Sunday, January 26, 2014

Week 4: Long Run Challenges

This week was another gain in fitness. I feel like things are really coming along nicely and soon will be adding some quality to the weekly grind. My plan is to tack on another 20 or so miles to the weekly volume, which will require a few doubles during the week. My main hurdle with that type of program, which is why I haven't done it in the past, is my family life. I can't really load up and run a second run in the evening with the family in limbo. I plan to stay home and jump on the treadmill a few times during the week and hopefully this will allow me to be home as much as possible after work. It's an issue I'm willing to work with but not force. If it doesn't happen, oh well...

The long runs continue to go well despite the horrible weather we have had with all the snow and cold, blowing winds. I can't wait until I can hammer out a 20 miler and have no road issues to contend with. If you are living where there is no snow, you better thank yourself right now because it's not all that fun.

Here is the week:
Jan 20-26th

Mon: 1:18:30, 8.3 miles  Hartley trails, glen/david
Tue:  1:09:00  10 miles treadmill, 4 mi @ 6:00's
Wed: 1:14:00  9 miles Hartley, roads
Thur: 1:01:35  8 miles treadmill
Fri: 56:50  7 mi.  snowy roads
Sat: 2:13:00 16.6 miles, skyline to Magney
Sun: 1:38:00  9.7 miles easy peasy  Hartley

Weeks Total: 69 miles

Years Total: 217 miles

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Week 3: Even Keel

My best intentions were to ramp this week up and possibly over 70 miles but the legs were not having it. I ran tough through Thursday and by Friday my 'mental edge' wore on me and I took a much needed day off. I wanted the weekly mileage but really, I have learned to listen to my body and rest when my body is telling me to do so. As a reward for that decision Saturday's long effort went without a hitch. Legs were great and I had minimal tightness in my hamstrings. (last week the hamstrings were the first to go the last 20 minutes of the run...)

The next week should go well and I plan to hit the mid to upper 70's for mileage.

Jan 13-19th 

Mon: 1:21:00,  8.4 miles in Hartley
Tues: 1:10:00,  9.5 miles treadmill
Wed: 1:19:00  8.2 miles Hartley
Thurs: 1:14:00  9 miles, Lakeside roads
Fri: 0, rest morning, felt great to take a break
Sat: 2:05:30, 16 miles, Lakewood roads
Sun: 1:19:15, 8.3 miles in Hartley

Weeks Total: 59 miles

Years Total: 148 miles

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week 2: Groovin'

The title says it all. I've been at this running thing for quite some time and I continue to be amazing how quickly the body can bounce back from some time off. Last week I was singing the blues about my aches and pains and this week couldn't have been any better for what it's purpose was. I feel like I'm in a groove! To gain steady momentum and grow each week over the first month of the year is the immediate goal. I have two more weeks to peak up in mileage and then see where I can settle for the next 6-8 weeks after that in preparation for Boston.
Despite the early week freeze, I only had to hit the treadmill twice this week and boy did I feel good being outside. It just makes running more enjoyable. This weekend I managed to get in a decent long effort despite not getting much for distance it was still very beneficial in the week's growth. The next week will look very similar with just a bit more volume spread throughout the week. Cheers to week number 2!

Week Jan 6-12th:

Monday: 7.8 miles treadmill
Tuesday: 6 miles treadmill
Wednesday: 7.1 miles Hartley single track
Thursday: 10 miles roads, Enger
Friday: 7.8 miles Hartley + campus
Saturday: 14 miles Lester, Lakewood roads
Sunday: 7 miles Hartley

Week: 60 miles

Years Total: 89 miles

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Week 1: Making Slow Progress

I mentioned in my last post how banged up I was feeling after starting my training up again. By the end of the week I was already starting to feel a bit back to some form of normalcy. My main area of focus is the right hip flexor. It gets really tight if I spend a lot of time slipping and spinning on the ice and snow. When I feel that coming on, I hit the gym and run on the treadmill for a day or so to allow some much needed rest from the elements. That seemed to work and got me up to speed for the current week.

I ended last week (30th-Jan 5th) with a total of 47.2 miles, not too bad for week one. There is a long road ahead to get up to the volume I desire and I hope that road is smooth. I think we are finally over the Polar Vortex and on to more feasible weather conditions so the outside miles can begin to add up. I'm looking for a good 10+ mile jump in volume this week and I take it day by day to evaluate where my body is. On to bigger weeks!

Years Total: 29 miles

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 In Review

After the Club XC meet I took a nice 14 day break from any activity. Zero, zilch. I did nothing. At the time it felt good, but by the end of the two week break I was just itching to get back into the normal routine. I have to believe the break will benefit me, but as I begin to reintroduce running to the mornings I have found myself a bit sore and tight in many spots. The terrible weather conditions play a bit part in that and once I can get out and enjoy some trails I think life will be better from a soreness aspect.

I finished off the year by running three of the last four days of the year.
12/28: 6.7 miles
12/30: 6.5 miles
12/31: 6.4 miles

YEARS TOTAL: 2557 miles

As for 2013 I can say I was pretty pleased with how the year went. I had a really decent build up for the Boston Marathon and then had a terrible race. I was shocked with the degree of downhill running. My quads were beat to a pulp by half way and I did a lot of slow jogging the last 10 miles. It was not the result I wanted but really, for the event it was awesome and having our day effected by a couple of selfish assholes was just enough for me to sign up again. I am going to toe the line in Hopkington again come April 21st. I want more out of Boston than just a result. I want to run well, but I really want to soak in the experience even more than I did this year. The people of Boston are like no other and I just want to go back and personally thank them for all the support and strength they offer. I want to see how a true Bostonian parties after a good Boston Marathon. It will be, for the lack of better terms, EPIC!

After the big let down of Boston, I was committed to running the USATF Half-Marathon Champs held in conjunction with Grandma's marathon weekend. It was not the official Masters Half Champs but they let a bunch of us old local guys in the race to chase the youngsters. Chase I did, and I got an experience of a lifetime. It was by far the most competitive race I have ever participated in and having it unfold in my hometown was just a blessing. I didn't have the running gods on my side and I had an "off" day by about 90 seconds. By doing this I finished dead last. I'm 43 years old, I ran 1:14:08 and I was dead last out of about 120 runners. I couldn't believe it, but the placing really didn't bother me as I was just very honored I had the opportunity to be in the same race as our country's best young runners. I had a blast and I would do it again if I ever had the chance.

The second half of the year I focused on a trail marathon in October. It was the inaugural race and the trails were going to be tough. A fair amount of vertical gain/loss as the race was at a local ski resort in the beautiful Porcupine Mountains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. I had a decent block of training heading into that race and was very happy by placing third overall and first Master runner. In preparation for this marathon I managed to race a 5K and have a time I haven't hit in quite some time so that was a nice added bonus. I followed that up and raced our local Thanksgiving 5K in my course PR. The conditions were very cold but doable. My late fall focus was on USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Bend, OR. It was listed as the most competitive Masters field ever assembled. I have to say they were right on. I raced decent but had a side stitch to deal with and I placed about the same position as previous year but I feel I ran much better in the process. Overall, another great opportunity I feel very honored to be able to have participated in.

That is a quick summary of 2013. Like I stated, I feel like it was a good year and I hope to build on this year and keep motivated for 2014. Yes, I am getting older, but I am not ready to slow down. Not just yet. That day is coming much sooner than I desire,  and I plan to put up the best fight I can to keep this slowdown at bay.

Here's to a super 2014!