Thursday, January 31, 2008

Right leg worries

In keeping with rest & recovery (or as Marc says, Reduce & Recover), I went out for a short stretch of the legs this morning. I'm feeling better overall with less fatigue and a little more snap. But.... I was surprised at how much my right leg ached - a little more than usual. Perhaps it wasn't warmed up sufficiently. It hurt worse when I finished - nothing acute or specific, just an overall ache from the knee up the quad, but it's bad enough to frown.

Let's all frown together.

2.3 miles @ 7:58 pace. 138 HR.
Massage tonight.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


7 short miles at an easy 7:59 pace. 134 HR. 29 degrees, north wind. Felt fine.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Correcting the Overreaching

Last week netted 41 miles as I stomped on the brakes to avoid crashing. Signs popped up that showed that my improvement stopped and a minor injury (right leg pain) was not going away. Even though I am not fatigued (my normal symptom of overtraining) these are signs that I need to pay attention to and correct before I ruin my season.

I just read a so-so book on running called Fast Track by Suzy Favor Hamilton. In this book, she used the term "overreaching" as the precursor to overtraining. It is a common point in training when the overloading effect is just a tad too much and improvement stalls. It is caused by "too much exercise, too few calories, and too little rest". (I paraphrased the book).

The cure is merely reversing the cause. Exercise less, eat more (or enough) and rest up. So that is what I did last week and will do throughout next week. I feel really well and besides the occasional pain in the right leg when I first get up, I'm doing pretty good. I am also increasing the massage therapy frequency to weekly from bi-weekly.

This is what happens to the best laid plans. I did pretty good on the lengthy build to 98 miles. I had hoped to hold this mileage for 6 weeks before transitioning into the speed work. Now I am rethinking this plan. After this down mileage week I'll have 3 weeks left on the original plan. If all goes well (meaning I'm ready to resume training) I am thinking of foregoing the final 3 weeks of aerobic building and installing a 3 week easy / progressively harder hill phase before the speed starts.


Book update:


Fast Track by Suzy Favor Hamilton & Jose Antonio
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Friday, January 25, 2008

My Walk

(The following story was handed to me by my 6 yr old daughter last night.)


My Walk


I walked down a path and I saw a bird’s nest.  It was in a tree.  I climbed up the tree and saw some eggs.  Then I saw the mother coming.  I saw her face.  It did not look very happy.  I climbed down the tree.  Then I looked up in the tree.  The mother was guarding her eggs.  It started to get dark, so I went home.


The next day I went down the path again.  I climbed up the tree.  The eggs were hatched.  Then I saw the mother.  She had a worm in her beak.  She fed her babies and then sang a pretty song.  I loved the song so much that I hummed along.


And that is how I learned to hum.




I love surprise endings.


7 miles @ 8:56 pace. HR 125.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Got the massage last night. Will bump this to weekly instead of bi-weekly to keep ahead of the leg issue. Ice and ibuprofen in the mix too.

Shortening things up to freshen up. Reading a book now that uses the term 'overreaching' defined as the precursor to over-training. Think it fits.

7 miles @ 7:19 pace. 148 HR. Too fast/too hard.

Try again tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Complete day of rest

A deep ache in my right leg disrupted my sleep. A good sign to lay off and apply the ice/ibuprofen/biofreeze.

Luckily, tonight is my appointment with the massage therapist.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

It's all these clothes

I thought I was running faster. I thought I was running harder.

But I wasn't.

12 miles @ 7:03 pace. 150 HR.

Monday, January 21, 2008

It's a cold, cold world

West wind brought the temperatures below zero for today's workout. It was like getting slapped in the face with each gust of the icy wind. Made Marc's mountains seem balmy.

One good thing about running along the frigid ocean - clean, dry pavement! It's so nice to be able to put your foot down and have it grip the surface. Very nice.

15 miles @ 7:46 pace. 137 HR.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

The burro and the burrito

There are two things Marc hadn't mentioned to me before. One, he lives next to a burro. Second, he makes great breakfast burritos. Coincidence?


But man, what a great breakfast after a 20 mile long run! Scrambled eggs, veggie meat, salsa, cheeze - all wrapped up in a heated tortilla. Mountain livin'. Mmm mmmm.

About that burro. A rather disappointing donkey really. I'm told of mysterious midnight brays, missing dogs, dead chickens, and other animal misbehavior. But nothing happened the two nights I was here. Maybe next time.

Any semblance to burro behavior was my plodding pace as I was very careful on the snow covered roads that climbed to the turnaround at mile 5.1. The air was cold but the wind was calm which Marc and I were very thankful for. Two out and backs completed this morning's long run with incredible views of snowcapped mountains against a crisp blue sky.

We also held a quick official meeting of the Blind Moose. Unfortunately, Mike isn't here so he will have to abide by our decision to revisit Wineglass in the fall of '09.

20.4 miles @ 9:15 pace. 126 HR.

Week total: 98 miles.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A quick post from training camp

Beautiful run this morning with Marc.

15 miles @ 9:06 pace. 125 HR.

The mountains are beautiful and the air is crisp.

Jamie and Mike are missing out!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Half & half

Ran a good tempo with a nice tailwind on the way out. Possibly too hard. At 6 miles, the storm roared ashore with 30 mph winds and bands of driving snow.

The workout fell apart.

12 miles @ 7:13 pace. 155 HR.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

It's Monday all over again

And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

15 miles @ 7:54 pace. 134 HR.

Felt really good.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Feeling better

I think yesterday's ugly run had a lot to do with surface of the road and some lingering tension from my drive home in the blizzard.

Today with a lot of pre-run stretching, a couple of ibuprofen, and clear, dry roads I was able to feel pretty good.

15 miles @ 7:30 pace. 145 HR.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What follows a good run?

You know it.

6 miles @ 9:44 pace. 123 HR.

Right leg hurting quite a bit on slippery roads.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A good run

Really good.

15 miles @ 7:54 pace. 134 HR.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

End of Week 12

It's so good to get together with friends for the long run. The other day I realized that training is a lonely business. It really can't be any other way. Paces and workouts are very individual. But I welcome Sundays!

Jonathan, Mike, and I looped out the 20 miles with relative ease this morning. I behaved and didn't tell Mike about the Patriots win. I just gave him the percentage of completed passes by Brady without telling him what statistic I was quoting.

The last of the chocolate balls were consumed and now we are waiting anxiously for whatever Coach J is going to feed us next. Coach J?? Are you out there?

20 miles @ 8:38 pace. 129 HR. I'm not sure if I beat Mike on the heart rate again. I forgot to ask. Easy run. Felt great the whole way.

For the week: 96 miles.

Book update

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Easy but not too easy

I felt pretty good today after a nice long sleep and an easy morning lazing about. Weather is warm so I wore shorts.

13 miles @ 7:26 pace 142 HR.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good News Bad News

The good news is I was able to hit the lower end of my target HR ranges this morning. Meaning another hard day is in the books.

The bad news is my pace was 7:03 for an HR of 151 which is not exactly how I'd like it to be...

But what can be done? We can't force improvement.

You know what is... It's that pesky one good day I had last week. Running 6:53 pace at 151. And that other good workout two weeks ago when I ran 6:43 pace@ 154 HR. They spoiled me. For it was just 3 weeks ago I was running 7:12 pace @ 149 HR and 7:23 pace for 150 HR.

Well, it'll all come. Maybe with some sleep. Man was I tired this morning. I could barely get out of bed.

12 miles @ 7:03 pace. 151 HR.

Going to run very slowly tomorrow. You can bank on it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Now that was a good run

A great day this morning!

Got the leg rubbed out last night so it was good to go. The temps were warm, the sky full of stars and some sort of serious meteor event was streaking up the sky.

I was in a good mood as I rolled effortlessly along the dry pavement. Everybody was in a good mood. Cars were beeping and even the police flashed the blues.

13 miles @ 7:21 pace. 142 HR. That's alright.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cracklin' Causeways

Fog so thick this morning the wires atop the utility poles were crackling and sparking. It was the only light to be seen.

Smooth and easy this morning. Just like I promised. No problem slowing it down - I felt pretty tired the whole way. Stomach was upset too.

12 miles @ 8:08 pace. 134 HR.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mr. Inefficient

One of those days.

Ran slower harder.

12 miles @ 6:53 pace. 157 HR.

Compare this 40 degree morning to last Friday's same workout in 0 degrees: same pace, 151 HR.

Problem? Twofold. 1. Didn't run smoothly. 2. Need a good recovery run (read smooth and easy).

Today I was running comfortably with a slight nag in the right quad (which hopefully will be taken care of Wednesday at massage therapy) through 6 miles. A slight pace progression possibly. On the turn around I got to playing with the pace and effort. This was fun and got the juices flowing. Obviously, it got the heart beating too. I suspect near the 9 mile mark I was ready to be done playing the workout just had an emphasis on work. Not wanting to slow it down (or at least back off) for the final miles, I pushed through to my cooldown spot. My guess is the 2nd half of my run had a deep affliction of inefficiency. Something to work on. Still got a stimulus from today's workout but I was brought up short by the HR and average pace considering how I felt.

Re: recovery running. I haven't had a good 140HR run since last Thursday. Time for another. These seem to fit like a piece to puzzle. All systems go. No slog, no work. Just roll. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's run.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Maybe I'm stuck at 128

Mondays are difficult because I have to go to work early which really cuts down on the amount of time I can kick around the house before the run. Sort of a "roll out of bed and onto the road" morning.

Subsequently I felt a little sluggish out there and I could definitely feel my right leg from yesterday's slip & slide. I finally felt a little better in the last two miles.

Slog 12, jaunt 2.

14 miles @ 8:37 pace. HR 128 (again)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Slip and Slow

Those with screw shoes would have done well today on our long run course. But me, I slipped for most of the 20 miles making the run rather a chore in the leg department. When Mike & I finished, I was pretty sore.

This was one of those days when you just get it done. But once it is done, it's in the log to stay. The temperature was a warm 30 degrees, the wind was calm, and the sun peeked out for a few minutes too. But nearing the end, I could only think of having a hot cup of coffee, a chocolate ball and just sitting down.

Slow was the pace today. After the first twinge in the groin from slipping up a hill, I backed off any attempt at grip on snow - a good policy that got me through to the end. There was a brief respite around mile 14 when we hit some pavement. That was nice.

During the last mile Mike and I were searching for ways to describe the odd sense of relief we felt when the terrain changed from up to down and then back up again. After a few minutes discussion, we agreed it was similar to when you stop hammering one toe to begin on another.

20 miles @ 8:47 pace. 128 HR. ** Today was special. I finally had a lower heart rate than Mike**.


Weekly round up

Wk 1: 58.5 miles / 13.3 mile long run
Wk 2: 60.2 miles / 15.1 mile long run
Wk 3: 61.0 miles / 17 mile long run
Wk 4: 65.7 miles / 17 mile long run
Wk 5: 67.3 miles / 17 mile long run
Wk 6: 69.2 miles / 20 mile long run
Wk 7: 74.3 miles / 20 mile long run
Wk 8: 76.0 miles / 20 mile long run
Wk 9: 80.3 miles / 20 mile long run
Wk 10: 88.3 miles / 20.2 mile long run
Wk 11: 92.1 miles / 20 mile long run

There are 7 weeks left in the aerobic base build but only two more increases in mileage. I am just beginning to see some aerobic improvement. These things obviously take time.


And finally a book update: Since finishing Alan Greenspan's Age of Turbulence, I have finished:

*Life with Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse (a very funny book)
*Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling (promised my daughter I'd read the series)
*Terry Fox and his Marathon of Hope by Douglas Copeland (a photo essay book I received from Mark in Alberta - thank you Mark!)

Books in progress:

*The Memoirs of Cordell Hull (2 vols, currently on volume 1) by Cordell Hull
*Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
*Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
*The House of Intellect by Jacques Barzun
*Knight of the Maison Rouge by Alexandre Dumas (bedtime book for the girls)
*Falconer by John Cheever (I hate this book and if I ever finish it I'll throw it in the trash)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Road (I should not have) Taken

(Apologies to Robert Frost)

Two roads diverged in a snowy town
And sorry that I traveled one
But be one runner I scratched my crown
And looked up one and the other down
To see which path might add some fun

And chose the rutted slippery way
With thoughts of peaceful steps and stride
But soon I found the run betray
Laboring lungs and legs that may
Have brought about this ache inside

On roads unplowed in drifts I strode
Uneven surface became my bane
After one hard hike down an icy road
One leg brought plaint of incommode
And now it rues residual pain

I tell all this with rested sigh
After soak and nap and Biofreeze
Too hard an easy run was my
And next it’ll be on pavement dry
To prevent unwanted injuries.

12.1 miles @ 8:24 pace. 137 HR.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fog & Fusion

Negative temps this morning but with only a slight westerly breeze. The air was full of sea smoke and my breath froze onto my glasses within the first mile. By mile six, I took off my glasses only to have my eyelashes fuse together. Man.

But the run went well anyway. Harder effort but not so crazy as Tuesday.

12 miles @ 6:53 pace. 151 HR.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Freezing cold

But only for the first 6 miles.

Into the -16F windchill NNW wind, I couldn't wait for the turnaround. Painful. But the ride back was nice - barely feel it at all.

12 miles @ 7:45 pace. 140HR.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

"If you go out you can't come back in"

The typical winter warning from Mom would have been meaningful today.

After battling snow, wind, and ice for 10 miles I found myself staring at the front of my house trying to figure out just how I was to get over the five foot snow bank the plow left while I was out running.

It wasn't easy.

10 miles @ 9:45 pace (yet another snowstorm, thank you). 127 HR.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The year begins hard

Because it's Tuesday.

12 miles working it @ 6:28 pace. 163 HR.

True MP work made tougher with limited open pavement and lots of traffic for this noontime holiday outing. Ran 1st half too hard and hit some limitations on the ride back in. Plus, Mr. Wind was lurking behind me waiting for the return trip to add just a touch of tough.

Hey, it got done, and I feel pretty good nevertheless. I will focus on recovery over the next two days to make sure to lock in the goodness.