Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ending Base- Week #11 Review

I am heading into week number 12 of base-phase and I am now just feeling like I am beginning to roll. I really feel like I could use another month and build up the volume but that may change once I start doing workouts and such. For the next week I plan to do much the same, two medium distance runs with some uptempo along with a two hour long run on the weekend. I have been doing some reading and I think I know where the next phase will be focused with little to no change in overall volume of running. Mentally I am looking forward to some new training zones and I hope my physical being will follow once I start paying attention to the pace and heart rate zones a bit more closely.

I found myself with good company this weekend on both my runs and the miles just clicked off on little effort. I believe I had my last effort of any kind on the trails on Saturday and will be stuck to road loops for a month or so. Maybe the snow will continue to melt and give us some added motivation going into April. Having a little grip under the feet during some harder efforts sure is a nice thing.

My week in review:

The easy, recovery loop was stretched out to a full hour and will continue to fall in that time frame from here on out as long as things remain to feel good. Woodland/Vermilion loop to UMD and home will be a Monday staple.
1:03:00 7.8 miles HR=125

I kept the heart rate up a bit on this run and meandered through Woodland hills and Howard Gnesen before making my way home via Martin, Eagle Lake, Riley, Jean Duluth, Martin, Vermilion, UMD.
1:24:12 11.5 miles HR 138

As I woke up to Vortex winds and NO snow I was happy/sad. Happy with the no snow part but just pissed at the winds. Instead of hitting the treadmill for an easy hour I just made myself a cup of coffee and read the morning paper. Mental break day.
0 miles

Out and back on West Skyline to 28th ave west. The morning was perfect and I had a bit of a cold wind to deal with on the return trip but I am very familiar with those so no big deal. Legs felt great and I managed to squeeze in 12-13 X 30 seconds at 5K pace with one minute rest.
1:30:39 12.6 miles HR=138

The same as Monday with a little more added through UMD. Feeling great!
1:04:56 8.2 miles

Nic and I ran some roads before making our minds to at least try some of the snowmo trails. We did, but they sucked. Too much ice and uneven surface made for a full body muscle contortion every time going over the brown sheets of ice that covered the trails.
I was very happy with how the miles felt and it was a run to mark myself getting fit.
2:03:00 15.8 miles

Out in Lester with Dave and Henry. We did 7 bridges road and some gravel roads out in the country. A very nice switch in running terrain and it was a loop I wouldn't mind repeating a bit more often.
1:11:00 9 miles

Weeks Total: 65 miles (6runs)
Years Total: 525.1 miles

Sunday, March 20, 2011

New Photo

I have been looking for a new photo for some time to really say what I love most in my life. The two individuals in the photo are two of the best things to ever happen to me. Without them I would be nothing. I realize that most running blogs have a runner or the like on their banner but the Lift Bridge is such an iconic symbol of Duluth and after all, that is where we live and also, it's home to one of the best marathons in the country. I hope you enjoy the change and it will take quite a photo for me to replace this one. Thanks for reading.

Smell of Spring

The smell(s) of spring are present. I had a nice early morning loop on Friday and I could smell the fresh air and everything that comes with spring. Yesterday our trio couldn't help but smell the odors of dog feces throughout the run and at random times. This morning was back to the wet, damp odors and yet I enjoyed every minute of it.

The latter part of this week I really fell into form and had three nice days of running. I banked myself some serious sleep this weekend and that seems to help a ton! With the energy I had all weekend I hope to "spring" into form this week as I start to do a little more "work" on Tuesday and Thursday. This will be a transition week into the next phase and I am looking forward to the change in paces.

Here are the last few days of the week:

I will be getting back to doing this loop as one of my regular recovery type loops as the trails in Duluth will be non-runnable very soon. I like to run up Woodland to Martin and return via Vermilion road and loop in UMD before making it home. It's a good hour with some ups and flats. Keeping the HR low is always the goal.
1:02:31 7.9 miles

I met up with Dave and Jonas to run some flat road miles out and back on Park Point and then some added time on the Lakewalk. We had many laughs during this low stress run and it felt good to do some mix-up fartleks the last thirty minutes. My legs felt fine and I am hoping to springboard into a new zone of fitness after this week.
2:00:00 16.4 miles HR=133 *i like that!

A surprise of wet, heavy snow this morning made it very difficult to find footing if one were to run in my neighborhood. I didn't. I ran from Chester, along with Tony and Brian, down to the Lakewalk and I ran out to 36th before making my way back via Superior street and then doing a little hill running back to Chester. My legs felt awesome and if I had planned better I would have run another two hours with these guys. I hope tomorrow feels as good. (first time I forgot any watch on a run in some time so I had to ask Tony the running time and then look at my car for hours when I got back to the parking lot)
~1:02:00 ~8 miles

Weeks Total: 64.1 miles
Years Total: 460.2 miles

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Black Ice Season

It's that time again. The temperatures create some nice melt and the early morning runners have an extra variable to be aware of while attempting to open one's eyes. Most of my routes are mostly clear of ice but you always have to have your eyes open and having a good, bright headlamp doesn't hurt either.
For some reason I am fighting some tiredness in the early morning hours. The alarm is waking me but I have the snooze-factor going on for some thirty minutes. To get my allotted time for each run I can't afford to snooze that long. Once I'm out on the roads I feel decent but before and after the runs I am just ready to crash and take a serious nap. Hopefully that's something that will adjust, or I'm fighting a bug, or I just need to buck up and get my arse out of bed and get moving.
The runs this week have gone well. Four days of alternating very easy days with some 80 minute faster runs. I have one more week of base and then I will be working on some strength and shorter repeats. I'm looking forward to the change and that alone may help me get out of bed.
Here is the week so far.

*almost a zero for the day but I finally got out and took an easy spin around the cemetery loop.
32:40 4 miles

out to Howard Gnesen and Martin roads, home via Vermilion. i found it very symbolic that my headlamp faded to a candle light, and my gps watch battery died two miles from the house. i was just wondering if i was going to have some issues next?
1:21:00 11 miles

another easy, modified cemetery loop that took me out to Glenwood and home via Snively. legs felt good and I kept the HR ultra lowwwwww.
47:18 5.7 miles HR=122

my skyline out and back morning. after four miles i added 12X20 seconds at 5K pace with 30 seconds rest. those repeats felt really nice! no skunks so that was nice.
1:19:43 11.1 miles HR=135

Sunday, March 13, 2011

First Crack At 20, Almost

In summary, the rest of the week went well. I did take Thursday off for a mental break and woke up Friday ready to rip it. I adjust the daily assignment and ran near 80 minutes at my upper HR limit. It felt great but the constant near run-ins with the skunks are getting old. I say "near" because I have yet to see one but I know they are close.

The weekend was great with my first run near 20 miles this year and a wonderful trail run today to flush out the legs. (it's early to comment but I am sure Kari and I will have fun at tonights first Shamrock Pub Shuffle. We are running a short (3+mile) loop with a bunch of others form the DRC and will be stopping at two participating pubs for a pint. I am so looking forward to this as it will be a wonderful social event. More on that tomorrow.

Here is the latter part of the weeks running totals:

1:18:07 10.2 miles HR=134

2:29:17 19.6 miles
*had a great "bonk" that last thirty minutes

1:07:38 7.2 miles

Weeks Total: 60.1 miles (6 runs)
Years Total: 396.1 miles

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Making A Jump

I woke up Monday to some fresh powder. We received about 2-3" of light powder and the temperature was near 10F when I ran. Making my way to the trails of Hartley was first in my mind and hitting the trails early guaranteed me a first around the loops. First two-legged anyway. There were numerous other tracks from various four-legged beings out there and that kept my mind occupied while I made my loop. The easy, recovery run was much enjoyed.
Total: 56:27 6.3 miles HR=125

Tuesday I started with a short section of trails before making my way to the roads of upper Woodland neighborhoods. Once out on Arnold and Martin things were clicking just fine. I didn't add any fartleks but just kept the pace steady but focusing on my HR. It was this run I realized I had made a nice jump in fitness again. I realized this past weekend that my long runs are becoming easier and now some of the mid week medium distance runs are clicking rather nicely as well. These are all good signs going into the next phase of running in about a month.
Total: 1:21:34 11 miles HR=135

This morning was nothing special. The trails of Hartley were calling my name once again and I grabbed my Yak's and made the best of an easy recovery loop. The legs didn't feel as peppy as Monday and Tuesday but very close. I managed to keep a very close eye on the HR and kept it as low as I could. Another great night of sleep helped with some needed recovery and I hope to carry some momentum to the latter part of the week and and the weekend long run.
Total: 50:22 5.8 miles HR=125

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Two Months In

I am officially two months into my training. I had a bad patch in early January when our whole family got sick buy other than that I have had continuous weeks of progression. I hope to bump up the volume just a bit more before heading into the next phase of training. The goal of peaking at a 100 mile week always falls short but I must say I often feel very fit once I average 70's per week. Maybe 100 is too much? Hitting 100 miles in a week on singles is very difficult and running twice a day just isn't in the cards with my family life and work. Anyway, here is the summary of the weekend.

On Friday I woke up and pretty much knew I wasn't running. Thursday I made reference to it and I stuck to it once the alarm went off. I was telling Tony today that I believe it was much more of a mental break than physical. Getting up so damn early and fighting the wind and slippery surface is beginning to wear on me and I am looking forward to some change. The break on Friday was welcomed and come Saturday I felt great.

Dave H and I ran from the Rose Garden and hit Park Point. It has been some time since I ran on Park Point and I sure enjoyed it. We fell into a nice rhythm and on the return trip we ran negative splits while talking of the racing season coming up. Dave had a bit more to add after he dropped me off and I made my way home so my wife could get her long run complete.

Sunday I woke up and made plans to meet Tony at the entrance to Chester Bowl. Once we connected I ran us up Kenwood to the back entrance of Hartley single track where we did a loop through some surprisingly beautiful trails. It's amazing how the trails can change day by day and Sunday they wouldn't disappoint. Once we completed our loop I ran Tony back down a quad-pounding downhill to his place and I added some more miles on the Lakewalk before making my uphill grind to my house. I continue to be amazing how the body starts to fatigue near the end of these long efforts but at least the fatigue is waiting longer to show up each week. This week the last 15 or 20 minutes were tough, but then again, they were all uphill. Hmmmm. What a great day for a long run.

Total Saturday: 1:11:46 9.4 miles

Total Sunday: 2:01:40 14.6 miles

Weeks Total: 57.1 miles (6 days)
Years Total: 336 miles

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Subtle Fatigue

After a weekend of great running I started the week with another easy day on Monday just to make sure the longer effort on Saturday was recovered from. I felt a bit "off" but nothing too bad, just a little heavy-legged running. I followed a similar path of Sunday's run that included single track, snowmobile trails and roads.

On Tuesday I managed to get in a little longer effort and stuck to the roads of Vermilion, Eagle Lake, Reily, Jean Duluth, Martin and home via Vermilion. I tried to keep the HR near 135-140 but my legs felt awful the entire run. Heavy legs out the door, heavy legs to return home with. Not good. I was just happy to get in the mileage and looked forward to a rest day.

Wednesday's rest day came at a cost. It was -9F with a -25-30F windchill!! I stared out the window and contemplated taking a zero. Well, I did't and the easy run in Hartley wasn't all that bad and in the end I was very happy to get out and run the firm trails.

This mornings run took me out on West Skyline just past Enger golf course and back. I added 9 X 45 seconds at 5:50 pace with 30 seconds recovery. I was thinking it would feel nice to get a little turnover in the legs and what I found was sore, tight hips, hams and glutes. The same muscles that hampered me so bad in October. I hope I can loosen things up and progress because to get all those muscles tight again would be a loosing battle.

So I sit and stew if I should take a zero tomorrow or get out and do my easy hour on the trails. I guess I will let my legs dictate that come 0445. I'm not entirely sure I am fighting a virus-bug that is causing some of this grief too, so a day off may help in recovery. Hmmm?

59:08 7.1 miles

1:16:11 10.1 miles HR=134

46:14 5.3 miles

1:18:00 10.6 miles
9 X 45 seconds at 5:50 pace with 30 sec rest