Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Inconvenient Truth(s)

Time for a short break of, hopefully, only a day or two.

On Monday I ran a fun mix of roads and trails at a solid effort and on a short, not very steep ascent in Pelloni Preserve while moving through a sparse rocky section I landed funny and a immediately felt a burning pull in my left achilles.  It remained a little tender throughout the rest of the run but was nothing major.  I was able to finish the run at my normal effort with no issues.  I dosed myself on Vitamin I and massaged the area.  

Yesterday, after sleeping in and skipping a morning track session (lazy ass!) I went to CHS around 1630 to try, for the third week in a row and last of this training block, some 1200s at I pace.  I've recently been enjoying Tuesday/Wednesday combination workouts of I-pace repeats on Tuesday (harder than I care to admit) followed by "easier" (?) T-pace on Wednesday.  It was warm and sunny and I was not motivated at all.  After a two mile warm up I ran the first one and knew that it was not going to be my day.  I struggled to hit 4:05 (trying for 4:00) and on the recovery felt the unfortunately familiar intestinal gurgling that comes with the first few warm weather hard efforts of the running season. Heatarrhea attack. 

Long story short, I aborted the second repeat after only 400m, charged to port-o-jon and "recovered" in there.  Awesome.  In addition, each lap around the oval found my achilles getting a little more tender.  After the third charge to the plastic shithouse I decided to quit.  10 miles were thus reduced to only 4. Went home and iced and more Vitamin I.

I'm not worried about the achilles.  It seems pretty minor and this has happened before.  A few days of rest should clear it up.  However, I am not happy about the total fail on the track workout and my apparent inability to handle higher temps, humidity, and sunny conditions.  Mike B loves this environmental setting for running.  I hate it.  

Perhaps I can fill this newly found "free time" with more line wetting on the salty seas.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Best Dilemma To Have

When the alarm went off this past Saturday morning, I quickly turned it off so as not to wake my wife.  She knows that at this time of the year, throughout the summer and into the fall there will rarely, if ever, be a morning that I sleep in. Note: "sleeping in", for contextual purposes, can be deemed any time later than 0630. Still, out of politeness, I slid quietly out of bed and relied on ambient light to slide on running shorts, socks, and my beat-to-shit Brooks Pureflow2 trainers. I was excited for my trail run/workout with Jonny on the trails of Burlingame northside but I still did stop for a minute or two and reflect on my current dilemma.

At this time, there are really only two things that I want to be doing: running or fishing.  Obviously, if I'm doing one I clearly cannot be doing the other.  Given this temporal paradox, as excited as I am to be getting ready for the former activity, I can't help but wonder, ponder, fret about (slightly) how awesome it would be if I were actually getting up to engage in the latter activity.  Clearly you can't be in two places at once.  On rare occasions I can sort of combine the two as I did  last Friday evening where I run first (from the dock) and then quickly slip out onto the water.  However, sometimes I have to do it the other way around and that can be difficult.  To fish all morning or afternoon and then run is tough.  But what an "awful" dilemma to have, no?  Deciding on which  passions to spend one's free time is certainly going to draw very little sympathy from anyone.
Two items of interest for me.....
My plan, as previously stated in earlier posts, is to get three hard, quality days in per week (Q1, Q2, and Q3) and the rest can be easy runs to meet mileage and time requirements. To stoke my running enthusiasm, I purchased the newer third edition of Daniels Running Formula.  It certainly reads better and I like the new chapters and content so far, compared with the original first edition that I've had for several years. The guy just gets me so excited.

Beautiful male specimen (not the idiot holding him).  Note the
moronic, crooked sunglasses. 
If I can do this, (about 7 hours per week total in running time) and then manage to squeeze in equivalent amount of time (at least) to my other passion, I should have a good year.  The more I can get my wife and children engaged in said activities, even better! Yesterday I went out with my father for some fluke fishing.  I decided to forgo striper hunting as we didn't start until later in the morning (0930) so instead we just fished the bottom.  It was a crazy day in which we caught two nice fluke (20-22") and well over 30 black sea bass, which are unfortunately out of season right (spawning until the end of June). The black sea bass are overlooked as they are a "small", ugly bottom fish but right now they are aggressive and gorgeous.  This forgotten about member of the grouper family has males that develop amazingly beautiful turquoise blue around their eyes and huge knots on their foreheads (hence the name "knotheads"). Presumably this is to attract sexy bitches.  Their flesh is delectable and it was a shame that we couldn't keep any. I have three chirping, hungry mouths to feed back home at the nest.  Alas, my own spawn had to settle for fluke fillets instead.  But a good day on the water gave way to a lackluster, unmotivated run in the afternoon when I got home.  I suppose I need to hash out a better plan if I'm going to be spending the equivalent to a part-time job at these two awesome activities.

I'm not looking for sympathy at all--just some partners to engage in my fun.  You like to run?  You like to fish? You like to talk running, paces such as I, R, MP, workout compositions, trail running, etc?  You like to discuss tide, wind, depths, locations, artificial lure choices, fishing tactics and strategies, etc?

Let's talk about it and then do it, friends.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

I Made It Through May....Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

Not me but it might be.....
I'm excited.  Big stripers around and becoming more active (impossible to catch back in the ponds during the worm hatches....the height of frustration).  Huge fluke moving into more shallow water, waiting for me to cross their eyes. Being on the water is cathartic,  despite my abysmal fish catch totals thus far in 2014. School is also winding down as most of my students have jumped ship/given up weeks ago. Garden is exploding with photosynthetic growth.  And most importantly, May is over and I feel as though I can begin to focus on running again. To be clear, I never really was "unfocused" on running.  As I apparently repeat ad nauseum, May is tough for me to get in mileage and real workouts. I still have yet to go back and look at previous years but I'm pretty sure I did a rather decent job in 2014 of handling the May Madness and getting in a tiny bit of quality work in the running arena.

As such, it is time to change gears, refocus, and ride that pony to summer time and fall success. A few important goals, changes, attention shifts, etc. for me.

1. Added the Strava Widget to the side of the blog.  Even though it is almost summer, I am finding it difficult to recap my running stats, daily output each week.  Crutch and Jonny have added one to their blogs and it is just an easier way to share what I am doing with non-Strava people. I'm lazy and it is becoming burdensome to track running data in three formats (Strava, blog, and ol' fashioned paper log). Two caveats to this--the Strava widget here doesn't appear to show manual entries (last week's track intervals without a stupid GPS) and also, the mileage is always/will always be a little shorter than what I feel I actually do.  This is an ongoing joke among all of my running friends.  Just do the Muddy Math. If it looks like I have 50 miles, just call it 90, okay? Also, I do still reserve the right to summarize, blog about, etc. any really fun runs or workouts here in the post area.  Who really cares what I'm doing for running anyway?

2. I felt really sloth-like over the past several weeks despite squeezing in a workout or two and a longerish run each week.  I have the month of June "off" (no races) so I want to use this time to ramp up my beer-withered fitness, looking towards a few upcoming races in July:
-12 July : Run With the Beavers 10 mile trail race
- 20 July: Craft Brew 5K (WTAC team event)
- 25 July: Blessing of the Fleet 10 mile road race

As I stated in my last post, I was really excited from a discussion with Galoob and Jonny regarding I-pace workouts and also having three quality efforts (one being a longer run).  I've always said that I want three quality runs per week but many weeks don't manage to do so.  I'm kind of excited, at least for right now, regarding a Q1, Q2, and Q3 (long run of 2 hours+ or 1.5-2hours with MP mixed in).  We'll see how that pans out.  The more I think about it and look at numbers, I-pace workouts seem tougher and tougher.

3. I also was nearly duped into running the Missoula Marathon in Montana with Ryan Davenport in early July.  He is running it as a "cool weather" July marathon and primarily as redemption for Boston outcome which he wasn't pleased with.  He offered to fly me out there on his frequent flyer miles and we'd be staying for free with one of his friends.  I almost pulled the trigger here but opted out after looking back at training.  I do not have the mileage nor the harder, sustained marathon pace efforts to feel comfortable here.  I've never been to Montana so it would be worth it to go for it anyway, given the "excellent prices/fares" but if I'm going to run a marathon, I want to run a damn marathon!

Not me but it most definitely could be....
So, after backing out from this awesome proposal for a jaunt to the high powered rifle toting, anti-Obama red-state, I began pondering just what big races I will be doing this fall.  Disclaimer: I have not decided officially yet...BUT, Nipmuck Trail Marathon on 5 October looks fun, close, adventurous, and the price is right. Then, follow this up with Philadelphia Marathon on 23 November (my wife talked me into it) to try and bang a road 26.2 and go sub 2:50.  Running a marathon this late in the year will be difficult for sure but if I can just hang onto fitness gained from summer into Nipmuck, then maybe there's a chance I can pull it off?  This is not a good idea but given the differences between the two types of races and the significant time span between the two, I think I can do it. This ominous marathon plan that may spell my undoing should allow me some long "adventure" runs and diverse trail training this summer into fall (2.5-3 hour affairs) but then give me a stretch of time to fine tune my speedier side after Nipmuck with road/MP sessions. I just hope I don't get burnt out.

Or, another option is simply to run Hartford Marathon with several of my WTAC pals.  I don't want to do this though. Nothing against my WTAC brethren, it's just something about Hartford that isn't appealing. But it is close by and not hilly.  This plan would allow me to run Surftown 1/2 marathon 14 September to defend my pathetic title (and kill it) followed up by Pisgah 23K 21 September as tune-ups.  Not sure what to do here.  Guess I'll just keep hunting, searching, thinking, pondering, and running in the mean time.

All in all, I am super excited again for running. Funny how this waxes and wanes throughout a 365 day running year.

Goodbye school.  Goodbye stupid administration and your erroneous decisions and policies. Goodbye unimportant paperwork. Hello fishing, playing with my kids, watching plants grow, and running, running, running, and running.

Stay tuned..........

So many things and so many things of each thing."