Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Week 14: Snow Storms and Time Trials

This week turned the page on March and April presented us with yet another hit of snow that would cripple the school systems one last time. (hopefully) I had a good week going and recovered from last weeks 20 miler quite well and nailed a 13 miler on the treadmill that felt very pedestrian as I finished the last 4 miles under 6:25 pace. Friday we got nailed with 10" of fresh, wet snow and I couldn't clear a path quick enough to make it to the gym so I took a zero from running but not from weight training as 2 hours of shoveling and such made up for a lack of SNAP time!

It was a last minute decision but my training partner and I made the decision to wake up early on Saturday and go run the Ron Daws 25K in Hopkins. I made a few contacts Friday night to make sure the course would be cleared and it was happily reported that the snow was indeed melting very quickly. If you haven't run this race it's one to get on the calendar and support the fine people of MDRA, the ones that organize a great, challenging, hilly race that serves a pre-Boston marathoner with more than enough checklists to gauge ones fitness for the big dance in two weeks. I was very happy with how things went for me as the pace was super easy and one that I believe I can hold for another 17K as long as my calves hold out. This race course is hilly and it took a toll on my calves which was an unexpected surprise. Since then I have received a massage and will stretch diligently the next two weeks to keep things loosey-goosey.

I have my last longer effort Friday morning and then it will be relax time for 10 days. I think, given the hamstring issues I had in early March, I set myself up for a decent race come April 21st. I'm not in fast-shape, but I have been able to get a decent aerobic condition under my belt and that should allow me to hold my own and have fun and run with my head up this year and high five the crowd! Watch out Wellsley Girls, I just might stop!

March 31st-April 6th
M: 5.2 miles, 42:43,  extended cemetery, easy miles
T: 7.5 miles,  54: 54, treadmill miles, easy
W: 13.2 miles, 1:33:00, treadmill uptempo, closed in 6:22
Th: 7.1 miles, 56:19, Vermilion loop to snowmo trails
F: 0 miles, snowstorm
Sa: 16.5 miles total: Ron Daws 25K 1:37:50/ 6:18 pace, felt super, calves tight
Su:  5 miles, 40:11, concerned, very sore

Total: 55 miles (6 runs)

Years Total: 793 miles

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Weeks 12 & 13: Gaining Some Ground Back

It's been a slow return to shape but I would have to say the last two weeks I have been gaining a little form back and starting to feel like my old self again. The long run this past Sunday really helped with some much needed confidence and I now actually feel like I will be able to run Boston with some decent form and respectable time. As I write, we have just under three weeks until race day and I intend to use each and everyday to my maximum to gain any extra fitness I can to have a wonderful experience. I think I'll be ok.  As far as the injury goes, the hamstring feels pretty good when I'm running but remains to be a little tight and I also have a little residual calf tightness in the same leg. I hope a good massage and stretch routine over the next week or so will iron that out.

Here are the last two weeks of training. It's nothing to brag about but I'm feeling better and that is all I can ask for right now.

March 17-23
M: 0 rest day
T: 12.6 miles, 1:32:00 felt good, *adam appt.
W: 3 miles, 30:00, treadmill *frustrated, very tight/sore
Th: 9.4 miles, 1:06:00, quicker miles in middle
Sa: 14 miles, 1:53:00, very windy and cold, poor footing
Su: 11.7 miles, 1:28:00 easy miles

Total: 59 miles

March 24-30
M: 5 miles, 41:50, easy recovery miles
T: 8 miles, 1:03:00, treadmill easy running + exercises
W: 13.1 miles, 1:31:02, Skyline, negative split run, very happy
Th: 4.7 miles, 38:08, extended cemetery
F: 10.5 miles, 1:15:30, smooth feeling good
Sa: 9.4 miles, 1:17:28, easy rolling miles, no issues
Su: 20.2 miles, 2:26:37, negative split run, hills of Lakewood, LRR. Very good!

Total: 71 miles

Years Total: 738 miles

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week: 9-11; Middle-Aged Injuries

The last post I entered I mentioned I had some sore butt muscles and tight hamstrings. Well, they worked themselves right into a full blown injury that has kept me at bay for the last three weeks. They got really tight and actually spasmed up to the point I couldn't safely run. One week was mostly zero running and a couple of trips to see Adam at DCC. He made things loosen quickly but the muscles remained tight and I was only making small progress over week two. This past week I managed to "jog" a measly 52 miles all at a relatively slow pace. It has been three weeks since any quality work and my time is limited until I have to line up in Hopkinton on April 21st. The last bit of running I did was mostly "tight" muscles and really no spasms or pain but still, a tightness that didn't allow for any quality to the run.

So here I sit. I am 5 weeks out from one of the worlds biggest running stages and I am banged up. Bad! I want to make it to the start and run a respectable time, but really, who am I kidding?  At this point I am hoping for the next five weeks to allow me to first, get rid of the injury, and second, make some progress in my training to allow me to have a good time and make the best out of a bad situation. Times are not relevant right now and I just want to be part of history and run America's greatest marathon.

In other news, we are supposed to get a pile of snow tomorrow. It's March 17th!! Let's please move on with the season and welcome Spring!

Here are the last three weeks of my so-called running:

Feb 24- March 2rd
M: 0
T: 3 mi. treadmill run. no-go
W: 0
Th: 2 miles, Adam appt.
F: 0
Sa: 3.3 miles, Hartley
Su: 3.3 miles, treadmill, Still Sucks!!
Week: 12 miles

March 3-9
M: 30:00 spin sesh, Adam appt
T: 0, stretches
W: 30:00, 4 miles, still tight, Strength work
Th: 33:00 4.4 miles
F: 43:00, 5.1 miles, cemetery/umd + exercises
Sa: 1:26:00 9.1 miles, pub shuffle pre run
Su: 1:13:00 9.3 miles/ pm 3.2 miles
Week: 35 miles

March 10-16
M: 30:00 spin sesh
T: 1:11:45, 9.2 miles
W: 42:00, 5 miles,
Th: 58:00, 7.7 miles
F: 1:03:00, 8.1 miles
Sa: 1:10:20, 9.1 miles
Su: 1:30:00, 12.5 miles
Week: 52 miles *slow but able to run most days

Years Total: 608 miles

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Week 7 & 8: Slight Volume Bump/ Sore Butt Muscles

I didn't make it to the computer last week to type of the weeks summary. I did a decent bump in mileage and managed a few doubles in the process. The amount of time it takes to hit 90-100 miles per week boggles my mind. The days I did hit some doubles I felt like the day was over and all I said to my son and wife were "good morning and good night". It wasn't a pleasant week. I figure with the added hours of light to each day those will become easier. I'm hoping. 

I managed a couple decent tempo style workouts and even fit in a 10K ski race. The race was more like a "tour" for me but at any rate I burned some calories and made a few muscles really sore that had not had a workout in some time. 

This past week I found myself really tired on Monday so I rested an extra 90 minutes and it payed off huge! The rest of the week I had no troubles getting my runs in and had good energy most days. My runs on Friday through Sunday were plagued with a really tight right upper hamstring/glute. I also have quite a bit of tightness in my right psoas muscle. There is definitely something brewing there and I need to attend to it ASAP. I used some massage balls and roller last night and it did respond but there is still a lot of junk to work out to get things running smoothly again. That is goal number one for this upcoming week. If that issue gets ironed out quickly, my second goal is to maintain mileage and hit 85-90 for the week. I need a few more bigger weeks before settling and really honing in on some specific pace workouts. 

The weather here in Duluth remains to play a big part in my running quality. I am getting in some volume runs but really there is little to no quality in any part of them. The only quality I have hit has been on the treadmill and those are once a week. I have a 10 mile race coming up to test the waters on pace and that will really set me up for the final push in my last phase of training heading to Boston. I'm hoping for the best!


Feb. 10-16
M: am: 1:03:00, 8.2 miles treadmill easy
     pm: 37:40,  4.4 miles easy trails
T: 1:07:00,  8.2 miles  woodland area
W: am: 1:14:20  10.8 miles, treadmill *6.5 miles at 5:56-6:00 pace
     pm: 50:00, 6 miles,   park point
Th: 1:23:0, 8.1 miles, slow snowy run
Fr: 1:11:19,  9 miles *Fartlek runs
S: am: 1:23:22,  10.1 miles, West Duluth miles
   pm: 55:00 , 6.2 mi ski, Book Across The Bay
Su: 2:06:00,  16.2 miles  W. Duluth, Skyline, Canal Park.

Week Total: 87 miles *10 runs


Feb. 17-23
M: off, tired and poor sleep all weekend.
T: am: 1:16:39,  10.1 miles, treadmill steady run
    pm: 35:00 spin at home on bike
W: 1:18:54, 11.1 miles, Vermilion to Tish, Billy's,Riley, Eagle, Vermilion, Home
                                     4,5,4,5 min at 5:35 pace tempo intervals.
Th: 1:34:21, 12.5 miles, West Skyline, Dunedin loop
F: 1:00:34,  8 miles, treadmill Snap, R ham tight
Sa: 2:29:30,  19 miles, Pike Lake  *bad glute/ham pain
Su: 1:30:00,  11 miles, old E superior street and back

Week Total: 72 miles *6 runs

Years Total: 509 miles

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Week 6: Forced Rest/ Crabby Long Run

This past week was not in the plans but sickness never is. I woke up and ran on Tuesday and had an "off" stomach and it then turned into a full on head cold over the rest of the week. I really burned through the virus, as I was ready for long runs by Sunday. In all I only took one day completely off and the rest of the days I altered my mileage and cut back to make sure I didn't over do it.

The weekends long run was just about as miserable as any long run has ever gone but we managed to get through it and once the run was over I felt quite a bit better as the mile splits were quicker than I thought. We mostly ran sub 7:30's in -10F weather with windchill's much lower than that. It was kind of funny as both Dave and I had an off day and spent the entire 2+ hours looking for better miles to come and they just never did. I guess a person needs to have some bad runs to appreciate the good ones.

Here is my week:

Feb 3-9th
Mon: 1:10:49  8.7 miles, Vermilion recovery miles
Tue: 1:09:13  8 miles, sick, stomach troubles, Hartley
Wed: 0 miles/ rest day off/ head cold brewing hard
Thr: 45:31  6 miles trails, feels ok
Fri: 1:09:52  7 miles trails faster downhills, feels ok
Sat: 1:20:34 10 miles, trails, feels good. legs a bit tired
Sun: 2:21:05  18.2 miles country roads/ Lester downhills

Total: 58 miles (6 days, sickness)

Years Total: 350 miles

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Week 5: Vortex Remains

The month of January has been a weather challenge to say the least. There has not been a single week where running temperatures have been comfortable. A day here and there spattered in the middle of many sub-zero weeks. I find the silver lining in that kind of weather in that the running surfaces are amazing. The cold temperatures make it so you can just cruise on many roads and trails like no other temperature. That is the thought I grasped on to when the Polar Vortex looms. For reals though, Hartley trail system has been the best condition for running in many years and I am thankful I live just a quick 4 minute jog to the trailhead.

This week found my legs in the mood to push the volume a bit and I recovered well from most of my runs. My wife and I also purchased a spin bike and I have been using that for recovery in the evenings. The next big jump in mileage will only occur if I can start hitting some double days. My goal for Feb. was to have a few 100 mile weeks but I am not sure that is going to work out with the family schedule and all. Time will tell.

*First 5 weeks of build-up: 48, 60, 60, 69, 75 miles

Here is my last week of training:

Jan. 27th - Feb. 2nd
M: 1:00:53, 7.5 slow miles, very tired treadmill
T: 1:18:06, 11 miles treadmill 5 X 4 min @ 5:42 pace
        30:00 spin on bike
W: 1:25:21, 9.1 miles trails
T: 1:18:54, 10.3 miles roads, snowy
F: 1:18:56, 9 miles trails, felt awesome
S: 2:30:00 19 miles country roads
Su: 1:21:32  9.3 miles trails, recovery
         30:00 spin recovery on bike

Total for week:  75 miles

Years Total: 292 miles

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week 4: Long Run Challenges

This week was another gain in fitness. I feel like things are really coming along nicely and soon will be adding some quality to the weekly grind. My plan is to tack on another 20 or so miles to the weekly volume, which will require a few doubles during the week. My main hurdle with that type of program, which is why I haven't done it in the past, is my family life. I can't really load up and run a second run in the evening with the family in limbo. I plan to stay home and jump on the treadmill a few times during the week and hopefully this will allow me to be home as much as possible after work. It's an issue I'm willing to work with but not force. If it doesn't happen, oh well...

The long runs continue to go well despite the horrible weather we have had with all the snow and cold, blowing winds. I can't wait until I can hammer out a 20 miler and have no road issues to contend with. If you are living where there is no snow, you better thank yourself right now because it's not all that fun.

Here is the week:
Jan 20-26th

Mon: 1:18:30, 8.3 miles  Hartley trails, glen/david
Tue:  1:09:00  10 miles treadmill, 4 mi @ 6:00's
Wed: 1:14:00  9 miles Hartley, roads
Thur: 1:01:35  8 miles treadmill
Fri: 56:50  7 mi.  snowy roads
Sat: 2:13:00 16.6 miles, skyline to Magney
Sun: 1:38:00  9.7 miles easy peasy  Hartley

Weeks Total: 69 miles

Years Total: 217 miles