Had a really hard day at work yesterday and went to bed exhausted. Opted for a full night’s sleep to recuperate. 0 miles today.
Adventures of a Downeast Maine runner.
Had a really hard day at work yesterday and went to bed exhausted. Opted for a full night’s sleep to recuperate. 0 miles today.
Something’s up today. I ride my motorcycle 46 miles to work each day on a winding road that skirts the peaceful inlets that populate the coast of Downeast
First, a truck from
So I guess it’s no big deal that my little toe hurt today on my run. I’ll soak it tonight.
13.2 miles / 8:05 pace. Easy.
I had a very good tempo run this morning. 10 miles in 59:19. I felt pretty good throughout but the 2nd half took a little more concentration than the first half. The 5 mile splits, while positive, were fairly close: 29:32 / 29:47. The foot behaved itself. A little discomfort through the first half mile and then it evened out nicely. For a warm up I did some striders to get the heart rate up and afterward I did a two mile cool down.
I felt surprisingly good through most of the workout. I was pleased that my running felt controlled and the breathing easy. Aerobically I was strong but the legs experienced some progressive fatigue as the miles passed. I hit a little low spot on the 7th mile but that passed for the final three. The first mile was the slowest at 6:19 and I know mile 2 was the fastest but it was too foggy to see the split with accuracy – my guess is somewhere between 5:20 – 5:30. However, when I crossed mile three (uphill) with the clock still under 18:00 I knew I was going to like this workout. Miles 4 through 6 are flat and they went very well. Finishing out mile 7 at the top of a hill was a little tougher than I’d like (split around 6:15) - but I was still 15 seconds on the good side of 42:00. I knew then that I had the hour broken. The final three were 5:58, 5:57, and a 5:39 to finish.
This workout was a good confidence booster.
12.3 miles total with 10 miles @ tempo (59:19 / 5:56 pace)
I knew today would be an aggressive recovery day since I dreamt I had a sore foot. And when I awoke, I did. So prior to the run I iced it and soaked it in hot water. Then I ran an easy 2 miles in 20+ minutes and then repeated the care. The soreness is on the left side of the left foot midway toward the little toe extending to the toe itself. It’s been sore ever since I changed to these shoes. So I think all the miles in these shoes are the culprit. It hurts mainly when running slowly and hardly noticeable with a good pace on. All part of the fun of training.
It took about two hours, and then the workout began. And all without changing anything I was doing. The schedule called for 2.5 hours of running this morning and I was feeling really good when I went to bed last night so I thought 20 miles might be the thing to do. So I did.
Easy pace hovering around 7:30 with skies threatening an oncoming storm. Gusty winds from the east and thick cloud cover but no rain while I was running which I appreciated. At about the two hour mark I started to feel yesterday’s workout. Not just in the legs but pretty much throughout. I kept the pace steady and got some training in stamina. An energy drop was coupled with overall fatigue but I got it done and I’m no worse for the wear. I can see why some run lots of speed work or even back to back speed work to get the same effect. It takes less time. But my method is the one I’m comfortable with and seems to work as long as I’m patient enough to run the necessary time to get to the point of fatigue. Plus it has an element of specificity to it.
To answer Ewen’s question about why I didn’t run a more manageable pace yesterday, the answer is this: Because I don’t know what I’m doing. Ha ha! Plus when it comes to speed work I just want the d**n thing over with as soon as possible. And I like 10 minute breaks.
Speaking of breaks, in the winter time, Eric and I sometimes do hills as a way to keep running when the temperature is below 0F. We park a car at the bottom of a ¼ mile hill. We keep it running with hot coffee inside. We do a repeat, jog back to the car and sit inside sipping coffee for 5 minutes until the next repeat. It’s the only way not to die of hypothermia and still get a workout in. We were discussing a plan recently to put this on our schedule come January.
But for now, with temps at 55 degrees, I’m enjoying getting the mileage in. Tomorrow is a recovery day! Hoping to break the run into two.
Mileage today: 20.1 (7:28 pace)
I was completely undecided where to run this morning when I was pondering it last night. I wanted to run my first speed session of this training cycle and was unsure where to do it. I wanted to have a least a mile or maybe more for the distance. The causeways are flat and stretch for a mile or more but they are 4 miles out the road. This would mean a healthy warmup but a killer cooldown and time would be a factor as well. I could take the car I suppose but for some reason I didn’t feel like it. In town the flat stretches aren’t really flat and they’re about ¼ mile long. So run any distance and you’ve got hills and corners. So naturally, I decided on this.
And I know why I chose it but I’m not sure if it was very wise. The main reason I chose in town is because I like to be close to home when doing these horrid workouts. There’s something about just being down the street that provides a little comfort knowing that if I blow up, I can crawl home. Plus doing a loop course in town means a nice central location for my water and gear. If I was on the causeway I’d have to leave water at both ends of the interval distance.
Anyway, I tried to choose a loop that minimized the hills and corners as best as I could. I wanted to end without cornering or climbing so that meant the start of the interval was straight up a hill. Then it leveled off and rolled for a mile with some sharp ups and downs but nothing drastic. The final .7 goes down a nice hill for ¼ mile than gradually climbs to the finish. Normally, this grade is not even noticeable until you’re trying to run it hard. The distance = 1.7 miles. And it produced enough lactate to last me a few days.
Loop 1: 9:11 (5:25 pace)
Loop 2: 9:32 (5:37 pace)
Loop 3: 9:32 (5:37 pace)
I ran loop #1 way too fast. I charged up the initial hill and then ran as hard as I could for the rest. I slowed down quite a bit in the final stretch and was feeling poorly when I finished. I recovered by walking, drinking water, and doing some drills (skipping, bounding, high knees etc.). After 10 minutes, I went out again. I wanted to go fast but found the initial hill was much harder this time. I struggled through the loop and knew I was much slower but at least I didn’t feel quite so bad at the finish as I did during the first one. Same recovery and then #3. For some reason this loop was my best. Not the fastest but I felt more in control of my pace, my arm carriage was better, and I felt all around good. I credit even pacing for this. I finished and felt relatively good and could have done another. But I decided to quit while I felt decent figuring I could run myself into the ground if I wasn’t careful.
As you can see, speed work is not my specialty. I don’t look forward to it, I don’t enjoy it, and I feel all wobbly when I’m done. I’d rather run a hard 20 miler any day.
2.1 mile warmup / 2.1 mile cooldown. 9.3 miles total.
Can you get two benefits out of same workout? Probably not but that’s the way it sometimes feels. Take today for example. The schedule called for 2 hrs 15 mins. Since I did the 20 with the fast finish yesterday, the pace I ran today was at recovery pace. About 8:44. It was foggy and rainy and I felt my usual sluggishness that I feel when I run these paces. The run was all recovery right through the 10 mile mark in 1:29:00. Then I ran the last 5 at the same effort/pace but this part of the run felt didn’t feel like recovery. It felt like an endurance workout albeit at a slow pace. This was especially noticeable after the watch turned 2 hours and I got thinking that two hours in the rain is a long time.
Without the benefit of doubles, I can’t run a simple recovery and maintain the mileage. I either completely recover with a drill workout or short jaunt or I maintain my mileage for the aerobic benefit. It’s a balance. My general rule is to keep the effort between hard days easy and if I feel up to it, keep the mileage high. If I feel like I need more recovery I reduce the mileage.
Nevertheless, I recovered today for 10 miles but ended up with a low aerobic workout after I went beyond the 2 hour mark. This worked well for today since yesterday’s run wasn’t that hard.
15.46 miles / 2hrs 15mins
Someday the pain will be too much and I just won’t survive. I blame the fog.
I don’t talk about it much, but there’s one little thing that high mileage combined with a thick fog does that could send one to an early grave. And you don’t notice it until you start to enjoy that refreshing hot shower. And one of these days the initial shock will kill me good.
Very thick fog this morning as I went out for an easy 2 hrs 45 mins. The run went well. Very easy and enjoyable but not very scenic. A little warm too. It was 57 degrees at 3:45. But I had a nice time and finished with 20.58 miles. Felt good.
I solved the fueling issue this morning by eating a couple of spoonfuls of honey when I got up. And I think it did the trick. My stomach felt much better and by the time the run started I was feeling like I would have a good workout. I also ate ½ piece of white bread just before I left. I find white bread digests very easily and can be eaten before and/or during the run without mishap.
Today I chose to do a high aerobic workout and run comfortably hard for 20 miles. It turned out great. I felt comfortable, smooth, and relaxed. The legs felt good and aerobically I felt very good. I hit a rough patch during the 18th mile. I experienced an energy drop and my form started to deteriorate. I no longer felt smooth and was working a little. I decided to hold the pace until the mile marker and then decide whether to keep going or go for a cool down. And as they usually do, the low point passed and I was back to feeling relatively good by the time I got to mile 18. I put the last two miles to bed and was done.
My slowest mile was the first in 7:30 and my best was mile 12 in 6:03. The 20th mile was done in 6:07. The rest of the miles were on either side of the final average plus or minus 15 seconds depending where I was on the course. I felt very good at the finish and walked my cooldown. It’s always a boost to get in a good workout. Easy day tomorrow.
20 miles – 2:11:37 (6:35 average pace).
Well this is new. My neck hurts and I suppose I just slept on it wrong. Made for an uncomfortable run this morning. The run was a real chore. Early start, slow pace, dense fog, and the sand fleas had made their way up onto the causeway clogging the airways. 10.3 miles of slog. A true case of running when there doesn’t seem to be any reward for it. Glad that is done. Hills tomorrow.
10.3 miles @ 10:13 pace. Yes, you read that right.
I had to work this morning so I didn’t get to catch up on my sleep - which means I was full body tired this morning. But when I feel weary, energy small, when I’ve run lots and lots of miles, and I can feel them all, it’s time to stride… (Ewen – pick it up)
A nice bridge over these troubles is the drill workout. It’s my safe harbor workout. Low mileage and refreshing while doing some nice stretching that I normally don’t get from the normal run. I did high knees, high kicks, striders, skipping, bounding, and even running backwards. All on the soft grass of a baseball diamond’s outfield. I’m guessing 2.3 miles total including the run to and from the ballfield - but I really don’t know. Total time was 41 minutes.
During my last cutback week prior to the race, this type of workout did wonders to perk the legs back up. And I can tell that it worked today as well. I’m looking forward to a nice run tomorrow.
It was lecture time in deerville this morning. At around the 11.5 mile mark I saw a deer and the tiniest little fawn crossing the road. The mom deer raised its head at me and gave me the stare as I ran toward them. The fawn was oblivious to my approach. After of few moments of watching me, the mom deer naturally leaped the ditch and into the woods – expecting, of course, that the kiddo would follow suit. But the poor thing was startled the mom’s rapid departure and upon observing me took off on its own - up the street and in the opposite direction. It just kept galloping up the road instead of jumping into the woods.
It was at this point that I started to wonder if deer were like bears. What if I got between the two? Would I be attacked? My luck held and I passed safely and I bet the fawn got a stern lecture on the matter.
The rest of the run was uneventful. 14.75 easy miles @ 9:10 pace.
Dense fog this morning. My glasses kept clouding over and visibility was down to nothing. But it was cool with temps barely breaking 50 so it was good weather for a run.
Today was a quality day with 2hrs 45mins on the schedule. It went very well and turned out to be a 20 mile high aerobic workout with a 3.1 mile cooldown at the end.
Miles 1 - 5 @ 7:16 pace
Miles 6 - 10 @ 6:45 pace
Miles 11 - 15 @ 6:42 pace
Miles 16 - 20 @ 6:45 pace
Average of 6:52 for the 20 mile portion.
Then I cooled down for 3.1 miles to finish out the time at an 8:59 pace. I felt good throughout the run. Comfortable with minor periodic fatigue lows during the final 5 miles. They didn’t last long and it’s good to experience these in training as you can bank on feeling these lows in any race.
Just 75 minutes on the schedule this morning. Ran it easily @ 7:59 pace around town. The rain held off even though the radar showed rain just to the southwest. Kind of chilly these past few days and today was the same (53 degrees). Wore a heavier shirt for comfort sake and would have been a little too warm if I was going to run any harder. The city is quiet after the 4th celebration. For a few days there were people out jogging or walking in the early morning. These were just visitors though and now that they’re gone I have the streets to myself again.
~ 9.4 miles.
Ran two hours this morning and it felt very good to be back on the schedule. My taper for the race was so severe I bottomed out the 7-day moving average at 34 miles on Saturday. Today the average is at 53 and climbing. I should see 90 or so by the end of the week. Keeping the pace easy until the lingering soreness dissipates and probably just a little bit longer beyond that to be sure. However, I’ll run according to how I feel as this plan seems to be working well for me – particularly on the recovery side. The only number I have on my plan is the time requirement. The pace, type of workout, and length are all determined after I get going or maybe just before. The risk is that I run fewer harder workouts but the reward is better quality when I’m feeling good. And even on the easy days, the length of the run will generally provide an aerobic stimulus which is always beneficial.
When I embarked on the second hour this morning I could feel the body thank me. There’s just something missing with those shorter workouts I was doing during the recovery week. It set me up for the race but I am very glad that’s over with for a month. I went looking for Eric this morning but he was nowhere to be found. So I ended up doing two out and backs on the highway averaging around 8:15 / mile.
I got some good info on my condition from yesterday’s race. The biggest positive was that after the fast 3 miles I didn’t crash and burn worse then a 30 second pace drop. Endurance won the day after taking the risk of leading out. The 2nd place finisher is known for an amazing finishing kick. I didn’t want to be anywhere near him at the finish. He put that kick on display as he was in 3rd in the final mile and then torched it for a solid 2nd place finish. I was 55 seconds to the front and well out of danger thank goodness.
Now back to the regularly scheduled program. Easy paces for a few days to recover but the mileage will climb again in short order. It’s where I’m the happiest. The cutback week prior to the race was very difficult. All those aches and pains which wouldn’t mean very much if it wasn’t for the upcoming race. Today was 90 minutes. The run felt like a gentle massage. The average pace as 9:41 (~ 9.3 miles). 38.43 miles for last week which was about 20 miles less than I anticipated. This was due to more recovery than planned and a day off due to the thunderstorm.
I was tapping on the computer around 4:30 this morning when the light outside the window went suddenly green. It was so odd I went outside to check it out. The wind picked up and I noticed the dark clouds coming from the west.
What followed was a long protracted thunder & lightning storm. The rain came down in sheets, lightning flashed everywhere, and the thunder was continuous. It lasted for the entire time that was allotted to my run and I didn’t get to go.
I can run in just about any weather condition except lightning. So now I’m without my run – even if it was just an easy 75 minutes. And I feel horrible. It’s like withdrawal symptoms. I can’t wait for this day to be over.
Just two more days of easy running before the 7 mile race. Then I get to climb back up to some proper mileage. With the extra three days of embedded recovery I’ll hit a weekly low around 40 miles I think. My last low was 55 miles. I’m feeling fresh now and I’m hoping that by Sunday all systems will be go.
After that I embark on 35 days of training before the next scheduled cutback. No doubt I’ll throw a couple of recovery days in there after a hard workout. Plus I might extend the race taper to a full 7 days instead of the 4 days I had written into schedule - like I did with this race. With some of this quality work I need a bit more than I had envisioned. And this has got me thinking about the marathon taper. I’ll need to think this one through so I’m fully rested and fresh when I get to the starting line. So far the written schedule is conducive for a good taper. I’ve written in no workouts for the three weeks prior to the race. Instead, I intend on really focusing on what I need at that point (rest, sharpening, other?).
5 miles this morning with Eric. Easy @ 9:26 pace. Legs were tight from two awful Charlie horses that woke me up last night but by the time the run was over I felt fine.
After three days of recovery workouts, I felt well enough to run an hour tempo. It felt so good to be back up on pace. The weather was rainy and a cool 53 degrees which has been the pattern for the past week. It is expected to continue for a few more days. I wouldn’t mind this type of weather for the race on Sunday but I have a feeling it may be a little warmer.
I did an out-and-back on the highway. The workout quickly turned into a progression run. I ran relaxed with close attention to form and effort. Practiced “rolling over the top” of the hills. Very pleased with how the run played out. First mile in 7:35 with the last in 5:50. 9 miles @ 6:30 average.
1st 4.5 miles: 6:49 avg
2nd 4.5 miles: 6:10 avg
Felt very good. Finished the 9 in 58:23 and walked the time rest of the time out. Back to some more easy running and drills while I finish out the cutback.