Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Surprise, Surprise!!

Monday I felt about as bad as I expected. Whenever I start to climb up in mileage, both overall volume as well as increased long run mileage, I expect my Monday's runs to be a bit slow with less energy. I didn't disappoint myself as the easy, recovery-type run was just that. Slow and easy. The one thing that keeps me going on mornings like yesterday is the fact I know my legs need the flushing and I should, as long as my nutrition was good, indeed feel better. Within a half of mile my legs were getting loose and I settled in my recovery pace for the entire loop.

1:04:00 8 miles

This morning was the surprise. Forty-Eight hours post 20 miler and I made my way out to do a 'steady-state' run of 6 miles in the middle of a near 11 mile loop. I didn't know what to expect from my legs but I felt decent enough on the warm up to give a solid effort. The first half mile or so of these types of runs often sends a negative feeling as the shift in pace can throw you. I've learned not to worry about the watch until after the mile marker and adjust as needed. Today's faster effort started with a decent headwind and remained that way until I made the turn to head back into the city limits. After the uptempo I managed to do the uphill 'crawl' back home. Overall I was quite pleased with this mornings run. To hit those types of splits only 48 hours post long run was something I would have had trouble with, and indeed I needed to hold myself back from going into true LT workout zones.

Here are my splits from this mornings run.
21:38 2.7 mile warm up (8:00 pace)
6 mile "steady-state" effort
5:49 pace for 3 out
5:42 pace for 3 back
2 mile warm down
1:14:32 10.7 miles

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Double 10's

Upon waking up and seeing the sun rise I knew it was going to be a great day. Yesterday
I almost kept my run going and did my long run just because I was feeling so good. I took a chance and waited until today and I didn't disappoint myself by waiting a day. Once I got a little pre-run meal and some fluids I made my way out to do the first half of what was going to be my first 20 miler of the year. I have to admit, I was a little fired up for this run.

The first out and back I did was on west Skyline to Enger golf course and back. The sun was in my face on the return trip but so was the wind. Many times during this section I tried to slow down and get comfy at a slower pace but it just didn't happen. The first ten were done near 7:00 pace flat. The good news was I didn't even feel it and I knew I could knock off another ten I just didn't know if and when the staleness would hit.

The second loop took me to upper Woodland to W. Tischer and back via Eagle Lk. Rd and Vermilion roads. I managed to slow just a bit on this loop, mainly because of the terrain being more hilly, but I'm sure the fatigue had something to do with it as well. I managed to run this loop at or near 7:10's and that brought me home feeling quite good. The run unfolded better than I could have hoped for and all I took in was about 6 oz's of Poweraid and I didn't use the gel in my pocket.

Totals: 2:23:15 20.1 miles

Weeks Total: 71.4 miles
Years Total: 635.4 miles

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rest Is Good

Wednesday was a nice easy day after hitting the 400's on Tuesday. I managed to head out and run my Kenwood loop with a bit added on the track to get a nice round number. My legs felt fresh and the new Brooks are still impressing me. It's nice to have happy feet!

Thursday I must have been fighting some type of virus because hitting the hill workout just wasn't in the cards. I almost took a zero and stayed in bed but I stumbled down stairs to evaluate the situation outside. It was cool with a wind so I bundled up and hit the streets for an easy five miler. I was happy I did that which allowed me to 'actively rest' another day in hopes to gear up for some hills on Friday morning.

Friday the hills went about as good as I could have hoped. I ran a total of 6, which was a repeat less than last week, but I felt much better doing them and I didn't get to the point of 'death warmed over'. I think I stressed the legs to the proper point. With the warm up and warm down I managed to get in a good run. A happy Friday.

This morning I attempted to hit some trails which are not in good shape as the frost is still making it's way through the dirt. So, off of them until another couple of weeks for me, just not worth it!
I ran a sweet loop of roads and trails and will keep this loop in the routine for future Saturday's.
1:20:00 10 miles

Wed.= 1:02:00 8 miles
Thurs.= 38:30 5+miles
Friday= 1:23:00 11 miles
6 X UMD hill with 6 strides on top
Sat. = 10 miles 1:20:00

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Listen To The Birds

A true sign of spring. I didn't notice last week. They were in full force this morning as I had a chance to listen while stretching on the front step. The birds singing are a true sign of spring and the weather that lies before us. I love this time of year. Crisp air. The sun beaming over the tree tops. The birds answering each other in rhythm and rhyme. If you take the time to listen, they are truly marvelous to listen to. The birds I don't care to listen to, as I'm sure they are not singing out of pure joy rather, an annoying "caw", are the crows. Before I had the chance to listen to birds I had some work to do.

Monday I was very pleased with the way my legs felt considering the way I felt most of Sunday afternoon. It could have been a combination of things but I tried to pay attention to some serious stretching throughout the day. I managed to run the Woodland, Vermilion loop and add a bit to UMD.
1:01:17 8 miles (7:40 pace)

This morning I had the pleasure of hitting some faster paces on the track and test out the legs. The plan called for some 400's at 5K pace.
Once I did a warm up I made my way to the UMD track and hit 8 X 400 meters that averaged about 1:17, did a couple of 200's and did my warm down. Overall, a good run.

warm up: 23:36 3 miles
8 X 400 at 5K pace (5:05-5:10)
2 X 200 meters
warm down: 22:32 3 miles
total: 1:06:50 9.4 miles

*third day of running in the Brooks Launch. 10/10!! I love them. No foot pain either.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Brooks Launch

I forgot to mention that today was the first day of running in a new pair of Brooks Launch. Right out of the box and nailed a 14 miler with uptempo at the end. They felt amazing. I hope they continue to impress. Their color is absolute horrid but I guess a guy cannot ask for everything. I also need to work on finding a pair of marathon shoes over the next three months.

The Wind 'Blew' The Workout

Well, this was my first week where I feel I have done some significant work. My runs are slowly increasing in volume and I have done two workouts plus the long run effort today. I hope I can make the adjustment without too many hitches.

I feel a bit banged up at the moment. Maybe I should wait until tonight to really evaluate but I have had this left foot, metatarsal, tendon-type pain and it has no pattern to it. Some days it bothers me immediately into the run, and others I don't feel it a bit. I really feel it when I stand on my tip toes. It feels the best when I wear Birkenstock's. In addition to that problem I have had a tight right IT band and it will get attention ASAP. I have 'the Stick' to use until I can get in to see the massage therapist. (hopefully this week) It bums me out a bit because the last two marathon build-ups have gone so slick. Maybe they are just temporary glitches.

Friday's run went well. I did my usual loop out to Martin road and Vermilion to UMD and home. No frills, just mileage. A cool morning but still amazing for March.
Total: 1:02:23 8+ miles easy

Saturday I ventured into the Rock Hill trails to find them froze but clear of snow or ice. The wood chip paths had no give to their surface. I did a outer loop and then made my way to the roads to do what I usually do on Wednesdays but I ran it backward. With a little added mileage I made my way home. The left foot gave me some serious trouble in the first thirty minutes so I stopped, took my shoe off, stretched and adjusted my laces and damn if it didn't work! No pain the rest of the loop. So what's up with that? I wore a pair of Mizuno Ronin 2's. (that may be my marathon shoe if all goes well)
Total: 1:16:15 10.2 miles

Sunday's run was a solo effort. When I have prescribed mileage and tempo to hit I usually have to run them solo. Since I didn't have any time commitments this morning I took advantage of the situation and gained an extra 2-2.5 hours of sleep. Sweet!! Once I got my mind ready I made my way out to the country roads to do what Greg calls Thirds Progression Run. I ran thirty minutes easy pace, next thirty a bit quicker, and the last thirty at or near marathon pace. The run was going quite well but the last twenty minutes were into a headwind and that kind of took its toll on me. In the end what I thought was going to be a workout gone bad ended pretty decent. I managed to run a short distance with Jen Houck as she was finishing up her three hour long run in preparation for Boston in about a month.
Here are the details of the day:
30:08 4 miles 7:28 pace
30:17 4.3 miles 7:05 pace
30:28 5.1 miles 6:03 pace
5:02 0.7 miles warm down
1:35:57 14 miles

Weeks Totals: 67.4 miles
Years Totals: 564 miles

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Home Sweet Home

There is nothing like getting on familiar running territory to keep the momentum going. I have been having a pretty good week despite being tired (more than usual) every morning. I am starting to feel like I am adjusting to the time change and more than likely will not be up after 10PM anymore.

The weather has been nothing short from amazing. We just don't see weather like this in the Northland in March. The last five days have had temps as follows: 55F, 63F, 56F, 60F, and 60F. We struggled to hold temperatures like that last July! It sure has been nice running with no snow, ice or rain in the morning.

Here is the week thus far:

Monday: recovery run 1:00:00 7.7miles

Tuesday: 1:10:00 9.5 miles
12 laps at UMD track with 100 meter stretches at 5K pace

Wednesday: 1:01:00 8 miles

Thursday: 1:10:00 10 miles
7 X UMD hill with 7 striders at top

*I have been a bit tired in the legs but I am ok with it. I feel like I am progressing in the proper direction. Looking back at this time last year I am much further ahead of myself. I like that!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

San Diego Vaca = Unexpected Easy Week

Our family decided on a vacation and booked it in less than a month. I didn't plan on this vacation when I had my marathon plan drawn up so the week was turned into a 'recovery' week by default. I had all the intentions of hitting my mileage but I had a few set backs besides the daily schedule of vacationers.

I had mentioned in past posts that I am now running in the latest version of the Asics Speedstar 4. Not impressed. At least up to this point. The Speedstar 3's I could literally take out of the box and head out for a 20 miler with no problems. Not the case with the 'newly designed' Speedstar 4's. Excuse me, but why do shoe company's fuck with a shoe when it is working just fine. I would bet that if you were to look at the last two years of sale volumes for the Speedstar 3 you would see a huge jump from the 2nd version. They had it right with the 3's. Damn you Asics!! So, as you can tell I am far from impressed and I am not sure, but I think I had some minor tendonitits brewing in my metatarsal region of my left foot. Reason number one for taking it easy on vacation. (Lazy was reason number 2)

Here is how the week unfolded. Not a complete disaster but close.

Monday: fresh turf to run on. Mostly cement sidewalks getting an orientation to where our motel was. I ran easy and felt great doing so. I did five miles outside and two or more on the treadmill.
55:00 7.2 miles

Tuesday: 0 miles

Wednesday: I forgot the exact workout Greg had planned for me but I improvised and ran 16 X 40 seconds at 5K pace with 30 seconds rest. Another good run, feeling very good except for the foot thingy... finished with 1:16:03 10.7 miles

Thurs/ Friday: 0 miles

Saturday: Back in Duluth and hating life. We left 66 F, sunny skies for 40's and fog/mist. Oh well, it could be snow! I will adjust quickly. This is reality.
1:00:00 with Erik 7.8 miles

Sunday: the crew out at Jeremy's ran over the Bong bridge to Soop-town and back. I felt quite well and we had absolutely gorgeous weather. 52 F when we finished.
2:02:40 17 miles

Weeks Totals: 42.5 miles (4 runs)
Years Totals: 496.6 miles

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Dash Before The Trip

After the longer effort yesterday and with our family heading to San Diego for a week I decided to get up early and hit a short loop to stretch the legs out a bit. After a slight bonk on the long run I found myself feeling pretty decent on my short loop. Nothing special. Just a short cemetery loop.

33:30 4.6 miles

Weeks Totals: 67 miles
Years Totals: 454.1 miles

Saturday, March 6, 2010

One Last Snowmobile Run

Friday I woke up and hit the road feeling quite well considering my medium-long effort yesterday. I had a feeling that the Hartley single track was beyond its purpose so I opted for a road warm up and then hit the snowmobile trails for some mileage along Hawks Ridge and Amity. My plan was to turn and use roads as the second half but I realized that these trails would soon be goners so I opted to finish back the route I came. A very decent morning of running.

This morning was the Kick Off to Grandma's Marathon. Lucas and I made the trip down to SMDC to listen to a couple of speakers before his patients ran dry. It was really a nice little event they put on. I will have to partake in future years.
After the talk and my wife finished her run I put on the clothes (too many) and hit Skyline west. I wasn't too sure how I would do since I have a bit of a head cold but I ran out 50 minutes and returned. I hit the house for a quick pit stop and added a half hour loop to get some extra time in. Today was as close to a bonk as I have been on a training run in some time. I forgot how horrible that felt. A good horrible once you are done and fueled but anyone who has experienced that can relate. Wonderful weather but bad shoes was the day.
I'm not too sure what I am going to do in the shoe department. I have worn 8 or 9 pairs of the Asics Speedstar 3's and the Speedstar 4's are no match. I'm a bit concerned. There are only so many minimal light weight trainers on the market and now I am on the hunt. Maybe Brooks can come to the rescue?

Friday: 1:02:40 8 miles

Saturday: 2:09:10 17.4 miles

Tomorrow the family is off to San Diego for a little break from Northern Minnesota weather. (even though the weather has been amazing for March)
I will post if I can out there, until then Cheers!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Beware Of The Skunks

It's that time of the year again. Time to be on the lookout for the black and white cats, aka: skunks! It's my worst fear of getting sprayed on my morning run when they are often hidden near garbage cans along the sidewalks...yuk!

Tuesday's running was very good with the morning starting out tired and not too sure if I should do the 'pick-ups' or not. I proceeded to do 8 X 45 seconds on/off and felt great doing them. My legs needed that spark and I finished the morning with a little over an hour or running.

Wednesday was probably one of my last runs in Hartely since the sun has been taking away a lot of the base we have been running on. My two loops of easy running went well and I managed to run the last lap rather quick. (maybe too quick for recovery)

Thursday was another morning where I wanted to snooze the alarm clock for hours. I just didn't want to get up. I did and it just goes to show that all a person needs to do is just get up and things improve quickly.
I had to do my 'steady-state' mileage and I am now working up to the hour mark. I did 8 miles at the prescribed pace along with some warm up and warm down miles. Overall a very solid morning.

Tuesday: 1:11:00 ~10 miles
8 X 45 seconds at 5K

Wednesday: 58:27 7.2 miles easy trails

Thursday: 1:24:42 12.4 miles
2 mile warm up
8 miles 'steady state' (6:05 ave)
2.4 warm down

Monday, March 1, 2010

Full Moon Trails

I had the 'dead-leg' feeling this morning but managed to get out and venture, under full moon light, the trails of Hartley. There are sections of dense conifers so a head lamp was necessary but for the more open areas the moon provided the extra beam of light that made me feel like a train was following me through the woods.

My legs felt decent the opening loop but proceeded to fatigue at a rate that would make me look for some extra calories upon arrival home. The heart rate was pretty consistent and at times was quite low making me think I should be pressing the pace a bit more. I didn't and just going on feeling made the trip out a success. Tomorrow will be short pick-ups again. Hopefully outdoors.

Totals: 1:00:21 7.2 miles (HR 125 ave)