Friday, December 31, 2010

2010-Masters Years Begin

Little did I know, I could have written this review back in early November and it would have said much the same, with the exception of the long break from running. I wanted to take a break after a long season but I wasn't expecting a near two month break!

The year was definitely one of ups and downs. I came into the year fresh off a new marathon PR late in 2009 and was ready take off from there and do some serious running in the new year. I was using the coaching services of Greg McMillan and my training was going to new levels. I didn't run big mileage during the spring, maybe 70 miles per week, but the workouts were great and I was feeling fresh each day. My focus for the spring was Grandma's Marathon. Along the way I put myself out of my comfort zone and entered a Thursday night MILE race in Minneapolis and managed to run decent and take home top masters title. Grandma's Marathon just didn't work out as planned but I ran a respectable 2:41 and saw $1000.00 slip past me with less than 3 miles to go. I would finish 4th master and 3rd in my age-group.

It took me a good month to recover from Grandma's and I was fresh into Greg's fall marathon plan feeling very motivated again. The second week of the plan was under way and I did my Tuesday 11 miler with 6 sets of hills. The workout went great and I was excited for the week. Then at work, just after lunch I developed some upper abdominal cramping along with a little queeze. Later that night I would find myself in the ER and soon reporting to the OR to have my appendix removed. When I woke up on the post-surgical floor I knew that the summer and fall had just been swept from under my feet. I would push the line of pain for a few weeks and found myself racing on the winning team for the Ragnar Relay some 5 weeks post-operatively. (This decision would ultimately ruin the rest of my fall but the memories made were great!)

As I said, the Ragnar race may have been a bit early in my rehab phase but I did it and I will have to live with that decision. I never recovered after that day and would spend the rest of my summer and fall running in pain. My low back was the main culprit on day by day runs, but my right hip flexors and bilateral hamstrings were a mess anytime I would do uptempo running. The plan for the fall was to run in my first Masters Marathon Championships held at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon. I was going to opt out but after getting some steady weeks of running, 0nly ~50 mile weeks at best, I decided to give it a shot. Many people told me that I could have a good race. "All the time off might help you..." "You never know, things could just go your way, give it a try..." Well, I sure was happy a lot of people had confidence in me because I sure didn't. I ran the marathon and had one of those days we all want in a marathon. The weather was near perfect! I had a bad patch near 18 miles but regrouped and ran solid the last 10K, good enough for me to run my second best marathon EVER! (2:40:18) I got a good ol' fashion ass-kicking as far as the Masters placement, but the good folks at Marathon Sports support the "local" masters and I placed second MN master, good for $150.00!

I had just enough left in the tank to race one more time on Halloween and place 1st Master at the Monster Dash 1/2 marathon. (That race would also give me an edge on the ROY points and put me in a solid lead for the year) The race felt just horrible, my second slowest half-marathon ever,(1:15:20) and that would be the last serious effort for 2010.

Looking at my blog it looks like I haven't been doing much. I haven't! But, I have been doing more that what's posted. I lost all motivation to run, as well as blog. Most of the weeks in December have included two or three days of 30 minute running but mostly I have been doing 4-5 days a week of core/strength workouts, 30 minutes in duration and much of it on the fitness ball. As soon as I got this into my weeks routine my low back improved. I still have some discomfort in my back, but the main issue remains to be my hamstring attachments. The plan going into the new year is to run when I can, but ski and snowshoe as much as possible. (I got new Rossi nordic skating-skis for Christmas and used them once) During this time of the year I also enjoy adding one day a week on the treadmill so I can do some sub-6 min/mile pace running just to keep things fresh.

Totals for 2010:
~2175 miles

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Moonlight and Headlamps

I managed to piss another week away with minimal running but did manage to have a spectacular weekend of training.
On Saturday I connected with Tony and we hit the trails of Boulder Lake for a nice skate-ski on one of the easier loops just to get accustomed to the gear I purchased last weekend. I felt pretty decent for not skate-skiing for the last three years. The morning was good for just under 12K.

This morning I woke up feeling a bit under the weather and my wife and I decided to take the morning off of running and hit the stores for some last minute (her last minute, my first minute) shopping. When the late afternoon/early evening approached we dropped our son off at my mother-in-laws and we hit the moonlit trails of Hartley. Kari and I don't get many chances to run together so I was hoping to have a good night on the trails. What a wonderful time we had and she was running so strong and smooth. One complete loop of the trails and we found ourselves back at the car in 56:00. I hope to use this weekends energy as a spring board and start some consistent training going into the new year.

Happy Holiday's everyone!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Inching My Way Back

Since my last post things have improved greatly. My low back is mostly pain-free as is my hamstrings and glutes. The major difference is the addition of 4-5 days a week of lower and upper body strength sessions. I am really focusing on my abdominals and glute muscles.

I have been running three or four days a week at 30 minutes a shot. I did manage to get in an hour snowshoe run one day and just last Friday night Dave Schude and I ran the snowmobile trails and single track of Lester for just shy of an hour. The last run I did was on Saturday for 32 minutes on the treadmill. Once or twice a week on the treadmill will be a good idea for sometime as it will allow me to spice up some of the runs with a little faster pace running and keeping safe from the ice.

I hope everyone is keeping warm and safe on the roads. Happy running.

Years Total: 2163 miles