Friday, March 30, 2007

And that's a wrap...

I might have been refreshed yesterday but today the slow sluggish feeling just wouldn't leave me. When it took 28 minutes to run the first 3 miles of today's run I pulled the plug.

Instead of 80 I get 57 for the week. What's Chasing Kimbia say? "Tomorrow I'll do better". Well that will be Sunday's run for me with Marc. We are meeting up in Lewiston for a 20 miler. A 'ham radio' show draws us there.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Refreshing run today

The legs came through ok today after a creaky start. I am going to get that massage once I get a chance. Perhaps early next week.

As usual, the run started off at a snail's pace. I'm always surprised just how sore and creaky my poor legs are first thing in the morning. But after 1/2 mile or so they are tolerable and they gradually get better through the run until maybe the end. Today followed suit.

The plan for today was 12 with a 20 minute up tempo. I didn't get the 12 but that was a caution I took after the 20 minute tempo felt so good on the legs that I didn't want to bring them back to soreness by adding mileage. This should work out fine anyway as I'll still get 80 miles or so in this week.

I'd like to see the triple digits again as soon as I can handle it. But for the past 3 weeks I've been above 70 and that's a start.

Today: 8.48 miles 1:08:18 (8:04 pace / 145 HR)

8:15 pace last .48 miles.

Wx: Sunny and very gusty winds. Good for 1/2 of the loop, quite stressful the other.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rest Day

Took my own advice and decided the left leg needed 48 hours of recovery instead of the normal 24 today. I expect the soreness from the mileage increase but there's always one or two weaker spots that complain a little louder than the rest. Mark read my mind in his latest comment. And Marc would be happy to know I'm thinking about getting another massage.

I had just sent a wordy essay on the subject of rest to my friend Ruslan in Kaz. The nice thing about putting thoughts on screen is you re-absorb them through your eyes and back into your brain. An even better method is to read what you type out loud (thus employing the ears too) but that would be rather strange...

I spent the day dwelling on my 'plan' for October. Again, it's ambitious - not much different from my last train wreck of an idea. A key difference is: no pace targets. Let the paces come a little more gradually this time.

Today: zero

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Easy Tues

Soreness from the mileage is keeping the pace down. I was 'grogging' along (a term I learned today from Eric) when I met up with him at mile 3. His pace was quicker and I fell into it with comfort. By the end of the run, a lot of the soreness was gone and the run was very pleasant. Drizzly fog today. Something about the dewpoint being the same as the temperature. It makes the air melt.

10 miles 1:26:40 (8:40 pace 135 HR).


Monday, March 26, 2007

Training Monday

Monday Monday. 24F w/no wind. 15 miles in 2:07:59. (8:31 pace / 133 HR)

Felt good. A little sore at first but took it easy with some slow miles. By the end, it was very enjoyable.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Sunday long

I hope Salkowski forgets to read this today...

A nice 21 mile run with Mike today. Beautiful sunshine but the temps were shockingly chilly. Couldn't take the mittens off - too cold. We took it easy.

8:14 Garmin lost contact... estimated next two

Total 21 miles 2:50:50 HR 136. Avg pace 8:08.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The old Andrew is back

Why, it is Saturday. That means tempo.

For some strange reason my desire to run is back at full throttle. It came on suddenly, maybe like the arrival of Spring. But no matter, I'm hot and I'm cold. We all know that by now. I used to say I'd like to try to stay 'hot' but I've given all that up. Just go with it I guess.

So this morning I was pleased as anything to be faced with an up-tempo day. But I have made one important change. I am no longer shooting for any specific time or HR range per se. I like to see a certain HR when I'm done but now I run according to effort and recognize that many times the effort has to be a little less than optimal. This is because my muscles can't keep up with my lungs. While I feel the heart could deliver a bit more speed, the muscles start to strain and that will shorten my training cycle dramatically.

I think this is the point I missed the last go around. The heart was doing great, my speed improving, my stamina building. One last 5:20 mile and it was over.

So today I went out to do a 2 mile warmup / 6 mile tempo / 2 mile cooldown for my 10 miles. The tempo was by feel and it took into consideration how the legs felt after yesterday's pleasant 18 miler. Splits:

9:21 warmup
8:48 warmup
8:38 cooldown
8:13 cooldown

Total: 10.24 miles 1:17:21 (7:33 pace / 145 HR). Tempo 6.13 miles 41:24 (6:45 avg pace).

Wx 30F, slight wind, sunshine. Ran at the airport.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Old habits die hard

It's Friday, it's 43 degrees. So I ran 18 miles.

2:29:00. 8:17/mile. 137HR.

Caught up with Eric for 5 miles. Hadn't seen him in weeks.

8:54 (took off jacket, too warm)

Felt great.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Today's hard was my old easy

And I didn't care.

What a nice run. I mentioned yesterday that I was not enjoying the 60/90 routine because by the time I start to feel half way decent the dumb run is over. Ah, not today. I cheated.

I ran 12 miles today instead of an hour. And boy do I feel good. Of course, I didn't attempt to run at a 158 heart rate. But I did run a nice steady 147. The sluggishness and creakiness went away around mile 8 and I had 4 pleasant miles of just cruising along easily.

I made the decision to do this last night. I was sitting staring blankly out into the night. Then I absently said to nobody, "I'm not running far enough. I'm not enjoying this."

Today was 4 x comfort loop. The splits:


12.11 miles @ 7:48 pace. 1:34:23. HR 147.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Successful Easy Run

No problem hitting the easy button today. I got up 10 minutes after the alarm went off so I must have been tired. Then the legs were sore for most of the run. (Didn't feel good until the last 2 miles). And it was cold out @ 16F and a strong west wind. Wore my super warm tights for comfort today as the lighter outer pair were still damp from yesterday's soaking.

90 minutes brought me 10.88 miles this morning (8:16 pace, HR 138). I'm feeling better about the whole run now than while I was doing it. No doubt I needed to recover from the double hard I accidentally did Monday and Tuesday. Tomorrow I will try to run at a high aerobic pace. Temps should be over 20F if I'm lucky.

Today was one of those days I wish I was back to my old 100 miles/week schedule. It would have meant 15 miles this morning instead of the 10. This desire was going through my head right at the end of the run when I felt the familiar feeling of the body warming up to the exercise and the easy pace was becoming enjoyable. Instead, the run was over and I had to rush to work. I think that was one of the secrets to the high mileage routine - you didn't feel good until the first 10 miles were over. Only then did it seem tolerable. This 60 / 90 business has you finish just as the blood gets up to the right temperature. But right now I wouldn't be able to maintain the proper effort levels. In time...

Today's splits:

9:36 warmup

Nailing the correct pace for these runs is more difficult than the hard days. It seems on the hard days, there's more of a limit out there and if you just approach it, you'll be fine. On easy days, the need to balance recovery, volume, and aerobic benefit all merge and it's not so easy to optimize the workout.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I'd like to think 152 HR is 'easy'...

But it is not.

This was proven out today when I attempted 60 minutes 'hard' - shooting for upper 150's / lower 160's for the proper target range. No joy.

Instead, what I got was my hat handed back to me with 8.21 miles @ 7:19 pace. 155 HR.

What it means is yesterday's easy run wasn't easy at all. Instead, I was feeling the deceiving effects of running briskly without discomfort due to the missing long run. So when I went out today, my legs were sore from the get go. The result? The equivalent of two 'hard' days in a row - an error in training.

To cure this, I'll lower my target range tomorrow to the lower 140's and run the 90 minutes easily. My splits today told a similar tale as my 'half a hard run' post a few days ago:

7:43 warmup
7:45 - tired.

My 60 minute course is not designed for steady fast running and I've debated changing it to take out some pretty abrupt hills. But I haven't yet. The MDI course (October's marathon) is oddly similar during the first 20 miles of multiple rises and falls of small hills. (After mile 22 there is a two mile climb which I cannot simulate).

Lydiard recommends flatter courses for the high aerobic workouts so muscular soreness from the terrain does not interfere with the training purpose of building one's aerobic capacity. Duly noted, but the temptation to mimic my next marathon's course (quite by happy accident) is very great right now. If the soreness in my legs continues or I start to develop a minor injury due to the hilly course, I'll switch to the highway. Otherwise, I think I'll continue to use the local streets since they're nearby and challenging.

These hills are not long or overly steep. There's just plenty of them and they mix up the course considerably. It takes only 30 - 60 seconds to ascend most of them. They simulate small surges while raising the heart rate for a brief period as I go up. All in all, I think there are benefits to be gained if, in the end, I am able to keep a relatively steady pace per mile throughout my run even with the varying terrain.

The weather was miserable this morning. 35F with an 18mph wind full of rain and snow.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Feeling better

Luckily, no lasting damage from saving the basement. My 90 minutes netted 12.4 miles this morning @ 7:16 / mile (152 HR). Splits:

9:06 -warmup
7:30 (hill anyone?)

Near the end I couldn't handle the hills very well and the steady pace fluctuated more and more with the terrain.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Long Run: Out on Bail

Massive nor'easter arrived Friday night. In the wee hours of Saturday morning I awoke to the wind blowing off the ocean and encountering the walls of my house. I didn't know it was the wee hours however. I squinted across the room and misread the clock.

What I thought read "4:00" actually was "2:30". Maybe I dreamed this sequence. In any event, I consciously decided to lay in bed another 1/2 hour and then get out for my hour run. For some reason, I was awake to the prospect of getting out and into the storm for the run. 

So 30 minutes later I crawled out of bed only to discover it's actually 3:00am. But I'm awake and ready to go - so out the door into the howling storm. It was warmer than I thought it'd be and the snow was mixed with ice and rain. I worked hard for my 8:46 pace. The snow was up over my spikes and the wind was relentless and the ice stung the face. The neatest thing was this: since the storm was a ground level, all of the light from the streetlights was trapped and refracted by the ice and snow in the air. This caused Eastport to be enveloped entirely in a grey gloom. So here it was, 3:30 in the morning and the I could see perfectly - no shadows or dark roads.

After an hour, I logged 6.85 miles. I didn't feel overly tired, but I couldn't go any faster for the weather. The heart rate only averaged 143 even though I thought it would be higher due to the tough footing. So glad I went out when I did. The storm raged on during the day and turned to rain. All that snow was now melting into one big slush puddle.

And this slush puddle was filling my basement. I went down there at some point and found polar bears doing the backstroke in my cellar.

What happens is the drain under the street freezes but the surface precip turns to water and suddenly everything backs up. And it backs up fast! Before you know it, the furnace submerges and the electrical panel is threatened. I know - it's happened before.  Bucket after bucket up and over the bulkhead wall. Bend, lift, throw! Bend, lift, throw! Bend, lift, throw!

Hundreds of bucketfuls of water later and my back was tired.  I was soaked through and chilled to the bone. So this morning, there was no long run. The back still hurts but I think I'll be ok for an easy 90 minutes tomorrow.

Happy to have 76 miles last week. This week I lose my 20 for the long run so I'll be down in the 50's.

Friday, March 16, 2007

A better run

Chilly this morning. Brisk wind making the chill 9F. Running came easier and I felt steady.

11.4 miles for my 90 minutes this morning. 7:54 pace. HR 148.

Glad to be able to run the 'easy' day at the proper HR.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Half a hard run

Today I couldn't keep the pace. I'd say 30 minutes of the 60 were at a good effort but then one hill just bit me so hard I had to back off the pace. Ended up with 8.07 miles @ 7:27 pace. HR 156.

The heart rate tells me that perhaps I was running the first half too hard. A look at the splits:

8:26 warmup

Looks like I had to back off considerably there after mile 4 and then again after mile 6.

Wx: mist 43F

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Heart Rate Run

As I hoist myself back onto the wagon of good training habits (off of which I am prone to tumble), I have decided to take my own advice and run the 60 minute (hard) / 90 minute (easy) routine with a weekly long run until I am re-ready to progress to the triple digits. The most demoralizing time of the year is this period of getting back into shape. It's not tragic, that's when I'm down and out (temps below 0F / sun forgets to shine). Rather it's hopeful and painfully apparent that a little work has to be done to get back to where I left off.

Experience is helpful here. I've done this toss & tumble so many times now I understand the rules. It's like quitting smoking. Nothing so easy - a person quits 6 or 7 times a year. Well, getting back on track running-wise requires some fore-knowledge that: yes, it all comes back; no, it's not easy; and yes, it comes back quicker than you think. So my plan is to get to a point where I can run my aerobic 'best' day to day using the up/down, hard/easy, short/long variation that is the cornerstone of Lydiard training. For the purists out there, hard/easy is a relative term.

Pretty steady running since last week. Since January, my weeks have been disjointed with miles as catch can. But when proper temperatures returned, not only did I hit the roads, my desire to hit the roads skyrocketed. That, I now realize, was the key ingredient I had been missing for weeks. The natural connection between knowledge and practice: the desire to do it. Well, the desire is back and I'm having fun regaining lost ground.

My first outings were much like the past workouts during the weeks of hit and miss mileage. HR remained really low while my legs complained of the activity. But today things looked up. I ran for an hour and averaged a healthy HR of 159 which, for me, is just under marathon effort. The pace has slowed to 7:02 for 8.51 miles but the effort was where it needed to be. Also, the legs felt good after a mile or so. (The sudden reappearance of daily running has me back on ibuprofen.)

So, we are off to try to gather steam where I can maintain this HR on the hard days and 10-15 bpm less on the 'easy' days. This will depend on how much recovery I need on those easy days, which means I might need to just crawl through the 90 minutes. We shall see. Hopefully, after a few weeks (TBD) I'll be able to move the mileage/time factor up a notch.

60 minutes ~8.51 miles @ 7:02 average pace. 159 HR.


Sunday's long run was a nice wet run. Oddly, Mike and I were thrilled, at least at first, at the prospect of liquid precipitation and the fact that it was not freezing to the road. A steady drizzle accompanied the beginning miles and somewhere around mile 8 God turned on the rinse cycle. When he did, poor Mike suds up. His jacket is clean now.

I made the decision to do a strip show for our Sunday viewers at the halfway point as I traded shirts, jackets, and tore off my pants. It wasn't really shorts weather but the pants were getting rather heavy from its rain barrel imitation. I was warm for about 10 minutes until I became soaked through again. But those 10 minutes were nice. I didn't seem to notice that my skin turned the same shade of red as my hair, but Mike was kind of enough to point it out. Being colorblind, he could have said my legs were green, how would I know?

21 miles @ 8:04 pace (I think). 144HR


Monday's run was good in that it is over. The HR averaged low 140's and the legs were sore. But like most running maladies, the only cure is more running. This proved out today.

90 minutes ~10.75 miles @8:22 pace. 142 HR.


Wednesday: 10.34 miles 90 minutes @ 8:42 pace. Rain. Slow sluggish, actually thought I was running faster. I guess not. HR 137.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

No wind

No wind so it was no where near as cold today. I took along the Federalist Papers on the MP3 player for company and I thoroughly enjoyed an hour's jog. 6.87 miles @ 8:44 pace. 7 degrees, ~140 HR.


Friday: still no wind but cold at -.6F. Nice 10.9 miler in 90 minutes @ 8:15 pace. HR 144. Felt pretty good overall with slight lingering soreness in right quad. Getting out again is doing wonders for my outlook on the future.


Saturday: Temps warmed up considerably to 28F at the start and probably warmer at the finish. Went out for an hour avg 7:33pace w/152 HR. 7.95 miles. The birds were singing and I would have too... Felt pretty good. Right leg slightly sore by end. I took some ibuprofen at the finish to ward off the evil spirits.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Tired five

Went out this morning to test the legs and they were slow. Not enough time between workouts but I suspected that would happen. Bright moon lit the way and it was a warm 32F.


PM 3 miles @ 8:22 pace. Still creaky.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Back to square one

A long time has past since I peaked in January. I remember feeling the same way that I normally feel after a marathon after a particularly good workout. (The same week my Parrott predictor fell to 2:45). I thought February would be kinder. I was hoping for fresh legs and less weight going into March. Well, I have the fresh legs alright, but the weight is still on. Will need to work on this - which isn't easy.

Plan is to work on base building through the end of June. Got home this evening from a business meeting and ran 10.66 here in town @ 8:41 pace. Legs creaky. Restarting is always the hardest. So expect some dull drivel.

An aside: I stayed at the Munroe Inn the last couple of days in Auburn, ME. Very nice place. A snow storm march through the town overnight and while they fed me breakfast, the owner of the Inn went out and brushed off the car, warmed it up, and had it turned around and ready to go so I could get to work. Talk about service!