Monday, June 24, 2013

Wet Hot American Summer

I'm finally feeling excited and motivated again.  A multitude of "things" are contributing factors to this--health, some articles in Running Times, fun runs in recent days (21 For The Sun Triple on the summer solstice), communication with running friends, school wrapping up, planning out my summer of running, etc.

Those that know me, by now, most likely have a sneaking suspicion that I am not a Type-A personality.  Some would call it scatter brained, others may use the term dirtbag.  Whatever moniker you go with, I tend to focus on fun & interesting things (i.e. running, fishing, nature, beer, laughing, etc.) and let the important things that society deems crucial (i.e. clean/nice vehicle, nice clothes, organization and regimented schedules, etc), fall by the wayside.  This is lack of organization and careful planning/implementation is true to some extent but........ 

Every year at this time, I get really excited for July and August and this June/end of the school year is no different.  Despite the fact that I'm totally NOT into schedules -- my career revolves around a ridiculously punctual schedule filled with acronyms that is second only to the military in orderliness--, I've once again printed out blank calendars for the summer months and have begun planning my training.  I swear the planning is almost as much fun and exciting as the actual running. This time I've gone a step further, thanks in part to an article in the newest issue of Running Times, re: variations/doing away with the standard Lydiard Pyramid plan.  In particular, I've become fascinated by the Brad Hudson "plan" (or lack there of).  Essentially, it simply emphasizes muscular development and endurace/base building at the same time. Two other exciting components are 1.) variation and 2.) individualization.  Basically, loosey-goosey yet still relatively structured (but not really).  Kind of like my life.....

A basic Hudson "plan" -- think sideways pyramid.
 I've actually spent some time hunting for a set, specific schedule to use according to this Hudson guy.  The best part-- I can't find one!  How awesome is that?  This guy's attitude appears to be (I'm paraphrasing and totally misinterpreting here): run varied, run hard, run fun, build all systems at once, get better, crush your goal race.  F**k yeah.

With this in mind, my schedule/calendar is written in pencil with crossouts, question marks, a few off days written in here and there, some races in yellow highlighter (i.e. Camire's Four on the 4th and Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miler).  Organized yet what may work into a total sh*t show.  Yet again, just like me life.

I've also tried to make sure that I have three quality workouts/harder efforts every 7-10 days--one emphasizing strength/speed, one endurance, and one longer(ish) run.  The rest is gravy and fun exploration (read: work off beer and food calories). Several of my running partners have expressed interest in some weekly, early morning routines at the track to aid me (it's all about ME!).

So, I've dubbed this my "Wet Hot American Summer".  I hate running in temps over 70 degrees or in any high humidity conditions.  Any time the air is thicker and more intolerable than Paula Deen's mouth, I find running very difficult.  Who doesn't? Give me a 30-40 degree temps and I'm in running nirvana.  However, it is summer (right, Mike B?) and that does mean more free time, thus more running. 

It's going to be really wet and really hot.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Hot damn!  I've run three consecutive days (Monday-7, Tuesday-7, and Wednesday-6) and man are my quads S-O-R-E!

I felt  a little bit fatigued on each of the two runs at the beginning of the week but kind of shrugged it off.  Last night, I ran the 2nd of the Westerly Summer Fun Run Series (11 weeks total).  It is only a 5K and I promised myself that I wasn't going to race it.  Usually at these weekly events I either run nice & easy with my 10 year old son to try and pace him somewhat OR run a warm-up, 3.1 mile tempo run @ approximately T pace and then cool down.  Easy enough. Last night I shot for the T pace "workout" if you will, and I made a few mistakes I think and really  struggled. 

My first mistake was getting sucked in by Jonny Miles, Nick Celico, and Gazelle into running the first mile too fast (5:38).  Ouch!  Just a tad off of my projected 5:55 pace, 'eh?  Idiot! My second mistake was then trying to overcompensate by dropping way off pace/slowing down.  By mile two the three guys ahead of me started to pull away considerably. My third and final mistake was an infraction on a larger scale, that is, maybe trying to "comeback" after being sick and running normally, how I would at any point in time when healthy and in shape.  The indication for this was how sore my quads felt IMMEDIATELY after the 5K, prior to my cooldown.  They really hurt.  I feel like I've definitely lost a little fitness too.  Normally, I would expect to feel that way several hours to several days after a 1/2 marathon effort.  Still even more humbling is the fact that this is the pace I expect to run the Blessing of the Fleet at?  10 miles?  Humid suffer fest?  Really? Good luck with that!

I hobbled around, cooled down, then picked up the course markers with my son and headed home, so I could complain some more to my wife. Her replies to my whining were essentially, "God, for once give it a rest!"  I then made plans to run an easy recovery run this morning but the Bruins OT loss/late night (and my laziness) screwed me. Instead I recovered by hitting snooze 4 times. 

I'm hoping that this awful soreness is simply lingering effects from being down n' out for a while--sick and very low mileage the last three weeks(29, 27, 3).  Have to see how the rest of the week goes.  Hopefully it doesn't interfere with my running fun for I've "big" plans for the summer solstice this Friday (21 June 2013).

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Year That Wasn't (So Far)

Well, it's June and I've found myself immersed in another stupid sh*t show.  A week ago (Friday 7 June) I felt crappy all day at work (Is this a hangover?).  I bummed drugs off a student (Vitamin I) because that's what I do and somehow made it through the day, skipped out on my run in the afternoon and just went to bed instead.  Unfortunately, my illness progressed quickly.  So much so that on Saturday I I couldn't turn my head/neck at all and began getting really achy and super dizzy.  I had Mason drive home from his lacrosse game in East Lyme (just kidding) and again went to bed.  The next morning I went to the walk-in clinic and the doctor put me on doxycycline.  Although I'd pulled 6-7 ticks off of me in the last month or so, none of them were embedded in my champion flesh, trying to suckle some of the awesomeness coursing through my capillaries.  After some blood work, it was determined that I either have/had Lyme disease or anaplasmosis (related bacterial infection due to ticks as well).

Long story somewhat short, after 8 days on medication, I'm feeling much better.  I managed to run an easy 3 miler on Saturday and although all is not right in the world--I felt tired (still do everyday) and had mind-effing headaches after the run-- I'm still able to move around.  I didn't run yesterday (stripers instead) but I'm anxiously looking to commence the "Rebirth-Part Deux" today.  Ugh.  Feeling less than motivated but trying to pretend I cannot wait at least. This is turning into a disappointing year thus far.

Hopefully I'm able to bounce back quickly.  After my knee problem in April, I was just starting to feel comfortable/happy with my progress again before microorganisms infected my body.  I've also accepted that headaches and some fatigue will be part of the equation for the foreseeable future as well.  With that being said/all things considered, here is my recipe for coming back:

- one 160lb slob
- short shorts
- running shoes
- a watch (optional)

1. Run

2. Contact that Djoshua  (the D is silent) guy and see if he'll sell me an 1/8 oz. of some of his Last Hero sh*t.  I know he had tick (with a T) problems earlier this year and went through the same thing.  No big deal but he's back and winning mountain races. There is hope at least, especially if it is the Only Hope.

3. Run more (varied locations and terrain).

4. Creatively plan something fun/different each week to get (keep) me motivated.  It is frustrating "watching" my friends get more and more fit and dominate their endeavors while I just continue to do whatever it is that I'm doing.  I know that banging out some awesome races is out of the question, at least for a little while, so I need something else to get me going.

5. Run some more and have fun doing it.

See you guys out there. 

Thanks so much, Noah.  Great idea bringing these
on the Ark with you and leaving the dinosaurs behind.