Wednesday, February 26, 2014

2014 Week 9 -- 2/24/14 - 3/2/14

Rounding out February and diving into March.  Still no races on the horizon (forgoing Oceans Run 1/2 Marathon just because I don't feel like doing it).  Still just trying to build up some limited fitness before Brrrr-lingame 10 mile trail race and then the Big River trail 1/2 marathon the first weekend in April.

2/24 (Mon.)-
5mi. - p.m. - getting chilly again and I was super unmotivated.

2/25 (Tue.) -
8mi. - p.m.- rolled off a good run.  Once again super unmotivated and in a shit awful mood at the outset but ran  high 6/very low 7 pace and felt better and better as the miles went by.  Like therapy.

2/26 (Wed.)-
10mi. - a.m. - Westerly Y. Another treadmill run but I welcomed the change from the dark, dreary cold.  Ran 20 mins. easy, 15 mins @ T pace, 10 mins easy, 20 mins @ T pace.  Actually felt better on the second, slightly longer session.  One of my wife's friends sidled up next to me midway through the 20 minute T session and engaged me in trivial conversation, about what I'm not really sure.  Tough to do but I managed. Talking at that pace wasn't exactly easy--very staccato and huffed.

3mi.- pm - logistics made a shake out difficult so I decided to be "creative dad" and leave my spawn home alone briefly.  "Here's some popcorn. Here's the TV. Here's your homework.  Here's the phone for 911. I'll be back."  Short and easy one. PS-no murders, no fires, no deaths, etc. on the home front. Although there'll be zero awards for "Responsibilidad of the Year", it looks like it's still  Muddy P. for the win!

2/27 (Thur.)-
0 - truck inspection, wife running, no time. No worries.

2/28 (Fri.)-
6+mi. - p.m. - had to buy supplies for some home brewing this weekend.  Since I was going to be in
the area I decided to run around Locustville Pond.  It is a somewhat "hidden" serpentine pond that lies smack dab in the middle of Hopeless Valley.  I don't fish sweetwater often but when I do, I take my smaller boat (12' Crawdad) out in this and drink beers and catch bass.  Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed the cold on this run.  Tried to run across the ice to add 1-2 miles on near the end but fell  hard right out of the gate and changed my mind.

3/1 (Sat.)-
16mi. - a.m. - very cold early morning run with WTAC gang.  It was only about 8 degrees at the start.  Painfully cold first few miles (fingers, toes and face). A fun and enjoyable run trying to avoid the Poopie Monster and stopping at Mama Walkers for water.  We were cold again but a heart-felt charge up Shannock Hill warmed me up again. We cranked out the last mile (about 6:15), even with some short hills near the end.  Really enjoyed this one and felt really good. Spent the afternoon brewing a coffee porter ("Choco Barack O. Coffee Porter).  Fingers crossed.

3/2 (Sun.)-
5mi. - a.m. - yet again another Sunday, yet again another unmotivated outing.  Had to pick up kid #1 at my parents' house so I ran from there.  Ended up being a tad short of 5 but with Friday's overage, I'm good.

Total: 53 miles
YTD: 418 miles

--> a little less in mileage than I wanted but Wednesday and Saturday were quality efforts and almost all of the other runs were decent pace low 7s/high 6s.  No race again next week, although many of my WTAC buddies are racing Oceans Run 1/2.  Just try to get more miles in and several quality efforts.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2014 Week 8 - 2/17/14 - 2/23/14

2/17 (Mon.)-
4mi. - a.m. - Planned on a double but somehow only got 4 easy on the treadmill with Mason (3 miles) at the Y.  Just didn't feel like going back out in the late afternoon.

2/18 (Tue.)-
7mi. - a.m. - Treadmill again before rolling up to NH to visit family at the usual Grantham retreat.  Feel like a wimp running inside but still got quality effort in.  Ran 8 x ~400m at 6:18 pace or so with 8.0% incline.  Had jelly legs at the end for the last two.  Tougher than it looks/sounds.

2/19 (Wed.)-
0-  but not an easy zero for sure.  6+ hours of downhill ripping at Mt. Sunapee.  Even though this is a tiny mountain (only about 2700'), I still cannot manage to get every run/trail in.  Super fun in the glades catching air, hitting trees, bashing off of rocks, and wiping out hard.  Mason really enjoyed it too--he's getting better each time out. forgot goggles so icy snow made it blind skiing at times. Legs toast at the end of the day.

2/20 (Thu.)-
4mi. - a.m. - shorty in Grantham, NH before leaving.  I tried to be sneaky and get out so my wife and kids could pack up the car.  No such luck--I arrived back to find everyone lounging in pajamas, still eating breakfast. If I'd have known that I would've run the entire rolling Road 'Round The Lake loop instead.

10mi. - p.m. - really nice out (high 40s).  Ran down to flat (boring) Rte. 216 with its wide shoulder and set out on a 4 x 10-12 minutes  at T pace with 1:00 recoveries.  By the middle of the 3rd one I realized a few things: 1.) this was tougher than I thought it was going to be 2.) I was going to run out of time-had to get back so my wife could run and 3.) I somehow missed lunch on the drive home. 400 calories for the entire day doesn't cut it.  Started to bonk so called it quits after only 3 of them. Still OK with the quality effort.

2/21 (Fri.)-
5mi. - a.m. - easy shakeout on the stupid treadmill at the Y.  Mason begged to go to the Y and run on the mill again.  He was shooting for 4 and quit after 2 ("I'm bored"). Lesson learned kid.  My legs felt tired and hip flexor/quads were fatigued.  Did get to drink at the Malted Barley (AFTER dropping off children) and then tried this strange beer I brought home from NH with me.  It wasn't that great (after what I sampled at the Barley).

2/22 (Sat.)-
15+mi. -a.m. -  fun but icy and slippery run with some WTAC guys from the Y, down along Green Haven and River Road, etc.  I had a hard time getting it rolling today.  Just didn't feel that great.  Lingering fatigue in hips and hip flexors.  Somehow was able to show up a few minutes late despite waking up at 0245 in the morning and waiting to meet the guys at 0630.

2/23 (Sun.)-
5mi. - p.m. - a mid day run.  Beautiful out again! Felt kind of sluggish and not into it.

TOTAL: 50 miles
YTD: 365 miles

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

2014 Week 7 - 2/10/14 - 2/16/14

Finally, with zero races on the horizon until Brrrr-lingame in about 5 weeks, I can focus on just running and building fitness.  Need to be conscious of "speed" and threshold work and really need to get back after some miles.  Would ideally like to finish in mid to high 50s, possibly low 60s in terms of mileage for the week. I suppose it would be mildly beneficial to stretch, roll, and do core/strengthening stuff to.  I suppose......

2/10 (Mon.)
9++ mi - p.m. - WTAC victory party.  I arrived at the Mews a little bit early and ran 3.1 solo.  Then about 6.5 or so miles with the guys along bike path and Gansett streets before celebrating our group success (from Super 5K).  Tastes like victory.

2/11 (Tue.)
5+ mi. - p.m.-way overdressed on this regular run.  Felt pretty good considering Sunday's snowy shit show and yesterday's Mews run.  I was able to maintain decent "easy" pace in low 7:00s throughout. Tacked on extra just to even out the mileage for the week.

2/12 (Wed.)
8mi. - a.m. Y treadmill.  Almost skipped this one and stayed in bed. 6 x 5:00 @ T pace with 1:00 easy in between.  These things don't sound or look hard at all but they get to you near the end.Workout called for 8 x 5-6:00 with only 30 sec recoveries.  I went with 1:00 recs--takes 30 damn seconds just to get the stupid treadmill up and down to proper speeds! Unfortunately, I ran out of time and couldn't do the last two.  Had to shower and get to work.  Just as well.  My legs still had a little Belleville in them from Sunday.  Got a little fatigued on last 5:00 rep. Disappointing but satisfying somehow.
6mi. - p.m. with headlamp from Mason's practice.  Felt pretty good.  Mixed in 6 strides (20 secs).  Good way to end the day.

2/13 (Thu.)
3mi. - a.m. no school again. Damn it! Seriously, fluke and stripers won't catch themselves this summer.  I cannot tolerate these snow days much longer.  Very short and very easy shake out in the snow.  Felt shitty--not in my legs, more of a head and body/getting sick.  Was dizzy, achy, tired the rest of the day.  2/3 of my spawn have been sick.  Slept during the day.  Hope it is only a minor ailment.

2/14 (Fri.)

Happy Valentines Day to me.
6mi. - p.m. battled the wind and overall shitty feelings to get in the run.  At least it was "warm" (40 degrees?). Still feeling blah but better than yesterday. Despite my "ailment" I did get to have some beverages and splurged on Holidale Barley Wine Style Ale from BBC.  It is pretty GD good but oh boy I bet it would be REALLY good with some aging.  Wish I bought 2-3 bottles and let a few sit in my basement for a year or two (or three).

2/15 (Sat.)
17mi. - long and hilly run with a bunch of WTAC guys.  Good route on primarily back roads of Chariho.  Several guys broke off around mile 5 for a shorter 10 mile loop.  Good overall pace (7:17)  with good conversation. My first real long run in a long time.  Good confidence booster as I had no troubles at all other than hunger--but I'm ALWAYS hungry!

2/16 (Sun.)
5mi. - slushy and sluggish.  Side streets were kind of gross and my Inov-8s packed out repeatedly so I did I bunch of slipping and spinning.  A little tired from Saturday but not too bad.

Total: 60 mi.
YTD: 315 mi.
-->a pretty solid week.  I was shooting for 55-60 so that's good.  Gonna mix in some skiing next week at Sunapee and try to keep the miles there.  Fatter and fitter.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Cycling Without A Bike

I'm not necessarily what you'd call a "Type A" personality.  I'm not very organized.  I tend not to stick to regimented numbers (other than sciences and vDOT tables). Mistakes are so rampant that they just seem normal to me. So many things seem interesting that I struggle to focus on one aspect--my list of hobbies and interests needs a scroll of parchment paper the length of the east cost. In fact, ask me where I put my headlamp, Yak Trax, car keys, [insert noun/direct object here]and I probably won't be able to tell you with any certainty. "They're around here somewhere!"

However, when it comes to running, there is just something comforting and enjoyable about sitting down with a book, running logs, and a blank calendar and roughly trying to plan out your running year.  Again, the chances that I'll stick to said running plan are slim to none, and slim just took the last train outta town. But it is fun, exciting and motivating to not only plan out a major training cycle of say, 14-16 weeks for a marathon, but also mini-cycles for races that you want to perform well at.

WTF is this crap?
With that in mind, tonight I calendared {def: (kal in durd) - Verb- the past tense of the action in which a dad sits at a computer, ignoring his boisterous, fighting child spawn, and attempts to map out year long  mini-training cycles}. I'm not even sure I get what macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcyles even are. I just pick key races/events that I wish to perform well at and shoot from the hip.  No wonder I never really, truly achieve success.  But it (running) is all in good fun so I just roll with it.  It looks like 2014 will be a shit show.

Without boring anyone with details it looks like I'll have a bunch of short "whatever" cycles this year. This is about as detailed as I get.  Keep in mind plans, especially my plans, can and will change. To be sure, I'm missing a few bigger races here and there but these are the pinnacles of those black, squiggly step line thingies. Loosely, they are as follows:

Cycle 1: From now until early spring-
Focus on increasing my endurance and ability to run a half marathon.  Just build fitness. Big River doesn't really count as a numbers test (PR half marathon) but I've always felt that the best all around shape to be in running-wise is 13.1 miles.  This level allows you to jump into almost any race distance and at least run respectably.  If I could be at a certain ability level year round, I'd choose half marathon as my distance of choice. Oh, a 5K? No problem. Hmmm,10K? Bring it on.  A rare 15K? Sure, I can rock that. Half marathons are awesome.  I won't be in 1/2 shape for BR but its a good thing to at least try and gear for a little. PS-no snow please!

Cycle 2: Early spring through mid May-
There is some  Quahog Mile race on 11 May.  I've never broken 5:01 at the mile distance.  Maybe a 5 week mini cycle focused on workouts geared towards this distance will help me?  At the same time, I'm an idiot and won't be able to give up long weekend runs and such. Probably won't be able to sacrifice mileage for quality but I'm enough of a slacker to maybe pull it off. Perhaps some focused, bi-weekly workouts with 1609.34m in mind will help sneak a 4:59.99999999 in there.

Cycle 3: Mid May through July-
It's not a huge race but the circus that is the Blessing of the Fleet is a great motivator for late spring/early summer training.  The last Friday in July finds scantily clad runners trying to drop bombs on their personal stats in the heat and humidity.  A 10 miler on the roads in 'Gansett in July with thousands of fit people testing their mettle? What else you got going on that Friday evening? Plan accordingly, bitches.

Cycle 4: End July through October-
Not entirely sure what my marathon race will be but I'm seriously leaning towards Baystate in October.  It's flat, along a river, reasonably "close" to home and hopefully, fast as hell. I want that sub 2:50 BADLY! I can smell it.  I see it in my dreams. 

Cycle 5: End October through remainder of year-
This is the cycle that is, in a sneaky way, perhaps the most fun.  I have a friend who coined the acronym: JDWADED. Just Do Whatever All Day Everyday.  That's this one--just reap the benefits of a diverse year of training and see what the fall into winter brings. Run wherever, whenever, however, for whatever. I think this is my favorite cycle. Do whatever you want just because. 25 mile week-OK. 55 mile week - why not? 70 mile week- yeah, I can eat more gluttonous foods, right?

This concludes my boring planning meeting. Thanks for reading. I know it is totally unorthodox and probably not kosher but I don't care.  Real running coaches would cringe at my ignorance and stupid race distance ordering drunken confidence.  I'm not the fastest nor most fit but I'm really proficient at having fun in life. Better than sloth on the couch eating preserved junk foods and mouth breathing year round, isn't it (am I sweating and panting as I type this)? FUN is the name of the game!

It only takes 30 minutes or so to do this "planning". Think in chunks. Go big.  Don't worry too much about specifics.  Worry about the specific details as they happen. John Lennon once said "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans". Indeed.

And if there's beer involved, I'm available for consultation if you need assistance.  

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2014 Week 6 - 2/3/14 - 2/9/14

2/3 (Mon.)
4mi - P.M. - supposed easy and slow in the slushy snow.  Waited until after shoveling before going out.  The crappy conditions on the roads and on trails in the woods left me feeling blah.  My legs felt tired from race yesterday. Not sure if snow shoes would've helped in the woods or not.

2/4 (Tue.)
7mi. - P.M. - Sun was shining.  Birds were singing.  Warm 36 degrees.  Awesome!  Felt really good right out of the gate so I just rolled with it.  Some guy shoveling his driveway on Laurel St. yelled out to me "Shorts? Really? That's stupid.".  Suck it buddy. WWGD (What Would Gazelle Do)?  If it's sunny and "warm", I'm throwing on the extra short shorts. Felt really good (the run not the shorts).

2/5 (Wed.)
10mi. - P.M. - Y Treadmill. Looks like I was the only pussy today (didn't run outside).  Wanted to do a harder, organized effort so, after shoveling out, stupid treadmill it is.  3mi @ T pace, 10 minute easy, 3mi. @ T pace.  Really boring.  ~18mins at T pace isn't that hard, but with about 5 minutes left on the second session I was ready to quit.

2/6 (Thu.)
0 - couldn't squeeze one in. Deferred to my wife's running. Just as well, legs could use the rest.

2/7 (Fri.)
6mi. - was seriously underdressed.  Rolled at decent pace and mixed in 6 x 10 second hill sprints near the end.

2/8 (Sat.)
5mi. - side trip after buying salt at Home Depot for home water system.  Felt like shit before, during and after--achey, shivery, tired.  Ugh.

2/9 (Sun)
8mi. - Belleville 10k Trail Race.  I was dreading this one.  I just don't run well in the snow.  Finished in 51:55 (?), about 13 minutes slower than last year!  Damn this was miserable.  Fun, but miserable.

Total:40 mi.
Year To Date: 255 mi.

-->a lower mileage week again but with zero races on the docket until Brrrrr-lingame in about 4 weeks, I have the chance to get mileage back up a little and focus on building endurance.  Can't wait for the snow to melt.  I love snow very much, but NOT running trails in it!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Superbowl Fevah w/ Update

I really could not care less who wins the Superbowl.  However, the celebrated gluttony of food, spirits and gambling screams of fun. Despite it all just being a distraction for the masses with regards to real issues that matter, I'm pretty good at all of them--notable PRs in all three sports. Over/unders, point spreads, superbowl party squares, and crushing finger foods are competitive sports in which training is beneficial.    

With that in mind, I just spent some time thinking about race times of my fellow WTACers tomorrow at the Super 5K. My predictions are below -- hidden of course until after the race. 

I'm interested in whether I can use what my friends and teammates have been doing recently towards  my career as a soothsayer. It will be rather fun to see how close my predictions mimic real life.

I promise to be honest -- no changing my picks.


Well, apparently I'll have to forgo soothsaying and stick with high school biology education.  I suck at guessing.  My erroneous guesses could be due to several  potential factors:
1. I just get way too excited by those running around me and over estimated their fitness -- (doubtful)
2. Some knew about my predictions and ran soft/scared -- (very doubtful)
2. the slightly slow first mile may have caught people off guard/left them feeling blah and everyone fought to get back that time and/or hang on -- (more likely).
4. I just suck at betting, gambling, predicting, guessing, etc. -- (most likely)

JONNY 16:59 17:29
GARVIN 16:20 16:33
GALOOB 15:50 15:29
GAZELLE 17:49 18:03
CRITCHLERY 20:58 21:35
NATE 17:37 17:39
ME 17:19 17:13
WOOLLEY 16:00 16:16
MATT W. 19:15 19:37
MIKE B. 19:20 19:40
JEFF V 19:50                         N/A
STEVE S. 21:00 21:42
BETH    27:02                         N/A
STACEY L.  18:52                          N/A
TOMMY 5K 16:45 16:39

Either way:
1. I was close on my own personal guess.  Although, truthfully, I was still really, really trying to run a 16:59. 
2. Galoob's performance was pretty epic.  I can't wait to turn 39.9 years old so I can run a 35 second lifetime PR too.  That's how it works, right?
3. I was closest on my Nate V. prediction.  Me thinks that he is much faster and has much more potential than he realizes. I'm close to losing another finishing spot in the future.

Super fun day though.  Too bad the Super Bowl itself was an abhorrent display. 

Ryan Park up next for the Belleville 10K Trail Race (#3 in the SC4S Race Series).  Doing the anti-snow dance-- I suck at running in snow!!