Friday, November 30, 2007

Too fast but not too hard

Today I let the horses run a little bit and I ended up with an MP run. It felt so good after many days of slow running to get the heart rate up and let the pavement slide under the feet.

10 miles ~ 6:33 pace. 165 HR. Smiled all the way.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


With such a boring title you can expect a boring post:

7 miles ~ 1:00:xx @ 8:39 pace. HR 134. Wx cool near 20F. Did a few fartleks.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I've been running. My silence was not indicative of a layoff (like it usually is). Here are the details since my last:


17 miles in 2:29:xx ~ 8:48 pace. HR 134. Did some fartlek work a la Faster Master Mark. Should not have.

Week ended with 67.3 miles

The rest of Sunday:

Legs very sore from long run w/fartlek.  Legs extremely stiff. Very tired. While bringing wood up from the basement, I stepped on a nail with my left foot. Washed foot, went to bed. Had it.


Toast. Could not get out of bed, plus my foot hurt. Rest day. Got a massage at night.


10 miles. Progression run with a slow start and harder finish. 1:20:xx ~ 8:03 pace. HR 141. Rain and wind.


Felt better. Clear skies, bright moon. Lovely time of it. 10 miles 1:25:xx ~ 8:33 pace. HR 133.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Last night I hit the bed at 8. I didn't get up until 8 this morning. 

I had another nap.

Then just before the sun set, I got in a nice and slow 8.5 mile run. HR 139 with a pace of ~ 8:25. Not great, but certainly OK.

I am feeling much better. A good sign today when finishing the 2nd of two loops - I not only felt like I could keep running, I wanted to.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Meeting the Faster Master

It had been a long time coming but I finally got to meet the famous Run Faster Master and have that heart to heart. His critical comments on my blog, while never far off the mark, were always a source of conversation among us Blind Moose or at the very least, the subject of some of my monologues the others had to bear on any given Sunday. So the only thing to do was to travel to his lair and see what his story was all about.

Well, we can all rest easy. He's a nice guy and knows of what he speaks. Fast and getting faster, it was a pleasure to hear him talk of his training and his goals. We ran on some nice trails that were a pleasant change from the type of surface I have been running on recently. The run made me think about getting Mike back out on the roads of the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge for some of our Sunday outings.

We jogged a 10.5 mile loop in 1:27:xx ~8:20 pace. My HR was 144 which still seems a little high for the effort. I think I have a lingering sleep deficit. The good news is I'm still running within the correct zones, even if the paces are slower, and accumulating the mileage ever so slowly.


Thurs: ~ 8.1 miles in 3 stages.


The Lesson

One of the highlights of the run today was a good lesson in Fartlek running. This is a method of running that I knew about but hardly ever incorporated in my training. As I told Mark, it's hard to do random speedplay when you know up front what you're going to do (even if you pretend you don't). What Mark taught me was a method of using traffic to create the random start/stop triggers of the Fartlek. We did this Fartlek work for about 1/2 mile while we were still 1.5 miles from the finish. A good way to end the run prior to the cooldown. I'm already planning on trying this on some of my workouts.

After a bagel and some coffee, I released him to a day of shopping that he had planned. Me, I went home to read a book. Oh, I did get out with my two daughters to the New England Book Fair. We bought books.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


No spark today. Just tired. Hardly a daydream. One foot in front of the other for an hour.

7 miles @ 8:56 pace. 137 HR (which proves I need some sleep).

On the reading front:

Finally finished Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. Took me 72 days...

Now reading The Age of Turbulence by Alan Greenspan.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Wee Hour

Unlike yesterday, my schedule required me to be on the road an hour earlier than usual. A 3:40am start this morning was a new experience. It required an abbreviated prep period and I took off without my morning dose of coffee. And today's Tuesday to boot.

Traffic was light.

My up-tempo run was more work than I would have liked. But when I got home I was pleased to see the HR @ 149. So I at least I didn't work too hard.

8.1 miles @ 7:22 pace. 149 HR. Wx cool 33F, no stars so it must have been cloudy.

Monday, November 19, 2007


My schedule is a little different this morning by about 1 hour. So I got to see the sunrise in addition to the morning's final shooting stars. I guess I'm taken with these shooting stars. Every clear morning I run along gazing at the twinkling canopy waiting for these zingers. The simple things in life...

8.1 miles easily ~8:50 pace. 131 HR.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

1:1 Run to Nap Ratio

Today's run was the quintessential long run w/friend. The pace was conversational, the weather cool, the roads dry, the sky clear. Bright sunshine the entire way with only a hint of wind. If we could only bottle it and lay a few in the cellar for future enjoyment.

I met Mike at the 7 mile marker where we left his daughter's little black Civic. He graciously brought it home from PEI so he could put snow tires on it etc. She'll be happy to get it back soon.

The reason for the escape vehicle was Mike was having a little trouble recently with his right (redacted), or maybe it was his left. Anyway, his coach isn't aware of this yet so it's a secret for now. Fortunately, the (redacted) held up fine and there was no need for the get-away car. In fact, his (redacted) didn't bother him at all, but his (redacted) started to get tight. In any case, it all worked out great.

We did the 17 mile loop today. The same loop Marc & I did last weekend. But this time, the weather was much better. The temps were below freezing, but that didn't stop Mike from wearing shorts. He wanted to let the cold air help his sore (redacted) and I guess it worked!

When I got home I took a hot shower and went downtown for a nice breakfast at the Waco Diner. When I returned I was tired, so I took a nap. And wouldn't you know? I slept for the exact amount of time it took us to run this morning's 17 miler - 2 hours and 25 minutes.

So I'm all refreshed and ready to enter week #5 of the training program. 

Yesterday: 7 miles easy @ 8:47 pace - 134 HR.

Today: 17 miles long @ 8:33 pace - 138 HR.

Foundation progression:

Wk 1 - 58.57 miles
Wk 2 - 60.2 miles
Wk 3 - 61 miles
Wk 4 - 65.7 miles

Friday, November 16, 2007


What started out to be a bad run turned into something ok. High winds, driving rain and a rather tired morning still gave me 10 miles @ 7:15 pace 151 HR. I'll take it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Warm, wet 8

8.1 miles this morning in the warm wet air. I was supposed to run 75 minutes but ended up with 69 because I can't see my watch in the pitch black. Maybe I'll buy a new headlamp this weekend.

8:35 pace, HR 137.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stars on ice

Stars streaked as my soles slipped on the frosty road this morning. Ah, what a great run. I was running easy as three fat stars left a trail of dust for my morning enjoyment. And while it is well with my soul, my other soles were having a little trouble getting a grip.

Nevertheless, 7 miles @ 8:30 pace. 135 HR. Such a change from yesterday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday shows up on Tuesday

My faster day today was thwarted by Sunday's MP work. I felt very limited out there and it showed up in the average HR and pace. The rain, traffic, and salt truck didn't help matters either.

8.1 miles ~ 7:43 pace. 145 HR.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Up a level

My grand plan for building my aerobic foundation is based on the Hadd method of running two key workouts per week at or near (meaning below) LT with the rest of the mileage at paces that allow for recovery and volume. One major difference from a previous try at this method is that I am using this program to build my foundation only. Once I complete the program, I plan on a more intense program designed to add 'power' and stamina and peak my conditioning for a marathon. I have left the date of the Spring marathon TBD in order to account for any changes in the basic outline.

But there is a basic outline. I have divided my plan into 3 week blocks. It is a way to "stay on top of your workouts" as my friend Eric would say. At each level, I spend three weeks in order to gain consistency and allow my body to adapt to the increase in distance and/or intensity. I try to increase my mileage within a level by a very small amount (maybe a mile) to keep the mileage building ever so slowly.

So on to Level 2. I have just completed level 1 and it has been very refreshing. It has allowed me to get back into consistent training without the stress of "too much too soon". The up-tempo days (Tuesdays and Fridays), while brisk, have been quite doable and really enjoyable. But I do recognize that it is a good thing I am only doing this twice per week. The rest of the week is spent running varying times and distances of lower intensity.

Using this outline of 3 week blocks, I will complete the foundation building in about 15 weeks from now (18 weeks total). How long I do the "locking & peaking" work afterward will depend on which marathon I choose - but a maximum of 10 weeks I would assume. This should work out fine if I stay on track and below (as opposed to beyond) by ability to train.

Here's a brief rundown of the 3 week blocks:

Level 1 (weekly):

6 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 2 x 75 minutes @ 15 bpm below MP HR.

Level 2 (weekly):

6.75 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 60 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR & 75 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR.

Level 3 (weekly):

7.75 hours of aerobic running plus a long run. 2 days up-tempo = 2 x 70 min @ 15 bpm below MP HR embedded within a 90 minute workout. ** Also, when appropriate, include 60 minutes @ 15 bpm below MP HR during the long run but shorten the long run on these days **

Level 4 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now 10 bpm below MP HR.

Level 5 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now 5 bpm below MP HR.

Level 6 (weekly):

Same as level 3 but key workout intensity is now MP HR.

Increasing beyond level 3 depends on the "ease" of the up-tempo run. If the HR climbs and the pace needs to slow in order to maintain HR then advancing to the next level is not recommended - you might be "locking in" your conditioning too early.

After being able to run MP HR for 60 minutes or 75 minutes (depending on the workout) with relative ease, Hadd recommends moving into race preparatory training which can include hills, speed, and tempo running (10k pace). Adding time/mileage is allowed to the above levels if done only on the easy days.

To plan a week's workouts, take the time needed for the key workouts (2.5 hours) and divide the rest of the time allotted among the four remaining days. Long runs are separate. Hadd spells it out in his articles.

There's hardly any difference between Hadd's marathon base building program and Lydiard's except perhaps the number of days running at or near LT. (Lydiard is 3 vs. Hadd's 2). In both programs, the distance and intensities are varied and spaced throughout the week to prevent over-training. And both recommend moving on to workouts that lock in your conditioning and peak your training for a specific race after the conditioning phase is complete.

The key component of Hadd's program is to convince runners that their perceived LT is really a lot slower than they think initially and therefore they tend to run too fast too early in their training cycle. His method of training is designed to prevent training "to no effect" by appropriately reducing the initial training paces and increasing the intensity only as the LT improves over time.

Today: 8.5 miles @ 8:39 pace. HR 135. Felt good. Massage at 1pm.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

My unexpected MP workout

Next March, when I envision myself 'aerobic ready' after following 18 weeks of steady training, I will occasionally run some portion of the Sunday long run at MP. This type of quality is good aerobic training and builds a little stamina when combined with the higher mileage of the Sunday long run.

But somehow, here at the end of week three, in the month of November, I found myself running at 160 HR for the last 7 miles of a 17 mile run.

That Marc.

Marc will tell you that I only bring this on myself all the while causing collateral damage to all those around me. You see, what happened was Marc had to turn back at mile 9 - about 5 miles from the car by the shortest route. I know what your thinking, but no, with temperatures at 34F there isn't any way he could have frozen to death this time.

It all started with Marc's late arrival. He showed up near 10pm and I immediately gave him some fudge and wine to take the weariness off. Then we chatted and enjoyed the last of the bottle until midnight when I told him I must get to bed and all this talking would have to wait until the morning.

I bounced out of bed at 4:30 and did my normal routine. I woke Marc up at 5:30 and off we went to enjoy 17 miles in the fresh fall air. We had to leave early due to a time restriction that I had. The run started off wonderfully as we ran easily and slowly up and down the initial hills. A quick woods-stop for Marc at mile 3 and we continued on trading good stories and basically catching up with each other.

But around mile 8 he felt some serious fatigue - like something wasn't quite right. Another mile in and he knew running the long way around Boyden would not be a good idea. But I had to have 17 miles in today to get my 61 miles for the week and he kindly let me finish my workout.

Before I did, I gave him my jacket since he would be walking and he gave me his car keys since we thought that I would get to the car before he would. So he started back for the cutoff road and I continued on into the teeth of the wind.

I became chilled pretty quickly but this soon passed as I increased the pace. My mind was on Marc and a little worried that he would be ok. Walking 5 miles in the cold while fatigued would not be fun. I wanted to be sure I got to the car first since I had the keys. I started to imagine approaching the car and finding him lying beside it, frozen, all because I couldn't run 7 miles faster than he could walk 5.

So I upped the pace and I was pleasantly surprised to find some gas in the tank. I felt very smooth and in control and after 4 miles of up and down I glanced at the monitor to see 160 HR. A bit hard for a long run but given it was only 7 miles of 17 and for a good cause I could see no harm coming from it. Perhaps even some good as long as I'm smart about recovery over the next few days. In fact, I have already called my massage therapist.

I got to the car and raced down the Golding Road looking for Marc. My eyes scanned the ditches for his lifeless body. Instead, I found him walking quite comfortably and no worse for the wear. In fact he said, "That was quick" which confirmed that he was A-OK. Even though he didn't get much sleep last night, we still felt like this might be a sign of something else - maybe a vitamin issue. Hopefully he'll be checking in with his doctor soon.

Long: 17 miles in 2:21:25 ~ 8:19 pace. 144 HR.

Today, the numbers lie. I don't think I ran at 8:19 pace or 144 HR at any point today. But it makes for a nice average.

Week 3 total: 61 miles.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Caught up with Eric

Actually, no catching involved since he was running toward me. He turned around and added 5 miles to his workout. My workout was just that - 5 miles. We stopped at Irving so he could grab a drink and we headed out for some pleasant conversation. He's been cross training for the past few weeks to tend a knee problem. Looks like it worked. Off the bike, he's back on the roads.

5 miles @ 9:30 pace (which includes the water stop) at 130 HR. A true recovery run.

The right hamstring has been tight all day today. Stretching stretching stretching.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Couldn't have felt better

Today everything seemed to click. The weather was cool at 37F, traffic light, and I felt smooth.

10 miles ~ 7:15 pace. 149 HR. (If you haven't noticed, Tuesdays and Fridays are my 'hard' days).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

7 miles

Today's hour run netted 7 miles ~ 8:39 pace with an HR of 136. Target HR was 140 so I was glad to see it was below. Perhaps I ran too slow but that is better than too fast.

Felt better going out than I did coming back today. No wind, clear starry sky, little traffic. Temp around 38F though it felt a little chillier than that.

I missed the last two miles of the run as I got lost in a daydream about the Holyoke Marathon. I guess my subconscious is trying to decide which Spring marathon to choose.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Easy 45 turns into 43

Things looked up this morning with proper temps (37 F) and an extra hour of sleep. I turned at 2.5 miles to make an even 5 since that's what this workout's distance generally gives me. But a pleasant surprise when I got home and found I was a little early since I was jogging a little quicker with a nice low heart rate.

5 miles ~ 8:45 pace. 134 HR.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hidden wind

Cruising along this morning feeling rather good. The road rolls under the feet like I'm on wheels. Breathing is easy, pace steady. Wow, feeling good.

At five miles I turn around into a headwind. I must be pretty clueless not to have realized that I had a little help on the way out...

10 miles this morning 1:14:xx ~ 7:27 pace. 149 HR. At least I was right on target.

Monday, November 05, 2007

End 2 Begin 3

Sunday Monday again. Week went by very fast.

Marc didn't make it down Saturday night so I had to run my long run by myself since Mike is in Ottawa. Marc will try to make it down next weekend.

Got in 15.1 miles as my long run. Building up slowly this time. Ran 3 laps of the in-town 5 miler which means an abundance of little hills. This brought my HR up to 149 instead of the target 145. A little too hard.

I paid attention this morning to run easily. Especially since I could feel the 15 miles of hills in my groin muscles all day yesterday. My HR this morning - an easy 133. I needed it.

I got my extra hour and I've spent it already. I felt tired this morning at 3:30 just like I normally do. I thought maybe I'd get a reprieve, but no. Everyone else in Eastport were wondering what to do with the extra hour so they got in their cars and drove around while I was trying to do my workout.

Last Week: 60.2 miles

Sunday: 15.1 miles 2 hours. ~ 7:59 pace. HR 149.

Monday: 7 miles 1:02:xx ~ 8:56 pace. HR 133.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Did you see that?

Incredible performance by Ryan Hall. From Let's Run here are the 5k splits:

15:00 5k pace for final 7k.

At mile 18 he runs a 4:32 and follows with:


I ran an 8:19 pace for 5.4 miles this morning for my 45 minute jog.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Not much to report except that today's "hard" run was better than Tuesday's. I paid attention to how I felt and checked the HR often as I had the chance. Without a headlamp, I had to rely on the occasional streetlight or passing car.

Unfortunately, my pace is slower than last Friday's run at the same HR. Going the wrong way. Ugh.

10 miles 1:14:xx ~ 7:27 pace 148 HR.


On a good note, Blind Moose member Marc will be up for a Sunday long run. It's our annual NYC marathon Sunday run together. After the run, we'll sit by the fire and watch the webcast. (I don't have a TV).

Thursday, November 01, 2007

My falling star

Running in a howling canopy of swirling fog and gusting wind this morning, my peripheral vision caught sight of a faint star falling to earth. Its white light burned a slow arc and landed near my feet.

Time for a new headlamp.

7.2 miles in 1:01:xx ~ 8:30 pace. 138 HR. Felt great.