Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 12: March 20 - 26, 2017

Monday: Zero. Rest day.

Tuesday: Zero. Cranky hamstring.

Wednesday: 10 miles, 591', 7:42 pace. Strava GPS app gave me a bonus 2/10ths of a mile on my staple morning route.

Thursday: 9.9 miles, 591', 7:48 pace. Only 1/10th of mile extra today.

Friday: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:56 pace. Back to normal.

Saturday: 14.8 miles, 4918', LOL pace. "Ran" the Hancocks and East Osceola in much slower, more taxing conditions than I'd hoped. There was a firm, packed base but ankle-deep fresh snow up top made it like running on the beach, except with elevation gain. My pace was slow and I didn't feel that great, but the biggest benefit was probably recalibrating my level of patience from the roads to trails.

Sunday: Zero. I slept in and let a cranky hip and some soreness rationalize myself into taking a zero day. Still, there's value in this in that I can do a little self-examination. Is it better to take a zero day when my motivation is low and I give in to excuses that are always lurking in the background? Are they valid excuses or not and how do you draw the line? Just because I felt a little hip pinch a few times am I flirting with a serious injury, or is it just normal creaks in the machine? I don't have answers, but it's best to remind myself that I can't take decisions back, so just let go and move forward.

Totals: 44.5 miles, 6690', 8h 14m. Modest mileage but mediocre volume when looked at in hours.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 11: March 13 - 19, 2017

Monday: 9.7 miles, 650', 6:59 pace. Shrugged off some inertia to get out the door for a run on my lunch break. I can usually tell how things are going to go within the first few steps and this one felt great before I made it past the end of my building. The effort:pace ratio was good and I never felt strained.

Tuesday: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:54 pace. I was able to sneak an easy pre-dawn run in before the forecast blizzard. Snow was falling hard enough the last 3 miles that I was blinded by my headlamp when cars passed by. I usually leave the light off and let my eyes adjust to the dark, which is more than adequate for road running, and just turn the light on when a car is coming. Luckily there's little traffic on my morning route, and even less on snow days.

Wednesday: Zero. 18 inches of snow, the sidewalks were buried, and the roads a sloppy mess. I almost went out mid-day but a well-timed lunch invite from coworkers sealed the deal.

     AM: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:33 pace. Easy morning run with a bright  moon to see by. The stark shadows of leafless trees on snow is one of my favorite things about running at night in winter - something I would have missed had I stayed in bed. There's still a lot of snow on the roads but it's well packed and grippy, even with road shoes.

     PM: 6.1 miles, 1092', 8:32 pace. 10 x 60 second hill repeats on Harrison Street - with an 18% grade, it's a favorite for short, early season interval work to season the legs.

Over the weekend I listened to an Andy Wacker interview on Ultrarunner Podcast and heard him make a comment to the effect of specific hill work being unnecessary. His claim was that that uphill running performance is simply determined by running fitness and that flat intervals are adequate preparation for hilly races. While Andy is a champion runner across multiple surfaces and distances and I'm just a recreational putz, I'm not buying it because Andy also said that he prefers races with smooth footing and moderate grades. I'll continue to do hill repeats on the steepest, longest hills I have available to build specific strength for climbs that are steep and rocky enough to require hiking. Nothing against Andy, he's got a good thing going, but there are so many schools of thought out there that it's impossible to get any training done without rejecting some successful person's approach.

     AM: 7.5 miles, 350', 8:45 pace. Recovery run, sore ass. I guess that means I'm doing it right.
     PM: 7.1 miles, 395', 8:18 pace. Easy run, still sore. With most of the Manchester sidewalks covered still covered in snow I explored some North End neighborhoods. There's some swanky architecture tucked away in corners of this kinda dumpy city.

Saturday: 10 miles, 300', 10:43 pace. Mashed potato snowmobile trails with the dog.

     AM: 4 miles, 131', 8:17 pace. Pre-dawn jog trying to work out some lingering soreness. My stabilizer muscles got a bit of a wake up call from running in sloppy snow yesterday.
     PM: 14.2 miles, 873', 7:30 pace. Run home from kids' swim class.
Totals: 78.7 miles, 4951', 10h 47m. Right about where I'd like to be for volume. I'm finding that I need to rely on doubles nowadays to get my mileage up. It used to be that the bulk of my volume came on weekend long runs, often back to back trail 20+ milers, but that's doesn't really fit with my responsibilities any more.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Week 10: March 6 - 12, 2017

Monday: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:25 pace. I planned to take this one easy , but it was 7 degrees and I put out some more effort to get warmed up, then never really felt like backing off.

Tuesday: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:53 pace. Pre-dawn easy (for real this time) run.

Wednesday: Zero. A nice, spring-like day but sometimes life gets in the way.

     AM: 7.6 miles, 348', 7:45 pace. Pre-dawn easy run.
     PM: 6.8 miles, 380', 7:52 pace. Easy lunch run with a little scrambling.

Friday: 6.8 miles, 377', 8:13 pace. Easy lunch run with a little scrambling. Blustery.

Saturday: 11.8 miles, 738', 9:09 pace. A balmy 15 degrees with lots of wind. Got out with the dog in the afternoon in Bear Brook. Mostly bare, frozen ground, with some styrofoam snow and icy patches in shaded areas. Nice to get out on some dry-ish trail, but a major storm is forecast for early next week will be a setback for running in the woods.

Sunday: 7.3 miles, 423', 8:10 pace. Easy run on a mix of roads and trails. Pretty congested - running usually helps, but not this time. Spent the rest of the day snoozing on the couch. I meant to get this one on early in the morning but used the time-change and single digits temperatures to rationalize going back to bed and putting the run off until the afternoon.

Totals: 60.2 miles, 3478', 8h 8m. Half way decent volume but no true workouts. I'll chalk it up to recovery and aerobic base building.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 09: February 27 - March 5, 2017

Monday: 6.2 miles, 331', 8:30 pace. Recovery run with some scrambling at Cigarette Butte. I'm less sore than expected after the marathon and ended up going farther than originally planned. The first few hundred yards made me think I'd call it a day after a mile or two, but the legs loosened up nicely.


     AM: 6.7 miles, 236', 8:20 pace. Explored some roads and trails near home before sunrise. Discovered a couple nice new prospects close to home, but there's still a lot of ice in the woods so I'll have to come back in a few weeks. My right foot hurts a little bit.

     PM: Bike ride, 13.5 miles. Easy spin to loosen up the legs.

Wednesday: Bike ride, 25.7 miles. 60 degrees and humid, a welcome reprieve from winter.

Thursday: 6.6 miles, 377', 9:00 pace. Easy run with the office crew. Legs feel 90% recovered or so.

Friday: Zero. Stuffed my face at the local greek gyro place instead.

Saturday: 9.8 miles, 591', 7:59. Easy pre-dawn run on my staple 10 mile route. 7 degrees out.

Sunday: 11.3 miles, 453', 8:26 pace. Icy fire roads around Tower Hill Pond. 10 degrees and windy, but I was happy to let the dog burn off some energy as well as feel some dirt under my feet. Carbide studded Inov8 Orocs were just the ticket for mixed ground conditions.

Totals: 40.8 miles, 1985', 5h 43m running, 8h 17m with cycling added.

I'm feeling 99% recovered from the marathon last week, further confirming that I ran a smart race and pushed just hard enough to get the result I wanted without needing to take more than a week to get back into training. I'm looking forward to getting back to more trail and mountain oriented stuff, especially as the snow melts and the ground dries out in the next few weeks. Up next is the Breakneck Point Trail Marathon in New York on April 15th, which gives me six weeks to get some good hill work in.

Also, this week I realized that I'm lacking a qualifying race for the 2018 Western States lottery and most of the events on the list in the US are already full or conflict too with other things on my schedule. My options boil down to (A) Pine to Palm 100 in Oregon in September, (B) Pinhoti 100 (for a third time) in Alabama in November, or (C) just forgetting about Western States. While I would like to run it again, I'm not sure it's worth the cost and schedule disruption just to maintain a very small chance in the lottery. I'll need to think about it some more.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Week 08: February 20 - 26, 2017 - Hyannis Marathon

Monday: 7.3 miles, 367', 6:46 pace. Unplanned marathon pace workout; it felt good so I rolled with it.

Tuesday: 6.2 miles, 302', 7:30 pace. Easy run on shoveled bike path with some scrambling thrown in. There's a small trash and graffiti-strew cliff in Manchester that catches enough sun to melt out fairly quickly. It makes for a fun little class 3/4 detour with a good view of the city.

Wednesday: 6.3 miles, 305', 9:31 pace. Easy run with some scrambling with co-workers.

Thursday: 9.7 miles, 650', 7:23 pace.

Friday: Zero.

Saturday: 4.2 miles, 187', 8:20 pace. Easy shake out.

Sunday: 26.2 miles, 213', 6:49 pace. Hyannis Marathon in 2:58:33 net time.

Given the effort:result ratio, I'm pretty satisfied with this one. For less than half the training volume, I ran less than five minutes slower than my PR at Hyannis in 2014. This was my second time running sub-3 hours and with a 1:27 / 1:32 split, one of the more evenly paced road marathons I've run. By that, I mean that the second half didn't turn into a total shit show, helped by a couple write-off training weeks that tempered my expectations and kept me from going out too fast.

My stated goal when I signed up for Hyannis around New Years was to qualify for Boston 2018 with a solid time margin and sub-3 hours as a stretch goal. I came away with both of those met, so that's a bit of an uplift. Hopefully I can fit in a full training cycle and push for a personal best next year.

In any case, I'm looking forward to getting back on some snow-free trails and working on my climbing strength.

Totals: 60.4 miles, 2024', 7h 23m.

Week 07: February 13 - 19, 2017

Monday: 10.2 miles, 476', 8:00 pace. Slushy and cold roads.

Tuesday: 8.3 miles, 482', 7:17 pace. Blowing off some steam on Manchester side walks.

Wednesday: 8.3 miles, 476', 8:05 pace. Easy run.

Thursday - Sunday: Zero. The slump returns.

Weekly totals: 26.9 miles, 1434', 3h 29m.

Junk week. When I felt crappy like this last fall I was able to go for a bike ride, which I enjoyed enough to consider making a quiet exit from running. Now I just shovel snow.

Week 06: February 6 - 12, 2017

Zero for the whole week. Sick, busy, unmotivated.


Rather dwell on it, I'll think back to the Swan Song Loop and Double Presidential Traverse I did last September as a reminder of what I have to look forward to for the summer.