Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Litte Banged Up

The 20 miler last weekend that included a bunch of hills, and a lot of downhill running made for a slow, tight, and concerning week. I was feeling as though I may have over done it on the 20 miler but as I was running it I felt very much in control. I think it was a combination of things that ultimately lead to me feeling tired and stiff, but I fought my way through the week and continued to have an overall decent week of running, albeit a bit more tired than I would have wished for.

I had a Chiro appointment and a massage appointment on Tuesday and that always feels great. The long pace run was moved up to Thursday and I forfeited my intervals for the week in order to gain a bit more recovery. The weekend running went very well, and Sunday's long effort got me out of bed and running by 0515 in order to get the 18 miles I had planned in before my wifey had to go to work. It was during that long run where I realized I had a minor, that could be major if not attended to, issue at hand. My entire right side was failing. I had upper glute/hip, hamstring, calf, and most concerning a very tight fascia in my right arch/foot. I have never had plantar fasciitis before so I don't know what it feels like, but by description I didn't think I had that going on. (possibly a minor or beginning of PF?) The tightness loomed and my right arch did not get any better for most of the long run and I found downhills most tender.

On Monday, which is normally an easy hour + to flush out the gunk from my legs, I decided on taking a zero and focusing on stretches and strength exercises. I did 45 minutes of yoga, plyometrics and stretches that focused on my lower body. Most of my Monday at work felt decent but some stiffness remained and the areas of concern needed more attention. I made a chiro appointment and focused on more stretches and exercises.

I had a decent run yesterday and this mornings interval workout went quite well.
The visit with Adam went well and I feel like I am on my way to quite the week. I feel very energized and ready to close this training out and focus on the race. To get a little excitement in the air I received my Boston Marathon Runners Passport and papers in the mail. I'm getting psyched!

Training for:

March 18-24
M: 59:20 7.5 miles easy, SNOW, skyline
T: 1:07:00  8+ miles easy
W: 1:00:00  8 miles
Th: 1:24:00  12.5 miles w/ 9 mi @ 5:55 pace
F: 1:00:00 7.6 miles, easy trails, roads
Sa: 1:13:45 10 miles, roads/trails eagle lk loop
Su: 2:05:00  18 miles *arch is sore!
Total: ~72 miles

Years Total: 738.4 miles

March 25-31
M: off- 45:00 of plyo's, yoga, stretches to lower body
T: 1:00:00 8 miles easy, 2 X 30 sec @ 5:15 to test legs, all ok
W: 1:07:00  10 miles w/ 3 X 1.5 miles @5:40 pace/  pm= Chiro

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Phase Is Working

Three weeks ago I switched to the "strength" phase of training. I am now feeling like I am indeed getting fit. I realize it isn't just the last three weeks of training that allows me to feel this way, rather, it's the last 11 weeks total that have allowed me to make what I call a huge jump in fitness.  For one, the MP (marathon pace) runs I do on Friday's have just come together nicely and I nailed this weeks without a hitch at the end of a tough week.

This weekend was looking like a disaster weather-wise and I managed to sneak out to some country roads on Saturday on top of 8" of fresh powder elsewhere and had a very decent recovery run. Then, after tons of sun on Saturday afternoon the roads cleared, as if the running gods were listening to my constant pleading for just a chance for grip on the open roads in order to keep me of the damn dreadmill.  Thank you! It worked. Albeit I started my run at a less-than-ideal -7F! Oh well, that's what they invented Buff's and thick mitts for. I once again made my way to the lovely hills of W. Tischer and got myself over to Lester River Road where I proceeded to pound my quads, on purpose, down the three and a half miles to Superior street to simulate a little Hopkinton miles. From there I jumped on the Lakewalk and proceeded to run to Lemon Drop hill and finish my run on the Grandma's course all the way to Lil' Angies.  In the end I made it 20 miles and was very pleased with how I felt.

This week was a great week for me. Though, not a lot of miles on some peoples standard, I ran a year high and had three amazing workouts throughout the week. I don't mention the easy days much but I had some amazing easy days of running as well. I just love to ease off the gas and just run some miles while getting lost in my thoughts of racing, travel, friends, family, and of course, warmer days...

This weeks volume:

March 11-17th
M: 1:04:00  7.7 miles, easy jog around UMD area
T: 1:20:00  10 miles, trails, Eagle Lake rd.
W: 1:09:00 10.5 miles  2X3 miles @ 5:40 pace
Th: 1:07:00 8.8 miles, country roads, snowmo trails
F: 1:25:00 13 miles w/ 9@ 5:56 pace
Sa: 1:03:00 8 miles, easy, fresh snow
Su: 2:20:00 20 miles, country, LRR downhill, Gmas course
Total: 78 miles

YEARS TOTAL: 666.8 miles

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Change of Plans

This weekend I was to test my fitness at a 10 mile race in Minneapolis. That didn't happen. I made the decision on Friday after hearing of the possibility of freezing rain and/or rain for much of the lower region of the state. In the end, the race would have been fine, they didn't get freezing rain or anything that early in the morning, but I would have had to deal with horrible weather on the drive home so I guess it was a safe decision. I had an uncomfortable feeling in my legs on Friday's run and I guess that was in the back of my mind too, so mentally I was not 100% to give a good effort. Instead, I found myself on my snowshoes slogging out a slow, quad burning jog/hike in fresh POW that we received Friday night.  Today I needed another solid long run so I hit the treadmill. Not my favorite but I had an amazing run and was happy with the outcome. All in all another great week of running and one more week closer to heading out to the big race. I just have to keep at for about three to four weeks then a little taper, then the race. I can't believe it's that close!

Here is the weeks details:

March 4-10th
M: 1:14:25  8.5 miles  Hartley/UMD arch sore
T: 51:41  7 miles treadmill + weights
W: 1:08:00  10 miles 3X2 miles at 5:45
H: 1:10:20  9 miles Vermilion/W. Tich
F: 1:13:30  10.2 miles W Skyline
SA: 1:22:20  ~7 effort snowshoe
SU: 1:58:30  17 miles 2X4 mile in middle (6:25/5:55)

Total: 69 miles

Years Total: 588.8 miles

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Near Scare and Township Running

Often the two topics listed in the title can go together and refer to the same thing. I have to say, you have to be on your toes (not literally but attentive) when you run in the townships. Let's just say the cars out there are not really friendly to the "athletes" that often venture out to the clear, hilly routes they offer. But today I had a wonderful time and just a few odd looks. The title refers to my two highlights of the week. First, I was on a routine recovery style run on Tuesday morning and decided to give West Skyline a try and was committed to a 10 mile out and back. I had just made my turn around and I was passing over a bridge and just as I crossed the other side I hit a mean patch of black ice and damn if I didn't bite the pavement quicker than you can say Shit! I took most of the blow with my right knee, which in the process took a huge chunk out of my new running pants, grrrrr, along with the skin on my knee. What I didn't realize was I gave my lower leg/ankle quite the twist in the process. That little twist would have me taking it easy a couple of days to follow but after some ICE treatments and stretching I was back on track for a good week. Whew! Thankful for that.

As I eluded to earlier, today I ran out on some Township roads. I ran through Hartley trails to warm up and then hit the roads to Howard Gnesen road and on to W. Tischer to Jean Duluth. I managed to hit the new Lakewood one-stop, can't place the new name right now, and scored myself a 20 oz. water and washed down my green apple Powergel. I then hit Medin to make myself hit some snowmobile trails through Lester. Since it was downhill I still managed to hit 7:00 pace on snowmobile trails through the park until I hit London road. I then cranked down the pace to finish in a step-down pattern which shook things up a bit in the legs. I felt good and thus far have been recovering very well.

So, here I sit some 6 weeks out from Boston and I realize I only have about 4 good weeks of training before I have to really scale back the work and pay attention to staying healthy. It's amazing how the body can get fit when you listen to it. I am not doing high volume but I feel like every day has a purpose and I take advantage of my time out running. When it's time to recover, that is what I do. When it's time to kick it up a notch, I do. To get to Hopkinton healthy is a must. I want to be ready to run with my head up and take in the experience. I know the last 10k is going to be tough, they ALL are, but I still want to be able to really look up and see the beauty that surrounds me. It's Boston! Enjoy it and make the best of my fitness is the goal.

I sure hope you all had a wonderful weekend and took advantage of some fitness in your area. We had stupendous weather once again and the daylight is getting longer and warmer. Get out there and never give up. Remember, today might be that day where you feel invincible and those are the ones that keep us coming back for more.

Here is my week:

Feb. 25th- March 3rd
M: 58:10  7 miles, trails and roads really easy
T: 1:11:45  10 miles  *fell on ice, right knee/lat calf took a hit
W: 58:00 8.3 miles 4 X 1 mile at 5:40 pace (cut short with spasm in calf)
Th: 38:00  5 miles *ICE right lower calf/ankle
F: 1:12:00  10.2 miles 7 miles @ 5:56 pace
Sa: 1:04:00 6.5 miles on Hartley trails easy w/ Dave Hypo
        34:00 4.5 miles pm run to cemetery and back/ easy miles
Su: 2:00:00 17.2 miles *last three 6:14, 6:11, 6:05 miles

Weeks Total: ~69 miles

YEARS total: 519.8 miles