Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekly Training: 1/18/15 - 1/24/15

Mon. (1/18):
7+mi.  - (p.m.) chilly loop on some patchy roads.  Legs a bit tired but still kept normal pace up.  At one point, near the middle of the run, I slipped a tiny bit (caught myself) on ice. Twisted sort of funny and for the rest of the day felt odd knee discomfort in the old familiar plica (upper medial area above patella).  Stretched a bunch.  Have to monitor it closely (whatever the hell that means).

Tue. (1/19):
5mi. - (p.m.) no knee pain today but just a strange, dull ache at times.  Continued to stretch throughout the day and when I got home from school I layered up and ran a short, very easy loop from home.  No knee pain, which was very encouraging.  Stretched for 30 mins when I got home (yes, you read that correctly).

Wed. (1/20):
13mi. - (a.m.) TM at the Y.  Not as brave as 5K and Mike B to run outside at 0500 in the wind.  Wimp on the mill.  Workout called for 7E+4x2T+2E.  I only managed 5E+3x2T+2E.  Time was the limiting factor here but I was pretty run down during the third and final T block.  I doubt I could've struggled through a fourth.  Too bad.  No knee pain.  Hope I'm over the hump with that so to speak.

5mi - (p.m.) windy shakeout/recovery run. Tired legs but they loosened up pretty well.

Thu. (1/21):
7mi. - (p.m.) overdressed again in too many layers so I was sweaty despite the chilly winds.  Tired and pretty tight hip flexors for this run but managed to run consistent base pace.  Felt harder than it was or should have been.

Fri. (1/22):
0mi. - (a.m.) planned on easy junk miles (7-8) in the dark or on the Y treadmill before school.  Just couldn't get myself out of bed.  Tired so I smashed the snooze button multiple times.  Does this count as "listening to my body" and "resting"?

9mi. - (pm.)  ran a slightly extended route from home to my parents, with a bit of Carolina trails mixed in.  Felt tired but good in a way. Tight hip flexors still kicking around.

Sat (1/23):
20+mi. (a.m.) - solo run, trying to beat the impending snow storm.  Ran a very loosely planned out route from Meadowbrook Pond lot.  Primarily ran the N/S trail up to Rte. 138.  Hopped over into more trails at the Nature Conservacy/DEM state land off of Wilbur Hill Rd.  Back around from Beaver River, along North Road, and then got sketchy by running up a private dirt road (how I used to access fishing at IceHouse Pond in Carter Preserve, before it was a preserve).  Crossed the train tracks and then had a difficult time bushwhacking over to the Blue trail in Carter.  The water was so high in the pond that it was spilling over the backside crumbling earthen dam.  I kept falling/plunging in the water up to my knees.  Very cold! Finished by running through Carter, back to Kings Factory Rd. and to the truck.  Felt great for the run -- could've run 30 miles or more! Very nice mixing trails with roads (hiding from brutal NE wind).  The last bit of easy running on trails for a while now that they're buried under 9" of snow or more. Long runs are easy when you don't have to do any pace work (MP, T, etc).

Sun. (1/24):
5mi. - (p.m.) - beautiful recovery run after shoveling.  No real wind to speak of.  Sunny and "warm".  Slushy, melting snow remnants on roads.  Not a cloud in the Rhody blue sky.

Total: 72 miles
YTD:238 miles

* no knee pain or stiffness, so that's cool

*9" or so of snow may limit my woods/trail exposure for a bit, as I have no snowshoes, no microspikes, and no will.

*so far the year if off to a good start with weekly mileage and 2Q workouts pretty much where I want them, and need them, to be.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week of: 1/11/16 - 1/17/16

Mon. (1/11):
7mi. - regular loop from home. Felt okay but  minor fatigue set in near the latter part of the run.  Mixed in 7 strides (10-12 secs. each) during middle portion of the run.  Dropping temperatures and rising wind. Yikes.

Tue. (1/12):
6mi. - a late text from my son ("Dad, I had to stay after. If you could pick me up from school that would be great.") had me scrambling to figure out where to run.  I had planned this day to be pretty easy, and relatively short, filler/base miles.  I ended up leaving my truck in the parking lot at Chariho Middle School and running an easy mix of some roads, some turf fields, and old gravel roads in Carolina Mgmt Area.  I enjoyed viewing the school from afar (across the turf fields) and also the treacherous Meadowbrook crossing (a couple of logs and a downed tree).  What started out as misery and angry (Damn, kid!) turned into an easy enjoyable filler run.

Wed. (1/13):
11mi. - inside on the treadmill again. Workout Wednesday. 2E+8 x 1K @I (2:00 recs) + 2E.  This one wasn't too bad (inside on a treadmill is kind of cheating when it comes to intervals).  Although tiring, I'm glad I was able to complete it. Legs felt good.

6mi. - chilly recovery to my parents' house again, just like last Wednesday.  Perfect distance, low traffic volume, and easy but rolling terrain for a RR.  Low battery on my watch lead to me trying to use my iphone.  Despite having 88% battery life, it shut off after 0.5 mile (too cold?).

Thu. (1/14):
8mi - forgot my watch so tried the stupid iPhone again--dead battery again after 7 minutes. F**k that thing. Ran from Schonning Insurance (pre-WTAC board meeting) up into Champlin Preserve trails.  Wow, they've really cut that place up too.  Not sure how I feel about it in some spots.  I'll have to wait until everything greens out in May/June to really tell.  Finished up with roads and the very small Mastuxet Brook Preserve.  Felt good.

Fri. (1/15):
8mi - from Horseshoe Falls in Shannock.  A nice loop around Wordens Pond Rd (quick check on CG's abandoned homestead!), Biscuit City Rd, and accompanying Shannock area environs.  Good pace (7:06 OA).  Felt good and lose.  Visited an old, retired teaching friend when I was finished. Good to catch up. Man, I'm looking forward to being retired...but not getting old!

Sat. (1/16):
18mi. - lured Jonny (not that hard to do!) into running this workout with me.  Started at Breachway Grill in Charlestown and, after looping around for a few mile warm up on side streets we headed out toward South Kingstown for the work.  2E+2x2T+60:00E+2T+2E.  The T pace was taxing but manageable.  We ran them both just a hair too fast but close enough for government work.  It was odd then inserting an hour of easy running before final block.  We managed to sneak into the Duval trail system for some of it which was nice distraction from asphalt.  Finally, the last 2T back into Charlestown.  The first mile on this final chunk felt smooth and controlled but I began to falter on the second one. Luckily Jonny stepped up and pulled me along the rest of the way (last 800m or so). Another quality workout in the books.

Sun. (1/17):
7mi- from home to the other side of Ashawy to my in-laws for breakfast. Spotted 5K, Shara, and Gazelle (can't mistake that gait), as they were finishing up their long run.  Nice to chat with them if only for a half mile or so.

TOTAL: 71 miles
YTD: 166 miles

*normal January weather finally settled in a bit.  It's not the temperatures but the wind with the chilly temps that makes the outdoor running a little tougher.  I don't mind layering up. Just can't stand the wind. Better than 85F and humid though. Just checked the weather and next Saturday (1/23/15) we have 8-12" of snow projected. Yikes! Just in time for Belleville 10K....UGH!

*another 2Q sessions down. Felt good to run both of them and not have to shorten or modify them at all.  Two more bales of hay in the loft.

*weight hasn't decreased but hasn't increased either sooooooo.........#balancingact

*missed out again on fish on Sunday. I snuck out in the Pawcatuck River in the kayak.  I suppose I was after some wintering pickerel or sluggish bass in some of the coves but having to bust through skim ice to fish the back pockets made it difficult.  Still nice being outside.  Running out of time.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

First Full Week of 2016 (1/4/16 - 1/10/16)

Mon. (1/4):
10mi. - chilly run in tights. Slightly windy made for dry skin and some dry coughing.  Returned home via Kenyon Cross Roads Preserve trails. Good base run despite the nippy temps.

Tue. (1/5):
8mi.  -Another chilly day on a tour of lower Ashaway.  Dressed appropriately but I wore the NRA running mittens.  Those things work....too well.  My hands sweat so much my fingers were prunes by the time I returned home.

Wed. (1/6):
12mi. - on the treadmill at the Y.  Fell short of Daniels prescribed workout (7E+4x2T+2E).  Just not there yet fitness-wise and don't have the time to fit that much volume in before school anyway, unless I start outside at 0400 and do the 7E first.  Ugh.

6mi. - slow and easy from home to Mom's for dinner.  Felt pretty decent.  7:50ish pace felt nice and slow.

Thu. (1/7):
7mi. - relaxed and easy road loop. Really nice out as there was zero wind -- rare for this time of year.

Fri. (1/8):
7mi. - a fun and relaxing cruise around Carolina Mgmt. Area trails.  I was a little under-dressed and thus, unprepared for the stiff wind in my face during the open turf field section.  3" of ice on Meadowbrook Pond at the finish -- had fun "skating" and sliding around like a small child for 5 minutes

Sat. (1/9):
Stripers in RI in January! No seals in this shot.
18mi. - I was unmotivated in the morning to run my scheduled workout/long run solo so I changed plans and went fishing with my father in the Narrow River for winter hold over striped bass.  Most are not aware that it is possible to catch fish like this in the winter.  Not all of them migrate south.  Shhhhhh....keep it a secret. It was cold and raw but pretty fun.  Although I got skunked, my father managed to catch a nice 30" fish (released).  Interestingly, he also caught a young (year old?) Harbor Seal.  I felt so bad for it when it surfaced about 15 meters from the boat and looked at us with big brown, sad, puppy dog eyes.  Luckily it broke the line on an ensuing run -- lucky for us as there is no feasible way to take out a jig from the mouth of a toothed, thrashing seal while boat side.  Hope he/she is ok.

As for the run, I returned home and ran my solo workout in the early afternoon.  I was supposed to do 18 with the following breakdown - 2E+8M+1T+2M+1E+2M+2E. I was able to nail it with regards to the required blocs at marathon pace and threshold pace and the paces were nearly spot on.  I felt so "good" when I was finished.  Tired and completely worn out but so happy.  Not too hard in terms of pacing but that 1T snuck in there makes things interesting.  The worst/toughest part was the 2E at the end to get home. I was beat down. Man, these Jack Daniels workouts chew you up and spit you out!

Sun. (1/10):
4mi. - super easy recovery half hour on the treadmill at the Y.  So gross, humid, sweaty, and warm in there with the legion of other people.

Total: 72 miles
YTD: 95 miles

*struggled through Daniels workout on Wednesday but nailed the Saturday one. Let the fun begin.  I hate them (they're so hard!) but I have confidence in their success (despite having to modify/cut nearly every one of them short), and, consequently, love them at the same time.  They so closely mimic the latter stages of marathons (leg-feel, brain drain/focus, etc.).  Love that I'm able to get truly quality effort in without having to simply log boring 2:30-3:00 long runs. Quality over quantity.

*trying to monitor caloric intake....even tougher than marathon work outs! "Will cut meal sizes in half for beer" is not a sound dietary strategy.

*already at 4 PMs for the year.  As Jonny graciously pointed out, I'm on pace for 146 "episodes" this year.  Game on, bitches.

*although I failed to catch a fish on Saturday, my goal of catching a different species of fish each month continues.  Still three weeks to go in January.  Tough but fun aspiration.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 - Lock The Door & Throw Away The Key

2015 is over and it is time to crunch numbers and reflect upon successes (not enough) and failures and defeats (a few too many).  Although there were some firsts, PRs, and overall highlights, there were certainly more low-lights than I'd care to admit.  Some were out of my control but others were definitely due to my lack of focus, erroneous decisions/training, etc.

The Numbers:
Total Miles Run In The Year: 2915
Total Number of Runs: 382
Total Days w/ At Least One Run: 342
Average Miles/Week: 56.10
Average Miles/Day: 7.98
Average Miles/Run: 7.63

Highest Mileage Week: 90 (3/16 - 3/22)
Lowest Mileage Week: 20 (7/20 - 7/26)

Missed Days/Zeroes: 23
Missed Days Due to Illness/Injury: 5
Consecutive Days w/ Run: 202 (1/1/15 - 7/21/15)

Month          Runs          Miles          Doubles          Days Off          PMs
January          35              268              4                     0                       5
February        35              312              8                     0                       6
March            37              350              6                     0                       1
April              30              191              0                     0                       3
May               34               235+           3                     0                       3
June               33               248             3                     0                       2
July                32               182             5                     4                       3
August           28               222             3                     5                       2
September      31              252              4                    3                       2
October          29              220              2                    4                       3
November      30              226              2                    2                       4
December      28               198             2                     5                       9(!)

TOTAL          382            2915           42                   23                     43

Some Highlights:
- Boston Marathon.  My first attempt at it and my current marathon PR (2:46:57).  I feel that this was the best race I've run in my career in terms of planning, tactics, strategy, feel, execution, etc.

- PR at Run With The Beavers 10 Mile Trail Race.  Although I ran solo for much of it (hate that!) and although I was sick at the time with a bacterial infection (Lyme disease although I didn't know it), I ran well and something like an 8 second PR.

- a PR in newly tracked PM episodes.  Don't laugh.  This happens to all of us and I began keeping track.  My new goal is to have fewer battles in 2016. Can't afford throwing away so many socks and polluting the environment with shit tickets.

-new yearly mileage PR.  This is something I'll strive for every year for the foreseeable future, or until my body tells me not to.

-I got to run 202 consecutive days straight.  Although this is meaningless, I enjoyed the streak.

The Lowlights
- after a brief hospitalization in the summer, I feel like I never really recovered my enthusiasm for running.  Don't get me wrong, I truly enjoyed so many runs with friends, especially the longer ones.  I simply lost my gusto and excitement for running competitively and training.

-Despite being comped an entry to the Nipmuck Trail Marathon, I couldn't get motivated to train (seriously train) for it.  See above bullet/statement.

- missed the Blessing of the Fleet.  This crushed me.

- I ran a minute slower at Li'l Rhody Runaround.  I seriously don't know how this happened as I feel like I ran my balls off.  Quite disappointing.

- I missed Old Mountain Field 5K.  This is a short, "fast" and furious trail race in December that I really enjoy.  It sucked to miss this as well.

-One of my running pals, Chris Garvin moved away.

-essentially, I feel like I'm getting slower.  I know this comes with "age" but 38 is not old.  I also know that I can blame some of this on my friends and frenemies simply getting more fit and faster but also on my alcohol and food intake.  These two factors are items of interest that must stay on my radar in 2016 if I wish to improve.  It's just so damn hard!

Ultimately, I've turned over a new leaf (hopefully). I'm looking to not settle for last year's Boston.  I want to use it as a learning experience and run better and faster this year.  Not sure what I'll do differently as I'm following the same basic Jack Daniels 2Q plan.

With that, here are some goals for 2016 (not resolutions!).  If I put 'em in writing then I have to strive for them.
1. Set a new marathon PR and PB at Boston this year (sub 2:46 ideally)
2. Run over 3,000 miles (not too hard to do--if I hadn't gotten sick and lost enthusiasm I could've done it).
3. Win a friggin' race somewhere, somehow.
4. Catch a fish in every single month of the year (January-March will be tough.  The rest should be easy).
5. Stay healthy and not get too fat and lethargic.
6. Run 2 marathons (Boston and .......????)
7. Set a PR at my favorite distance, 13.1 miles.  Half marathons are the shit!
8. Increase my number of doubles (42 is nice but more is better)
9. Run some type of strange, quirky, creatively epic adventure....with friends, of course.
10. Drink less.

There it is.  Let's slam the door on 2015, a year I'd like to basically forget about for the most part.

Here's to 2016. Onward and upward.