Monday, January 30, 2012

It's A Whiteout!

When I ran this morning I couldn't believe the snow falling. I made my way up Woodland and by the time I crossed Martin Road it was blowing and snowing like a real winter blizzard. I had a half-mile stretch where the wind was biting me right in the face but other than that I had a cross wind which was tolerable.

I was pleasantly surprised how good I felt. My legs turned over nicely but I could feel a bit of tightness in the IT bands and that made me realize the importance of proper stretching. I may be able to do my medium long SS run tomorrow but it will be a last minute decision. I want to make sure I am recovered properly and ready to hit the faster pace once again.

Total: 1:06:00    8.1 miles

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Steady Out East

With the little snow we received I was in search of good footing so I could do a steady-state run outside. I realize I will be performing these workouts on the treadmill very soon but until I absolutely have to I will squeak them out on the streets. The weather was cool but relatively calm so I made my way out to Lakeside and used the dry lakewalk and HWY 61 to get in some quicker miles.

After my usual warm up I eased into pace and tried not to stare at the gps and just run on effort. I want to become familiar with pace based on how I feel and hopefully will not have to rely on gps splits. I guess I managed to do pretty well as my splits, even with the subtle ups and downs didn't vary all that much. I will list them below with the workout details.

Saturday I was feeling a bit fatigued and ran with Dave and Ryan on the trails for an easy hour. It's always good to run with someone on the easy days. For me, those days can often be the hardest to get out and roll the miles out. I'm glad it worked out for all.

Sunday was a long run and I managed to run the trails for most miles. I did a short out and back on Skyline before hitting the single track and then ran some with Dave and then some with Tony as our meeting point for the day didn't quite work out. I felt really good on the trails and managed the entire run just about 8 oz's of water. I had an emergency gel with me but I didn't take it until I got home. It's good to burn the legs a bit in training as long as there are no signs of injury looming. Not to be had for me. All systems a go!

Here are the run details:

Out and back thru lakeside to mile 17 of gmas course and back. 45 minutes of steady state, good for a little over 7 miles. Splits:6:07,6:05,6:05,6:07,6:02,6:12,6:00
1:31:00  13.4 miles

easy trail run for recovery.
1:02:07   ~6.1 miles

long run on roads for 4 miles then trails.
2:33:42   17.5 miles  (single track trails)

Weeks Total: ~73.4 miles  (9.9 hours)
Years Total: 223.6 miles

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ramping Up

This week will be a first of three consecutive weeks of volume building. I plan to to do a pattern of three up and one down (rest). I have about three or four more weeks of base-phase training and then switch to some longer threshold workouts and continue to work on the long runs.

So far the week has gone about as well as it could. The snowshoeing the past weekend left me a bit more sore than expected on Monday and Tuesday but by Wednesday I was ready for a medium long effort with steady-state. I woke up to about a half inch of fresh snow on the roads which made for very poor footing. Instead of risking any pulled muscles I just ran the time and pushed some sections a bit more than usual. In the end I had a great run. I feel a bit tired today but I will be able catch up and gain some extra hours come this weekend.

Here is the week thus far.

Up Woodland out to Arnold roads before making my way home via Vermilion and UMD. I really took it easy on this run in hopes to ready myself for the medium distance run.
Total: 1:10:00   9.1 miles

I woke up still a bit sore and fatigued so I made a quick decision to stick to a slow, easy run. Since things were looking decent I made my way to the trails of Hartley and proceeded to loop around. Felt great and the trails were very good.
Total: 1:08:43   ~7.6 miles (easy)

Out and back on West Skyline to 28th Ave W. I managed to push a few miles near 6:40 pace but too slick to do any quality work. The run was still a very productive effort. I will be pounding out this course many times in the next 13 weeks!
Total: 1:31:00  12.7 miles

This morning I made my way to the trails of Hartley again. A bit slick but still very runnable. One complete loop and I returned home to fuel up. Looking forward to the second medium long run tomorrow morning.
Total: 1:02:11   7 miles

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January Freeze and Winter Bliss

Kari and I heading out for Saturdays snowshoe.

Lucas doing some tricks on his snowshoes.

The cold temperatures finally made their showing in Duluth this past week. We had a run of three or four days with temperatures in the negative digits. The put me running with some crazy, cool temps but manageable for the most part.

I gave myself a rest from the long run in order to rest my legs for what I hope a build-up in mileage over the next three weeks. Even with the break from a true "long run" I got in some decent "time" for the week. I am feeling very well and eager to crank up the volume and see what happens. I am ready for some tired legs and will need to remind myself of the fatigue and really keep getting my arse out of bed each morning. That is what is going to make this build up a success!

Here is the week in review:

Following a really good weekend of running I was ready for an easy road loop and that is what I did. Out to Martin and back via Vermilion. Doing great!
Total: 1:02:00   ~8 miles

Very cool morning. It was below zero without the windchill and I got lucky with the wind direction on my out and back from Brighton Beach. The wind was at my shoulder the entire run and that made it tolerable. A headwind would have been sub 20F below zero! I added some uptempo time that was a "steady state" effort but my pace was off because of the cold and blustery wind. The effort was there and I was happy with bumping this workout to 40 minutes. Another 10 minutes will be added this week plus another shorter effort later in the week.
Total: 1:24:11    12 miles
          40 minutes at SS at ~6:15 pace

Recovery style run in Morley Park area and UMD. Decent run but cold once again.
Total: 52:00  ~7 miles

Too cold. The wind chill outside was -40F!! No way. I hit the treadmill and did a nice warm up of 30 minutes and then proceeded to add 2 minutes hill segments at 6% grade each mile just to break up the monotony. I felt really good and will more than likely be running the treadmill more often for specific workouts.
Total: 1:20:00  ~11 miles
          6 X 2 minute Hills at 6% each mile

0 rest day

No real long run so to speak rather a long effort on snowshoes. There was some running and some real hard ass walking in powder up past my knees for a few miles. The goal of this workout was to keep the heart rate up and keep moving for over 90 minutes. I accomplished this very well. After the effort I was surprised how wiped out I was.
Total: 1:45:00  time on snowshoes

I ran the entire time and got in some strength work. The legs felt good after yesterdays long hike/jog. The temperature was a bit higher today and my feet had no problem staying warm. Overall a really good day and weekend of snowshoeing.
Total: 53:00

Weeks Total: 38 miles running  (7.4 hours total)
Years Total: 150.2+ miles

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Great American Running!

I was as pumped for this past Saturday as I was for Christmas. The running of the USA Olympic Marathon Trials were in Houston TX. The USATF really effed up big time and didn't have any LIVE TV or Internet coverage of the event. NBC did their usual shitty job at attempting to do a 2 hour "recap" much like they do of the NYC Marathon. I'm sure its all red-tape bullshit but really, the Olympic Trials? They could have done better.

Anyway, my running has been going great and I am popping into shape nicely. I have a long way to go before April 28th but the way I have been progressing over the last three weeks I can only believe I will be ready to toe the line in Brainerd.

Thursday I allowed myself an easy trail run of up to an hour. Right now the only safe trails are in Hartley or snowmobile trails in Lester. I looped in Hartley and made my way home after finishing a loop of ski trails. A really decent run for recovery style and no aches or pains to deal with right now. Let's keep it that way!

Total: 55:56 6.2 miles *slow trail pace

Friday I hit the roads since my hip flexors were a bit tight and that seemed to help. After the run I didn't really notice much tightness. It has been much cooler than recent these last two mornings and with the wind it's been in the negative figures. Brrrr.
Roads up Woodland and home via Vermilion.

Total: 51:16  ~7 miles

Saturday I hit the trails of Rock Hill, Chester (don't bother running here) and then an entire loop in Hartley. I made it home to see Twitter updates of the last few miles of the men's and woman's races. Wow, excitement! We are sending two amazing teams to London and I can't wait to see how they perform on the world scene. For me,

Total: 2:15:00   15 miles+

Sunday was another easy trail jog in Lester with the boys. A beautiful sunny morning/afternoon greeted us and the trails were manageable. Don't run 7-Bridges Road!! Ice, Ice Baby!  Another general mileage run and loving the feeling of getting fit.

Total: 1:12:00  ~8 miles

Weeks Total: ~62.2 miles (8.6 hours)
Years Total:  112.2 miles

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Change Is A Coming

These last few mornings of running have been right on par with amazing. All three days of this week thus far have been in the mid 30's when I head out for the early morning jaunt. This morning it was 35F and no wind. The roadways of West Skyline were perfect for my steady-state workout and I didn't forget that all too soon the near perfect footing will be gone and hidden under a layer of ice and snow. I can't really complain, it's January in Duluth after all!

Monday I made my way out to the trails of Hartley and did a loop out to the guard rail loop but cut it short on the "inner loop" before making my way back to the ski trails and did a loop before making my way back to the house. My legs felt a bit heavy from the weekend running but more than anything my low back and hip flexors were very tight! The kind of tight that made me realize I had to avoid trails for a few days just to give them a rest.

Total: 58:20  trails ~6.3 miles

Tuesday I stuck to the roads since my low back and psoas muscles were calling for a break. I decided on one of my staple hour loops and made myself run slow for yet another day. I had to remind myself that this was a "slow day" and not to over run it. By the end of the loop my legs were feeling great. Low back, not so much. Good thing I had a Chiropractor appointment to follow.

Total: 1:02:52   8.1 miles

Wednesday was the chosen day for my steady-state work. I knew the roads of West Skyline would be in good shape since they get a lot of sun exposure. I wasn't wrong in my choice. After a 20+ minute warm up I worked my way into a 30 minute steady-state session, up 10 minutes from last week, and I found the pace much more comfortable today. The plan is to keep adding 10 minutes per week, along with adding a second day of this type of work to the schedule as my volume increases throughout the base phase.  I finished with a 30 minute warm down.
The chiro must have worked because my low back felt so much better today and my psoas have settled as well. I guess I can't run trails 7 days a week and expect to stay loose. A nice variety will be the recipe for the rest of the plan.

Total: 1:20:01   11.6 miles
          HERE is the garmin data

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Snowless Running

It's a topic all over the news and blogs across the country. This is NOT typical January weather. We had very good snow cover on some of the single-track in Hartley and some of it has vanished and some has turned to ice, while the rest has been minimized to a dusting. I can't remember the last time the winter running was like this. For me, probably, the last I ran in conditions like this was the winter I lived 12 hours south of Duluth in Kalamazoo MI. That was a great year of winter running and the next season was filled with PR's. Now I am not going to suggest that I am ready for new PR's, much too old for many, but I would bet that there is a marathon PR in me yet. Let's keep the fingers crossed for a few more weeks first and see what weather I have to deal with for the remainder of this month and February.

As for the rest of this week I am pleased with how my legs progressed. It didn't take long to break my so-called streak. I ended up taking Friday off because of a barking Achilles. Like I said in a recent post, I am not one to push myself out the door just to keep a streak alive. I listen to my body and take rest when it needs it. As a result I had a wonderful weekend of running.

Thursday I made my out and ran an easy loop out to Hartley. The trails were still in good condition and I made an easy loop out to the gas line and back then out to Rock Hill for a short loop before returning home.

Total: 53:06  ~6.1 miles

Friday= 0 miles, rest Achilles

Saturday out on the trails of Hartley once again. Very runnable with the exception of some small patches of ice. Overall a very nice run.

Total: 1:28:03   ~9.1 miles

Sunday I ran out west and did a out and back by myself before picking up the rest of the gang. I ran the Voyageur course back to Skyline and returned for close to an hour. Spirit Mountain Ski area is just kickin' and the ricky racers were out doing hot laps as I ran across the trails. I had to keep a close eye so I didn't get taken out! Once I picked up the rest of the runners we ran the western waterfront trail out and back and that was my two hours. Easy miles and once again, no complaints and legs feel rockin'.

Total: 2:01:00  ~14.5 miles

Weeks Total: ~50 miles
Years Total: 50.3 miles

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Steady State Heart Rates

This morning I had the on of getting in an early base phase steady state run. Today would be my second of this type. I have been reading some training plans and one misconception on the Aurther Lydiard system in the north American continents was the base phase. Specifically the 100 mile week idea. Yes, the system calls for one to reach at least 100 mile weeks but those weeks are not just repeated at slow shuffles. The plan calls for one or two runs a week at a pace that coach Greg McMillan refers to as "steady state". This pace is roughly 15 seconds per mile slower than 1/2 marathon pace. I have taken my marathon pace and subtracted 10-15 seconds and that is usually close. I am starting to add one of these runs per week to my medium distance runs and hope to have it worked in twice a week at the end of the month. The time is started at 20 minutes and then 10 minutes is added each week. I have done these workouts in years past and they really work well. Greg McMilan wrote an article in reference to this topic but I have forgotten where I found it. Sould be on the WWW someplace. So, my overal time was near a hour with 20 minutes at 6:10 pace. This early in the build up I am content with this pace and will adjust over the next week or so. Soon, these runs should be near 5:45 pace, as I hope to run my marathon in April at 6:00 pace. I am not ready for that pace today as the quicker pace would take away from the purpose. I've always said, "just because you can run faster in training doesn't mean you should."

 Totals: 59:00 8.5 miles 20 minutes at ~6:10 pace

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Crisp Loop

Once again I made my way to the single-track of Hartley Park and did one big loop. The trails remain to be in great shape and getting in the woods, away from the cool, crisp air was a wonderful idea.

The time clicked bye very quickly and I was making my return trip down Dunedin Ave home.

Total: 1:00:38  ~7 miles

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Fire Has Been Lit

It's amazing that putting a plan down on paper can ease the mind and do wonders for the soul. Even if that plan foils at some point, for the moment I am content and ready to tackle yet another marathon build-up and ready myself for the personal challenge of the 26.2 mile beast.

I'm not one for running streaks, aka: long stretches of daily runs with out a break, but I may give this a shot for the remainder of the winter. I like to consider myself a "smart" runner/trainer and not head out for a run when I am sick or injured just to keep the streak alive. But, I am using this time to push myself out the door and if it turns into a streak so be it. For now, I plan to run every day until my marathon on April 28th. Hang on for the ride!

This morning was the first real chilly day in quite some time. I ran out the door with temperatures reading 15 degree's and a hell of a wind smacked me in the face. After the quick 4-5 minute jog to the trail head I managed to tuck in the single-track of Hartley and do a short loop before heading back home. I used today as another "shake-out" run and make sure the legs and achilles are ready "Roll em Out".  The trails in Hartley are beginning to set up nicely and with a few more inches of snow they will once again be labeled "stellar".

47:08   ~5 miles, easy jogging.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

OOPS and Update For Year End 2011

For some reason I was on my Iphone looking at my blog and within a few seconds and much to my surprise I had deleted 6 weeks of running blog entries. I had consolidated them  in two posts but I had to scramble out to the recycle bin to find my scratch paper I write my running times on after each run. (i am supposed to then transfer them to this blog but I have gotten pretty bad at doing that.

So, here is a very brief update of the last two months of the training year for me.  For the very few of you that may check in with me from time to time I had written that I was considering doing a winter marathon someplace. I really wanted to and I am now finding myself in decent shape and I really think I could be in great shape in 8-10 weeks but I decided against traveling this winter "just to run a marathon". Instead, I plan to fall back into base phase for a bit more, hopefully bank as much mileage as I can, and then do a early spring marathon close to home just to keep it simple. After all the purpose of the next marathon is solely to get me a solid Boston Qualifier. I hope to find a race that will allow me to run fast but really I just want to get one done and not have it set me back too much as far as recovery time goes. I would really like another crack at a fast Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon this year and that is goal number one for 2012. Along that path I hope to be competitive in my age group and possibly chase my old PR's in certain distances. (I feel I can do that at certain races despite turning 42 this spring.)

I have had a wonderful late fall training phase. Nothing too spectacular but I continue to run 5 or 6 days a week and currently have ramped up my long run to 2 hours most weekends and I have been feeling very good with those. My mileage is very low, 40-45 miles per week, and that is the first goal looking into the new year. I need to ramp up the volume and now that some form of "winter" is upon us I will focus on 'time' for the next 6 weeks or so. I guess I will look at about 10 hours of training per week and see how I manage with that. (12 hours would be great if possible)

Here is the months of Nov and Dec in summary.

October 31-Nov 6th:
ran 5 days with two 1:25:00 back to back on the weekend
feeling decent.
mileage: ~40 miles

Nov 7-13:
ran 5 days with 1:22:00 and 2:30:00 runs on weekend.
mileage: ~48 miles

Nov 14-20:
ran only 4 days this week, all trails, no weekend running with travel to UP for the great hunt! (drank lots of beer, didn't hunt a bit)
mileage: ~25 miles

Nov 21-27:
ran 6 days with the Gobble Gallop 5K on Thurs.
managed to run 16:41 5K, happy with the effort.
mileage: ~40 miles

Nov 28-Dec 4:
ran 4 days with no long effort
mileage: ~31 miles

Dec 5-11:
ran 5 days with two decent weekend runs of 1:32:00 and 1:16:00 trails.
mileage: ~48 miles *4 days over 1:10:00 runs

Dec 12-18:
ran 5 days. starting some med. distance mid week on roads
1:40:00 long effort on weekend.
mileage: ~42 miles

Dec 19-25:
ran 5 days with mid week run of 1:20:00 and 4 miles of SS in middle.
Long run of 2:22:00
*a nice week of progression
mileage: ~50 miles

Dec 26-Jan1:
ran 6 days, some of which were short. working on treadmill and maybe need a rehaul.
mileage: ~35 miles   *2 hour long run

Years Total: 2201 miles