Tuesday, January 28, 2014

2014 Week 5 -- 1/27/14 - 2/2/14

1/27 (Mon.)
7mi. - P.M.- Found a listing of "unreleased" properties for Hopkinton Land Trust online. Realized that they have an additional 32 acre plot 2 miles from my home along Tomaquag Brook (appears to be the name of the parcel as well?). After stalking on Hopkinton Tax Assessor maps (click here and checkplot 52D), I checked it out--they've been in there and marked with tape but haven't cleared. It's cool running along the brook on your left hand side but also disconcerting seeing trashy trailer/campers on your right side.  Fun with some water crossings.  Got really ripped up from briars but it was worth it.

Village People type shoes for a village person.

1/28 (Tue.)
6mi. - P.M. -Not feelin' it.  Took new shoes out for  test ride. Had to stop back in for an extra pair of gloves.  Rolled off 3 miles sub 7 because I was cold.  Also learned that there is a village IN the village of Ashaway called Kierieian. Interesting......what the hell is up with Rhode Island and all of its villages?

1/29 (Wed.)
7mi. -A.M. - Track repeats foiled again by snow.  Instead settled for treadmill at the Y.  2 mile w/u, 6 x approx. 400m @ 7.0% grade @ T pace (see table below), 2 mile c/d. Less than ideal.  Legs definitely felt it on the last few but it is so inaccurate (no way was that 4:20ish equivalent) and super shitty using two thumbs at once to increase/decrease speed and incline.  Also, the delayed response forces you to increase both settings earlier than necessary.  Whatever, my heart rate was high and the legs thanked me for it.  Wish I knew there was an hour delay to school -- perhaps I could have stayed another 45 minutes and done 10 more "hill repeats".  Just kidding.
Some complicated "man math" (thanks J. Daniels)
5mi. - P.M. - from Mason's indoor lacrosse practice/drill camp.  Forgot space watch.  Ran by time in the dark around B-town on mainly side streets.  Felt a tiny bit tired last mile but good otherwise.

1/30 (Thu.)
4mi. - P.M. - easy paced shorty in Pelloni Preserve.  Legs a little fatigued.  Did find the stone bridge and associated trail designated on the HLT map.  Man do I suck at running in the snow.  Hope it disappears before Bellville 10K or I'm screwed.

1/31 (Fri.)
0mi. - Felt blah, run down, tired, and creaky.

2/1 (Sat.)
6mi. - A.M. - Slept in "late" and ran at 1100ish in Weekapaug.  Really nice and warm sort of (45degrees).  Ran in short shorts and short sleeves and short socks.  Felt better.

2/2 (Sun.)
10mi - A.M. - Race: Super 5K (results here)  Ran hard.  Tried to run smart.  Although I know the fitness isn't quite there, tried to run a 16:59, really I did.  Alas, a 17:13 was what I produced.  Still ok with that.  My 3rd mile was by fastest, which is how we all want it to usually be.  WTAC dominated the team divisions.  Good day.

Total: 45 mi.
Year to Date: 215 mi

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2014 Week 4 1/20/13-1/26/13

1/20 (Mon.)
9mi. - Both sides of Grills.  Wandered along the perimeters of the properties.  Took it easier--legs felt tired.  Did try to rip on the Bridge to Bridge segment for CR. 

1/21 (Tue.)
6mi. - snowy, winter storm run.  Dressed in appropriate layers and Yak Trax, it was super fun running in the woods.  Had to stop quite often just to listen to the almost non-existent sounds.  Love quiet snowfall in the woods.  It was definitely F.M. out there! Better than Hogwarts.

1/22 (Wed.)
9mi - A.M.  couldn't bring myself to shovel off a lane on the track and run 400s.  Ran on stupid treadmill. 5 x 1 mile cruise intervals @ T pace w/ 1:00 active recoveries.  Tried to focus on cadence (180/minute).  Comfortably hard was the name of the game.  Didn't help pacing being on a hamster wheel but hoping it worked on lactate threshold, even if only a little.
0mi.  - P.M. was super excited for a short, easy shakeout tonight while Mason had Lacrosse Drill Camp at Bradford School.  Headlamp, Yak Trax, and layers of clothing for a run in the dark in Woody Hill Mgmt. Area? Yes, please! Alas, it was canceled due to school closings today--we found out when we drove there and nobody was around.  Decided to shakeout beer bottles when I got home instead of running same ol' boring roads from home.

1/23 (Thu.)
3mi. - easy warmup before overdosing on stretching and core/strength stuff.

1/24 (Fri.)
7mi. - 10 x short hill repeats.  Not a big hill but enough to tire me out and focus on good form while doing it. All repeats were about 38-39 seconds. #9 was 37.  #10 was a 35 -- hot damn!!  Colder than a witch's tit out there but I was actually overdressed. 

1/25 (Sat.)
12+mi. - 0630 run in Charlestown with Mike B, Jonny, and Gazelle.  It was a balmy low 30s out but SUPER windy (WSW 25 knots).  Good fun running down to the breachway and then back along the beach into Green Hill. Run was about 9.5 but we tacked on a few more on local side roads. With the effort into the wind and on cobblestone beaches, felt like 15 miles.  Unbeknownst to the rest of us, Gazelle had quite the head start before we even started--ended with 20+ on the day. The first step in dealing with your problem is admitting you have a problem.

1/26 (Sun.)
5+mi. - I've become a master at layering/dressing for sub 20 degree running.  Wandered trails in Pelloni Preserve near home, tracking wildlife in the snow.  Calling it 5.5 given the effort and time. I'm not a good snow runner (I wear down quickly) but I am like "Guy On A Buffalo" when it comes to wildlife and wooded adventures. Found a new single track that climbs up to "Coyote Cliff"-- tons of footprints, scat and circular movements outside of rock caves. Coyotes or mountain lions? Hmmmm....Have to go back with my buffalo once the snow melts and dominate them (and maybe find an orphaned baby or two).

Total: 52 mi.
Year to Date: 168 mi.
--> another fun week.  Really enjoying myself.  Not afraid of the cold (usually). Next Sunday is Super 5K.  Looking forward to running it hard as a test to see exactly where I'm at.  I'm guessing about a 58 (hopefully a 59?) on vDOT scale. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014 Week 3 1/13/13 - 1/19/13

1/13 (Mon.)
5mi. - mix of roads with a few trails.  Legs felt tired.

1/14 (Tue.)
5mi - Legs were better.  Pounding puddles in the pouring rain.  Felt smooth.

"When is this 400 going to be over?"
1/15 (Wed.)
 7mi.- A.M.  - 4x(2x200, 1x400).  Track was glazed over and super slippery.  Moonlight didn't help in terms of visibility. 200 recs after 200s, 400 rec between sets.  [38,37,76/35,36,75/36,36,76/36,36,76]. Turns 1 and 2 were really slick so I had to cheat there on 400s and run a foot inside of lane one just off the track on firmer asphalt substrate.  As such, they're probably a second slower? Felt like I was just running in place. Oh what I would've given to somehow increase the coefficient of friction. Harder effort than numbers reflect.
3mi P.M. .- super slow and easy shakeout, accompanied by Mason.  We had a lot of stops for various activities (bathroom, identifying wood peckers, collecting shed deer antlers, etc.).  All are clearly crucial life skills and activities so it's all good.

 1/16 (Thu.)  --
0 - Nothing.  Nada.  A complete day of rest, supplemented with a few 90 minute Dogfish Head IPAs.

1/17 (Fri.)
Garvin's Playground: Keep out!
8+mi. - Carolina Mgmt Area.  Goal was 6 x Essex Trail Hill repeats. It is about 370m long and averages about 6% grade but the final 30m or so at the very top increase to maybe 9-10% grade ("Hello, lactic acid!").  I was too aggressive on the first one and paid for it.  Had to wuss out after only 4--nothing left. I was dizzy and felt the gorge rising in the back of my throat at the end. Beautiful morning out there despite seeing spots/floaters at the end of the workout. I've done this little diddy before over the past few years and felt like I put in a quality effort this time around despite falling short by 2 repeats.  When I got home I discovered that I was only 3rd OA for the segment.  Hmmmmm, maybe Sage Canady or Ben Nephew crushed this and one of them is the KOM?  Nope--the ruler is much closer to
home--lo and behold, its' Chris Garvin!  And with his effort, there's clearly no way I'll ever get it back (6 second differential).  I also looked back on Jonny's record when he and I ran this 6x ETH a year ago.  It was funny to see that our times dropped off considerably then too, just as I did today. 

My efforts today: 1:20, 1:30, 1:32, 1:31 (awful)
Our results (12/19/12): 1:22, 1:28, 1:29, 1:30, 1:33, 1:31. 

I just get too excited and always pay for it on the back end. With hill repeats, I guess I'm like a puppy humping someone's leg -- just get after it with reckless abandon and don't last very long. Need to learn restraint when and where appropriate.  Despite this "failure" I know that hills will help me with leg strength, power and explosiveness.  Clearly they'll need to be incorporated every week for the foreseeable future as a workout in some way, shape, or form.  Good fun out there but I still have a lot of work to do.....

1/18 (Sat.)
14mi. - from Burlingame Campground with Ryan D. and Jonny.  Looped around single track/North-South Trail before entering the campground and picking up Vin Gormley.  Good run with the temps comfortable and sleet on & off.  Fun discussing race distances, strategies, and training.  I've missed these Saturday morning wandering rambles with running friends and no set agenda other than time-on-feet.

1/19 (Sun.)
9mi. - in and around Arnolda and Ninigret. Going out heading into strong headwind.  Nicer when hidden on trails and on return portion of run.  Love running on cinder trails and wide grassy paths in the wildlife refuge. Felt really good.

Weekly Totals: 51 mi.
Year To Date116 mi.

-->a good week.  Ended up with slightly higher mileage than I was gunning for but it was all in good fun.  Looking for a similar week next week and then take a shot at the Super 5K  on the following Superbowl Sunday (capitalized like a holiday because it almost sort of is I guess).  Two plans for that one:
1. Use it as a time trial of sorts to determine current vDOT (PR most likely way out of the question)
2. help WTAC take the team title again so we can destroy the gift certificate at the Mews again.  I'll try and keep it under control slightly when there, guys.
At any rate, if I can continue stringing together weeks like this and keep it up, I might get back into shape-- if I can just keep disciplined about the amount of food and drink I'm shoveling in my body. Hard when at dinners with family, football "pahties", etc.  I'm trying.....

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2014 Week 2 1/6/13 - 1/12/13

Given my current fitness level, I've decided to forgo an easy week in preparation for Sunday's Resolution Beach 5K.  Normally, I would be super amped up for this (LOVED it last year and ran really well, 2nd OA) but I have zero expectations at this time.  So with no goals in mind I'm just going to try to run a "normal" week with a few harder efforts and then see what happens on Sunday - Please Baby Jeevus, don't let me finish last!.  Still trying to get back in the groove.

PS-get the new issue of Level Renner if you haven't already done so.  Don't worry, you're all my frenemies!

1/6 (Mon.) - 8mi. - Half hour of hills.  A shorty with only about 50' of elevation gain.  I picked this dirt road incline over others more so for the easy downhill than the small uphill (still worried about taxing my knee on descents).  It is way more fun running these things by time vs by distance or set number of repeats (16 overall).  Cold and wet rain yielded a pair of bloody champion nipples too.  Hoorah!

1/7 (Tue.) - 4mi. - easy on private trails.  14 degrees (wind chill -1). 

1/8 (Wed.) -10mi - A.M. 0500, 6 mile run on treadmill at the Y.  Cold doesn't bother me but dark, cold and tempo effort does.  My T pace used to be 5:55ish.  Not sure what it is now so warmed up 2 miles, 3 miles at 6:00 pace, 1 mile cool down.  Felt alright I guess. /// P.M. 4 miles nice and easy in Tomaquag north trails. Warmer (22 degrees) but still cold on exposed skin. Trying to shake out legs so I can roll the sh*t out of the them (feels/hurts so good).

1/9 (Thu.) -0mi -- sets of mobility drills, core, weights, (boring stuff)

1/10 (Fri.) - 10mi - spicy effort from the 'Shway around into NoSto and back. Ran it aggressively (for my current fitness level), low 7:00s mostly on rolling hills. Quads felt fatigued last few miles. Very raw and slippery on the slightly frozen roads.

1/11 (Sat.) - 3mi - slow and easy to loosen up legs

1/12 (Sun.) -8mi - Resolution Beach & Trail 5K (results here).  Much happier with the way I ran today vs at last weekend's debacle. Managed to hang "with" (read: just behind) Jonny and Dan Hawkins for most of the rest but watched them both pull away on the beach for the final 800m or so. Super fun course with a bunch of mud and standing water to rip through.  Finished 6th OA in 19:04.  Unfortunately, this time is 37 seconds slower than last year's effort on the same exact course! OK.....a minor benchmark measurement going forward though I suppose.  WTAC with another team win.

Total: 43 miles for the week, 65 for the year
--> happy with this week.  No knee pain and some quality efforts with hills on Monday, tempo on Wednesday, and a spicy "no man's land" run (my longest continuous effort since 10 November), plus the race on Sunday.  Looking to hover around 35-45 miles for the foreseeable future until I can build some more confidence, aerobic fitness, etc.

Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Week 1 12/30 - 1/5

Some of the festive decorations in the 'Shway.
Not sure if I want to go back to posting weekly and inputting every run or not. Guess I'll try it again but just about everyone who glances at this already knows what I'm doing (or not doing) anyway.  That coupled with the fact that my first few months are probably going to be pretty boring as I try and get back after it, equals = sacrifice verbosity and stick to basics. I'll include biking (will I even ride more than 50 miles all year?) but I'll forgo the boring details of core, weights, stretching, etc.  Plus, the totals for all of those will be pretty embarrassing anyway.

Killing trees, one workout at a time.

Also, trying to build up motivation.  I printed and assembled my 2014 paper running log.  I know, I know- why keep 3 tallies (Strava, blog, and paper copy)?  I love it though. Manually graphing is fun (always been a graph addict) and believe it or not, it's easier to spread out logs on the table and compare week to week from year to year.  Bookshelves are lined with paper logs/notebooks since 2003. Whatever.

With that, bring it on 2014!

12/30 (Mon.) - --

12/31 (Tue.) - [5mi.- decent effort. Goodbye 2013]

1/1 (Wed.) -7mi. Grills Sanctuary and Grills Preserve.

1/2 (Thu.) - 3mi. YMCA treadmill.  Preceded by 5mi on stationary bike.  Battling for a spot on the hamster wheel with all the new fitness freaks of '14.

1/3 (Fri.) - 4mi. - Yak Trax test.  Should've taken a zero but it snowed damn it! Slow going in the woods.  Following deer tracks and noticed they swerved off the trail.  I stayed on the trail and plunged through ice, twice!  Listen to the herbivores! Awesome Pileated Woodpecker sighting.

1/4 (Sat.) - 8mi. - Old Mountain Field 5K Trail Race.  6" of snow, "groomed" via snowshoes once.  Warmed up with Jonny and Ryan W. for 2.5 miles of the course.  Tiring (probably a mistake).  The race was awful.  I fell down the hill near the start in a snow drift (laughed at that part) but then 2-3 minutes later fell apart.  Total shit show.  Watched all of my teammates just pull away from me.  Ugly and humbling day.  10th/66 in 26:32.  Full results here. Embarrassing but gotta start somewhere I guess.

1/5 (Sun.) - 0 - lazy.

Total: 27 miles for the week, 22 miles for 2014

Abysmal totals but better than what I've been getting.  Knee pain and tightness pretty much nonexistent now.  Three cheers for stretching and mobility exercises!  Hoping to try and run some "longer" distances next week to see if I can get over the 4-5 mile hump.  The approximate 8 miles on Saturday at OMF 5K was an encouraging sign.  Let's see if I can go bigger and small baby steps of course.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello

I waited on purpose until this morning.  I knew that if I wrote/posted yesterday on 31 December I would've been too mushy, soft, whiny, etc. re: my 2013 year o' magic.  All I've been doing is "Oh woe is me" crap.  Done with that.  I'm not hurt (really).  I can run. 

Anyway, instead of complaining about my lows of 2013 (March/April & November and December injuries and Lyme Disease in June), I'm going to just focus on the highs and my plan for 2014.  I'll use the final two months of 2013 as downtime, off time, easy period, etc.  It's easier and better that way. Besides, the best part is looking back through the log (olde schoole papyrus) and recalling some of the stuff I forgot about.

First, the digits:

1.  12 Races run
- 1mile - track (1)
- 5K (5)
-4miler (1)
-10K (1)
- 10 mile (1)
- 1/2 marathon (2)
- marathon (1)
--> a little low but I missed several of South County 4th Season trail series, Boston in April, and several races on back end of year.  I'll take it.  Every race I ran was damn fun -- as they should be.

2. 2,113 miles run
--> had been shooting for more mileage - about 2500 but again, I was over 2000 miles so I'll take it (only about 40.6 mpw)

3. Highest mileage week: 77, Lowest mileage week: 0
- I went through a series of  6 consecutive weeks all over 70+ miles (July and August) and it was so much fun. That's not much for some but it sure was a lot for me. My body felt it certainly but I absolutely reaped the benefits.  Looking back, despite the heat,  I really, really enjoy July and August. It's fun to get after it in the summer, even if you do sweat your balls off.

4. Monthly High/Low: August 311 miles,  December 73 miles
See above explanations
Jan.-224          July-239
Feb.-227         Aug.-311
Mar.-79.5       Sep.-233
Apr.-78          Oct. - 202
May-165        Nov. -114
June-156        Dec. - 73

5. Highest Mileage Day: 29 miles (2 runs)/ Lowest Mileage Day: 0 (obviously)

5. 4 total PRs
PRd 5K distance, 10 miler (Blessing of the Fleet), 1/2 marathon, marathon.

My personal highs for the year were kind of varied.  In no particular order:

1. Sea to Summit.
-In March a bunch of us ran from RI's lowest point/sea level in Warwick to the highest point (Jerimoth Hill).  It ended up being about 27 miles are so overall and was just all around fun.  Not sure if anyone has ever done it before in RI.  Not too many states one could pull this off in one run anyway.  The best part: by completing this adventure I can get a coffee at Dunkin Donuts for $2.  Excellent.

2. Blessing of the Fleet PR
-I had high hopes for this one.  I ran it smart and attacked it.  Finished 23 OA and was pleased with the effort. 

3. 1/2 marathon and marathon PRs
- PRd twice at 13.1 distance-3rd in March at Oceans Run 1/2 and then in September finished 1st OA at Surftown.  Race who shows up.  At 26.2, I faded badly but still PRd by over 3 minutes at the full distance.  Good stuff.

4. "Streaking"
- ok, not really.  But as sort of an impromptu offshoot from the July & August sweat-fest, I ended up running 126 straight days (16 July through 18 November). Some days were only a single mile but others consisted of doubles and long marathon training runs. I just didn't want to stop.  I know that many of you probably think this is why I got hurt but I disagree.  I had already started backing off on mileage per week.  I was a month removed from my marathon.  I wasn't running super hard.  Running is just fun and I enjoyed myself.  Don't point fingers!

5. WTAC -- KAPOW!!
- My running club (yeah, it's mine!), has exploded.  So fun to be a part of the run-a-lution.  We're getting faster, expanding in diversity, and growing in enthusiasm.

6. Summer Solstice Triple
-in another meaningless concoction, I ran three separate times on the summer solstice (21 June) to get to 21 miles.  It is fun to plan the rest of your day/life around running vs planning running around the rest of your life.  This is the way it should be. It was really fun running along the water to greet the rising sun, sneaking out (skipping lunch) from work to run in the woods during the day, then around Westerly while life went on around me (chores, errands, etc.).

7. Level Renner
- I continue having fun writing bimonthly for Level Renner magazine.  It keeps my competitive fires going, even when injured or running poorly, and also allows me to meet and mingle with so many other runners I otherwise would never have been exposed to.

The Plan for 2014
1. Use the January and February to try and build endurance again.  I can still run but I've lost some fitness and need to just focus on running.  Doubt I'll be over 30 mpw at all during this time but just need to warm up the clay so that I can begin molding it.

2. Another July and August running festivus.  The higher mileage is so fun and despite being right on the brink of what I can handle, it is fun to tear yourself down and see how much fitness you can gain from it.

3. Piggybacking off of #2, another marathon in the fall.  Most likely (definitely!) will be  road marathon.  As much as the idea of a trail 26.2 or 50K intrigues me, I've got a score to settle with a sub 2:50 marathon.  This year I know I had a 2:47 or so in the cards but I fell apart.  We'll have to fix that one.

4. Drink and eat a little less.  Over the last week or so I've been conscientiously monitoring my daily caloric intake.  Holy shit!! It's a wonder I don't gain 3 lbs a week all year long!  It takes focus to eat healthier and keep it under control.  Small injuries and reduced running have shown me that I CANNOT eat whatever I want, whenever I want. 

5. Win a few more races. Given my abilities and speed, any "W" that I get is solely contingent upon who shows up (or doesn't show up) but it is fun to break the tape, real or imagined.

6. Run more trails/Discover more trails/Trespass more.  It's just fun to run in the woods, especially when you're "lost" and have no clue where you are, where you're going, or if it is public or private land.  Exploration is good for the mind, body and spirit.

7. Stretching, flexibility and core strengthening.  It is almost funny how much my (almost non-existent) flexibility has improved over the past 2 weeks with daily stretching.  I know that many runners don't need to stretch at all but 2013 indicated to me that both of my knee problems were directly a result of lack of flexibility in my lower body (hammies and hips especially). 

8. Don't get friggin' injured.  I know there'll be minor aches and pains throughout the year.  I'd have to not run at all in order to have zero discomfort.  Where's the fun in that? Just be smart. 3 hard days a week and anything else just gravy/easy may be the secret here.  Hoping to incorporate one day of hills, one day of intervals or tempo, and one longer(ish) run.  It may be better to forgo mileage for intensity.  I realize this conflicts with my mileage goal of 2500 but I'll certainly take fitness and toughness over #s any day, week, month or year.  Best laid plans of mice & men......

All in all, looking forward to another year of running debauchery and lunacy. 

It's fun to play outside and be fit.

See you guys around.