Monday, September 28, 2009

Wind, Rain, Lightning

Warmer morning with a stiff southerly wind.  It was pouring just before I left but it let up to a blowing drizzle for the outing.  I was surprised by a few flashes of lightning at mile 6 and thought I might be a little exposed out there on the causeways.  But all ended well and I got in 10 miles before the legs got a little sore.


No running over the weekend as travel didn’t allow it.  Of course ‘travel’ was a Corvette weekend with Dad.  We did the twisties of Vermont.  Had nice weather and lots of fun.  At 436 HP that car is fast.


Saw a sign painted on the back of a building along the interstate.  It said, “Good Morning.  Let the Stress Begin.”

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Quality hour

I felt pretty good this morning so I decided today would be a quality day.  The 30 minute recovery yesterday must have done the trick.  The legs felt better and the soreness was gone.  I’m still amazed at how much time it takes between ‘good’ workouts to fully recover.  Running by feel seems to be taking on an increasingly important role in my training.


Since I’m using my last cycle of training as a starting point in this new cycle I’ve decided to shorten the quality portion of the workouts.  I want the stimulus but not the peak.  In hindsight, I see those 20 mile hard workouts were run just a few weeks too early.  The recovery time was pretty lengthy and I couldn’t hold that level of training for very long before I started to slide somewhat.  But all is not lost.  It was a good peak and one builds on each cycle.


I have a print-out of Canova’s suggested workouts so I decided to do the low end of one of them this morning.  It called for an hour progression divided into thirds (20/20/20) going from 85% to MP.  I figured that would come to about 9 miles total so I did 3/3/3.  I wasn’t far off and finished in 58:01.  I think my last 3 was a little harder than MP effort because I mistakenly ran the 2nd third too quickly.  Oh well.  I was just happy to be able to increase the pace at mile 6.


Felt ok during the run.  The 3 mile warm-up prior to the hard stuff helped.  Certainly not feeling as fit as I was a few weeks ago but I was still pleased to be doing quality.  There was a lot of traffic again this morning with the ship in at the port.  A dark, drizzly morning didn’t help anyone’s vision or my visibility so I felt crowded again.


A little over 2 miles to cool down and a good one in the books.  Easy running tomorrow then I’m traveling for a couple of days so I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get a run in or not.  I’ll take my stuff just in case.


14.1 miles w/9 mile progression @ 6:27 average.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Only 3.2

Scheduled myself an easy 30 minutes this morning to let the legs recover from their soreness.  A little warmer this morning.  Probably didn’t need the long sleeve shirt.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


That is visibility description for this morning’s run.  It comes from Mike describing a photo he took in Sweden in low light.  It was ‘grainy’ he said.  Well today I thought of that photo of something Swedish that Mike told me about but which I’ve since forgotten two days later.  I thought of it when I was struggling with my headlamp.


I took the headlamp off the window sill this morning thinking that since the sun is sleeping in, I could just flash my watch into the beam and see my time.  Not so.  The watch face just reflected the light back into my eyes.  Which is probably why they invented the ‘backlight’ but I don’t know for sure.


So I thought I’d use the headlamp to see.  Nope.  So foggy the mist just reflected the light back into my eyes.  And as I was trying to peer into the soup, the word ‘grainy’ pop into my head.  I thought I could see something.  But no, I could not.


So I thought I’d use the headlamp as a safety feature.  Perched on my head for cars to see.  My lantern would be a beacon in the thick and automobiles would courteously grant my meager lane.  Afraid not.  Like bugs to a zapper, they all got so d**n close I almost fell in the ditch a dozen times.


I turned the headlamp off and basked in the porch light after 12 and called it day.  ~7:48 pace.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coyotes Calling

Work related issues have brought me down. 


I ran once last week and that was yesterday with Mike for 17 miles.  The run got me going again and I did 12.7 this morning under an amazing canopy of stars and planets.


I left the house at 3:50am and just after the initial mile I heard the eeriest sound: coyotes calling to each other.  One just in the woods to the left of me and the other obviously further down the road where I had to pass.  Add pitch darkness and you get that old creepy feeling.  I’ve heard the barking and the yipping before on a run but never the call.  I’d rather not hear that again.


Well, I wasn’t mistaken for a deer and taken down by the pack.  I guess that’s good.


My legs are sore, I’m past the peak, and it looks like the marathon will be postponed.  Just add this to the list of other things weighing me down.


On the bright side, I think I’ll buck up and keep running in spite of it all.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Easy day to recover

Went to bed at 8pm and woke at 4am for a full night’s sleep.  Then just an easy 3.1 miles or so, meeting up with Eric.  Very cool out this morning.  Just loving this new weather.  The legs weren’t sore to speak of so I think I’m doing ok.  Plan is to run easily tomorrow for a longer distance, then an easy 17 with Mike on Sunday.  Thinking that my next hard run will be on Tuesday.  Perhaps a 10 mile tempo.


I’ve been thinking about the simulation run and I am letting these workouts guide me toward a goal pace for the marathon.  I feel pretty good around 6:15-6:20 per mile.  This was the 2nd simulation run that averaged out at 6:16-6:17 per mile.  The first one was a few weeks ago that was conducted with a large negative split.  This one was pretty narrow.  But both came in within 20 seconds of each other.


Do I start the marathon at goal or slower?  That is the question.  If I go slower I’ll have more room for picking up the pace later on.  I think it may depend on how the packs group up.  I’d rather not run by myself in the early miles.


And RG’s Mom: I’m not on Facebook but I’m on Twitter @downeastrunning.  Catch me there.


And for all the bloggers I usually read and comment on: I’ve had internet trouble at the house for weeks now so I’m missing out (no home email either!).  Mike’s been filling me in somewhat.  I hope to have it all resolved in a few days.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Aerobic, Press, Suffer

This morning’s run was a race prep workout with lots of useful lessons.  The workout: 20 miles in 2:05:30.  Splits: 1:02:59 / 1:02:31.  ~ 6:17 average pace.


I started the run faster than normal, looking to run the mileage at a fairly steady pace without much in the way of progression.  The workout ended up coming in three distinct sections: First 10, next 5, last 5 – or Aerobic, Press, and Suffer.


The course is an out-and-back 10 miler that I do twice.  Now that autumn is just about here, it is pitch black for the first 10 miles - which means I can’t see the watch.  (My watch doesn’t have a backlight that works.)  The faster start took a little getting used to, especially since the first mile is net uphill.  I could feel the pace a little in the shoulders but I was hoping things would smooth out on their own.  And they did.  I took that as useful lesson #1.  Don’t be too afraid of starting at pace.


After I got over the initial shock of the starting mile I felt very good.  I ran with relative comfort, not pressing or straining, but certainly keeping the pace as fast as was comfortable while taking into consideration that I was still in the single digits.  I imagined that I was running in a group and this mental image helped keep me on pace.  I tried to disassociate a little as I figured I’d have to focus during the last half.  I was very glad when I got back to the house to see the first 10 covered in 1:02:59 (time check courtesy of porch light).  Useful lesson #2: running by feel can net good returns.


During the next five miles I tried to press ever so slightly without crossing the line to see if there was room to maneuver.  I still felt good but was working harder now and paying attention to what I was doing a little more closely.  The sun finally came up at mile 15 and the watch told me I covered this portion at a 6:09 pace.  I turned for home with a good attitude and ready to work but what felt like a sub-6 mile came in again at 6:09 at mile 16.  I knew then my game was played.  Useful lesson #3: Don’t work it too hard too early.


Begin suffering.  The last 4 miles were like being too close to the fire.  As I crossed mile 16 and began mile 17 all the doubts that were silent before were ringing loud and clear.  Lots of advice to call it at 16 and jog the last 4.  But I had courage and strove on into the abyss.  It hurt, I knew it would hurt, but I did it anyway.  A simulation is a simulation after all.  I focused on my form, tried to keep my stride light, and ran as hard as I could without straining.  “Train, don’t strain” was what I kept repeating.  Aerobically I was getting weary and I had to pay attention to avoid “going to the legs” – using a more powerful stride to keep pace which could bring on an injury.  Lesson #4: Don’t be afraid to enter the hard miles.  Lesson #5: Know your weak points (in this instance, lack of muscular strength).


The miles clocked in slower – especially on the inclines, but the times weren’t too bad.  The abdomen was getting sore and the frame was getting sore.  However, I still got a slight negative split after covering the last 5 miles @ ~ 6:23 pace.  All in all, a good stimulus.  The next four days will be easy paces and distances.



Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Recovery run today

Did a recovery run this morning of 32 minutes.  I had initially planned on doing 20 miles but I deferred it to tomorrow in order to let the legs recover from yesterday’s 10 mile progression.


Just under six weeks to the marathon.  Trying to work on race prep type workouts when possible.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Good Weekend

Took over a week to fully recover from climbing Mt. Katahdin but it’s done.  Recovering from over-exertion is taking longer and longer it seems.  Until today I hadn’t run what I thought to be a decent workout since the 5 mile race on August 15th.

Work is stressful and is taking a lot of energy – leaving little for anything else.  So I was glad to have three days off and I rested up a storm.  Lots of reading and napping and with the heat breaking I’m feeling much better.

Ran a nice 13 mile run in cool weather with Mike on Sunday.  Easy pace but the legs were still a little sore by the end.  Good to have Mike back from his travels.  Perhaps he’ll settle down now.  Of course, he’s scaring me with a lot of rot talk about his fitness level.  I had to take him to task.  You’d think he’d just had surgery or something.

Monday I slept in and got caught up with the hectic schedule of reading and napping. 

And this morning I was ready for a nice workout.  Long sleeve temperatures and very little wind made for a nice progression run.  Did 10 miles @ 6:22 pace (last in 5:48) feeling very good throughout.  Then I jogged another three around town looking for Eric to see if he was about.  I didn’t find him though.  Finished with some striders and drills.  Just what I needed to lift my spirits.