Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Week- Progress

I have been posting about some persistent aches and pains that have ailed me since July. The main issue to keep at bay is a little tendonopathy in the achilles. It seems to wax and wane but for the most part I can run without any discomfort. In the process of all this I am working my way down to more minimal shoes, as I have been running in the Brooks Launch for a couple of years now I think I may be on my last pair. Mostly because I'm not too sure if they are going to make them anymore and more importantly I am looking forward to the Brooks Pure Connect. I'm not too sure how they feel and I am hopeful they will be a match for my feet. I also enjoy the Saucony Kinvara and they will definitely work if the Brooks fail.

With the change to a lesser shoe my form and stride have shifted a bit and that has been working some new muscles a bit more than in the past. I hope this transition remains to go smoothly so I can ramp up the volume and get ready for a strong base phase later this fall and winter.

This week has been one of small progress but progress none-the-less. I did't get out on Monday morning because I forgot to set my alarm and woke up 45 minutes too late. I chalked it as a great day of rest. The rest of the week has been going well and I hope to carry the momentum into the weekend and have a decent longer effort on Sunday.

Here is how the week has gone thus far:

0 miles  *no alarm clock

out and back on Skyline
10 miles with 5 miles at steady state 1:07:00

Kenwood loop to UMD
53:28  7.4 miles

Windy as hell and hit the woods with double headlamps
44:54  5.6 miles

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Persistent Aches

I managed to get out the door most days this week and even had the opportunity to run an evening run on Friday with my lovely wife. I really struggled to get up on Friday morning so it was a pleasant surprise to get out in the evening and hit some single track with her.

Waking up on Saturday had me in a spin. Literally! I woke up and was going to hit the trails and roadways for an easy hour before my wife and Lucas woke up. I worked my way downstairs only to find myself spinning in me head. I was so dizzy I had to lay back down and close my eyes on the couch just to keep things at bay. It wasn't too much longer and my son was trying to show me his loose tooth and when I looked up at him I saw three of him so I decided it was best just to stay where I was for a bit. I ended sleeping/resting on the couch in darkness for near two hours before working on getting vertical. I finally made it up and about but going for a run, especially on the trails, just wasn't in the cards.

I continue to have a series of aches and pains involving the achilles and right psoas muscles. Doing the stretches keeps things at bay but I am not really progressing with the volume and workouts like I had planned. I hope to nail down (2) workouts this week. Keeping the fingers crossed...

Here is how the week unfolded.

Out to Woodland, Martin road and home via Vermillion/Umd.
1:01:40   8 miles

A mix of trails and UMD sidewalks at end for some uptempo running.
46:19   5.9 miles (6 X 100 meter striders)

Too sleepy in a.m. Ran with Kari after work for a nice loop in Hartley.
55:00   6 miles/trails

NO running 0 miles

Out west with the boys. A series of loops to get in the time.
1:46:30   13.6 miles easy running

Weeks Total: 45.8 miles (6 runs)
Years Total: 1662 miles

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Step It Up

I planned to step up the volume this week and start working on some faster running in hopes to get myself in respectable shape to do one more race this fall. I have a couple of half-marathons on my radar but nothing for sure. If I can make some progress in the next week or two I think I have a shot at racing and being content with the results.

This week I started off a bit weak but I really struggled just to get out of bed. I was happy I did and made the best of it with the time I had. Nothing special, just an ordinary shake-out run to the cemetery and back.
Total: 31:42   4.2 miles

This morning I made the choice to do some faster running in the form of steady-state/slow LT pace running. I may have been a bit quick for steady-state but not quite fast enough for LT but by the way I was feeling I may have nailed the perfect pace for such a workout. After a warm up along Skyline I worked myself into a 4 mile section  at 5:45 pace. I was a bit surprised to see the first mile slow but I quickly adjusted the pace and finished out the miles. Wow! That seemed way hard and just a few months ago I ran 13.1 at 5:29/mi pace. Hopefully today's run was a good jump start to fresh running!
Total: 53:12  8.1 miles
          4 miles at 5:45 pace

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mixin' Trails and Such

I managed to finish off the week quite strong. I am really not making any great strides in my fitness and each run seems to be going well, so I may need to look at adjusting the volume next week and adding some up tempo workouts to the plan.

On Friday I managed to do another double headlamp (one around my waist and one on my head) run in Rock Hill and finish the run by doing some quicker miles on the campus roads. I felt great after one warm up loop and the achilles are progressing nicely.
Total: 43:03  5.3 miles

Saturday I did my medium long run solo and hit trails down to Lester before making my way to the Lakewalk and doing some quicker miles on my route to the DRC. I had to resort  to taking a gel along the way as I could feel a nice bonk heading my way and I was not willing to take part in a bonk-fest! The gel didn't make me feel any better, but I didn't get any worse so that tells me it was a wise decision to take it and I was able to maintain effort to the store where Kari and Lucas were waiting my arrival.
Total: 1:40:00   13.6 miles

On Sunday my wife did her long run and soon after she was done I made my way out with Dave. He and I did all the trails of Rock Hill and Chester Bowl before I let him go on his way home for his long effort. My legs felt decent but remained a bit fatigued from Saturday's longer run. I really didn't do too good of a job with nutrition after Saturday's run so I must play catch up now.
Total: 1:07:26  7.6 miles

Weeks Total: 48 miles
Years Total: 1616.2 miles

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Motivation

Over the weekend I managed to get my motivation fired up again. I had the opportunity to crew for my friend Tony as he ran the Superior Trail 100 miler. I have done this in the past and this year was one to remember. We met at Gooseberry State Park, the start of the race, where I had the pleasure to see all participants take off on a very, long run. I kept my focus one aid station at a time and I'm sure Tony did as well. It's really amazing, for me, how fast the day and night went by. When you are constantly thinking of your runner and how they are feeling, looking and what extra supplement they might need or want, the hours just fly by. I managed to get a little tired in the wee hours of the night but as soon as the sky broke for sunrise I was immediately energized and made the push to be on my best attentive behavior. The day hours were full of sun and heat, good for the crew, bad for the runners, but we made the best of it and Tony nailed a great race. During the race I was joined by Dave,Clint,Andrea,Deb,Chris and Dave S whom all shared the pacing duties after 50 miles and through the night. Dave Shuney stayed throughout the night and next day and paced quite a few miles himself. I can't speak for Tony, but I'm sure Dave, and all the pacers, did a marvelous job and having the extra company is truly amazing.

 Tony is one tough sun of a bitch. He always looked so content in what he was doing. Sure, he may have had his ups and downs, but there was very little complaining on his part. A sign of a true champion, and a sign of a prepared runner. It goes without saying, I am very proud to have been part of Tony's experience. Thank you!

The race or Tony ended at 6:34 pm on Saturday evening and like a bunch of whooped horses he, DAVE and I showered and attempted to eat before crashing for the night. There were many stories shared over the next 24 hours and there will be many more memories shared in years to come.

So, with such an amazing running experience from Tony, my motivation has been kicked in once again and I am making a push for one more race for the season. I may be running the Whistle Stop 1/2 Marathon on October 15th if all goes well. I need a few serious runs to go well and if they do, I will toe the line.

So Far this Week:

48:10  6.3 miles
sluggish, but a good start

51:39   7.2 miles

0 miles

1:02:13  8.4 miles
felt great the last 2.5 miles or so. i hope this is a sign that things are going to improve quickly. I need that to happen.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Build Up

I used this week to build back up a bit. The goal was to run most days in Ronin's and maintain the lower leg/glute exercises. I knew I would get little to no exercise during the weekend so I made the most of my week runs. Nothing special, just good ol running on roads and trails as I wished.

Here is how the rest of the week unrolled.

43:07   6 miles

50:00 ~7 miles

45:00  ~6 miles (trials and roads)

0 miles
*crew for Tony during the Superior Trail 100 miler

Weeks Total: 23.3 miles
Years Total: 1567.8 miles

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Trail Run

I didn't run a trail race. Just another run on the trails by our house. We woke up to cool temperatures today (43F) and it forced me to put on a long sleeve shirt to keep the chill to a minimum.
I hit the trails of Hartley for a planned short loop and I felt super! No tenderness in the achilles and after running for an hour in my Universe I am pleased. The Hartley trails are in great shape even with the added rain we received lately. I ended the run with 3 x 100 meter striders at 5:15 pace. Legs are making a turn in fitness and I may actually toe the line in a race before years end...
33:44  4.3 miles trails

Solid Rebuilding Week

I am very happy with the progress I made this past week. The tendonopathy in my left achilles is slowly subsiding and gives me very little trouble right now. Having said that I need to remain diligent with the rehab process and moving forward with some new strength building exercises as I progress through the fall season. I hope to find myself in decent shape soon in order to take advantage of fall fitness and enter a race somewhere.

Here is the remainder of last weeks runs.

I decided to add a few minutes to the run this morning and proceeded to run the "extended Pig's loop". Out to Vermilion and back provided a nice a.m. loop.
50:31  6.7 miles

Making a conscious effort to step back a bit this morning I did just over a half hour to allow more time for adjustment to the minimal shoes. I don't really see myself needing a ton of time to adjust since I have been fairly "minimal" for a few years now, I am just making it full-time now and throwing out the trainers. The Ronin's are feeling great and I even see myself spending a bit of time on the trails in my Universe fairly soon.
32:38  4.5 miles

I did a short version of my Kenwood loop and was feeling great. My legs are making further adjustments to the new shoes and stride. I found myself really cruising at times and had to slow things down.
40:11  5.4 miles

I hit the trails for my medium long run and had a super run! Leaving my house I hit the Rock Hill trails at UMD. After a short loop I made my way to Hartley via SHT and ran through to the Cemetery and once again hit the SHT to Amity creek trails where I proceeded to move to the Lester Park single-track trails for a half-loop before finishing on the Lester Park Ski trails for a loop until my time was up. My legs (quads) took a beating and were fatigued quite a bit but the rest of the body felt great. Another run in the Ronin's.
1:37:52  11.8 miles

I was planning a day off but got in contact with an old running pal from Esko and made the trek out to his place for an absolutely wonderful trail run in Jay Cooke State Park. I following on a new loop that had us just giddy. The trails out there are truly a hidden gem to most.
57:00  7 miles or so

Weeks Total: 44 miles
Years Total: 1544.5 miles