended up running six days with Tuesday off, mostly because while I can get perfect scores on any standardized math test, I can’t keep track of things requiring simple arithmetic. Fortunately my legs held up. I guess they’re still sort of used to the 20+ days I was running between breaks last year. When I’m training most comfortably and regularly, I find somewhere in the 20-22 days on, one day off range works best for me. It gives me some good volume for 2-3 weeks and then a somewhat more relaxed week after. As for the mileage? I ended up running a bit more than 36 miles. Some highlights:

The week involved a lot of runs in the 4-6 mile range. Some outside even! I ran around Druid Hill/Johns Hopkins and Lake Montebello. I got in a solid lift Friday night focusing on doing PT exercises for the hamstring and added my own – dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts with a light weight. While I was sore the rest of the weekend (and still a little bit today), I noticed the pain in areas that have been painful is dissipating. I will take sore and not injured feeling any day!

The real capper was yesterday’s “long” run. It still gets “” because it was only 10ish miles but at least it’s up to double digits and getting close to feeling like an actual long run. Jess and I had planned on heading to the NCR trail and cruising on the soft, flat rail trail. When we got up to the Ashland parking lot, I looked dejectedly at the path totally covered in snow and ice. NOT runnable. Thinking quickly I headed to Loch Raven Drive, knowing that part of it is closed to traffic on weekends and that lots of runners use it for stuff like long runs. Of course, Loch Raven is the opposite of the NCR – hilly and paved. I was a bit worried about how my legs would hold up on such a route but figured I’d take it slow and easy and adjust if need be. I didn’t need to. My legs felt GOOD. I started right around where the BRRC Valentine’s 10k started the day before (a race I volunteered at which I’ll talk about later). I felt real good right away and pushed a bit to catch up to Jess and make sure she was getting on alright in unfamiliar territory. The last time I was here I was in quite a bit of pain for most of my run. Yesterday was completely different. I felt good on the hills, I felt good everywhere. I allowed myself to push the pace a bit over the last half hour of the run, figuring I’d back off if anything started hurting. But nothing did. I knew I was working harder than I have been but I also felt like I had another gear if I wanted to. I finished elated, a little tired, and hungry so I treated myself to Chipotle.

This week I’m looking to build on the positives. The mileage will increase a little bit again. Tomorrow I’m planning on heading to the track to do a baby threshold workout (something like a few mile repeats) just to see exactly where the legs are at. I’ve got two weeks until my first race of the year and even though I’m not racing it, it would be neat to score for my club, the BRRC (I’ll be happy with about 66 minutes for the ten miles). Other than that, I just want to stay healthy, keep lifting, keep cross-training, keep on keepin’ on basically.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

February 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm 3 comments

Last week through Wednesday

Two weeks in a row of training! Two weeks in a row where I went running more days than I didn’t! I’m not another week removed from that most miserable of places – the No Running Zone. But as I step out of the No Running Zone, I find myself right now, temporarily in a place that is supremely frustrating in a different sort of way. I’m now in the Easing Back Into Training Zone. I’m running again, but not nearly at the same level as I had been before getting hurt. The volume is about one third of what I feel best at and the effort is constantly, mind-numbingly easy. No tempos, no intervals, no hills (well, mostly no hills), no fun! I am well aware that this is a necessary step; the progression from almost four weeks of not running to regular training. If I were to go out and run a 60-70 mile week right now odds are I’d end up taking a few more off again. If I were to go out and run some fast intervals at the track, I’d probably back on the DL.

So for the time being everything is easy, the volume is low, and I’m supplementing with cross-training. Last night I did an interval workout on the rowing machine. It felt good to get that full body shutting down burning awful feeling wash over me. But it’s not quite the same. And no amount of monotonous time on the arc trainer will ever be as good as even a twenty minute shakeout. So what DID I do last week? I ran four days. Because of a scheduling quirk, I also ended up running three days in a row (Friday through Sunday). Actually, I also ran yesterday so that makes four days in a row. I stretched my “long” run to 9 miles on Sunday. My body is holding up just fine from this. More encouraging, while I am feeling sore from some runs (and also from the PT exercises I’ve been doing), I feel my strength coming back. The tightness is dissipating too. I’m sure that has something to do with the diligent massaging and rolling and stretching.

This coming week, the goal is to inch up closer to 30 miles. I’ll also be adding a fifth day of running, provided my legs indicate they can handle that. As of today I’ve got two days and 11 miles with Tuesday off and I’m feeling alright. I’m planning to do my first double digit run of 2011 on Sunday. I’m volunteering for a local 10k with the running club I just joined (more on that stuff later). And I’m going to keep on plugging away, reminding myself that the cross-training is what’s allowed me to keep a good bit of my fitness and that patience is an important trait to have for distance runners. Things are coming along slowly, which can be frustrating at times, but I’ve got my eyes on the bigger goals for this year and beyond and in that perspective, it’s bearable.

Til next time, RUN HAPPY everyone!

February 9, 2011 at 10:54 pm 6 comments

Weekly “training” recap

I figure the first full week of “training” I do this year is good for a recap. At this point, I’ve got to celebrate any success, no matter how small. Baby steps towards the bigger goals. I use the quotes around training because it hardly feels much like training still, at least as far as what I consider training. I ran four days last week (five if you count the one mile treadmill in my wrestling shoes experiment mentioned later).

Monday I ran a cautious 3 miles on the treadmill, preceded by ten minutes on the arc trainer and followed it up with some cross-training. My first run in three and a half weeks went by as uneventfully as I’d hoped.
Tuesday I was back at the gym before PT. Originally I hadn’t planned any running but wanted to try out an idea. My thought is that reintroducing barefoot running in small doses will benefit me long-term, as it would strengthen my feet and ankles and improve efficiency. So after some arc trainer-ing I hopped on the treadmill and ran a mile in my wrestling shoes. I know that doesn’t equal barefoot but they’re essentially just a thin sole and some cloth covering the feet.
In retrospect, Wednesday may have been kinda dumb. It was snowing like crazy in the evening and heading to the Y and back would have been treacherous as the roads were in brutal shape. So instead of pushing running off a day I put on some winter gear and trudged through the mess for a little over a half hour. The dumb part was my path. I roamed around Patterson Park, an area that’s pretty hilly. My legs, especially my calves, were tight after that and have remained so through today.
Thursday I managed to squeeze in another PT session I hadn’t originally planned because Baltimore City cancelled school again. I was ruing my decision from Wednesday night because Thursday was quite pleasant weather-wise.
Friday I was back at the gym in the afternoon, putting a little over 4 miles in on the treadmill, listening to some Tom Petty and Bruce Springsteen on Jess’ ipod. I also rowed a 10k and almost passed out after sitting in the sauna for ten minutes.
Saturday was more cross-training and Sunday I had a “long” run. Originally I was going to do it on the treadmill again but before I got to the Y, I stopped by Lake Montebello. Fortunately, the mile and a third path around the lake was clear so I opted to do it there. The first 4 miles were uneventful. After that my calves were feeling pretty tight and kind of sore. I stopped to stretch and massage after each loop and got through 8 miles in a little over 67 minutes. Wanting to make it a truly long day, I then put in 45 minutes on the arc trainer at the Y. The rest of the day was spent stretching, rolling, heating, massaging, and doing anything else I could to loosen up a bit.

Hopefully, as I slowly transition back into full-running training, my fitness will come back a little quicker thanks to the fairly diligent cross-training I’ve been doing. I intend to keep up the cross-training as a supplement for a while as I’m nowhere near the volume I’d like to be at yet. I need to be super cautious, especially with the Achilles, to not make things worse in my eagerness to get back to business. The hamstring feels a bit better today, thanks probably to the almost daily massages Jess has been giving me and to all the rest. This week I’m just looking to build on the positives from last week, add a couple miles here and there, and stay healthy.

Til next time, HAPPY RUNNING everyone!

 

January 31, 2011 at 6:18 pm Leave a comment

A slightly more than a week(ly) recap

I think I need to work on the titles of these posts, they’re just not witty enough for my liking. But let’s not get sidetracked here already!

I’m well aware that my “regular” weekly updates have been anything but. I would like to discuss how the past week and a halfish has gone though, because it’s gone pretty damn well. Last week was my first week over 70 miles in over 9 months. I can still remember that week, that whole period of time between the end of July and the beginning of September when I was running a lot of miles without much purpose or direction. I was concerned pretty much with big numbers and nothing else. It was short lived. This year I have a plan and some direction, some purpose to my training. And that plan called for 72 miles last week, and I executed it perfectly. A brief recap of last week:

I started off with a solid 9 miler at Patterson Park on Monday. It was an impulse decision because I wanted to get some hillwork in and the loop I run around the park is 2.25 miles and has two fairly gnarly uphill stretches. Tuesday was notable because it was the first time this year I did something that was a fairly regular occurrence last year — I ran much later than planned and on a stomach full of delicious barbecued food. My park engages in summer softball games with other state parks in the area and Tuesday we went to Sandy Point, down near Annapolis. We got our asses handed to us but afterward they grilled and fed us really well. I ate five or six hot dogs (they were Nathan’s, as a New Yorker I couldn’t resist!) and a sleeve of chewy Chips Ahoy chocolate chip cookies. When I got home at ~10pm I wasn’t really feeling like running. 9 miles later I was happy I did anyway. My midweek run got stretched to 12 miles last week, which is probably going to be the upper limit for it (I might add another mile but more than that and we’re approaching my definition for a long run territory). Thursday I wore my Brooks Launches for the first time in two weeks and allowed myself to push the second half of my 9 miler a little harder than usual, in the heat, and was surprised and pleased with the pace/effort relationship. Friday I snuck in a quick 6 miler before working the late shift at the park (which consisted of grilling about 110 steaks and making a bonfire, then drinking on the beach with the beach manager and some trainees til midnight). Saturday I had to work at 7am which meant I couldn’t do my long run in the morning as I have been and like to do. What I didn’t anticipate was working til 5pm. At that point, I decided to go to the campfire/marshmallow roast going on by the visitor’s center before setting out. Long story shorter, I ended up getting started at 8:45. 17 miles and ~2:15 later, I was done and drenched with sweat (hello nighttime humidity!), but fortunately could sleep in as long as I wanted Sunday. When I did finally rouse myself it was HOT out. I decided to make it a heat training day and slogged through the most miserable 4 miles of the year. But after a cold shower and lounging around watching golf most of the rest of the day, I decided I still felt pretty damn good and was ready for more this week.

This week, while the mileage is going to end up about the same, doesn’t quite resemble last week much in structure. I have a 5k “fitness check” race tomorrow morning in Wilmington, DE (it also happens to fit my standard of trying to always do races that give me free beer afterward) so while I wasn’t going to do any sort of taper, I did shift the schedule a bit to allow me to allow me to race tomorrow with legs that have at least some giddy-up in them. So after an easy Monday double, Tuesday I slept in a bit and headed to the track to run a mile time trial. Why? Two reasons — 1- I wanted to try out my awesome new Brooks ID uniform (verdict: feels as fantastic as it looks!) and 2- I had absolutely NO idea how to take it out tomorrow or about what time would be reasonable and I wanted some answers. I got them, sort of. It was already pretty hot at 8:30am (but hey, it’s summer now, deal with it!) and I clocked a 5:18 with splits of 81, 81, 80, & 76 to set a lifetime mile PR.

It’s been ten weeks and a 572 miles since my last 5k check-in back in April (which was just a VERY windy, solo time trial on a track) and I would like to believe that I’ve gained some fitness since then, that I’m at least a little bit faster. Tomorrow we’ll see. The conditions are supposed to be not horrible at 8:30 in the morning, probably around 80. I can live with 80 in late June.

Sunday I have plans on doing my 18 mile long run up on the NCR with Johnny and Jess which will be cool, it’ll feel like we have our own little running group (although I think Jess will only go a few miles with us as she builds back up).

And now we’re up-to-date! I’m gonna spend the rest of today sitting on my butt, shaving my legs (don’t judge!), eating, watching more futbol and tennis, and trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour. There will likely be a race report forthcoming either tomorrow evening or Sunday, stay tuned!

Til then… RUN HAPPY EVERYONE!

June 25, 2010 at 2:14 pm 1 comment

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